Analyzing Julian Champagnie in the St. John’s-Providence Game

May 1st, 2021

By Alan Lu

This time around, I watched to watch St. John’s 6-8 sophomore forward, Julian Champagnie play, so I decided to take the time to watch him play in a February 6th game against Providence, with thanks to YouTube The Draftmatic.  For the time being, both he and his twin brother, Pittsbugh’s Justin Champagnie have declared to enter the NBA draft, but are also both testing the waters. 

His twin brother Justin has the draft stock, and has posted the better field goal percentage, assists, and rebounding numbers of the two this year. On the other hand, Julian has posted a better three-point percentage, free-throw shooting percentage, scoring average, and steals numbers than Justin this season.   This leads me to be thinking, are we sure Justin Champagnie is definitively the best Champagnie brother in this draft?  Because it seems to me that Julian Champagnie has been overlooked, and would be well worthy of at least having one or two of his games dissected.  It was hard to find many full game films that he played in this season, but this one was where he played against Providence, as they have another talented prospect at a rival school in Dave Duke.  Here are my thoughts on how Julian Champagnie, Dave Duke, and Nate Watson fared, as well as how their games may stack up in the NBA.

St. John’s Julian Champagnie scored 24 points, made 4 threes, and hauled in 10 rebounds to help lift his team to a double-digit victory over Providence.
(Photo:
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images, via Fansided’s Busting Brackets)

St. John’s 6-8 sophomore forward, Julian Champagnie had a solid showing to help lead his team to a double-digit win over Providence.  He primarily excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game, and he also rebounded the ball well when he was on the court. Champagnie did a very good job of knocking down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  He excelled at making quick, spot-up threes off the catch.  He showed a knack for making trail threes, and he also ran off of a stagger screen to make a corner three late in this game.  He excelled as a spot-up shooter from both beyond the arc and from the mid-range, and he also showed a penchant for knocking down corner threes to help his team.  Plus, he also was able to make a pull-up mid-range jumper early on, and he used a jab step to make a long two another time.  He did take plenty of mid-range jumpers, as it seemed like he took a lot of them, but he shot the ball well in this game.

He also showed an adequate ability to score in the post.  Champagnie would often go up strong to draw fouls upon his defenders down low, which would enable him to get to the free throw line.  He also managed to score on a quick put back.  On the downside, sometimes he would try to rush his shots, which would lead him to miss in traffic, and he even had a shot blocked from behind once.  He also tried to score on an aggressive, left-handed drive and had hung in the air to try to score, but he ended up missing on a contested, off-balanced leaner.

Also, he displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  Champagnie plays with a heavy score first mind set, but he will sometimes look to find the open man, as he can throw simple passes in his direct field of vision.  He also dribbled off of a screen and threw a timely interior pass to find a roll man once.  Plus, he also did a good job of limiting his turnovers on offense.  On the downside, he can be careless with the ball at times.  He threw a hasty pass that got deflected out of bounds.  He held the ball too long and got it poked away from him and had to chase down the loose ball to get it back.  His lone turnover came when he ran the floor and dropped a catchable bounce pass out of bounds.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Champagnie would often leap up to get boards on both sides of the ball, and he was able to aggressively leap up to get a tough defensive board late in this game.  He also managed to tip a ball to a teammate midway through this match.  However, sometimes he would miss out on balls in his area, and there was one occasion where a ball went off his hands and it went to an opponent.

Plus, Champagnie played adequate defense in this game.  He would poke balls away to help his team get steals and deflections.  He also would rotate to contest shots in the paint to force misses.  He also showed the ability to quickly switch onto an opposing ball handler, as he did so once early on.  On the downside, sometimes his effort would be lagging on the defensive end.  He would sometimes be late on his rotations or not hustle back, as it would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores on the break.  He also didn’t even rotate to contest a shot on the drive late in the game, as he let an opponent score on an open layup.  There were also times where he would sag too far off of shooters, which would allow opponents to score on three-pointers.  Also, his team would sometimes play in a zone defense, so they would easily give up open jump shots to their opponents.

In general, Julian Champagnie played well in his team’s win over Providence.  He is a skilled, mobile forward that can shoot and score the basketball, and he will actively crash the boards to help his team get rebounds.  He’s not overwhelmingly quick, so he would struggle more to score when he would look to go all the way to the basket.  He played fairly solid help defense as he can help his team force turnovers and get steals, but he would sometimes have lapses as he would occasionally to defend out on the perimeter. 

