Analyzing Scottie Barnes, Trayce Jackson-Davis, and M.J. Walker

December 10th, 2020

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I decided to take the time to watch Florida State’s 6-9 freshman point forward, Scottie Barnes play against Trayce Jackson-Davis and Indiana in an early season, non-college basketball game.  This was my first time watching Barnes play in a college basketball game, and I wanted to see how well he would play against a tough, talented basketball team.  It was a very hard-fought match as the two teams ended up in overtime, and Barnes was able to make the go-ahead runner off the bank to put his team up for good to get his team the overtime victory.  Here are my thoughts on how Barnes and Jackson-Davis fared, as well as where they may rate as prospects for the NBA.

Florida State’s 6-9 freshman Scottie Barnes had a solid showing as he showed off strong playmaking and defensive skills, and he also made the game-winning shot to lift his team to an overtime win over Indiana.
(Photo:
Mike Olivella/Florida State Athletics, via Tampa Bay Times)

Scottie Barnes played fairly well in his team’s win over Indiana.  He showed off solid playmaking and defensive skills in this game, and while he struggled to consistently shoot or score against Florida State, he made shots when it counted, and he was able to make the game-winning runner to get his team a decisive victory.

Barnes showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble.  He used a ball fake to score on a strong layup off of a drive to the hoop early on, and he also drove up court in transition to draw free throws another time. He had some trouble scoring consistently off the dribble or in the post, as he had trouble finishing plays in traffic, and he did not seem to have elite foot-speed to consistently get to the rim in the half court.  He did use a nifty Euro-step move on a drive in transition late in this game to score on a runner off the bank. He also was able to run off the ball to make a deep three from well beyond the arc.  Barnes didn’t take many threes, but he showed a decent ability to knock down jumpers to provide some floor spacing for his team on offense.

Barnes also displayed good playmaking skills in this game.  He is an unselfish point forward that does a good job of passing off the dribble and in transition to set up scores for his teammates, and he also throws solid interior passes, as he can find teammates on the move.  He possesses solid court vision that allowed him to rack up many assists in this game.  Plus, he is a very good ball handler that gets to where he needs to go with the basketball.  He did commit a couple of turnovers, as he was called for a charging foul even though the defender appeared to flop, as this took a score off the board when he drove to the hoop and used a Euro-step move.  Barnes also threw an inbounds pass that was picked off late in regulation, but the defender fell out of bounds, so his team immediately got the ball back. Also, Barnes was able to get his fair share of rebounds, as he was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor.

Plus, Barnes played decent defense in this game.  He is a long, rangy defender that would jump passes to get steals and deflections, and he also has great length that allowed him to poke a ball away from an opposing ball handler to get a steal early on.  He also was able to rotate to contest a drive to force a miss another time.  However, sometimes he can gamble too much defensively, as he would be called for reach-in fouls.  Also, he would sometimes have trouble defending stronger players in the post, which would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores.  There was another play where he got caught on a screen, and he fought too hard over the top, so his man turned the corner to score at the rim.

In general, Scottie Barnes had a solid showing to help his team get an overtime win over Indiana.  He is a smart, skilled point forward that excelled as a distributor and defender in this game, and he also made a clutch, game-winning shot, as he can score baskets when it counts.  He is a tall, versatile playmaker that could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the lottery, and he could end up being a solid role player in the NBA.

Indiana’s sophomore big man, Trayce Jackson-Davis had a terrific performance in his team’s overtime loss to Florida State.
(Photo:
IU Athletics, via TheHoosier)

Indiana’s 6-9 sophomore big man, Trayce Jackson-Davis played very well in his team’s overtime loss to Florida State.  He really excelled as an interior player in this game, and he scored 25 points, and had 17 rebounds and 2 blocks in the loss.

Jackson-Davis did a good job of scoring in the post.  He has very good strength to back down his man, and he was able to score on drop steps, step-through moves, and on turnaround jump hooks.  He also did a very good job of catching lob passes to score on alley-oop dunks. He also would go hard to the basket to draw plenty of free throws to get to the foul line.  In addition, he was able to score on a powerful dunk off of a roll to the rim, and he also scored on a couple of tip-ins off of offensive rebounds.  However, he missed on a couple of floaters off the dribble, and he also struggled to make jumpers from outside of the paint area.

