Assessing Charles Bassey and Taevion Kinsey

January 15th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Today, I decided to take the time to watch Charles Bassey and Taevion Kinsey play in a competitive, Conference-USA basketball game.  Both of the players are considered to be candidates to be first-round prospects for the 2021 draft, and both of them have led their teams to solid records so far.  It was a hard-fought match, in which both teams struggled to make shots early on, and it was a defensive battle early on.  In the second half, both teams really picked up the pace, as they made shots and scored on high-flying dunks, but Bassey was able to help lead Western Kentucky to defeat Marshall in the end.  Here are my thoughts on how Bassey, Kinsey, and the others fared, as well as where they may currently stack up as prospects for the NBA.

Charles Bassey was one rebound away from a 20/20 performance, and he scored 21 points, and had 19 rebounds and 5 blocks to lift Western Kentucky to a win over Marshall.
(Photo:
Steve Roberts/WKU Athletics, via Charleston Gazette-Mail)

Western Kentucky’s junior center, Charles Bassey had a solid showing in his team’s win over Marshall.  He scored 21 points, and had 19 rebounds, and 5 blocks in this game.  While he missed a handful of shots, he showed some floor spacing skills, and he also played solid interior defense to help his team protect the paint.

Bassey flashed the ability to knock down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  He was able to make an open, spot-up three off of a pick and pop play late in this game.  He did have all day to get his shot off, but he was able to knock it down, nonetheless.  He also was able to pull up to make a mid-range jumper from the left elbow.  He struggled to make threes consistently, but it’s encouraging that he’s shown more of an ability to knock down outside shots this season.

He also generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Bassey was very active at crashing the offensive glass, and he was able to score on a handful of strong put backs after grabbing offensive rebounds.  He also has a pump fake move that he can use to draw defenders in the air, and he would get fouled on put backs to get to the free throw line.  Bassey also was able to catch a lob off of a roll to score on a powerful, alley-oop dunk.  However, sometimes he would rush his shots that would lead to misses, as he missed on a couple of tip-ins, and he also missed on a put back dunk midway through the match.

He also struggled to consistently score in the post.  For the positives, Bassey can throw down powerful dunks when left open underneath the hoop, and he has good hands to catch lobs, and he can finish plays above the rim.  However, he would tend to miss on rushed shots around the basket after looking to score in the post, and he would tend to try to force up tough shots that would lead to misses.

Also, he was fairly turnover prone on offense.  On the plus side, Bassey can pass out of the post, as he will sometimes pass out of double teams to find open shooters, and he also would set good screens to help get teammates open jump shots and driving lanes on offense.  However, he can play a bit too physically at times, which can occasionally get him into trouble.  On one play, he was called for setting a moving screen.  On another, he was called for pushing an opponent in the back when jostling for position off the ball in the post, and those offensive possessions lead him to commit offensive fouls and turnovers.  He was able to spot a teammate on a cut to the hoop, but after throwing it to him, his teammate dropped it out of bounds.

Plus, Bassey did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball.  He has very good strength and motor, as he would constantly outwork his opponents on the glass, and he would often chase down balls to get many boards on both ends of the floor.  He was basically a chairman of the boards in this game, and he helped provide his team with plenty of second chance points on offense.

Adding to that, Bassey also played solid defense.  He did a great job of rotating to block shots in the paint, as he can do so off of drives and when defending in the post, and he would tend to direct balls to his teammates to firmly get stops for his team.  He also managed to leap up to break up a lob pass to help force a turnover, and he also will get his hands on passes to get deflections.  He was active in contesting shots in the paint to force misses, and he excelled at changing shot trajectories and making it difficult for his opponents to score in the paint.  However, he would tend to sag too far off of shooters, which would allow them to score on jumpers.  Other times, he would be late on his rotations when defending pick and rolls or cuts, which would lead his team to allow a couple of scores around the basket.

In general, Charles Bassey had a solid showing, as he primarily excelled as an interior player, but also was able to knock down some jumpers from further out to show his new and improved shooting range on offense.  He helped lead his team to get the win, and he is a first round prospect that could project to be a reliable rim protector similar to Charlotte Hornets’ center, Bismack Biyombo in the NBA.

Marshall’s 6-5 junior guard, Taevion Kinsey threw down some scintillating, high-flying dunks, and he scored 17 points in his team’s loss to Western Kentucky.
(Photo:
Steve Roberts/WKU Athletics, via Marshall University Athletics)

Marshall’s 6-5 junior swingman, Taevion Kinsey had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Western Kentucky.  He struggled to score consistently, but he was able to throw down some really high-flying dunks in this game.  He made some passes, and a couple of bad ones, but he was active as a rebounder and defender when he was on the court.

