Analyzing Tyrese Haliburton in the Iowa State-Baylor Game

January 29th, 2020

by Alan Lu

This time around, I decided to watch Tyrese Haliburton and Iowa State square off against top-ranked Baylor in a Big 12 basketball game that took place today.   After Haliburton had played very well in his team’s win over Oklahoma State, I wanted to see how well he would play against a very good college basketball team that is considered to be the best in the country right now. Haliburton had his ups and downs, but he kept playing hard, and he ended up having a fairly good game in his team’s loss to Baylor. Here are my thoughts on how he played, as well as how his skills may translate to the NBA.

Iowa State's sophomore point guard, Tyrese Haliburton had a fairly good showing in his team's loss to Baylor.  (Photo: Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports, via The Des Moines Register.)
Iowa State’s sophomore point guard, Tyrese Haliburton had a fairly good showing in his team’s loss to Baylor. (Photo: Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports, via The Des Moines Register.)

Iowa State’s 6-5 sophomore point guard, Tyrese Haliburton had an adequate showing in his team’s loss to Baylor. Though he struggled to knock down jumpers and committed his fair share of turnovers, he excelled at attacking the basket to score at the rim.  He also showed off solid rebounding and defensive skills in this game.

Haliburton did a decent job of scoring on quick drives to the basket. He managed to score on a quick, acrobatic reverse layup, and he also scored on a smooth runner off the dribble, due to possessing a good first step off the dribble and a solid shooting touch to do so. He also was adept at drawing fouls upon his opponents, but sometimes he would miss on contested runners in traffic.

He also showed a good ability to score on hustle plays. He ran in to score on a high-flying tip slam after leaping up to get an offensive rebound. Late in this contest, Haliburton sprinted down court to get the ball, and drove in to score on a speedy reverse layup off the glass while drawing an extra free throw to help his team.

However, Haliburton struggled to knock down jumpers in this game. For the positives, he did a great job of drawing and making his free throws against Baylor. He also drew free throws on a step back, fadeaway mid-range jumper from the baseline. However, he missed all of his three-point shots that he hoisted up from beyond the arc, and he also missed on a couple of pull-up jumpers from the mid-range area, as he struggled to make jumpers when opponents would crowd him and contest those shots.

On the downside, Haliburton was quite turnover prone on offense. For the positives, he is an unselfish player that sees the floor well, and he would often find open shooters as well as teammates on the move to set up scoring chances for them. However, his teammates often had trouble knocking down open jump shots, as one teammate, Prentiss Nixon especially had trouble making wide open jumpers in this game against Baylor. Haliburton had a tendency to throw careless passes that would get picked off, and he even drove baseline towards the sideline when doubled, as he threw a weak jump pass that was intercepted. He did commit a couple of ball-handling turnovers, as he was called for a questionable push off call when attempting to hoist up a long two, and he also was called for another questionable traveling call that would have enabled him to score on a quick layup that time had the officials not called it that way.

Also, Haliburton did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He would frequently chase down balls to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he would tend to swoop in to get defensive rebounds to help his team. He even flew in to save a ball to help his team get an offensive board to retain possession once.

He also played solid defense. Haliburton was very active at challenging shots, as he was able to swat a shot off of a drive to a teammate, and he also blocked a shot off of a put back due to possessing good length, athleticism, and timing to do so. He would often fight through screens to stay with opposing ball handlers, and he also managed to contest a couple of jumpers to force misses. Sometimes though, he would get caught on screens, as he would trail his man that would lead his team to allow scores. On another play, he gave up a bit too much space when contesting a three-point shot, as his opponent ended up making a contested long-range jumper from beyond the arc.

In general, Tyrese Haliburton had a fairly good showing in his team’s loss to Baylor. Though he struggled to make jumpers and committed some bad turnovers, he did a good job of taking the ball to the rim to garner scores, and he also made good passes and played good defense. He needs better teammates around him that can sufficiently make shots at a high rate, but currently, Haliburton may be a likely bet to go in the lottery, as he could end up being a solid role player in the NBA.

Other Notes:

Baylor’s 6-8 senior forward, Freddie Gillespie arguably played the best in this game, as he helped lead his team to a double-digit victory over Iowa State. Gillespie is a tough, physical big man that often would score in the post as well as off of mid-range jumpers, and he also excelled as a rebounder and interior defender in this game. Sometimes though, he would commit over the back fouls when going for rebounds, and he also got beat on a move when defending in the post that led him to foul and allow a score another time.

Overall, Gillespie had a solid showing to lift his team to the win. Right now, it’s not certain if he has the skill set to make it to the NBA, as he is an undersized big man that doesn’t have a whole lot of perimeter skills and he doesn’t really look to score the basketball that often, but he is a solid role player at the collegiate level, as he makes shots efficiently, and is an active rebounder and shot blocker. Most likely, he will probably end up making an NBA team’s summer league roster, and if he plays well there, he could get an invite to preseason, which could enable him to compete for a roster spot for an NBA team in the association.

