Analyzing Zach Edey, Coleman Hawkins, and Quincy Guerrier
January 6th, 2024
By Alan Lu
Recently, Purdue’s 7-4 senior center, Zach Edey has been rapidly ascending up draft boards, as ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has him rated 14th on his latest big board. Yesterday, I decided to watch him play against Illinois in a competitive Big Ten basketball game. Edey played well, which was expected, and the opponents that were tasked to match up to him struggled against his vast size and solid interior skills, and he was able to help Purdue get the win. It was a slow paced game early in the first half, and Purdue had the upper hand, especially with Edey in the game. The game picked up in the second half, but Purdue was able to withstand a late rally from Illinois to get a close win. Zach Edey, Coleman Hawkins, and Quincy Guerrier were some of the standout performers in this game, and here are my thoughts on how they and other top performers fared on this day.
Zach Edey scored 10 points, and had 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal in his team’s 83-78 win over Purdue. (Photo: Alex Martin/Journal and Courier/USA Today Network, via Star Local Media and Sports Illustrated)
Purdue’s 7-4 senior center, Zach Edey had a strong showing to help lead his team to a win over Illinois. Even though Illinois had athletic forwards that were tasked to guard him, they were no match for Edey, as his vast size, combined with his strength and scoring touch made it difficult for his opponents to stop down low.
He did a good job of scoring out of the post. He would often seal his man to get the catch, get deep position, and then score on right handed, jump hooks. He also was able to move to the post to score on a powerful dunk early on. He also was fairly active in looking to make hustle plays. He ran the floor hard once, as he looked to be more mobile than he was last year. Also, he was able to draw free throws on a put back after grabbing an offensive rebound.
Edey also displayed decent playmaking skills. He is a solid passing big man that can ably pass out of the post, as he would often find open shooters and cutters to notch assists and set up plenty of scoring chances for his teammates. He is also an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and generally does a good job of doing so. Sometimes though, he would throw hasty passes, as one got intercepted. Another time in the post, he got sped up as he was doubled, and he threw a hasty, inaccurate pass that sailed hard out of bounds. In addition, he was called for traveling when looking to make a move out of the post on a separate possession.
Plus, he also did an excellent job of rebounding the basketball. Opponents often had trouble dealing with the vast size and strength that he possessed in the middle, and Edey hauled in many boards when he was on the floor.
He also played decent defense in this game. Edey was able to block a shot to help his team protect the paint, and his vast length combined with having fairly solid timing allowed him to do so. He also would use his size and positioning to stay in front of opposing ball handlers, which enabled him to force them to commit turnovers. He also was able to jump on a loose ball to get a steal. Also, he would use his length and positioning to contest shots in the paint to force misses. Edey was especially effective on the defensive end in the early going, as his opponents had trouble scoring on him or his team in the first half.
On the downside, while he’s shown improved mobility and made good use of his length and positioning to make plays defensively, he has below average lateral quickness, and he still struggled to guard quicker players at times. He ran into some early foul trouble in the first half. He occasionally struggled to defend opposing ball handlers off the dribble, which would lead him to be a step slow, leading him to commit fouls and allow scores. Other times, he would be too aggressive in trying to contest shots and make plays defensively, which would lead him to be foul prone.
In general, Zach Edey is a strong, productive center that has consistently played very well in college basketball. However, it’s still unclear as to how his game would translate to the NBA. On one hand, the best player on an NBA championship team was a center, which was Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, which bodes well for Edey, and the emergence of Utah Jazz’s second-year center Walker Kessler also bodes well for him. Even better for Edey, he matched up very well against a more athletic opponent, Coleman Hawkins for most of this game, as his strong interior play on both ends of the floor gave Hawkins fits, and with the exception of Hawkins making a sidestep three over Edey while getting fouled very late in the game, Edey and his team was in command for most of this game to help Purdue get the win.
On one hand, Edey does seem to have clear flaws that may pose as question marks for him at the next level, which suggests that he’d still be too risky for teams to take in the lottery despite having very strong collegiate production. Edey didn’t really show much of an outside shot, handles, and may never be a great pick and roll defender. That said, he’s consistently shown a solid ability to score and he’s improved his mobility and passing game, and that combined with his vast size and motor, and with the 2024 draft being a weak draft could be enough for Edey to warrant a selection in the late first to the second round range in this year’s draft.
Illinois’ 6-10 senior forward, Coleman Hawkins had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Purdue. He is an athletic, skilled combo forward that showed off solid offensive skills, and he played especially well down the stretch. Hawkins struggled initially in the first half when matched up against Edey early on. After Edey got into foul trouble, Hawkins was able to take advantage of that by making shots, and he was able to take and channel that positive momentum to have a very good second half, even with Edey coming back to re-enter the game.
