Assessing Devonte’ Graham, Udoka Azubuike, and Kenrich Williams

February 7, 2018

By Alan Lu

I decided to watch a Big 12 basketball game that was played between Kansas and TCU, as this featured two ranked basketball teams that possess numerous prospects that could end up being picked in the upcoming NBA draft.  It was a hard fought, competitive match in which both teams traded leads, but Kansas was able to hold on to get the victory.  With that in mind, I set out to review various prospects’ performances.

Kansas’ 6-2 senior point guard, Devonte’ Graham played very well, and he had a solid all-around game to help lead his team to a close win over TCU.  He would calmly knock down shots and get the ball to his teammates, and he also played tough defense when he was on the court.  Graham shot the ball well, as he did a very good job of knocking down jumpers from all over the court to space the floor.  He can knock down pull-up, mid-range shots with ease, and he also can make threes off the catch, dribble, as well as after running off of screens to do so.

Plus, he also did a good job of scoring on quick drives to the hoop, and he also managed to draw an extra free throw after scoring on a floater once.  But sometimes, he can miss shots in traffic, as he may have more trouble scoring when his shots are tightly contested around the basket, and he also may not possess elite first step to the hoop.

He also displayed good playmaking skills.  Graham did a good job of throwing interior passes, as he will probe the defenses, and he can find open teammates on the move to set up numerous scores for them, but he did end up committing several turnovers, as he would struggle to protect the ball on a couple of drives when handling considerable ball pressure at times.  Also, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Graham was quite active on the glass, and he is an instinctive player that can haul in plenty of boards on both ends of the floor.

He also played good defense in this game.  Graham excelled at collecting steals, as he managed to intercept a pass once, and he also poked a ball off of an opponent to force another turnover.  Plus, he also managed to draw a charge on an opponent when defending a drive in transition.  But there was one time where he ended up getting beat off the dribble, which led his team to allow a score that time.  In general, Devonte’ Graham had a solid showing to help lead his team to a win over TCU.  He is a smart, skilled point guard that can effectively run the point, and he could end up being a worthwhile pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range of the upcoming draft.

Kansas’ sophomore center, Udoka Azubuike played very well, as he excelled in nearly every facet of the game to help lead his team to a win over TCU.  He scored often inside the paint, and he would elevate to throw down numerous powerful dunks to get scores for Kansas.  He also played solid defense, as he would get plenty of stops to help his team protect the paint.

Azubuike did a good job of scoring in the post.  He is a deceptively quick big man that possesses solid footwork, as he can use an overhead ball fake to score on a drop step, and he also used a quick spin move to throw down a powerful dunk another time.  Sometimes, he would miss on jump hooks, but Azubuike did a great job of barreling to the hoop to get scores and free throws for his team.  Also, he was proficient at scoring on hustle plays.  He would throw down strong dunks after rolling hard to the hoop, and he also leapt up to score on a nifty alley-oop dunk once.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills when he was on the court.  Azubuike is an unselfish player that will pass out of the post to hit cutters, and he will move the basketball to help set up scoring chances for his team.  He also managed to set a good, off-ball screen that helped free up a shooter to set up a score once, but he did commit a couple of turnovers in this game, though.  He was called for a double dribble when posting up, and he also lost the ball out of bounds after posting up on a separate offensive possession.

He also did a great job of rebounding the basketball, as he would crash the glass to haul in many boards when he was on the floor.  Adding to that, he also showed off good defensive skills.  Azubuike managed to emphatically block a shot off of a drive after rotating to get to a man in the paint, and he would get his hands on balls to get deflections.  Plus, he excelled at contesting numerous shots in the paint, and he also would contest a mid-range jumper to force a miss, but sometimes, he would struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, as that would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores.  In summary, Udoka Azubuike had a solid showing, as he played well on both ends of the court to help his team get a victory over TCU.  He is a powerful center that excelled as an interior player in this game, and he could end up being drafted in the late first to a second round range on draft day.

TCU’s 6-7 senior forward, Kenrich Williams did not have a great game in his team’s loss to Kansas, but he was able to make shots in a variety of ways, and he also demonstrated some playmaking and rebounding skills when he was on the court.  Though he did struggle to make shots against Kansas, Williams was able to make an open three-point shot, and he also was able to use a step back move to knock down a pull-up, mid-range jumper another time.  However, he really had trouble knocking down spot-up jumpers consistently.

He did manage to draw free throws after driving the ball to the hoop once.  However, he missed another time when trying to score in traffic, and he also tended to commit turnovers off of drives, as he does not possess a great first step to the hoop, and he can struggle to handle the ball under considerable ball pressure.  Also, he was able to get an offensive rebound, but he had his shot blocked on a put back, as he did not show much lift in his attempt to score around the basket on that play.