Recently, he declared to enter the NBA draft, but so far is just testing the waters, as he has kept the door open to come back to St. John’s.  Most likely, he will probably return for a junior season, but he projects to be a borderline second round candidate if he stays in.  He is a solid shooter that rebounds well, but he will need to continue to improve his playmaking skills and on-ball defense.  In a favorable scenario, he could project to be an effective role player at the next level, as he could be like a lesser athletic version of former Sacramento Kings’ forward, Glenn Robinson III in the association.  With continued development, Julian Champagne could project to be a fairly solid 3 and D role player in the NBA.

Providence’s 6-5 junior guard, Dave Duke had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to St. John’s.  He showed off solid playmaking and rebounding skills, but he struggled to consistently knock down jumpers, and he brought forth a fairly uneven defensive performance in this game. Duke showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  He showed that he can score using either hand.  Late in this game, he used a crossover move to his left, as he then proceeded to score on a smooth, switch of hands layup.  He also showed a knack for drawing fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line.

On the downside, he struggled to consistently knock down jumpers.  Duke was able to dribble to his left to make a pull-up jumper from the mid-range.  On the other hand, he missed both of his three-point attempts, as he was unable to make a three either off the catch or dribble.  He also missed on a rushed layup in traffic after initially getting the ball on a backdoor cut.

Also, Duke showcased good playmaking skills in this game.  He passes well off the dribble, and he would throw solid interior passes to consistently find teammates on the move.  He also is an unselfish player that would rack up assists.  On the downside, sometimes he would throw hasty passes, as he threw an entry pass that got intercepted, and he also threw a hasty pass off the dribble that skipped out of bounds another time.

Also, Duke showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  He was quite active at crashing the glass, and he would usually bring the ball up after getting defensive boards for his team.  He also managed to tip a ball to help his team get another defensive board.  On the downside, there was one time where a ball went off his hands on a defensive rebounding attempt as it went to the opposition.

He also played adequate defense in this game.  Duke showed a knack for getting his hands on passes and poking balls away to get steals, and he is an aggressive, active help defender that has good strength and anticipation skills to guard opponents both out on the perimeter as well as in the post.  He also would stay in front of his opposing ball handlers to make it difficult for them to handle the ball or get shots up.  On the other hand, sometimes he would over-help in the paint and sag too far off of shooters, which would cause him to allow them to score on open threes.  He also would sometimes struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Dave Duke is an agile, skilled combo guard that can score and also can capably play either backcourt position on offense.  He will need to be a more consistent shooter in games, and he will need to be a more focused on-ball defender on the court.  Currently, he projects to be a borderline second round candidate in the 2021 draft.  Duke hired an agent so he is definitively in the draft.  Most likely, he will need to spend the next season in the G-League to hone his game to be a more consistent player, but if things break his way, Duke could end up being a solid role player that could provide shooting and playmaking skills similar to former San Antonio Spurs’ guard, Roger Mason in the NBA.

Providence’s 6-10 senior center, Nate Watson played very well in this game, as he scored 30 points, and he grabbed 8 rebounds in his team’s loss to St. John’s.  He’s already stated his intentions to return for another year, so he will be a fifth-year senior in college basketball next season. Watson showed a solid ability to score in the post.  He is a strong, physical big man that would often score on drop step moves, and he can throw down powerful dunks and can absorb the contact to also get to the free throw line.  He also showed the footwork and strength to consistently score down low.  Sometimes though, he would take contested, off-balanced shots, as he would struggle to score in traffic especially when he wouldn’t get foul calls, and he didn’t always have his balance when he would hoist up shots from around the basket. He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Watson would run the floor to score on fast breaks, and he also would actively score on put backs and tip-ins.  He also showed a knack for scoring on powerful dunks off of put backs and in transition.  He also took an open mid-range shot, but he ended up missing that time.

Also, Watson showed off adequate playmaking skills.  He was able to pass the ball from the high post to find an open shooter to set up a score for his teammate.  He also would set good screens to help his teammates get open jump shots and driving lanes on offense.  On the downside, there was one play where he didn’t quite seal his man when trying to post up, as his teammate then committed a passing turnover.  He also lowered his shoulder when posting up another time, and he ended up committing a charging foul on a separate possession.

Also, Watson showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  He did a great job of collecting offensive boards, and he would frequently score on put backs to help provide his team with second chance points.  He didn’t get as many defensive boards though, and there was one occasion where a ball went off of his hands on a defensive rebound attempt that ended up going to an opponent.

