Analyzing Jordan Bowden, Josiah James, and Jaden McDaniels

November 18th, 2019

by Alan Lu

Recently, I took the time to watch Jaden McDaniels and the Washington Huskies square off against Jordan Bowden and the Tennessee Volunteers in a non-conference basketball game that took place on November 16th, as I managed to see it via WatchESPN. It was expected that Washington would roll in and cruise to a comfortable victory due to the top-end talent on their roster and solid coaching reputation, but Tennesee was able to exploit soft spots in Washington’s defense by making a numerous open jumpers, as the Volunteers ended up earning a stunning upset win in the James Naismith Classic. Here are my thoughts on how Bowden, Josiah James, McDaniels, and some of the other prospects fared, as well as how their games may stack up for the NBA.

Tennessee's senior guard, Jordan Bowden could be a second round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. (Photo: Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.)
Jordan Bowden had a strong all-around game to lead Tennessee to an upset win over Washington. (Photo: Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.)

Tennessee’s 6-5 senior guard, Jordan Bowden played very well, as he showed off solid all-around skills to help lift his team to a surprising victory over Washington. He did a great job of knocking down shots on offense, and he also played terrific defense in this game.

Bowden really excelled at knocking down pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he also has a nifty ball fake that he can use to get past his opponents. Plus, he also would make open, spot-up threes off the catch to space the floor for his team. He also was able to draw a shooting foul after getting the ball on a cut, but he had his shot blocked on another occasion.

He also is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he also managed to find the cutter off of a drive, as he was able to collect several assists. Plus, he also handled the ball well, and he managed to not commit a single turnover on offense against Washington.  Also, Bowden did a good job of rebounding the basketball, as he was able to get plenty of defensive boards to help his team on the glass.

Adding to that, Bowden played very good defense. He did a great job of playing passing lanes to get steals and deflections, as he has good length, anticipation skills, and timing to do so. He also excelled at staying in front of his man, as he would contest numerous jumpers to force misses. His lone miscue on that end came when he bit on a ball fake and trailed his man on a drive, as he ended up committing a reach-in foul as a result.

In general, Bowden is a skilled, versatile swingman that can do a little bit of everything, and he was able to contribute in many different areas to help get his team a double-digit victory over Washington. Right now, Bowden may be flying under the radar as a draft prospect, but he could be a good find for an NBA team in the second round of the 2020 draft, as he may project to be a solid 3 and D role player in the association.

Tennessee's freshman guard, Josiah James played very well to help his team get the victory.   (Photo: UT Athletics via Clarksville Online.)
Tennessee’s freshman guard, Josiah James played very well to help his team get the victory. (Photo: UT Athletics via Clarksville Online.)

Tennessee’s 6-6 freshman swingman, Josiah James played very well in his team’s win over Washington. He is a smart, skilled basketball player that showed a high basketball IQ as he may be wise beyond his years, and he played a very good all-around game to help get his team the victory.

James took smart shots, and he did not miss one single field goal in this entire game. He excelled as a driver on fast breaks, as he can finish with either hand to score around the basket. He managed to throw down a powerful dunk when going right once, and he also drove left patiently to score in traffic another time.  He also is a good shooter that was able to make a wide open three-point shot off the catch, and he also used a pivot move prior to knocking down a pull-up mid-range jumper from the baseline.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills. James would make smart reads, as he would often find open shooters standing in the soft spots of Washington’s zone defense, and his teammates would tend to score right off of his timely passes. However, James did throw one inaccurate interior pass astray that ended up getting intercepted, and he also lost a ball when handling it late in the game to commit another turnover.

Plus, James was able to collect his fair share of boards when he was on the floor. In addition, he also played fairly good defense in this game. James showed a knack for intercepting passes to get steals, and he also did a good job of deflecting passes to make it tough for his opponents to throw passes cleanly to their teammates. He also excelled at contesting three-point shots to force misses, and he also managed to stay with an opposing ball handler off of a screen, as he managed to successfully contest a runner another time.

Sometimes though, he can be prone to a few lapses defensively. However, there was another time where he didn’t even contest a shot when guarding a tall ball handler, which led his man to score on a long two-point shot. On a separate play, he bit on a ball fake and ended up getting beat off the dribble, which led him to commit a foul and allow a score on the play.

