Analyzing Kenan Blackshear, Jaedon LeDee, and Jarod Lucas

February 10th, 2024

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch Nevada play against San Diego State in a competitive, low scoring Mountain West Conference basketball game.  It was a hard fought defensive battle in which both teams struggled to score early on, but this game managed to go into overtime, where Nevada held off a feisty San Diego State team to get the win.  Nevada had a stellar first half from Jarod Lucas, whose sharpshooting prowess helped them get off to a strong start.  They also had strong performances from Kenan Blackshear and Nick Davidson.  Meanwhile, San Diego State’s Jaedon Ledee really excelled as a low post scorer as the game progressed, but that wasn’t enough to get his team the win.  

Nevada’s 6-6 senior swingman, Kenan Blackshear scored 22 points, had 4 rebounds and 2 steals, but he also committed 6 turnovers in his team’s overtime win over San Diego State. (Photo: Jason Bean/Reno Gazette Journal)

Kenan Blackshear turned in a solid showing to help lead Nevada to a hard-fought, overtime win in this game.  The 6-6 senior swingman thrived at attacking the hoop to score the basketball, and he was able to make some strong defensive plays to help his team when he was on the floor.

Blackshear showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  He is a strong, athletic player that has good strength and body control that allows him to score and get many free throws when he looks to take it to the rim.  His solid foot speed and strength combination would enable him to get many free throws, as well as to get to the rim to score the basketball.  Plus, he also utilized a nifty step-through move to score out of the post.  Sometimes though, he would take tough, rushed shots that would lead to misses.

He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He showed a knack for scoring on quick, strong drives in transition, and he was able to use a Euro-step move to score once.  Blackshear also managed to score on a quick cut to the hoop another time.  He struggled to make pull-up, mid-range jumpers consistently, but he was able to make a couple of them off the dribble, which helped open up driving lanes for him.  He didn’t take a single three-point attempt against San Diego State, but with the way he was playing in this game, he didn’t really have to.

On the downside, he was quite turnover prone in this game.  On the bright side, Blackshear is an unselfish player that is willing to make the extra pass.  He was able to make some solid passes off the dribble to create scoring chances for his teammates.  However, he would tend to over-dribble, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.  Sometimes he would mishandle the ball or get sloppy with his footwork, other times he had some trouble handling the ball when facing significant pressure.  He also threw an up for grabs pass that led his teammate to catch a ball out of bounds once, as he tried to force a difficult pass into traffic once.

Also, he was able to get some boards to help chip in on the glass, though it was not quite enough for a player his size.  Blackshear also played decent defense in this game.  He is an athletic, rangy defender that has a blend of good motor and instincts that allow him to make some impressive plays on the defensive end.  Early on, he was able to quickly jump a pass to get a steal.  He also was able to tie up an opposing ball handler to get another due to making a nice hustle play that time.  He also was able to close out on an opposing ball handler out on the perimeter to help force a travel another time.  On the downside, he would sometimes play too aggressively and gamble too much on the defensive end, which would lead him to pick up fouls.  Another time, he was caught ball watching, as he didn’t rotate to a shooter in time, which led his team to allow a three-point basket. 

Overall, Kenan Blackshear played well to help lead his team to an overtime win over San Diego State.  He started off slowly, but he finished strong, and he showed that he can be a reliable shot creator and scorer down the stretch.  He helped his case by playing well in this game, and he could be an option for teams to consider in the second round to the undrafted range in the 2024 draft.

San Diego State’s 6-9 senior big man, Jaedon LeDee scored 12 of his 20 points at the free throw line, and had 7 rebounds, but also committed 7 turnovers in his team’s overtime loss to Nevada. (Photo: Andy Barron/Associated Press, via The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Jaedon LeDee also had a solid showing in his team’s tough, overtime loss to Nevada. He got off to a slow start early on, but he really excelled as a low post scorer as the game wore on, and he is a strong, mobile big man that would use his strength and scoring touch to get to the free throw line frequently.

LeDee showed a satisfactory ability to score out of the post.  He is a very strong big man that would use his strength and physicality to bully opponents to get to the free throw line.  He is a foul-drawing expert that has a strong drop step move as he would play punish opponents with his physicality, and he also was able to use a rip through move to free throws another time.  His bread and butter move was using a strong drop step to score or get free throws around the basket, but LeDee also managed to score on a smooth, turnaround jumper from the baseline.  However, sometimes he would tend to force it, and he would take tough shots that would lead to misses when he would not get foul calls.