Plus, he played adequate defense in this game.  Watson showed the ability to guard both out on the perimeter as well as in the post, and he would block shots to help his team protect the paint due to possessing good length and timing.  He would jump on loose balls to help his team get steals, and he also poked a ball away to nearly get another.  He also was able to rotate to contest a shot off of a drive to force a miss, and he also would close out on shooters to get stops for his team.  On the downside, he would sag too far off shooters, and sometimes he would not even contest shots despite in the area, which would allow them to score on open jump shots.  He also would be caught ball watching, and he would struggle to defend opponents in space, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Nate Watson is a strong, athletic big man that generally excelled as a scorer in the paint, and he would actively look to score and grab offensive rebounds around the basket.  He also would set good screens to help his teammates on offense.  On the downside, he struggled to get defensive rebounds, and he didn’t always seem to give great effort on the defensive end.  That he will be returning for another season at Providence will give his team a boost in college basketball next year.  He will need to improve his rebounding and defense, but his size, physicality, and ability to score in the paint could make him a borderline second round candidate for the 2022 draft.

Providence’s 6-8 senior forward, Noah Horchler also played well in his team’s loss to St. John’s.  He primarily excelled as a spot-up shooter as he would often make quick, open threes off the catch, but he also did a good job of scoring on hustle plays.  He was able to roll hard to the rim to score on a dunk, and he also scored on a quick put back in traffic.  He also showed the ability to score off the dribble, as he drew free throws on an aggressive baseline drive.  He also used a spin move and a drop step in the post, but he ended up missing badly off the glass that time.

On the downside, Horchler was quite turnover prone on offense.  For the positives, he is an unselfish player that can pass out of the post as well as off the dribble, and he was able to notch a pair of assists.  He also set a solid off-ball screen to help a teammate score on an open jump shot.  However, he had trouble protecting the ball, especially when heavily pressured, and he would get balls poked away to lose it to his opponents.  He also threw a hasty entry pass that ended up getting intercepted another time. He also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball, and he did a good job of grabbing multiple boards on both sides of the ball.  He was especially active at crashing the glass to get offensive boards, and he would swoop in to get them for his team.

Also, he played satisfactory defense in this game.  Horchler was able to intercept a pass thrown his way to get a steal due to possessing solid length and instincts.  He also rotated to block a shot hard in the post from behind due to possessing solid timing.  He also would contest jumpers as well as a shot on a drive to force misses.  On the downside, he would be late on his rotations, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on open corner threes.  He also sometimes struggled to defend in the paint, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores around the basket.

Overall, Noah Horchler is a mobile, high-motor forward that can knock down outside shots, and he can make hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.  He will need to take better care of the basketball and improve his focus defensively, but he is a skilled, energetic player that recently announced that he would return for another season for Providence next year, and that will give his team a boost.  If he can continue to hone his game and progress as an overall player, he could be a prospect to watch for the 2022 draft, as he could project into a 3 and D role player in the NBA if he can continue to make strides in his overall game.

St. John’s 6-0 freshman point guard, Posh Alexander played well in his team’s win over Providence.  He excelled as a shooter and scorer on offense, and he scored 21 points in this game. Alexander shot the ball well, especially from downtown, and he showed a penchant for scoring on quick, spot-up threes from well beyond the arc.  Plus, he would run the floor to score in transition.

He also has a series of ball-handling moves that he can use to get past his man as well as a fairly solid first step to the hoop, and he would score on aggressive drives to the basket.  He can finish plays using either hand.  Alexander showed a decent ability to score on isolation plays, but sometimes he would take tough, off-balanced shots that would lead to misses, and he generally struggled more when the help would arrive on the defensive end.

On the downside, he was fairly turnover prone on offense.  For the positives, Alexander is an unselfish player that will look for the open man, which enabled him to get his fair share of assists.  However, he would tend to throw hasty passes that would get intercepted.  He also was called for an offensive foul because he kicked out his legs on a pull-up three, and he would’ve scored on that play had he not been called for the foul that time. Alexander didn’t grab many rebounds, but he was able to get a defensive board off of a tap out.  He also ran in to back-tap an opposing ball handler in the backcourt to get a steal on the defensive end.    

Overall, Posh Alexander is an athletic, skilled combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball, but he also tends to be a streaky shooter, and he also struggled to score in traffic, as he sometimes struggled to create separation to consistently get by his opponents.  He will need to continue to improve his jump shot and shot selection, but Alexander could be poised for a solid sophomore season, and he could be a player to watch in the future.