In summary, Josiah James had a solid all-around showing to help lead his team to a win over Washington, as he played a smart game on both ends of the floor. He showed a knack for making sound decisions, as he made smart shots and passes, and he also generally defended well against the Huskies. His strong decision making skills suggest that he may potential have the skills to run the point.   He’ll still need to be more aggressive in looking for his own shots more on offense, but James is a skilled basketball player that could be a first round pick in 2020, as he could end up being a solid role player akin to former Sacramento Kings’ guard, Doug Christie in the NBA.

Jaden McDaniels had a bad game against Tennessee. (Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated and Dan Raley.)
Jaden McDaniels had an uneven performance in this game, as he had some very good moments, but also missed an ample number of shots and had too many costly turnovers against Tennessee. (Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated and Dan Raley.)

Washington’s 6-9 freshman forward, Jaden McDaniels struggled to consistently make plays in his team’s loss to Tennessee, but he still was able to do some good things when he was on the floor.  McDaniels did not shoot the ball very well, as he was quite inefficient in making shots in this game against Tennessee.

He took a lot of shots, but some of the ones he hoisted up looked to be quite shoddy. For the positives, he showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble. He prefers going to his left, but he can use a pump fake move to get past his man, as he was able to score on a turnaround jumper as well as on a layup on two different plays.

He can glide in to score on layups, and he also showed off a good mid-range shot, as he can dribble in to knock down pull-up mid-range jumpers. However, he had a tendency to miss on off-balanced, contested runners, and he also missed on a wild tip-in attempt off of an offensive rebound late in this game.  He did make a couple of open spot-up threes to show an adequate ability to make shots from long distance. However, he missed too many outside shots, as he especially struggled to make pull-up jumpers from beyond the arc.

On the downside, McDaniels was quite turnover prone on offense. For the positives, he is a tall combo forward that handles the ball fairly well, and he is an unselfish player that would look to find the open man to keep the ball moving. However, he tended to throw inaccurate passes that would either get intercepted or end up out of bounds, though there a couple of occasions where he threw catchable passes that were just dropped by his teammates.  He didn’t do a very good job of grabbing boards in this game, but he would sometimes leap up to get defensive rebounds, and he would tend to push the ball up the court afterwards.

Also, he showed off decent defensive skills. McDaniels is a rangy defender that showed good recovery speed, leaping ability, and timing to block a shot off of a runner to prevent opponent from scoring on a drive, and he will also play passing lanes to get deflections. He would use his length and close out hard on shooters to force them to miss jumpers, and he has very good length, agility, and footwork to pressure ball handlers out on the perimeter.

However, he also would tend to pick up fouls on the defensive end. Sometimes he would struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, and other times he would be too aggressive in pressuring his opponents. He also was caught ball watching once, which led him to get beat on a cut and for a teammate to rotate to commit a foul around the basket.

Overall, Jaden McDaniels did not have his best game, but he is a multi-skilled, versatile combo forward that has a variety of skills that may prove to be useful at the next level. He’ll need to be a more consistent player when he is on the floor, but he is a talented player that may be a good value pick in the mid first round range of the upcoming draft, as he could end up being a solid role player akin to Los Angeles Clippers’ forward, Maurice Harkless in the NBA.

Washington’s 6-9 freshman big man, Isaiah Stewart put forth an adequate performance in his team’s loss to Tennessee. He managed to post a double-double by scoring 14 points and hauling in 10 rebounds in this game, and he also set a wealth of good screens for his team on offense, but he also really struggled defensively when he was on the floor.

In this game, he showed off decent low post scoring skills. Stewart would often get deep post position, as he would tend to score on jump hooks, turnaround jumpers, and layups. Sometimes he would try to force the issue too much, as he would occasionally miss in traffic and he even had a shot blocked from behind, and late in the game, he ended up missing on a very awkward sling hook. Though he has very good strength and deft shooting touch around the basket, Stewart doesn’t always get great lift on his shot, which can lead him to struggle to finish plays in the paint on occasion.

Stewart also used a jab step to make a quick, mid-range jumper. He also managed to score on a put back once off of an offensive rebound. However, sometimes he would miss wildly around the basket after getting offensive boards, as he would not always go up under control, and he would sometimes rush his shots when attempting to score on put backs.