On the downside, he was a bit turnover prone in this game.  For the positives, Jackson-Davis can throw some good passes and also can set good screens on offense.  He was able to find a cutter to set up a scoring chance for a teammate.  Jackson-Davis also would set solid, on-ball screens to help get his teammates open driving lanes to score.  However, sometimes he would throw inaccurate passes that would go astray, and he also had a ball poked away another time that led to a turnover.

Also, Jackson-Davis did a terrific job of rebounding the basketball.  He is an athletic, high-motor player that would constantly outwork his opponents on the glass to get boards, and he also was able to haul in many offensive boards to help provide his team with second chance points.

Plus, he also played solid defense.  Jackson-Davis did a great job of blocking shots in the paint due to possessing solid length, athleticism, and timing.  He generally excelled at contesting shots to force misses, and he can block shots on the ball and when roaming from the weak side.  However, sometimes he would be late on his rotations, which would lead his team to allow scores around the basket. 

In summary, Trayce Jackson-Davis had a strong showing in his team’s loss to Florida State, and he was a major reason why his team was almost able to win this game.  He played very well on both ends of the floor, and he is a talented player who could be a very good value pick for an NBA team whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.

Florida State’s 6-5 senior guard, M.J. Walker played fairly well in his team’s win over Indiana.  He excelled as a shooter and scorer for his team, and though he struggled a bit with turnovers, he managed to score a team-leading 19 points to help his team win this game.

Walker did a good job of scoring on aggressive drives to the hoop.  He has a solid first step off the dribble, and he also excelled at drawing fouls upon his defenders to often get to the free throw line.  Sometimes though, he would take difficult, off-balanced shots, as he would occasionally miss shots when he wouldn’t get foul calls.

Walker also showed a decent ability to knock down jumpers to provide his team with some floor spacing on offense.  He would run off the ball to make spot-up threes, and he has a lot of range on his shot.  Plus, he also was able to make a turnaround, pull-up jumper from the left elbow inside the arc once.  He struggled more to make pull-up jumpers though, but he generally excelled at making spot-up threes off the catch. Also, Walker can make solid hustle plays to get extra points to help his team on offense.  He was also able to score on a tip-in after leaping up to get an offensive rebound due to possessing a good motor.

On the downside, Walker was quite turnover prone in this game. Walker is an unselfish player that can throw solid interior passes, and he was able to drive to the hoop to find a cutter to notch an assist once.  However, he tended to commit ball-handling turnovers.  He was called for traveling a couple of times, though late in the game, it appeared that the ball was knocked away from him before he got it back instead, lost the ball in the post another time, and he also was called for a charging foul on a separate play.  He also threw an inaccurate interior pass that also ended up getting intercepted.

Walker did not grab many rebounds in this game, but he was able to leap up to get an offensive board once.  However, he also was called for fouling an opponent on a put back.  He played decent defense in this game.  He would play passing lanes to get steals and deflections.  Sometimes, he would be over-aggressive on closeouts, which would lead him to bite on pump fakes and to commit fouls on drives to the hoop.

Overall, M.J. Walker is having a good senior season, and he could project to be a solid rotation player in the NBA.  He will need to continue to excel as a shooter and scorer for his team, but he is a talented player that could project well into a 3 and D role at the next level.

Florida State’s 6-8 redshirt junior forward, RaiQuan Gray had a strong showing in his team’s overtime win over Indiana.  He is a very athletic big man that showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also defended well in this game.

Gray excelled at scoring on strong drives to the hoop.  He was able to score on a powerful, two-handed dunk, and he also drove in to score on a strong layup.  Plus, he also showed a penchant for drawing free throws to get to the foul line.  Sometimes though, he would miss shots wildly around the basket. He also did a good job of scoring on hustle plays.  Gray was able to score on a tip-in off of an offensive rebound, and he also managed to score on a backdoor cut.

Also, Gray was able to make a deep three from well beyond the arc.  He didn’t take many outside shots, but he was efficiently at making three-point shots to provide some floor spacing for his team.  On the downside, he had trouble making mid-range shots when he took them on offense.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills, and Gray was able to throw an accurate entry pass to set up a score for a teammate.  He did a good job of finding open shooters to notch assists, and he also did not turn the ball over once.

Also, he did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He especially was active at crashing the defensive glass to get boards for his team.  Gray also defended well in this game.  He would rotate to shots in the paint to block and alter shots to force misses, and he also ran the baseline in the post to take a ball away to get a steal another time.  However, sometimes he would be a bit late in making his rotations, which would lead him to commit some fouls at times.