Hawkins was at his best when he would take and make three-pointers from beyond the arc. He was too passive early on, and there were some open, three-point opportunities that he passed up, and he struggled to make shots in the early going. But as the game progressed, Hawkins was able to find his stride. He showed a solid ability to make spot-up threes off the catch. He also utilized a pump fake to dribble to his left, as he made a nifty, side-step three over Edey while getting fouled late in this game. It’s clear that Hawkins can shoot the three-ball, and he should be much more assertive in looking to take this shot, especially when he’s open.
He struggled more to score when he would take shots inside the arc. On one good play, he was able to get the ball on a short roll, and he drove in to score inside. He also managed to use a pump fake to drive to the hoop to draw free throws. Hawkins was able to take advantage of Edey being in foul trouble to get scoring opportunities off the dribble. There was another time where he rolled to get the ball in the post to draw free throws. However, Hawkins often struggled to score or make plays inside due to Edey’s length and positioning, and Hawkins would miss on tough shots around the basket. In addition, he missed a mid-range floater another time.
Hawkins showcased good playmaking skills. He passes and handles the ball well, especially for a player his size. He is an unselfish player that can make an assortment of passes, and he can often find the cutters to notch assists. Hawkins would often throw timely passes to find open teammates on the move, and he can comfortably pass off the dribble as well as out of the post. On the downside, he would sometimes struggle to make plays off the dribble, as he ended up being called for a couple of traveling violations due to taking too many steps.
Though he didn’t grab many boards in this game, Hawkins was able to get rebounds on both ends of the floor. Defensively, he looked to be about average at best. Hawkins was able to block and alter shots off of drives to force some misses. He also would get his hands on pass to get steals and deflections. However, he really struggled to defend in the post. Hawkins had trouble matching up to the size and strength of his opponents, and there would be times where he wouldn’t actively contest shots down low, which would often lead him to allow scores. He was especially too small to guard Edey, and Hawkins didn’t do a good job of defending in the post in this game due to his lack of size and strength. He also got beat on a spin move when defending Kaufman-Renn in the post early on. He also rotated too hard another time, and landed atop of his opponent to foul an opponent on a three-point shooter to commit a bad shooting foul.
In summary, Coleman Hawkins played fairly well, but despite showing some solid shooting and passing skills, there are some things he needs to improve on. Most notably, he needs to improve his defense, especially his low post defense. He’s not very strong for a player his size, and he would get bullied and pushed back by taller, stronger opponents, and he didn’t do a great job of actively contesting shots in the post in this game. He also will need to look for his outside shot, and he needs to trust his ability to make threes, especially when left open on catch-and-shoot plays. Right now, he is a skilled forward that still needs to refine his overall game, and he is a second round prospect for the 2024 draft.
Illinois’ 6-8 senior forward, Quincy Guerrier had a fairly solid showing in his team’s loss to Purdue. He is an athletic, energetic forward that excelled at attacking the hoop to score the basketball. On the other hand, he did not make a three-pointer and struggled defensively, but he did a good job of putting the ball in the hoop in this game.
Guerrier excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He showed a knack for scoring off of cuts and tip-ins, and he was able to throw down a couple of highlight reel-worthy dunks. He was able to run in to score on a thunderous tip slam, and he also caught a lob pass off of a cut to score on a high-flying, alley-oop dunk.
He also was able to score on a strong move around the basket while getting fouled once. Guerrier also used a pump fake to score on a baseline drive once, but he struggled more to score on half-court drives, as he would take some tough shots that would lead to misses. In this game, he didn’t seem to make any noteworthy passes, but he did throw a bad pass that got intercepted once.
Also, Guerrier did a good job of rebounding the basketball, and he was able to haul in plenty of boards on both ends of the floor. Defensively, he struggled in this game. For the positives, he was able to contest a couple of shots to force some misses, and he showed a willingness to play the passing lanes. On the downside, he would tend to be late to rotate or to contest outside shots, which would lead him to allow three-point baskets. He also struggled to defend in the post, as he would give up deep position, which would lead him to commit fouls. Another time, he was over-aggressive in trying to play the pass, which led him to commit a reach=in foul that time.
Overall, Quincy Guerrier played fairly well in this game, but there are still some things he needs to improve at. He needs to improve his outside shooting, playmaking skills, and defense. He is an athletic, energetic combo forward that projects to be a hustle player on both ends of the floor, but will need to continue to refine his overall game. Even still, his solid athletic gifts and motor could enable him to help make his way to the NBA in the future.
Purdue’s 6-9 forward, Trey Kaufman-Renn played very well to help lead his team to a win over Illinois. He generally excelled at scoring in the paint. He would often score on hustle plays as well as out of the post. He would make quick dribble moves to score out of the post, and he also showed a knack for scoring off of rolls and put backs. He also was able to score on a floater off of a roll to the rim. Plus, he also showed off a promising outside shot, and Kaufman-Renn was able to make an open three off the catch.
While he didn’t grab many rebounds, he did a good job of grabbing offensive rebounds, and he would actively crash the glass to get them for his team. He also defended well, and he was able to stay in front of an opposing ball handler on a baseline drive to help force a traveling violation.