He also displayed fairly adequate playmaking skills in this game. Stewart can pass out of the post, as he was able to do so to notch an assist. He really showed a very good ability to set on and off-ball screens to get his teammates open shots and driving lanes, as he has a wide frame that makes it tough for his opponents to get around him, and a couple of his screens allowed his teammates to score off of those plays. However, he also threw an inaccurate pass from the post another time that was intercepted, and he also was called for traveling when posting up on a separate play.

Stewart did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He is a quick jumper that relies on his length and anticipation skills to collect boards, as he was able to haul in numerous boards on both ends of the floor, and he even managed to use his long arms to tip a ball to himself to get a defensive rebound. However, he did end up getting called for committing an over the back foul once when attempting to get a defensive board on a separate play.

On the other hand, he will need to improve his defense. For the positives, he has very good strength to hold his ground when defending in the post, and he also has decent short area quickness, which allowed him to contest mid-range shots as well as shots in the paint to force a handful of misses.

However, he really struggled defend out on the perimeter, and he can be undisciplined when defending on the block. He tended to sag too far off his man when guarding shooters, as he would give up too much space, which would lead him to allow his opponents to score on jumpers. He also had a tendency to bite on ball fakes when defending in the post, and he also had trouble guarding quicker players out on the perimeter, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Isaiah Stewart is a tough, bruising big man that can score with his back to the basket, and he is also a very good rebounder, and he has an old school, throwback type of game that would be a good fit for an older era where teams didn’t really look to run or shoot jumpers too often. However, in the modern era, his seemingly lack of elite foot speed, face-up game, or ability to defend out on the perimeter may be troubling, as a combination of those things could make it difficult for him to transition well to the NBA. Right now, he is still having a good freshman season and his draft stock is still high, so he may project to go in the mid first round range on draft day.

Washington’s 6-6 junior swingman, Nahziah Carter played fairly well in his team’s loss to Tennessee. He has very good physical tools, as he excelled at scoring on fast breaks and on hustle plays, and also showed off fairly solid rebounding and defensive skills in this game.

Carter did a good job of scoring in transition against Tennessee. He has very good foot-speed to beat his man down court, and he has very good hands to catch long passes, as he was able to score on a couple of thrilling, high-flying dunks on the break. He also showed a knack for drawing fouls on fast break drives, and he also scored on an emphatic jam off of a curl cut. However, he also had a shot blocked once in the open court, and he also missed completely after euro-stepping to attempt an awkward fadeaway jumper.

He also showed a knack for scoring off of offensive rebounds, as he managed to score on a tip dunk. However, Carter struggled to score consistently off the dribble in half-court sets. He does have some solid ball handling skills, but he often had trouble making pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he also several of his shots blocked off of drives to the basket.

Also, Carter showed off the ability to knock down long-range shots, as he was able to make a spot-up three from beyond the arc, but he ended up missing on two other occasions from that distance.

In addition, he was quite turnover prone on offense. Carter had a tendency to be called for traveling violations, as he tended to shuffle his feet, and he also ended up being intercepted once after attempting to throw an outlet pass off of a defensive rebound.

He did a great job of rebounding the basketball, as he showed off solid foot speed, motor, and instincts to chase down balls to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor. On one play, he ran in to get a defensive rebound, as he tipped it to himself, and then pushed the ball quickly up the floor.

Carter also played adequate defense. He has good length and timing to play passing lanes, which enabled him to get steals, and he also managed to swat a shot off of a cut to a teammate to force a miss. He would actively contest shots inside the paint, and he is an active help defender that can make it difficult for their opponents to get their shots or passes through. But sometimes he would occasionally be undisciplined defensively, as he would sometimes over-help in the paint or jump in the air unnecessarily, and other times he would be too aggressive in contesting shots, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Nahziah Carter is an athletic, skilled swingman that is having a solid junior season, and he seems to be an underrated prospect that may be flying under the radar on his own team. Right now, he may project to go in the second round range, and he may have the skills to end up being a 3 and D type of role player at the next level.

Other Notes:

Tennessee’s 6-6 junior swingman, Yves Pons also had a good showing in his team’s win over Washington. He is an athletic, skilled basketball player that has a variety of skills, and he played a solid all-around game to help get his team the victory.

Pons showed a deft ability to knock down mid-range jumpers, and he also used a pump fake to score after dribbling in from the post on a separate offensive possession. He also flashed the ability to make spot-up threes, as he was able to knock down one when he was wide open, but he ended up missing badly on two other occasions.

