Analyzing Reggie Perry, Robert Woodard, and Isaiah Joe

January 24th, 2020

by Alan Lu

I took the time to watch Mississippi State play against Arkansas in an SEC basketball game that took place on January 22nd.  This presented itself as an opportunity to watch several draft prospects that go in the first round in Arkansas’ Isaiah Joe, as well as Mississippi State’s players in Reggie Perry and Robert Woodard II.   There were a lot of missed shots in this game, but Reggie Perry was the standout player of the game in his team’s win over Arkansas. Here are my thoughts on how he performed, as well as how he and other players may stack up as prospects for the NBA.

Mississippi State's sophomore big man, Reggie Perry had a tremendous game in his team's win over Arkansas.  (Photo: Gene Swindoll/ Gene's Page, via 247Sports)
Mississippi State’s sophomore big man, Reggie Perry had a tremendous game in his team’s win over Arkansas. (Photo: Gene Swindoll/ Gene’s Page, via 247Sports)

Mississippi State’s sophomore big man, Reggie Perry had a tremendous game in his team’s victory over Arkansas. He dominated as a scorer in the post, and he also played very well on both ends of the floor.

Perry did a very good job of scoring in the post. He showed a knack for scoring on turnaround jump hooks, and he also would use quick spin moves to score off the glass. He did a terrific job of getting to the free throw line, and he also would do so off of drives, put backs, and rolls to the rim. The most impressive aspect of that was not that he drew many free throws, but that he made a lot of them, as he made all but one foul shot when he was at the line. Perry also excelled at scoring on hustle plays, as he would run in to score on tip dunks after leaping up to get offensive rebounds.

However, he struggled to knock down jumpers when he would hoist them up from outside of the paint area. Despite showing a willingness to take jumpers and showing some good dribble moves, Perry often was unable to make mid-range shots, and he had a couple of bad misses. He did take a deep three from well beyond the arc, but unfortunately, it seemed out of his range, as he ended up missing that shot completely.

He also displayed good playmaking skills. Perry is a good passer that handles the ball well, and he would throw solid interior passes to notch assists. He will look to find the open man, he also was able to get the ball to a cutter, and he also threw a crisp lob pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break. He also did a good job of handling the ball up the court, and he also would set good screens for his teammates. He did commit a couple of turnovers from the post, though. He was called for a travel once when an opponent used the pull out the chair move on him, which caused him to lose his balance. Late in this game, he dribbled the ball clumsily off his knee before losing it to an opponent another time.

Also, Perry did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He would often leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor to help his team on the glass. However, he did commit a couple of fouls going for boards due to over-aggressiveness.

He also played decent defense. Perry did a good job of rotating to block shots in the paint due to possessing good length, athleticism, and timing, and he would actively contest shots off of drives to force misses. He also managed to stay in front of an opposing ball handler to cut off penetration that time, as he forced his man to pass the ball on that occasion.

In general, Reggie Perry played very well to lead his team to a win over Arkansas. He excelled in nearly every facet of the game, and he is an athletic, skilled big man that could be a very good value pick for a team in the late first to the second round range of the 2020 draft.

Mississippi State’s sophomore forward, Robert Woodard II had his ups and downs in his team’s win over Arkansas. Even though he rebounded the ball well and made some good plays at times, he struggled to make shots in this game, and he had trouble with his position defense in his team’s win over Arkansas.

Woodard showed a knack for scoring off of quick cuts to the basket, and he does a good job of moving off the ball. He can also run off of ball screens, and he would tend to score on mid-range jumpers off of cuts afterwards. On one such play, he even drew an extra free throw after getting the score that time. Plus, he also ran the floor to score on a dunk in transition.

However, Woodard had trouble making threes, and he was inconsistent in knocking down jumpers on offense. He did a better job of making mid-range jumpers, as he can make them off the catch or dribble, but he was at his best when he would look to score on off-ball motion plays.

He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. Woodard is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he also set a good off-ball screen on a stagger screen that helped enable a teammate to score on a jump shot. However, Woodard had some trouble handling the basketball, and he also threw a ball that ended up getting intercepted another time.