Kinsey excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He would sprint down court to get the ball, and he did a great job of catching lobs, as he was able to score on a layup, as well as on a thunderous alley-oop dunk on the break.  He also drove up court, and used a spin move to score on a smooth layup on a drive in transition another time.  Plus, he also caught a lob off of a cut to draw a foul on a separate play.  Also, he was able to score on a tip-in after leaping up to grab an offensive rebound, but sometimes he would miss shots wildly around the basket after getting offensive boards.

He also did a fairly good job of scoring off the dribble.  Kinsey tends to favor going to his right, and he can score on quick, graceful layups, and he also threw down a powerful, high-flying dunk another time.  However, sometimes he can be prone to rushing his shots, which can lead to misses. 

Also, he was able to knock down a couple of jumpers to provide some floor spacing for his team, but he generally struggled to make them consistently from further out.  Kinsey was able to dribble to the left to make a pull-up jumper from the mid-range, and he also made an open, spot-up three off the catch.  However, Kinsey did not take enough threes in this game, as he missed on a couple of other spot-up threes, and he tended to miss too many mid-range jumpers off the dribble.

Plus, Kinsey also displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to find the open man, and he can throw solid interior passes to set up scores for his teammates.  He can find cutters to notch assists, and he also threw an accurate lob to set up a score early on.  He also can throw passes off the dribble.  However, sometimes he would play too fast and out of control, which would lead him to commit turnovers.  He would throw rushed, inaccurate passes that would wind up going out of bounds.  Other times, he was called for traveling when driving to the hoop.

Kinsey also was fairly active at crashing the glass to help his team some rebounds.  He was especially active at crashing the offensive glass, but he only managed to get one defensive rebound on the other side of the ball.  He also played fairly good defense.  Kinsey is an active, rangy defender that can pester opponents with his length, athleticism, and agility, and he was able to use his length to bother an opposing ball handler to force his man to commit a shot clock violation.  He also was able to knock a ball away to nearly get a steal, and he also blocked a shot another time.  He did a good job of staying in front of his man to force misses and passes in this game.  On the other hand, there was one play where he was a bit late to contest a corner three, which led his team to allow a score that time.

Overall, Taevion Kinsey played fairly well in his team’s loss to Western Kentucky.  He scored 17 points in this game, and while he was rather inefficient as a scorer, he looked good when he put up points to help his team.  He is a very athletic swingman that threw down some fantastic dunks, and he also showed off some range, playmaking, and defensive skills.  He will need to trust his outside shot more and take more threes in games, but he is an interesting prospect that could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range as a Ricky Davis-type of player in the association.

Marshall’s 6-9 redshirt senior forward, Jannson Williams played very well in his team’s loss to Western Kentucky.  He played well on both ends of the floor, and he is an intriguing prospect that could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA. Williams shot the ball very well in this game.  He primarily excelled as a spot-up shooter off the catch, as he would tend to score on quick threes to provide his team with floor spacing on offense.  He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He was able to score on a backdoor cut, and he also drove in transition to score on an athletic, one-handed dunk.

Also, Williams was able to get his fair share of rebounds, as he was able to get several defensive boards in this game.  He didn’t seem to make any noteworthy passes, but he didn’t turn the ball over, either. He also played solid defense.  He would get his hands on passes to get steals, and he also would rotate to block shots hard off of drives. 

Overall, Williams had a solid showing, as he scored 19 points, and had 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals, and he also made 5 three-pointers in his team’s loss to Western Kentucky.  He may be an underrated prospect, and his size, versatility, and athleticism could enable him to make it to the NBA roster if he is given the chance to compete for a roster spot next season or sometime down the road.

Western Kentucky’s 6-6 senior swingman, Josh Anderson played very well in his team’s win over Marshall.  He scored 22 points on 6 of 9 shooting, and he was able to get 4 steals, 3 rebounds, and a block to help his team get the victory. He is a very athletic scorer that excelled at scoring on aggressive drives to the basket.  Anderson would tend to go hard to the hoop to draw numerous fouls to get to the free throw line often, and he did an excellent job of making shots from the foul line.  He also can score on aggressive drives to the hoop, and he was able to drive in to score on a thunderous, one-handed dunk on the break.  Sometimes though, he would take tough, rushed shots that would lead to misses.