Baylor’s 6-5 redshirt junior swingman, Mark Vital also played very well in his team’s win over Iowa State, as he almost was able to collect a triple-double in this game. He excelled at passing and rebounding the basketball, as he has good court vision to find open teammates and cutters to set up scores for them, and he also did a terrific job of crashing the glass to get his team boards.

Plus, he also defended well. Vital was able to find a loose ball that an opposing ball handler lost to get a steal, and he also successfully drew a charge when defending off the ball in transition. He also will look to contest jumpers to force misses.

Vital also showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays, as he would score off of put backs, and he also made a tough layup on a roll to the rim.  He also managed to get a score around the basket, but he struggled more to score in the post, as he may need to expand upon his low post moves.

Overall, Mark Vital has been a solid role player at the collegiate level, but like his teammate Gillespie, it’s uncertain if he has the skills to make it to the NBA. He doesn’t possess much shooting range or ball handling skills, and he doesn’t take many shots on offense, as those are areas he will need to work on for the next level. Still, he is a tough, physical player that can pass, rebound, and defend, and he has a lot of good traits that NBA teams want out of a physical wing player. Right now, he looks to be more of a second round prospect for the 2021 draft, but in a favorable scenario, he could perhaps pan out as a Trenton Hassell type of defensive specialist at the next level.

Iowa State’s 6-3 sophomore guard, Rasir Bolton shot the ball very well in his team’s loss to Baylor. He really excelled at knocking down threes, as he has a lot of range on his shot, and he can make them off the catch or dribble. He also would score on acrobatic floaters and running layups off the glass, and he also can draw fouls upon his defenders. He did miss on a couple of shots in traffic, but generally Bolton did a very good job of shooting and scoring the basketball.

He didn’t really look to pass often, but he was able to pass the ball to a cutter to set up a scoring chance for a teammate. He was quite turnover prone, though. He had a tendency to lose the basketball while handling it under considerable ball pressure, and he also committed a charging foul on a drive in transition another time. He also threw an inaccurate pass that sailed out of bounds on a separate play.

Defensively, he looked to be about average. Bolton was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, but sometimes he can be out of position defensively, which can lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Bolton is a fairly athletic, skilled combo guard that can score the basketball in a variety of ways. He will need to improve in the other facets of the game, but his ability to make shots could enable him to project into a microwave type of scorer role in the NBA, as he could be a second round prospect for the 2021 draft.

Baylor’s junior guard, MaCio Teague was able to score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he also played fairly good defense in this game. He excelled at scoring on hustle plays, and he also knocked down jumpers, though he struggled to make three-point shots consistently. He was able to apply good ball pressure to force opponents to commit turnovers, and he also was quite active at crashing the glass. Overall, Teague is a skilled combo guard that can knock down jumpers and defend, and while he will need to show that he can effectively run the point at the next level, he could be a second round prospect for the 2021 draft.

Baylor’s 6-3 senior guard, Devonte Bandoo showed a decent ability to knock down jumpers, as he excelled at making spot-up threes, and he also was able to make a fadeaway mid-range jumper off the dribble. He also scored on a runner, but he struggled to make shots consistently off the dribble. Also, he was active at crashing the glass, as he was able to chip in to get his team some boards.

However, he didn’t seem to be too noticeable as a playmaker or defender in this game, though. Right now, he is a fairly athletic, skilled combo guard that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, as he can project into a microwave type of scorer role at the next level, and he could end up making his way onto an NBA team’s summer league roster this year.

Baylor’s 6-3 sophomore guard, Jared Butler did not play very well in this game, as he missed all of his three-point shots, and struggled with turnovers in his team’s win over Iowa State. Butler did show a good ability to score on quick drives to the basket, as he has a nice spin move that enables him to score on layups, and he also managed to score on a backdoor cut another time.

He didn’t show very good playmaking skills in this game. He didn’t seem to make any noteworthy passes, he also committed some careless ball handling turnovers, and he also committed a clear out foul when trying to make a move to the hoop on a separate play.

He also played above average defense. Butler was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also contested a three to force a miss. However, he also was called for a blocking foul when he rotated to defend in the post once.

Overall, Jared Butler didn’t have his best game, but he showed that he can take people off the dribble to garner scores around the basket, and he also has decent defensive skills. Right now, he will need to improve his playmaking skills and be a more consistent shooter in games, but he could be a second round pick in the 2020 draft.

Iowa State’s 6-10 sophomore big man, George Conditt IV did not play very well in his team’s loss to Baylor, but he did make some good plays in this game. On the downside, he had a couple of shots blocked around the basket when looking to score off the dribble, but he also managed to score on a put back and on a roll to the rim, as he excelled at scoring on the move when he didn’t have to dribble very often. Conditt also used a nice spin move from the post to throw a nice pass to a cutter to set up a scoring chance for a teammate.

He also did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball. He also played above average defense. He was able to contest a turnaround jumper in the post to force a miss, and he also did not commit a single foul in this game.

Overall, George Conditt IV struggled to make shots consistently, and he did not rebound the basketball enough, but he showed some passing and defensive skills in this game. He will need to continue to improve as an overall player, but he is an athletic big man that could project into a backup center role at the next level.