Providence’s 6-6 junior swingman, A.J. Reeves played fairly well in his team’s loss to St. John’s.  He excelled as a sharpshooter and scorer on offense.  He especially did a good job as a spot-up shooter, as he would make quick open threes, and he would run off ball screens to knock down three-point shots from beyond the arc. He also showed the ability to draw fouls on aggressive drives to the hoop, and he also ran the floor to score on a high-flying, two-handed dunk on the break.  On the downside, sometimes Reeves would be streaky with his outside shot, and he also missed on a rushed layup off the dribble another time.

Also, Reeves passed and handled the ball well.  He is a good passer that passes well off the dribble, and he would make timely passes to rack up assists due to possessing solid court vision.  He did commit a turnover on a drive in transition, and though he could’ve gone up with the ball to try to score on an open layup, he decided to thro an ill-advised jump pass that ended up getting intercepted. Though Reeves didn’t get many rebounds in this game, he was able to leap up to get a pair of defensive boards against St. John’s. However, he struggled defensively.  He had trouble guarding quicker ball handlers out on the perimeter, which would lead him to commit fouls and get beat on moves to allow scores, and he would sometimes give up on plays afterwards.  He also would sag too far off of shooters to allow scores to them.

Overall, Reeves is an athletic, skilled swingman that has shown promise as a prospect throughout his collegiate career, but he’s been too inconsistent as a shooter and scorer over the years.  He will need to improve his shot selection and defense.  He will likely need to stay in school, but he could move up draft boards if he plays well for Providence next season.

St. John’s 6-10 junior big man, Isaih Moore played fairly well in his role to help his team get the win over Providence.  He is a very athletic, energetic big man that showed knack for scoring on hustle plays, and he ran the floor to score on a thunderous two-handed dunk on the break.  He also competes hard defensively, and he showed that he was a threat to block shots, as he would aggressively contest shots in the paint.  On the downside, he tended to pick up quick fouls, though.  Overall, he played well off the bench, and he could be a player to watch on his team next season.

St. John’s 6-6 junior forward, Marcellus Earlington also played well to help his team get a win over Providence.  He made solid plays to help his team on both ends of the floor, and he also showed off versatile scoring skills in this game. Earlington was able to score on an open, spot-up three to show some shooting skills.  He also used a pump fake to score on a left-handed drive.  He also would draw fouls when he would be around the basket to often get to the free throw line. He also threw a long outlet pass to get the ball to a teammate to set up a score for him in transition.  On the downside, he shuffled his pivot foot after catching the ball another time, which led him to commit a traveling violation.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Earlington also played satisfactory defense in this game.  He poked a ball away, and dove for a loose ball on the ground to help tie up an opponent to get a steal.  He also ran in to intercept an entry pass to get another.  He also contested a shot in the post to force a miss ,and he also drew a charge when defending down low to get another stop for his team.  On the downside, sometimes he would have trouble guarding taller, stronger opponents in the post, as he would then commit touch fouls.  He also rotated to commit a reach-in foul on a drive due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Earlington played well in his role off the bench to help his team get the win over Providence.  He will need to stay in school for another season, but if he plays well next year, he could be a prospect to watch as he could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA if he can continue to hone his game and progress as an overall player.

St. John’s senior point guard, Rasheem Dunn scored 13 points and dished out 10 assists in his team’s win over Providence.  He is an smart, agile playmaker that excelled at attacking the basket to score and get assists for his team.  He is a facilitator that would rack up assists, and he showed the ability to score off the dribble.  He also would apply pressure to help his team defensively.  On the downside, he didn’t show much of a jump shot, and he missed on his only three-point attempt from beyond the arc.

Recently, he decided to transfer to Robert Morris to play in college basketball next season.  Dunn will still need to improve his outside shot and be more assertive on offense, and it will be tougher for him to get notice of NBA teams and scouts because he is dropping down a few levels from a power conference team at St. John’s to play at a D1 small school at Robert Morris.  He’ll have to play really well there, but his athleticism and playmaking skills could enable him to end up playing in professional basketball even if he doesn’t make it to the NBA one day.

Other Notes:

In the video I saw, it was hard to see the jersey numbers for the players on St. John’s team, as the dark red and the black numbers, combined with the slightly blurry, less than stellar picture quality from the game footage made it tough to tell the other players apart.  I had to look up to see Julian Champagnie’s photo on Google to know who he was on the court at first, and that made it easier to watch him play the rest of the way.

But the way that St. John’s jerseys were created combined with the less than stellar picture that I saw in the footage, it made it tough to watch the players on St. John’s team, especially on the defensive end, and it was absolutely necessary and critical to denote what happened in the play-by-play to help sort out what happened in this game.

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