Analyzing Ron Holland, Matas Buzelis, and Alex Sarr in the First G-League Ignite-Perth Exhibition Game

September 7th, 2023

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch the G-League Ignite play against Perth in an exhibition game on the NBA App.  This featured a lot of talented, top prospects that could be in the 2024 draft, such as Ron Holland, Matas Buzelis, Alex Sarr, and Izan Almansa.  There were strong performances from many of the prospects in this game, especially from Alex Sarr and Ron Holland.  As for the game itself, Perth was able to get off to a quick start early in the first quarter, but the G-League Ignite quickly poured it on when the second unit came in later in the first quarter and they never looked back.  The G-League Ignite ended up getting a double-digit win over Perth, and it was a fun, fast-paced game that was played at a fast tempo. For those of you that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link, courtesy of X (or Twitter), via Krysten Peek’s tweet.

Ron Holland and Matas Buzelis both played very well to help the G-League Ignite get a double-digit win over Perth on September 6th.
(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images, via Yahoo Sports)

Ron Holland had a strong showing to help lead his team to a double-digit victory over Perth.  He is a very athletic swingman that did a great job of scoring the basketball.  He is an aggressive, downhill driver that has a very quick, strong first step to the hoop, and he would consistently score on strong moves in traffic and often would barrel his way to get to the free throw line.  He also thrived at scoring on hustle plays, as he was able to score on a strong dunk in transition, as well as on a quick, backdoor cut.  

Ron Holland put on an excellent performance for the G-League Ignite in their September 6th win over Perth.
(Source:
Twitter/@GlobalScouting_)

Plus, he also shot the ball fairly well from the outside.  He did a good job of making mid-range jumpers, as he can make them off the catch or dribble.  He also utilized a crossover move to make a smooth, step-back three to show his range.  On the downside, he didn’t quite shoot as well off the catch, but Holland did a great job of making shots from all over the floor.

As a playmaker, he looked to be fairly average.  Holland is an aggressive player that can handle the basketball, and he would ably create shots for himself to put his team in advantageous situations on offense.  He also is an unselfish player that can find the open man.  He was able to throw a lob to Buzelis to set up an alley-oop dunk on the break to notch an assist.  He also was able to make a quick drive and kick pass.  On the downside, sometimes he can do too much on offense, which can lead to turnovers.  He threw a hasty, inaccurate pass that sailed out of bounds once.  He also over-dribbled and had a ball poked away another time.

He also did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball.  Holland was active at crashing the glass on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would quickly push the pace off of defensive rebounds.  On one play though, he was called for going over the back on an offensive rebounding attempt.

Holland also played satisfactory defense in this game.  He has active hands and would quickly jump on loose balls to get steals, and he would contest shots to force misses.  Sometimes though, he wouldn’t always move his feet well enough defensively, which would sometimes lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

In general, Ron Holland played very well in his team’s win over Perth.  He especially thrived as a shot-maker on offense, and so far, it looks like he might be the best shot creator in this draft class.  He has great potential to develop on both ends of the floor, and he could be a likely top 5 pick in the 2024 draft.

Ron Holland’s lob pass to set up a Matas Buzelis alley-oop dunk was one of the many highlights of the night.
(Source:
Twitter/@nbagleague)

Matas Buzelis had a solid showing in his team’s win over Perth.  Though he had a slow start to this game, he played really well in the fourth quarter, and he finished strong to help get his team a double-digit victory.

Buzelis did a great job of scoring off the dribble.  He would often score on strong drives to the hoop, and his solid ball handling, combined with having the balance and body control would allow him to regularly score at the rim.  He also was able to drive in hard to score on a two-handed jam. He also was active in looking to score on hustle plays.  He was able to score on a back flip layup off of a backdoor cut.  He also ran the floor and caught a lob pass to score on a high-flying, alley-oop dunk late in this game.  

Matas Buzelis threw down a nice, two-handed dunk off the dribble early in the third quarter of this game.
(Source:
Twitter/@nbagleague)

Though he didn’t take many threes, Buzelis was able to make a corner three to show his long-range shooting skills.  He also was able to utilize a jab step to make a mid-range jumper from the baseline.  On the other hand, he would sometimes not always got up strong, as he had a couple of his shots blocked around the basket, and he had trouble consistently knocking down mid-range jumpers, as he would take tough shots that would sometimes lead to misses.

He also showcased satisfactory playmaking skills.  Buzelis is an unselfish player that can make timely passes off the dribble to find teammates on the move, and he was able to notch a pair of assists in this game.  However, sometimes he would over-dribble, which would lead him to play too fast and out of control, and it led him to commit a couple of ball-handling turnovers.

