Assessing Anthony Edwards and Rayshaun Hammonds

November 20th, 2019

by Alan Lu

This time around, I took the time to watch Anthony Edwards and the Georgia Bulldogs take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in an in-state rivalry, college basketball game that took place today on November 20th. This was my first time watching Edwards play in a college basketball game, and I wanted to see how well he would fare in this match, especially compared to when I watched James Wiseman play against Illinois-Chicago that happened nearly a couple of weeks ago. Edwards started out slowly, as he was not very aggressive in looking for his shot in the first half and he struggled to score early on, but he really got into a groove in the second half, as he ended up scoring 18 points, and had 8 rebounds to help his team earn a hard-fought victory over Georgia Tech. Here are my thoughts on how he played on this day, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.

Georgia's Anthony Edwards is a contender for the number one overall pick in 2020.  (Photo: Tony Walsh/UGA Sports via Dawg Nation.)
Anthony Edwards quietly had a good game to lead Georgia to a narrow win over Georgia Tech. (Photo: Tony Walsh/UGA Sports via Dawg Nation.)

Georgia’s freshman guard, Anthony Edwards had a solid showing to help lift his team to a win over Georgia Tech. He showed off versatile scoring skills as well as a tremendous ability to get to the free throw line, and he also showed off a good set of all-around skills, as he especially played well down the stretch.

Edwards showed a fairly good ability to score on drives to the basket. He has a good first step off the dribble, and he can utilize a series of ball handling moves to get past his man, as he would tend to go left to score on strong drives to the hoop. He also can take on the contact to get extra free throws, and he would often draw fouls upon his defenders. He also used a nice overhead ball fake on a Euro-step move that faked out his defender so bad that he was able to get his opponent to be commit a flagrant foul. But early in the game, Edwards missed on a couple of runners off the dribble, as he struggled with his shooting touch in the first half. Also, there are times where he doesn’t always go strong to the hoop, which can lead him to miss shots in traffic in times when he would not get foul calls.

He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays. Edwards did a good job of picking and choosing his spots of when to cut to the basket, which enabled him to get some points in the second half. He managed to get the ball on a cut once, as he scored on a nice reverse layup. Another time, he made a strong cut to the hoop, as he was able to draw free throws on that occasion.

Also, Edwards showed an adequate ability to knock down jumpers to help his team space the floor. He was showed that he can make long pull-up jumpers, and he even used a hesitation move to make a pull-up three late in the game, but Edwards had a tendency to step on the line when hoisting up jump shots. He had a couple of misses from outside of the paint area, but he made jumpers when they counted, and he also drew three free throws after using a step back move to attempt a three another time.

He also showed off adequate playmaking skills. Edwards did a good job of passing the basketball to find open teammates, as he showed a knack for throwing solid interior passes off the dribble to set up scoring chances for his teammates around the basket. He is an unselfish player that displays good patience with the ball in his hands, and he also can pass out of the post. However, he had the ball poked away from him on a couple of occasions, as he may not always protect the basketball. On a separate occasion, he was called for an offensive foul on a drive, as he had lowered his shoulder and ended up charging into a defender. Edwards was fairly passive in the first half as he deferred to his teammates quite a bit, and he mostly played off the ball on offense, but after establishing his passing skills against Georgia Tech, it allowed him to be more aggressive in looking for his own offense to help his team put up points in the second half.

Edwards also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He would swoop in to haul in numerous defensive boards, and he would sometimes push the ball up the court. Plus, he would chase down loose balls, as he was able to save a ball to a teammate to help his team get a defensive rebound once.

While he will need to improve his defense, especially from a focus standpoint, Edwards does have the potential to develop into being a very good defender at the next level. He defends well when he is engaged and dialed in, as he was able to deflect a pass and poke a ball away from behind to nearly get steals for his team. He also can apply considerable ball pressure when guarding his man, and he was able to successfully contest a three-point shot to force the miss.

However, he can tend to be unfocused defensively. Sometimes, he won’t run back hard on defense, as his team will give up easy points on fast breaks to the opposition. Another time, he did make an effort to get back on defense, but then ended up getting beat off the dribble after attempting a weak swipe at the ball, as his teammate ended up having to foul an opponent on that play. Edwards also can struggle to guard opponents off the dribble, as he bit on a pump fake once, and he also got beat to his right another time, which can lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores. Late in the game, he didn’t tell his teammate that they were going to switch when defending a screen, which led to confusion and to his team to give up a there-point basket.

In general, Anthony Edwards put forth a fairly good performance in his team’s win over Georgia Tech. He had a slow start to this game, but he was able to continue to make solid plays in the second half, as his ability to score, rebound, and make plays really allowed his team to flourish. He is a strong, athletic combo guard that can score the basketball, and he has the physical tools to develop into a plus-level defender. Right now, he’ll need to improve his jump shot and be a more focused defender in games, but he is a very talented prospect that could be a top 3 pick, as he has the talent to develop into an All-Star caliber player similar to Utah Jazz’ superstar guard, Donovan Mitchell in the NBA.

Rayshaun Hammonds had a terrific game in his team's win over Georgia Tech.  (Photo: Joshua L. Jones/AP via AJC.com.)
Rayshaun Hammonds scored 26 points and had 9 rebounds to lead Georgia to a win over Georgia Tech. (Photo: (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP))

Georgia’s 6-8 junior forward, Rayshaun Hammonds played very well in his team’s win over Georgia Tech. He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he was a scoring machine that can put up points in a hurry. Plus, he also rebounded well and showed off some defensive skills, but he did end up in foul trouble late in the game. Still, Hammonds played very well, as he managed to score 26 points and collected 9 rebounds in this game.