He also managed to set a good off-ball screen to help get a teammate open once, but he also had a tendency to make careless mistakes that would lead him to commit turnovers on offense.

Though he didn’t rebound the ball very well, Pons was able to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he was able to swoop in to get a high-flying board on one occasion.

He also played fairly good defense against Washington. Pons was able to rotate to block a shot off of a drive from the blindside, and he has good length, agility, and footwork to defend out on the perimeter. He did a good job of contesting jumpers and shots off the dribble to force misses. Sometimes though, he would tend to commit fouls around the basket due to over-aggressiveness, and other times he would be late on his rotations on other occasions.

Overall, Pons played fairly well, as he is a versatile swingman that showed a very good ability to make mid-range jumpers, and he also played solid defense in this game. He could be a second round prospect for the 2021 draft, and while his draft stock may not be high right now, he may have the skills to succeed as a role player in the NBA in the future.

Tennessee’s 6-2 senior point guard, Lamonte Turner had a fairly good game to help lead his team to a stunning win over Washington. Though he doesn’t seem to possess elite physical tools, he showed a strong knack for scoring on strong, patient drives to the hoop, and he also would barrel in to draw hoards of free throws to help his team. On the downside, he struggled to consistently make jumpers, and though he made one spot-up three off the catch, he had trouble knocking down threes or pull-up, mid-range jumpers on a routine basis.

Turner is also an unselfish player that would find soft spots in Washington’s zone defense, as he would find open shooters to set up scores for them, and he generally displayed adequate playmaking skills. However, he also was turnover prone, as he had a tendency to throw hasty, inaccurate passes that would either sail out of bounds or get intercepted, and sometimes he would be too recklessly in handling the basketball when faced with considerable ball pressure.

He also showed off fairly good rebounding and defensive skills. Turner would chase down balls to get plenty of boards, as he especially excelled at collecting defensive rebounds. He also would intercept passes and poke balls away to get steals and deflections, and he also showed off a very good vertical leap as he really got up to block a shot off of a drive in transition to a teammate to force a miss. He also would stay with opposing ball handlers, as he would successfully challenge pull-up, mid-range jumpers to get stops for his team. However, sometimes he would give up too much space to his man, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on three-point baskets. Another time, he was caught ball watching and ended up getting beat on a play, which forced a teammate to have to rotate to commit a foul.

Overall, Lamonte Turner had a good game in his team’s victory over Washington, and he is a tough, gritty playmaker that can score on aggressive drives and will play tough defense to get stops for his team. He may be unheralded prospect that is flying under the radar, but if he ends up making his way to the NBA, he could end up being a backup point guard similar to former Detroit Pistons’ guard, Will Bynum in the association.

Washington’s redshirt sophomore point guard, Quade Green did not have a great game, but he did have some good moments at various times of this contest. He showed off adequate playmaking skills, as he showed a knack for throwing long, accurate passes on the break to set up scores for his teammates, and he also can find teammates on the move to rack up assists. He is an unselfish player that will keep the ball moving, but he also can be careless when handling the basketball, and he can also tend to throw hasty passes that lead him to commit turnovers.

He also did a good job of knocking down threes, as he was able to make one off the catch and another off the dribble to show his ability to make long-range shots. However, Green struggled to consistently make pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he also generally had trouble scoring off the dribble when looking to attack the basket.

He was able to get his fair share of boards when he was on the floor, as he would sometimes be able to chase down balls to get rebounds to help his team on the glass. However, he did not defend very well in this game. For the positives, he will play passing lanes to get steals and deflections. On the other hand, he had a tendency to commit reach-in fouls on uncontrolled steal attempts, and he also fouled an opponent on a pull-up, mid-range jumper as he struggled to move his feet that time. His lack of size also really made it tough for him to defend opponents off the dribble, which would render him prone to allowing opponents to shoot over him to knock down mid-range jumpers.

Overall, Quade Green will need to play much better than he has so far this season, as the former McDonald’s All-American has struggled to consistently make shots or to stay away from committing turnovers on offense. He has not really made a big impact in his first several games at Washington, as he’s only shown that he can be a caretaker on offense, but not much more than that so far. Right now, he looks to be a long shot to be drafted, but if he can get back to being the player that he was thought to be, he may potentially find a way to make it into the NBA as a C.J. Watson type of player in the league.