Also, Buzelis was able to get his fair share of boards on both ends of the floor, and he was quite active at crashing the offensive glass to get offensive rebounds.  He also would sometimes push the pace off of defensive rebounds.  Plus, he also defended well.  He did a very good job of blocking shots to prevent opponents from getting easy shots off the dribble.  He also has active hands, which would allow him to poke balls and deflect passes, and he also would stay in front of opposing ball handlers to make it tough for them to handle the basketball.  On the downside, sometimes he would be caught out of position, which would lead him to allow scores when defending in the post.

Overall, Matas Buzelis put forth a solid performance to help his team get a double-digit win over Perth.  He is an athletic, skilled forward that made solid plays on both ends of the floor, especially in the fourth.  He wasn’t always assertive on offense, but he is a versatile player whose all-around skills could make him a likely top 5 pick for the 2024 draft.

Alex Sarr was fantastic in this game, and he made his presence known early on.
(Source:
Twitter/@globalscouting_)

Alex Sarr put forth a terrific performance in his team’s loss to the G-League Ignite.  He is a very athletic, high-motor big man that thrived at making plays to help his team on both ends of the floor, and he was a shot-blocking force that helped his team lock down the paint.

Sarr did a great job of scoring on hustle plays.  He would score on rolls, fast breaks, and put backs.  He would throw down thunderous dunks off of put backs as well as in transition, and he also would draw free throws after getting the ball on rolls to the rim. He also shot the ball well from beyond the arc.  Sarr did a good job of making spot-up threes off the catch, and he has a smooth release that allows him get his shot off effortlessly.  On the downside, he also struggled to make mid-range jumpers, but he generally shot the ball well in this game.

On the downside, he didn’t seem to make any noteworthy passes, and he also was turnover prone.  He would sometimes over-dribble, which would get him into trouble, and sometimes he would be careless when handling the basketball.  He’s not an elite ball handler, and he would tend to struggle to create his own shot when tightly guarded by a defender out on the perimeter.  He also threw an inaccurate kick out pass that ended up getting intercepted once.

He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  Sarr was able to crash the glass to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  He also played tremendous defense.  He did a terrific job of blocking shots to help his team protect the paint, and he also thrived at swatting jumpers to prevent them from getting easy shots off.  He also was able to poke a ball away to get a steal, and he has good hands that would enable him to get steals and deflections.

Alex Sarr played really well on both ends of the floor in the September 6th game against the G-League Ignite.
(Source:
Twitter/@globalscouting_)

In summary, Sarr played really well, and he had a strong showing in his team’s loss to the G-League Ignite.  He made a strong case for himself to be the top pick of the 2024 draft, and so far, it is wide open as to who that player will be by then.  Sarr is a very athletic, energetic big man that showed a strong skill set on both ends of the floor, and he could end up being a star in the NBA.

Izan Almansa consistently played well in his team’s win in the September 6th exhibition game.
(Source:
Twitter/@NBAspain)

Izan Almansa also had a strong showing to help lead the G-League Ignite to a victory over Perth.  He is an agile, high-motor big man that consistently made strong hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.

He showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  Almansa would often score on fast breaks, as he can dribble up court to score on layups and dunks.  He also handles the ball well for a big man, and on one play, he was able to utilize a Euro-step move to score on a floater.  He also has good balance, which enable him to score on a roll to the rim.  He wasn’t able to make a three-pointer, but he showed the willingness to shoot it from out there.  He also would sometimes force up tough shots in traffic, which would occasionally lead to misses.

Plus, he also showcased satisfactory playmaking skills.  Almansa is an unselfish player that can make passes off the dribble and can throw timely, accurate passes to find his teammates in stride.  Sometimes though, he would do too much on offense, as he would sometimes struggle to protect the basketball or be careless with it, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.

Also, Almansa showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  He would go hard after loose balls to help his team get boards on both ends of the floor, and he would sometimes push the pace off of defensive rebounds.  He also played satisfactory defense.  He is an active defender that would jump passes to get steals, and he also blocked a shot to a teammate another time.  On the downside, sometimes he would struggle to defend out in space, as he and his team would sometimes struggle to guard opponents off rolls or on jump shots.

Overall, Izan Almansa is an agile, high-motor big man that thrived at making hustle plays on both ends of the floor.  He’ll need to expand upon his skill set offensively, but his motor, skill set, and basketball IQ could enable him to be a mid first round pick in the 2024 draft.

Tyler Smith played very well to help the G-League Ignite get the win over Perth in the September 6th game.
(Source:
Twitter/@gleagueignite)

Tyler Smith also played very well to help the G-League Ignite get the win in this game.  He is an athletic, skilled big man that excelled as a shooter, scorer, and defender, and he consistently made very solid plays on both ends of the floor.