He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills when he was on the court.  Williams plays the game like a tall, point forward, as he will bring the ball up, and he can find open teammates on the break, and he also can pass out of the post to hit the cutter.  But he also was turnover prone, as he tended to get the ball poked away from him on drives to the basket, and he had some trouble protecting the basketball.  Another time, he also committed a charging foul on a drive in transition.

Plus, he also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Williams hauled in many defensive boards when he was on the court, but there were a couple of occasions where he lost the ball off his hands when looking to obtain additional defensive rebounds.  However, he showed off only average at best defensive skills in this game.  For a positive, Williams managed to block a three-point shot to force a miss.  However, he also would be late in making his rotations, as this would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  In summary, Kenrich Williams did not play very well in his team’s loss to Kansas, but he is still having a solid senior season, nonetheless.  With his skill set, he may likely end up being on an NBA summer league roster this year.

TCU’s 6-11 senior center, Vladimir Brodziansky put forth an uneven performance throughout the game against Kansas, but he did not end up consistently playing well as his team lost by a narrow margin in the end.  Brodziansky showed an adequate ability to score in the post.  He is a mobile big man that has some agility, and he can score on jump hooks, as well as on a step-through move.  But he also missed several shots after posting up on the block.

He also managed to score on a tip in off of an offensive rebound, but he struggled to score often off of these plays, as he would show a tendency to rush his shots.  He also attempted to score off of a cut, but he had his shot blocked that time.  Plus, he also manage to make a three off of a nifty pick and pop play, but he was unable to consistently knock down jump shots to effectively space the floor for his team throughout this contest.

Also, he showed off fairly average playmaking skills when he was on the court.  He did not look to pass often on offense.  But he did manage to set a screen that helped his teammate get open on a jump shot that led his team to score on that play as he rolled to the hoop simultaneously.  He only committed one turnover, but he threw a very off-target pass that sailed far out of bounds on that occurrence.

Brodziansky also did a fairly good job of rebounding the basketball in this game against Kansas.  He was very active at hauling in offensive boards, although he would tend to miss on his attempts to score on tip-ins afterwards.  While he did not grab many defensive rebounds, he did manage to leap up to collect multiple defensive boards when he was on the floor.

He also showed off average at best defensive skills.  For the positives, Brodziansky managed to block a shot off of a drive, and he would contest numerous shots in the paint to force misses.  He also managed to contest a three to force an opponent to miss a shot from beyond the arc.  However, he can give up deep position when defending on the block, and he at times would commit fouls and allow scores down low, as he had some trouble guarding stronger opponents.  He also tended to be late in making his rotations, as that would cause him to allow scores to the opposition.

In summary, Vladimir Brodziansky had his ups and downs, but he was not able to consistently play well when he was on the floor against Kansas.  But he did show that he could potentially have the skills to carve out a niche role in the NBA, as he has the ability to knock down three-point shots, and he also can block shots.  With his skill set, he could likely end up being on an NBA summer league roster this year.

Kansas’ 6-5 junior guard, Lagerald Vick put forth an uneven performance in his team’s win over TCU.  He struggled to knock down jumpers, as he missed all of his three-point shots that he took, but he excelled as a scorer off of quick backdoor cuts to the hoop.  He also showed a decent ability to score off the dribble, as he managed to use a quick crossover move to score from the baseline once, and he drew free throws on a pull-up, mid-range shot.  However, he also had trouble when he would look to score in traffic, as that would lead him to miss shots around the basket.

Defensively, he was about average against TCU.  For the positives, Vick managed to find a loose ball in mid-air that an opponent lost off of a drive to obtain a steal, and he also would deflect passes.  Plus, he managed to contest a three-point shot another time to force a miss.  However, Vick had trouble guarding opponents off of cuts, as he would tend to commit fouls and allow scores afterwards.

In general, Lagerald Vick was able to make some good plays on both ends of the court, but he was not able to consistently play well when he was on the floor.  Still, he is a very athletic swingman that may have significant upside as a prospect for the NBA, and he could end up being a good value pick for a team in the second round range on draft day.

TCU’s 6-7 freshman forward, Kouat Noi really excelled at knocking down spot-up threes off the catch, and he also managed to score on a thunderous dunk off of a drive.  He also generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Plus, he also managed to poke a ball away out of bounds to almost come away with a steal defensively.  Noi is an athletic, skilled basketball player that shoots the ball very well, and he could end up being a solid prospect to keep an eye on in the future.

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