Overall, Kaufman-Renn is a strong, mobile big man to help his team get a victory in this game. He showed that he can ably score against athletic, mobile forwards, especially out of the post and around the basket. He’ll need to consistently play well, but he could be an interesting prospect that could be worth a look in the second round range in a future NBA draft, as he could project to be a solid rotational big man at the NBA level.
Illinois’ 6-6 senior, Marcus Domask quietly had a strong showing in his team’s loss to Purdue. He is a skilled swingman that can shoot and score the basketball. He showed a knack for scoring off the dribble as well as on pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he showed solid balance and scoring touch to do so. He also was able to make an open, spot-up three off the catch. He also is a good post up guard that would score on strong moves down low, and he would overpower his opponents to score and get free throws.
Also, Domask passed the ball well as he showcased solid playmaking skills in this game. He is an unselfish player that would look to find the open man, and he also threw an accurate lob pass to a teammate on the move to notch a nifty assist once. On the downside, sometimes he would force the issue too much, which would lead to some turnovers. He threw an inaccurate pass that sailed out of bounds. He also over-dribbled and had a ball stolen away from him.
Though he didn’t grab many rebounds, Domask was able to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he was able to get multiple offensive boards in this game. He also was able to intercept a jump pass to get a steal to help his team defensively.
Overall, Marcus Domask is a skilled, mobile swingman that has a solid set of offensive skills, and he is having a breakout senior season to help Illinois this year. He especially thrived as a scorer and playmaker on the floor, and he may be an underrated prospect that may have what it takes to make it to the NBA.
Mason Gillis also quietly had a fairly solid showing in his team’s win over Illinois. He is a strong, mobile swingman that primarily excelled as a sharpshooter, but he also had a solid all-around, offensive showing in this game. Gillis showed a knack for making smooth, open threes off the catch. He also managed to score on a backdoor cut. Plus, he also was able to throw a crisp, interior pass to a cutter to notch an assist. Overall, Gillis played well in this game. He showed that he can reliably knock down three-pointers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense. He’ll need to be more aggressive on offense in other games and show that he can consistently guard upper-echelon opponents in games, but Gillis is a skilled prospect that could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.
Luke Goode also played fairly well in his team’s loss to Purdue. He is a skilled swingman that excelled at shooting and scoring the basketball, and he showed a knack for making threes, as he made them primarily off the catch. He especially thrived at scoring on open, spot-up jumpers, and he also was able to score on a backdoor cut. He is an offensively skilled swingman that can knock down outside shots. He’ll need to show that he can play well against more athletic opponents in games, but he has solid size and shooting skills that could enable him to make it to the NBA someday.
Braden Smith also played well to help lead his team to a win over Illinois. He especially excelled as an offensive player in the first half, and he is a crafty playmaker that can shoot, score, and pass the basketball.
He showed a fairly solid ability to score off the dribble, and he also did a good job of making open, spot-up threes off the catch. On the downside, Smith often had trouble making pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he displayed some spotty shot selection at times, as he also took plenty of mid-range jumpers off the dribble, but often struggled to connect from that range.
He also displayed adequate playmaking skills. Smith can make an assortment of passes, as he was able to find open teammates on the move and make passes off the dribble to set up scores for his teammates. However, he also was quite turnover prone. He tended to throw hasty, jump passes that would get intercepted, and he showed questionable decision making skills in the second half. It was especially maddening that he would throw careless jump passes, because he would continually get intercepted, and that combined with his below average size and athleticism for his position would make it tough for him to execute those passes down the stretch.
Also, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball, and Smith was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor. Defensively, he looked to be perhaps above average. He was able to swipe a ball away to get a steal, but he also sometimes would struggle to defend or stay in front of opposing ball-handlers.
Overall, Smith is a skilled point guard that can make plays on offense, but he will need to make better decisions with the ball in his hands, trust his outside shot more, and show that he can consistently guard upper-echelon opponents in games. If he reaches his full potential, he could end up being a backup point guard in the NBA someday.
Lance Jones is a fairly athletic combo guard that played well in his team’s win over Illinois. He did a good job of making open, spot-up threes, and he showed a knack for drawing free throws when taking outside shots off the dribble to get to the foul line. He also was able to score on a backdoor cut. Overall, Jones excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game. He’ll need to show teams that he can reliably run the point at higher levels, but he could be a prospect to watch in the future.
Illinois’ sophomore swingman, Ty Rodgers didn’t really stand out as he didn’t play very much, but he was able to make some solid plays. Rodgers was able to make an impressive block on a drive to swat it out of bounds to show his burgeoning defensive skills. He also scored on a backdoor cut, but missed one another time. He also didn’t take many shots in this game, and he didn’t look to take jumpers from further out.
Overall, Ty Rodgers had his ups and downs, but he is an athletic, high-motor swingman whose defense is ahead of his offense right now. He will need to improve his shooting and shot-creation skills, but he is a prospect that could be worth keeping tabs on in the future.
All in all, those are my thoughts on how Edey, Hawkins, Guerrier, Domask, and other various prospects fared in this game. Thanks for reading.