He did a good job of knocking down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  Smith was able to make a quick, spot-up three at the top of the key.  He also was able to make a smooth, long two-pointer.  He also thrived at scoring on hustle plays, as he would tend to score on cuts and in transition, and he also was able to throw down a couple of powerful dunks in this game.

Smith was able to notch an assist in this game.  He didn’t grab many rebounds, but Smith was able to haul in several defensive boards.  He also defended well.  Smith did a good job of blocking shots, and he would swat jumpers due to possessing good athleticism, timing, and instincts.  He also would pick up loose balls and jump passes to help his team get steals.

Overall, Tyler Smith played very well, and he is a versatile scorer that excelled as a spot-up shooter and scoring on hustle plays, and he also thrived as a defender on the court.  He’ll need to improve his rebounding, but he is an athletic, skilled big man that could end up being selected in the mid to late first round range for the 2024 draft.

Babacar Sane had a solid showing in his team’s win over Perth.  He’s an athletic forward that excelled as a shooter and scorer on offense, and he is a confident shot maker that made some tough outside shots in this game.

Babacar Sane had a strong showing in this game, and he shot the ball especially well from deep.
(Source:
Twitter/@nbagleague)

Sane did a very good job of shooting the basketball.  He was able to make threes both off the catch and dribble, and he showed that he can move off the ball to make a spot-up three, and he also made a contested three from deep.  He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He was able to score on a put back, and he also scored on a strong drive in transition.  Sometimes though, he would rush his shots, which would lead to some misses.

On the downside, he would sometimes be too hyper, which would lead him to commit careless ball-handling turnovers.  He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  He was active at crashing the glass, and he was able to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  Defensively though, he struggled.  He tended to foul jump shooters, and another time, he got beat on a stepback move and allowed his man to score on a three-pointer.

Overall, Babacar Sane played well, and he is an athletic, energetic forward that especially thrived as a shot maker on offense.  He will need to improve in the other facets of the game, but his ability to shoot and score combined with having solid athletic gifts could enable him to get selected in the late first to the second round range for the 2024 draft.

London Johnson had an up and down performance in his team’s win over Perth.  For the positives, he excelled as a playmaker, and he generally did a good job of throwing interior passes and finding open teammates on the move.  

He also showed the ability to draw fouls on strong drives to the hoop, and he’s a quick guard that showed the ability to knock down floaters.  Defensively, he was able to block a shot.  On the downside, he didn’t shoot the ball very well, as he struggled to consistently make mid-range jumpers, and he also didn’t take a three-point shot.  Overall, Johnson showed some scoring and playmaking skills, but he will need to improve his shot selection, and he currently projects to be a second round prospect for the 2024 draft.

Perth’s 6-5 guard, Ben Henshall quietly played well in his team’s loss to the G-League Ignite.  He is a skilled sharpshooter that did a good job of knocking down outside shots, and he took smart shots on the floor.  He was able to make a step-back, mid-range jumper from the baseline.  Henshall also was able to make a corner three.  He also scored on a backdoor cut.

Plus, he also is an unselfish player that can find teammates on the move.  He also was able to intercept a pass to get a steal.  Overall, Henshall played well on both ends of the floor, especially as a marksman on the court.  Though he doesn’t possess overwhelming athleticism, his ability to make shots and plays could enable him to be a solid second round pick in the 2024 draft.

David Okwera had a decent showing in his team’s loss to the G-League Ignite.  From a scoring perspective, he could’ve played better, but he did a good job of passing the ball and blocking shots in this game.

He is an athletic big man that excelled as a finisher around the basket.  He was able to use a drop step and a pump fake move to score out of the post.  He also caught an alley-oop to score inside another time.  On the downside, he struggled more to score on off-ball, movement plays, as he would struggle with his balance or shooting touch at times.  He also had his shot blocked when pulling up to take a mid-range jumper once.

Okwera did a good job of passing out of the post to get assists.  He also was able to get his fair share of boards, and he showed a penchant for hauling in offensive boards.  He also defended well.  He showed a knack for blocking shots to help his team protect the paint, and he also was able to poke a ball away to get a steal.

Overall, Okwera had his ups and downs, but he was able to make some solid plays at times in this game.  He’ll need to improve his shooting range and skill set offensively, but he did a good job of playing unselfishly and playing solid defense.  Currently, he projects to be a second round prospect, and he could project into a backup center role for the NBA.

All in all, those are my thoughts on how Holland, Sarr, Buzelis, and other various prospects played in this game.  Thanks for reading.

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