Analyzing Obi Toppin and Anthony Edwards

November 25th, 2019

by Alan Lu

Today, I decided to take the time to watch Anthony Edwards and the Georgia Bulldogs face off against Obi Toppin and the Dayton Flyers in the Maui Invitational. It was expected of Edwards to play well against Dayton in the opening round of this event, but unfortunately he did not have a great game as his team lost by double-digits. Obi Toppin was the standout performer, as he scored 25 points on 9 of 11 shooting, and he showed off strong scoring skills in the process. Here are my thoughts on how Toppin and Edwards fared, as well as where they may stack up as prospects for the NBA.

Obi Toppin could be a potential lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. (Photo: David Jablonsi/Dayton Daily News.)
Obi Toppin had a terrific showing, as he scored 25 points to lift Dayton to a double-digit victory over Georgia at the Maui Invitational. (Photo: David Jablonski/Dayton Daily News.)

Dayton’s 6-9 sophomore forward, Obi Toppin had a tremendous showing to lead his team to a blowout victory over Georgia. Toppin scored early and often, as he did a great job of making shots from all over the floor to get points for his team, and he also passed and defended well in this game.

Toppin did an outstanding job of scoring in the post. He would often get deep position on the block, which would enable him to quickly score on turnaround jump hooks. He did a good job of making quick decisions, and he showed off terrific shooting touch to score in the paint.

Plus, he also excelled at making spot-up threes off the catch to show his range as a shooter in this game. Toppin also showed a knack for scoring on drives to the basket, and he also runs the floor very well, which enables him to get scores and free throws on the break.

As a playmaker, he looked to be about average. Toppin is a good passer out of the post, and he is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man. He also has very good hands, and he can catch tough passes on offense. He did commit some turnovers though, as he committed an offensive foul on a shot attempt in transition, and he also was called for basket interference after attempting to score on a tip-in on a separate play.

He also managed to get his fair share of boards when he was on the floor, as he would leap up to get defensive rebounds, and he would sometimes bring the ball up the floor. Toppin is a fairly good ball handler that can deftly bring it up off of defensive rebounds.

Plus, he also played decent defense. Toppin did a good job of blocking and altering shots off of drives to force misses, and he also can jump on loose balls to get steals. Plus, he would actively contest jumpers as well as shots in the post to force misses due to possessing good length, positioning, and timing to do so. Sometimes though, he can over-rotate, which can lead him to get beat off the dribble, and he also fouled an opponent in the post due to over-aggressiveness.

In general, Obi Toppin had a terrific game, as he did an excellent job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and he is an athletic, high-motor combo forward that possesses a knack for taking and making smart shots. He is a talented prospect that could go in the mid first round of the 2020 draft, and Toppin has the skills to develop into being a solid player in the NBA.

Georgia's freshman guard, Anthony Edwards struggled in his team's loss to Dayton at the Maui Invitational.  (Photo: Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports via Gwinnett Daily Post.)
Georgia’s freshman guard, Anthony Edwards struggled in his team’s loss to Dayton at the Maui Invitational. (Photo: Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports via Gwinnett Daily Post.)

Georgia’s freshman guard, Anthony Edwards did not have his best game in his team’s loss to Dayton. He didn’t look to score much early on, and then towards the middle of the game he tended to miss shots in bunches. He did get credit for a shot block that he didn’t actually make, as he was nowhere near the basketball when his teammate, Christian Brown leapt up to swat the shot off of a drive in transition, and Edwards managed to show the ability to score off cuts late in the game.

Anthony Edwards will need to improve his ability to knock down jumpers to provide his team with better floor spacing on offense. He did pull up to make a long two-point shot early on to show his ability to make mid-range jumpers, but he often would miss three-point shots, as he would tend to miss them off the catch and dribble.

He also seemed to do an average job of scoring on aggressive drives to the basket. Edwards didn’t look to go all the way to the basket too often, but he was able to go to his left to draw free throws on a strong drive to the hoop. However, he also tended to force the issue too much, as he also had a couple of his shots blocked by his opponents. Edwards didn’t show elite foot speed in this game, and there were times where he was unable to quickly get into the lane, which would prevent him getting open looks to score in the paint.

Plus, Edwards excelled at scoring on backdoor cuts to the hoop. He was able to slip past the defenses to catch a high entry pass to score off the glass, and he also drew free throws after attempting to throw down a powerful dunk off of a cut another time.