Hammonds did a good job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor for his team. He showed a knack for making spot-up jumpers from both beyond the arc and from the mid-range area, as he shot the ball very well from the field. Plus, he also did a good job of scoring on patient, left-handed drives to the hoop. He also showed a knack for scoring on tip-ins due to possessing a good motor, and he also ran the floor to draw free throws another time.

He also used a spin move to score in the post, while drawing an extra free throw.  At times, he would get his shots blocked when looking to score in traffic, and he had trouble scoring in the post, as he would sometimes struggle to finish plays when looking to score against taller, longer players in the paint.

He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. He didn’t look to pass much, but he was able to find a cutter out of the post, and he also threw a long, accurate pass out of a trap to teammate ahead in transition to set up scoring chances for them. On the other hand, he also threw a low, inaccurate pass to a teammate that his teammate dropped, which led his team to turn the ball over.

Plus, he also rebounded the ball well, as he would leap up to haul in plenty of boards on both ends of the floor. However, he also committed a loose ball foul once when going for a defensive rebound, which led him to commit his fourth personal foul in this game.

Also, he will need to improve his defense. For the positives, Hammonds defended well late in this game as he was able to intercept an interior pass to get a steal, and he also raced back to deflect a pass out of bounds to nearly collect another. He also managed to force a miss when defending in the post once. However, he would tend to get backed down when defending in the post, which would cause him to commit fouls. Other times, he can tend to bite on ball fakes when guarding his man, which would cause him to allow scores. Other times, he would be late on his rotations, as he can be out of position defensively.

In summary, Rayshaun Hammonds is an athletic, skilled combo forward that can shoot and score the basketball, and he also excelled at crashing the glass to get his team numerous rebounds. He played very well to help get his team the victory over Georgia Tech, and he could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the second round of the upcoming draft.

Georgia Tech’s 6-5 junior guard, Michael Devoe played very well in his team’s loss to Georgia. He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he is a crafty scorer that can use a series of dribble moves to score off the dribble, and he also is a very good shooter that can knock down threes in a variety of ways, as he even ran off of a screen to making one from beyond the arc.

He occasionally struggled to score in traffic or to make jump shots in the second half after having a terrific first half, but he did manage to make a deep three from way out to beat the buzzer when the game ended.

Devoe looked to score often, but he also showed that he can kick balls out to shooters and handle the basketball. He also would run in to get defensive rebounds, and he also managed to intercept a pass to get a steal.

Overall, Michael Devoe is a skilled combo guard that shoots the ball well, and he managed to score 34 points and haul in 10 rebounds, while also having made 5 threes in his team’s loss to Georgia. Though he may not possess elite physical tools, he is an agile, skilled shooter that did a great job of making shots, and he could be a prospect to follow throughout this season as well as down the road.

Georgia Tech’s 6-9 senior center, James Banks had his ups and downs, but he played very well at the game’s onset, and he is a terrific shot blocker that has very good length and timing to go along with having solid athletic gifts to help his team protect the paint.

He played fairly good defense, as he showed a terrific ability to block shots off of drives as well as in the post, and he would challenge numerous shots to force misses, as he was able to get his opponents to commit a couple of shot clock violations.

However, he also can tend to be undisciplined defensively. He tended to be whistled for fouls, as he occasionally struggle to defend off the dribble, and he also would try to block every shot, which would cause him to commit fouls around the basket. He also bit on a ball fake when defending on a drive in transition, as he tried to block the shot, but got all of the opponent’s arm, which led him to be called for committing a flagrant foul that time.

He didn’t look to score often, but he showed off a decent ability to score in the post. He was able to dribble in to score on a reverse layup, and he also used an overhead ball fake to score on a sweeping jump hook. However, Banks would sometimes miss on running jump hooks, and he also missed on a tip dunk, as he can play too out of control at times.

He also showed off adequate playmaking skills. Banks can pass out of the post, and he also would set good screens to help get his teammates open shots. However, he also had a tendency to commit traveling violations when posting up, and he also did not grab many rebounds in this contest against Georgia.

Overall, James Banks did not have his best game, as his team had trouble consistently getting the ball to him in the post, he did not grab many rebounds, and he also ran into some foul trouble down the stretch. On the other hand, he did a great job of blocking shots, and he had a pretty good first half to help his team early on. Banks’ tremendous ability to block shots could allow him to make an NBA team’s roster in the future as a defensive specialist, and is a borderline second round candidate that could potentially end up being an effective role player similar to former NBA veteran big man, Mikki Moore in the association.

Other Notes:

Georgia Tech’s 6-9 junior forward, Moses Wright is an athletic, high-motor player that did a good job of scoring in the post and blocking shots, and he also ran the floor to catch a lob pass in order to score on a high-flying alley-oop dunk on the break. He also was able to score on a couple of drives to the basket, and Wright was able to score 18 points and collect 8 rebounds in this game. He had a good showing in his team’s loss to Georgia, and Wright could be a potential second round pick for the 2021 draft.

Georgia’s 6-1 senior guard, Tyree Crump did a very good job of making spot-up threes to help his team space the floor on offense, and he also used a quick ball fake to score on a right-handed drive off the glass. He shot the ball very well in this game, and Crump has the skills to make an NBA team’s summer league roster in 2020.

Georgia’s 6-3, fifth-year senior guard, Donnell Gresham Jr. did a good job of scoring off the dribble, and he also passed the ball well, as he was able to throw an accurate lob pass to set up an alley-oop dunk for a teammate. He is a smart role player that played well in his team’s win over Georgia Tech, and he may have the skills to make an NBA team’s summer league roster in 2020.