Plus, he also did a good job of rebounding the basketball. Woodard was quite active at crashing the glass, and he was able to haul in numerous boards on both ends of the floor.

Defensively, he looked to be about average at best. For the positives, Woodard was able to poke a ball away to get a steal, and he would look to contest threes to force some misses. He also managed to hold his ground when defending a turnaround jumper in the post to get another stop for his team. However, Woodard had a lot of trouble defending quicker opponents off the dribble or staying in front of them, as he would tend to get beat on moves to the hoop that would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Robert Woodard didn’t have his best game, but he showed that he can use off-ball movement to score the basketball, and he also set screens and knock down some mid-range jumpers.   He will need to be a more consistent player in games, especially against top-level competition, and he will have to improve his on-ball defense. Right now, he projects to be a second round prospect, but if he can continue to hone his overall game, he could end up being a rotation player for a team in the NBA.

Arkansas’ 6-5 sophomore guard, Isaiah Joe struggled in his team’s loss to Mississippi State. After having scored 34 points in his team’s win over Ole Miss, I decided that it was time for another look at his game to see if he’s improved significantly since the last time I saw him play, and I wanted to see if he could thrive against a solid college basketball team in his conference. Unfortunately, Joe shot the ball poorly and struggled with turnovers on offense and with his position defense, and though he rebounded the ball well, he just did not play very well in this game.

Joe really struggled to make jumpers throughout this contest. While he was able to make a quick spot-up three from way beyond the arc early on, Joe would frequently miss on spot-up threes and pull-up jumpers, as he had a tendency to rush his shots that would lead to misses.

He also missed on a contested turnaround jumper in the post, as well as on a reverse layup off of a backdoor cut, and Joe showed questionable shot selection due to his tendency to force up tough, contested shots. He did manage to score on a baseline drive, and he also drew a non-shooting foul off of a cut another time, but Joe rarely looked to get all the way to the rim when he would look to score.

Joe also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. He is an unselfish player that will swing the ball to open shooters to get assists, but he also committed several careless ball-handling turnovers. He dribbled the ball off of his leg out of bounds once, and he also had a ball poked away another time. Late in this match, he fell down on a spin move that he attempted, which led his opponent to take the ball away from him in that moment.

On the bright side, Joe did a very good job of grabbing defensive rebounds, as he would often leap up to get them, and sometimes he would bring the ball up the floor.

However, Joe did not defend very well in this game. For the positives, he was able to poke a ball away from a post player to get a steal, and he would look to challenge threes to force some misses. On the downside, he had a tendency to sag too far off his man and would be too late to rotate back, which would cause him to allow three-point baskets to shooters. He also had trouble staying in front of opponents when guarding them off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. On one play late in this contest, he over-rotated on a baseline drive and proceeded to fall down, which led him to get beat off the dribble by D.J. Stewart to allow the basket. Joe had trouble staying on balance, and he had trouble making timely rotations or staying in front of his man to consistently force misses.

Overall, Isaiah Joe’s performance was disappointing and thoroughly lackluster, as he could’ve played a whole lot better in his team’s loss to Mississippi State. Right now, Joe projects to be a shooting, combo guard that will hoist up shots, but he can tend to be too inconsistent in games, and he has struggled noticeably against tough competition.

Right now, he may be a borderline second round prospect for the upcoming draft, but if he can make more shots consistently and improve his on-ball defense, Joe could end up being a reliable rotation player in the mold of a Jodie Meeks type of player in the NBA.

Mississippi State's point guard, Nick Weatherspoon had a solid showing in his team's win over Arkansas.  (Photo: Gene Swindoll/ Gene's Page, via 247Sports)
Mississippi State’s point guard, Nick Weatherspoon had a solid showing in his team’s win over Arkansas. (Photo: Gene Swindoll/ Gene’s Page, via 247Sports)

Mississippi State’s 6-2 junior point guard, Nick Weatherspoon also had a solid showing in his team’s victory over Arkansas. He played a solid all-around game, and he especially excelled as a playmaker when he was on the court.