However, Edwards was quite turnover prone in this game. For the positives, he can make some tough passes to find open teammates, as he was able to hit a cutter on the move, and he managed to kick a ball out to a shooter to set up scoring chances for his teammates. He is also willing to set screens for his teammates. However, he had trouble protecting the basketball, as he would tend to lose it or get it poked away when looking to make plays. He also was called for a clear out as he committed an offensive foul when looking to post up a smaller defender.

Also, he was able to leap up to get several defensive rebounds to help his team on the glass. On the other hand, Edwards will need to improve his defense. He would sometimes be late on his rotations, as he was called for a goal-tend once on a drive in transition. On a separate play, he ran off the ball, but collided into an opponent, as he ended up fouling him off the ball at the top of the key.

In summary, Anthony Edwards did not play very well in his team’s loss to Dayton. Edwards struggled to make shots or to assert himself offensively, and he was neither much of a factor as a playmaker or defender on the floor. There were also plenty of times where he would dribble from too far away, as he would be handling it from well beyond the arc, and he would not be in a position where he could effectively attack the defenses. He will need to learn to be more decisive and to make smarter decisions in games, as well as take better shots on offense. When the lights were on him, he shrank on the big stage, as he was virtually invisible down the stretch. Maybe his draft stock is way too high for him right now, and he probably should not be rated as a top 3 prospect overall, but Edwards is a talented prospect that could justify that if he plays well against Michigan State tomorrow in the Maui Invitational. If so, he could still prove to be an All-Star caliber prospect, as he could still project to be a solid starter at the next level akin to San Antonio Spurs’ wing player, DeMar DeRozan in the NBA.

Other Notes:

Georgia’s 6-8 junior forward, Rayshaun Hammonds did not get the ball very much early on, and though he had some solid moments in the second half due to his ability to score the basketball, Hammonds was in constant foul trouble, as he ended up fouling out after playing just 14 minutes in this game against Dayton.

Hammonds shot the ball fairly well in the limited number of attempts he took. He was able to run off the ball to make an open spot-up three off the catch, but he also threw up an airball later on.

Plus, Hammonds also showed the ability to score on hustle plays. He managed to score on a strong put back, but Hammonds also had his shot blocked when looking to score in transition, and he can sometimes struggle to score in traffic.

He also was a bit turnover prone on offense. Hammonds was called for a couple of charging fouls when looking to score off the dribble, as he had trouble getting shots up off of drives or in the post as a result. The first time he did so, it was because he extended his arm when driving to the hoop, and then he later lowered his shoulder to collide into a defender when looking to score in the post the second time he committed an offensive foul in this match.

Also, Hammonds did a good job of rebounding the basketball, as he would leap up to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor. Defensively, he looked to be about average. He was able to rotate to contest a floater to force a miss, but he also tended to commit reach-in fouls when guarding his man due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Rayshaun Hammonds did not have a great game, as he was in foul trouble early and often, and he did not score many points in his team’s loss to Dayton. Hammonds will need to be more assertive on offense and find more ways to stay out of foul trouble, but if he can, he could prove that he may have what it takes to make it to the NBA.

Dayton’s 6-1 junior point guard, Jalen Crutcher excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor. Crutcher did a great job of making threes off the catch and dribble, and he also showed an adequate ability to score on patient drives to the basket, as he can score on floaters. Sometimes, he would go in a bit out of control, which would lead to misses, but generally Crutcher did a good job of making shots from all over the floor. He also ran into poke a ball away to get a steal. Overall, Crutcher played very well, as he scored 20 points, made 4 threes, and racked up 3 assists, and he could be a prospect to watch for the 2021 draft.

Georgia’s 5-11 freshman guard, Sahvir Wheeler quietly had a decent game, as he showed a solid ability to score on strong drives to the hoop, and he also is a good passer that can find teammates in stride to set up scores for them. He struggled to make jumpers or free throws, but Wheeler is a deceptively quick playmaker that could be a pivotal player for his team this year, especially as the season progresses.

Georgia’s 6-3 sophomore guard, Tye Fagan made all five of his shots in this game, as he’s an athletic scorer that can score off of quick drives with either hand, and he also made a three in transition, as well as one off of a cut to the basket. He is a microwave type of scorer that can put up points in a hurry, and maybe he should play more for his team this season.

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