He also showed a knack for scoring off of cuts to the hoop, and he also shot the ball well.  Anderson was able to pull up to make a long two, as well as a three-pointer another time.  He didn’t take many threes, but he was able to show that he can knock them down when he would hoist them up. On the downside, he was a bit turnover prone on offense.  On one play, he was called for a charging foul after trying to score on a drive to the rim, which led him to commit both an offensive foul and a turnover that time.

Also, he was able to get several defensive rebounds to help his team chip in on the glass.  Anderson also played solid defense.  He would jump passes and poke balls away to get numerous steals, and he is a quick, agile defender that has good athleticism and instincts.  He also blocked a shot off of a put back due to good timing.  There was one play though where he sagged too far off of a shooter, which led his team to allow a three-point basket.

Overall, Josh Anderson had a sterling showing in his team’s win over Marshall.  He played well on both ends of the court, and he could look to build off of this to help himself and his team down the road.  Right now, he has not received a lot of draft stock, but he may have the skills to make it as a 3 and D type of role player in the NBA if things pan out for him someday.

Marshall’s 6-9 freshman forward, Obinna Anochili-Killen is a very athletic, high-motor player that showed some solid skills in this game.  He caught a lob pass off of a roll to score on an athletic, alley-oop dunk.  He also made a spot-up three off the catch later on.  He also was active defensively.  He did struggle to score in the post and was foul prone at times, and he seemed to fade into the background down the stretch.  Still, his ability to make hustle plays combined with his versatility as a scorer could make him an intriguing prospect to keep tabs on, as he could be a player to watch sometime down the road.

Marshall’s redshirt sophomore point guard, Andrew Taylor had a satisfactory showing in his team’s loss to Western Kentucky.  He generally shot the ball well, as he was able to knock down quick, spot-up jumpers from long-range, and he also was able to score on a put back.  He struggled more to score off the dribble, but he was able to score on a right-handed drive once.

He did a good job of passing the basketball to get assists, and Taylor would often chase down boards to get rebounds for his team.  He was active defensively, and he would jump passes and jump on loose balls to get steals.  Sometimes he would be too aggressive defensively or when going for boards, which would lead him to commit touch fouls.

Overall, Taylor played fairly well, and though he didn’t really stand out visually, he is a tough, gritty playmaker that would tend to make plays to help his team in this game.  He played well on both ends of the floor, and he primarily excelled as a table setter and rebounder.  He doesn’t have much draft buzz right now, and may need to stay in school at least for another year to build up his draft stock, but Taylor is a smart, skilled playmaker that could project into a backup point guard role in the NBA if things break his way someday.  If he doesn’t end up making it to the NBA, he could likely carve out a lengthy career in the G-League or overseas when his collegiate career ends.

Western Kentucky’s 6-2 senior point guard, Taveion Hollingsworth is an athletic playmaker that can score on aggressive drives to the basket, and he also showed a knack for scoring on pull-up jumpers from the mid-range.  However, he tended to miss too often on floaters, and he would tend to take tough shots that would lead to misses.

He did throw a couple of accurate lob passes off of drives to set up scores for his teammates.  Overall, he didn’t shoot the ball very efficiently, but he showed more poise and playmaking skills than he had previously.  He will need to improve his jump shot and also continue to show that he can effectively run the team at the point.  Right now, he may be a long shot to make it to the NBA, but if he doesn’t make it there, he could end up carving out a lengthy career in either the G-League or overseas when his collegiate career ends.

Marshall’s 5-11 senior point guard, Jarrod West had a disappointing showing in his team’s loss to Western Kentucky.  He was able to score on a couple of drives, but he tended to miss on tough, contested layups.  He was able to make a pull-up three, but he generally struggled to knock down jumpers.  West generally struggled to make shots in general, and he scored just 7 points on 3 of 13 shooting in this game.

He did a decent job of passing and handling the basketball.  West is a ball mover that can find the open man to set up scores for them, and he can throw accurate passes off the dribble.  Sometimes he would struggle to handle the ball when faced with heavy ball pressure, which would lead him to commit turnovers.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He played decent defense, as he was able to jump a pass to get a steal, and he also blocked a three-point shot to force a miss.  However, sometimes he would struggle to guard quicker defenders off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls.

Overall, West did not play well enough in his team’s loss, and though he made some solid plays in the non-shooting or scoring related categories of this game, it was not quite enough to wash away his bad shooting against Western Kentucky.  West is an undersized playmaker that does not possess elite physical tools, and his inability to get good shots up really hurt him on offense in this game.  He does not really look to be much of an NBA prospect right now, but his ability to run a team and compete defensively could allow him to earn a spot on a team in the G-League or overseas when his collegiate playing career ends.

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