Overall, RaiQuan Gray played very well, as he excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor.  He will likely need to trust his outside shot more, but his strong athletic gifts combined with his ability to make plays in the paint could enable him to be a potential second round pick whenever he decides to enter the draft.

Florida State’s 7-1 sophomore center, Balsa Koprivica played fairly well to help lead his team to an overtime win over Indiana.  He excelled as an interior player for his team, and he did a good job of scoring, rebounding, and defending to help his team get the victory.

Koprivica showed a decent ability to score in the post.  He was able to get a couple of scores inside, and he also scored on a turnaround jumper while getting an extra free throw afterwards.  However, sometimes he would miss on jump hooks, as he would not always find his shooting touch from the block.  Koprivica ran the floor to score on an emphatic dunk on the break, and he also tended to score on put backs after grabbing offensive boards.  He did attempt to score on a drive in traffic as well as on a mid-range shot, but he missed it those times.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills in this game.  Koprivica was able to throw an outlet pass to a teammate on the break to set up a scoring chance for his teammate. Plus, he also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball, as he would leap up to haul in boards on both ends of the floor.  However, sometimes he would commit an over the back foul or push off to commit a foul when going for boards.

Also, Koprivica played decent defense.  He is a tall, active help defender that would help his team get stops in games.  He was able to rotate to block a shot off of a drive to a teammate, and he would deflect passes to disrupt his opponents’ field of vision.  He also was able to contest shots out on the perimeter as well as in the post to get some stops for his team.  However, sometimes he would struggle to defend in one-on-one situations.  Sometimes he would allow opponents to get too deep when defending in the post, which would lead him to commit fouls.  Other times, he would struggle to guard players out on the perimeter, as he would get beat off the dribble by quicker guards, but also give up too much space to shooters.

Overall, Balsa Koprivica is a tall, mobile center that played well in his role to help his team get a narrow victory over Indiana.  He may need to stay in school and extend his shooting range, but his size and solid interior play could allow him to thrive as an effective rotational big man in the NBA.

Florida State’s 6-6 redshirt junior guard, Anthony Polite played well in his team’s overtime win over Indiana.  He was able to show off versatile scoring skills as well as make a number of athletic, high-flying plays on both ends of the floor.

Polite did a good job of knocking down spot-up threes off the catch, and he also ran the floor hard to score on a high-flying dunk in transition.  He also drove hard to the basket to draw free throws.  He did use an overhead ball fake to take a pull-up jumper from the mid-range, but he missed that time.

Also, he did a good job of grabbing offensive rebounds for his team.  Polite also played decent defense in this game.  He rotated to block a shot hard off of a drive out of bounds.  However, he was prone to committing fouls due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Anthony Polite had a solid showing in his team’s win over Indiana.  He’s an athletic swingman that excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor, and he could end up being a second round prospect for the 2022 draft, as he could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA. 

Indiana’s 6-7 sophomore forward, Jerome Hunter was able to make a couple of three-point shots to provide floor spacing for his team in this game.  His team struggled to make outside shots in this game, but Hunter was the only player on his team that was able to make multiple threes on offense.  Though he didn’t play well as a freshman, he’s off to a good start this year, and he could be a prospect to keep tabs on sometime down the road.

Indiana’s 6-4 senior guard, Al Durham had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Florida State.  He showed a solid ability to score on aggressive drives to the hoop, especially midway through the game.  While he did make an open three-point shot once, he had trouble knocking down outside shots from beyond the arc.  He also played fairly good defense in this game.  Durham was able to deflect a pass out of bounds to nearly get a steal, and he also drew a charge on a drive that arguably could have gone the other way.

Overall, he didn’t quite have his best game, but he was able to play his best basketball midway through this contest.  Durham will need to be a more consistent scorer in games, but he is an athletic combo guard that can score the basketball, and he could be a prospect that could compete for a roster spot in the NBA.

Oklahoma’s 6-2 freshman point guard, Khristian Lander did not play much in this game, but he is an agile playmaker that showed flashes of being able to run the team at the collegiate level.  He moved too fast once when handling the basketball, as he was called for a traveling violation.  He also struggled to handle stronger players, as he lost out on a rebound to a bigger player, and he also committed a reach-in foul in the post. 

Overall, Lander did not get much playing time, but he will need to show teams that he can shoot and run the team at the collegiate level, and he will have to bulk up and add some strength.  He came in to Indiana as a highly rated recruit, but he has not played much this season.  Therefore, he may not really be much of a prospect for the NBA right now, but if he gets more playing time, he could be a prospect worth following down the road.

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