Weatherspoon did a decent job of getting quick scores off the dribble. He frequently would get to the free throw line, and he also drove fast to his right to score off the glass while getting an extra free throw another time. Sometimes he would miss shots on floaters though, as he can struggle to score in traffic. He also showed an adequate ability to knock down jumpers. Weatherspoon was able to make a spot-up three off of a dribble handoff to show his range, but he had trouble making pull-up jumpers from inside the arc.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills.  Weatherspoon passed and handled the ball well, and he especially had a penchant for throwing good passes off the dribble, as he can rack up assists in transition. Plus, he also had the good fortune of not committing any turnovers on offense.

Also, Weatherspoon had a keen nose for the basketball, as he was very active at crashing the glass to get boards on both ends of the floor. He would leap up high to get numerous rebounds, and he would sometimes push the ball up the court off of defensive rebounds.

He also played adequate defense. He was able to take a ball away from an opponent to get a steal, and he also deflected a pass another time. Weatherspoon also managed to successfully draw a charge when defending an opposing ball handler another time, as he tended to be in good position defensively. However, he also had some trouble defending opponents off the dribble, as his relative lack of size would make it tough to defend taller players.

In summary, Weatherspoon put forth a good performance to help lead his team to a win over Arkansas. He excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor, and he is an athletic, skilled playmaker that has certainly improved his ability to run the point. Right now, he may be a second round prospect for the upcoming draft, and he may have the skills to thrive as a role player in the NBA.

Other Notes:

Arkansas’ senior guard, Jimmy Whitt Jr. played very well in his team’s loss to Mississippi State. He showed a knack for scoring on aggressive drives to the hoop, he also scored off of a cut, and he also made plenty of pull-up, mid-range jumpers on offense. He also played solid defense, as he is an active help defender that would look to get steals, blocks, and deflections, and he also would actively contest shots to force misses. Sometimes though, he would occasionally commit fouls due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Whitt had a solid showing in this game, and he is an athletic, skilled combo guard that does a good job of scoring on two-point shots off the dribble. He also is a rangy defender that can make plays on the ball. He will need to show that he can effectively run the point at the next level, but still, Whitt has been a solid role player for his team, and he may have the skills to make an NBA team’s roster at the next level.

Arkansas’ 6-5 junior guard, Mason Jones also played well in this game, as he excelled as a shooter and scorer, and he also had a fairly solid all-around game in his team’s loss to Mississippi State. Jones did a good job of scoring on quick drives to the basket, and he showed a good ability to split double teams, as well as score on runners. He also is an unselfish player that made some good passes, as he would find cutters and teammates on the break to set up scores for them. However, he also committed several turnovers, as he would throw inaccurate passes that would go astray, and he was called for a charging foul due to having pushed off with his left arm once.

He also rebounded and defended fairly well. Jones was quite active as a rebounder, as he would leap up to get tough boards in traffic, and he can haul in boards on both sides of the ball. He also played decent defense. He was able to jump on a loose ball to get a steal. He also used a nifty, pull-out-the-chair move when defending in the post to force his opponent to lose his balance and commit a traveling violation. He did commit a couple of fouls though, but there was one play where he was called for a blocking foul that easily could’ve gone the other way.

Overall, Mason Jones had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Mississippi State. He made big plays continually down the stretch to help his team stay in the contest, and he showed his versatility by doing so in a variety of ways. He is a skilled combo guard that tended to make sound plays on both ends of the floor, and he could be a second round prospect for the 2021 draft.

Mississippi State’s 6-3 freshman guard, Iverson Molinar excelled at knocking down jumpers, as he made a couple of spot-up threes off the catch, as well as a pull-up jumper from the mid-range area to help provide floor spacing for his team. He may be an intriguing prospect to follow over the years, as he could project into a shooting specialist role in the NBA if he can continue to progress and develop as an overall player.

Arkansas’ 6-8 sophomore forward, Reggie Chaney excelled at scoring on rolls to the rim and in the post, and he also did a very good job of blocking shots to help get stops for his team on defense. However, he also would commit fouls due to over-aggressiveness, and he didn’t grab nearly enough rebounds. Overall, Chaney is an athletic, high-motor player that can score and defend in the paint, and he could project to be an effective role player similar to former Phoenix Suns’ big man, Lou Amundson in the NBA.