Also, LeDee was able to use a crossover and pull up to make a mid-range jumper once.  On the other hand, he also missed another time from that range.   In this game, LeDee was quite turnover prone on offense.  On open good pass, he was able to throw an interior pass to find an open teammate once.  However, he usually struggled to make quick reads, and he had trouble operating out of double teams, as he wouldn’t pass out of them quick enough.    He would throw hasty passes that would get intercepted.  Other times, he would drop passes or not quite corral balls that were thrown to him in the post, which would lead him to fumble the ball out of bounds.  Another time, he was called for traveling when he looked to make a play out of the post.

He also was able to get his fair share of boards on both ends of the floor, although he didn’t quite get enough for a player his size.  On the downside, there was one play where he was called for an over the back foul when going for a defensive board early on.  LeDee also played adequate defense in this game.  He was able to get his hands on passes to help his team get steals and deflections.  He also would contest shots in the paint to force some misses.  Sometimes though, he would be late to contest shots or to rotate, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Jaedon LeDee is a strong, mobile big man that excelled at making plays in the paint to help his team, primarily on offense.  He is a low post scorer that would use his strength and scoring touch to score and get to the foul line often.  At higher levels, he will need to extend his shooting range and be a more skilled offensive player, especially if he’s on a team that may not run post plays for him.  He also will need to show that he can guard upper-echelon opponents on a consistent basis.  He’s a very productive player at the collegiate level, but there are concerns about his ability to fit in the NBA game, as he didn’t show much of an outside shot or passing skills, and only has average foot speed.  Still, he’s a strong frontcourt player that established that he can score in the post and get to the foul line, and he is a borderline second round candidate that could end up making his way to the NBA someday.

Nevada’s 6-4 senior guard, Jarod Lucas scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half, and he also hauled in 5 rebounds to help his team get the overtime win over San Diego State. (Photo: Jason Bean/Reno Gazette Journal)

Jarod Lucas also played well in his team’s overtime win over San Diego State.  He shot the ball very well early on, especially in the first half, and he is a scoring point guard that excelled at knocking down shots from the outside.  He cooled off after the first half, but his shooting display in the first half helped set the tone to allow Nevada to get the win.

Lucas did a good job of knocking down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  He showed that he can make them both off the catch and dribble.  He would move off the ball to make quick, spot-up threes, as he also was able to pull up to make a three another time.  He also was able to make some mid-range jumpers, although he struggled more to make them when he would run off ball screens to take them.  He also was able to use a crafty pump fake to draw free throws on an aggressive drive to the hoop once.

Also, Lucas displayed adequate playmaking skills.  He predominantly looked to score in this game, but he showed that he can operate on the move to throw kick out passes to shooters to set up scoring chances for them.  On one play though, he over-dribbled, which led him to get the ball poked away that led to a turnover.  He also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball, and Lucas was able to haul boards on both ends of the floor.  While he was active defensively, Lucas struggled a bit to defend out on the perimeter, especially when defending opponents off the dribble, which would lead him to commit touch fouls.

In summary, Jarod Lucas played well in his team’s overtime win over San Diego State.  He is an agile, skilled shot maker that can excelled as a sharpshooter, especially in the first half.  He is a skilled shooter that can make shots without needing a whole lot of touches, and he also showed that he can knock down outside shots when in motion.  He will need to show NBA teams that he can reliably run the point at higher levels, but his shot making ability could enable him to make it to the NBA in the future.

Nevada’s 6-9 sophomore big man, Nick Davidson also put forth a solid performance to help his team get an overtime win over San Diego State.  He showed a knack for scoring around the basket due to possessing solid mobility, strength, and scoring touch, and he also was proficient in scoring in traffic, as he was able to score and get a couple of extra free throws on a couple of possessions.    Davidson also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.

On the downside, there was one play where he had the ball ripped away from him on a drive to the hoop, and sometimes he would struggle to create separation when handling the ball amidst pressure.  Davidson was also able to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor, though it wasn’t nearly enough for a player his size.  Davidson also played adequate defense in this game.  He was able to get his hands on a pass to help his team get a steal.  Another time though, he was called for a foul when defending off the ball due to being overly aggressive on that possession.

Overall, Davidson played well, especially down the stretch to help his team get the victory.  He is a mobile big man that showed he can score around the basket, and he made some key plays down the stretch.  He will need to show that he can consistently play well at higher levels, but he is a prospect that could be worth keeping tabs on in the future.

Darrion Trammell had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Nevada.  He is an agile, skilled combo guard that excelled at making dribble, mid-range jumpers, and he showed a knack for making step-back, long two-point shots.  He  also showed a knack for drawing fouls when looking to score off the dribble.  He missed all of his threes, but he was efficient as a shot maker, especially when he would look to score from inside the arc.  

He also is an unselfish player that can make passes off the dribble, and he would get the ball to shooters to notch some assists. On the downside, he was fairly turnover prone.  He would sometimes over-dribble and commit careless ball-handling turnovers.  All in all, Trammell showed some potential as a shot maker, and he is a skilled guard that could end up competing for a roster spot in the NBA sometime down the road.

San Diego State’s 6-9 senior forward, Jay Pal had a decent showing, as he was able to make some impactful, energetic plays to help his team on both ends of the floor off the bench.  Pal defended well, and he is a rangy defender that was able to rotate to block a couple of shots hard to help his team protect the paint, which helped his team force a shot clock violation once.  He also was able to deflect a pass off of an opponent to help force a turnover.  On the downside, he was also prone, but he was able to make some impressive, eye-popping plays defensively.

Though he didn’t look to score or shoot the ball often, Pal was able to slip past defenders to get the ball around the basket, and he then utilized a strong drop step move to score and get fouled.  He also looked to score on a separate play, but had his shot blocked that time.  Overall, Pal is an athletic, high-motor big man that can make hustle plays to help his team, especially defensively.  He will need to expand upon his skill set offensively, but he could end up competing for a roster spot in the NBA sometime down the road.

San Diego State’s 6-6 swingman, Micah Parrish didn’t shoot the ball well, but he was able to make some plays on offense and showcase his scoring skills and athleticism despite having a bad shooting night.  Parrish did a decent job of scoring off the dribble.  He was able to score on aggressive drive in traffic, and he also showed that he can draw fouls upon opposing defenders.  Parrish also was able to make an open, spot-up three off the catch.  However, he struggled to knock down three-pointers in this game, as he had trouble finding his rhythm from beyond the arc.  He also sometimes would take tough shots off the dribble, which would sometimes lead to misses.

He also showed off decent playmaking skills.  Parrish is an unselfish player that would swing the ball and make the extra pass to get the ball to his teammates, which enabled him to notch a handful of assists.  He was called for traveling on a drive to the hoop once, as that was his only turnover of the game.

Plus, Parrish did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  He was able to contest a mid-range jumper to force an air-ball.  He also deflected a pass out of bounds to nearly get as teal once.  On one play though, he trailed an opposing ball handler on a drive and then bit on a pump fake, which led him to commit a foul.  Overall, Parrish didn’t shoot the ball well, but he is an athletic swingman that showed the potential to excel in a variety of ways at higher levels.  He will need to be a more consistent shooter in games, but if so, he could project into a 3 and D role at the NBA level.

San Diego State’s 6-5 junior guard, Reese Waters also didn’t shoot the ball well, but he was able to make plays on both ends of the floor to show his potential.  Waters showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble, and he was able to score on a couple of strong drives to the hoop.  However, he had trouble making dribble, mid-range jumpers, and he also missed wildly when driving to the hoop once.  Waters also was able to run off a ball screen to make a quick three.  On the downside, he didn’t make threes consistently, despite having ample time, space, and opportunities to take and make them.

He also defended well.  Waters was able to jump on loose balls to help his team get steals.  He also made an impressive block from behind when defending in the post.  Overall, Waters didn’t have his best game, but he is a fairly athletic swingman that showed off a variety of skills despite not shooting well against Nevada.  He will need to improve his jump shot, but he is a skilled player that could project into a 3 and D role at the NBA level.

San Diego State’s 6-2 senior guard, Lamont Butler had his ups and downs in his team’s overtime loss to Nevada.  He didn’t shoot the ball very often, but he was able to show off some scoring skills in the few times he hoisted up shots when he was on the court.  Butler was able to make an open three-pointer.  He also managed to score on a strong drive to the hoop.  However, there was one play where he missed a point-blank layup on the break, and he generally struggled to consistently score off the dribble.

Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  Butler was able to contest a mid-range shot to force a miss once.  However, he had some trouble defending opposing ball handlers, as he got beat off the dribble to allow a score once, and he also committed a foul when defending an opposing ball handler another time.   Overall, Butler didn’t have his best game, as he was generally too passive on offense, and he didn’t really do much to stand out when he was on the court.  He will need to find an elite skill that he can hang his hat on, but he didn’t really seem to do enough in this game.  Even if he doesn’t make it to the NBA in the future, Butler is a skilled combo guard that could carve out a decent playing career either in the G-League or overseas sometime down the road.All in all, those are my thoughts on how Kenan Blackshear, Jaedon LeDee, Jarod Lucas, and other various prospects fared in this game.  Thanks for reading.

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