Assessing Grant Golden, Nathan Cayo, and Terrence Clarke
November 30th, 2020
By Alan Lu
I decided to take the time to watch Terrence Clarke, B.J. Boston and Kentucky play against Richmond in a hard-fought, non-conference basketball game that took place yesterday. Richmond really took it to Kentucky early, but after Kentucky withstood their attack in the first half, the Richmond Spiders brought it to them in the second half, and the Kentucky Wildcats collapsed as they ended up losing this game by double-digits.
Kentucky did not play well at all in this game as they didn’t shoot, take care of the basketball, or defend very well in this contest. The Wildcats did not make a single three-point shot, and they committed a whopping 21 turnovers, as they were massively disappointing in their loss to Richmond. Meanwhile, Richmond brought a solid team effort overall, as their quartet of seniors in their starting lineup combined for 55 points, and they also got strong contributions from other various role players. Overall, it was Richmond’s experience, wisdom, and tenacious play that enabled them to get the win in this game. Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared on this day.
Richmond’s fifth-year senior center, Grant Golden put forth a strong performance to lead his team to a double-digit victory over Kentucky. He showed off remarkable passing skills as he was dropping dimes reminiscent of former Chicago Bulls’ center Luc Longley when was with the late ‘90s Bulls’ teams, and Golden also impressed by showing off versatile scoring skills, solid screen setting ability, and he rebounded and defended well enough to help his team get the win.
Golden showed off good playmaking skills in this game. He is a very good passer that excelled at finding cutters to notch a series of assists, and Golden excels at passing from both in the post and out on the perimeter, as he can thread the needle to set up numerous scores for his teammates. He also set plenty of solid screens to help his teammates get open jump shots and driving lanes. However, sometimes he can be a bit prone to committing turnovers every once in a while. When posting up, he had the ball ripped away from him when doubled once. Late in this game, he caught the ball near the sidelines, as he was then called for stepping out of bounds when trying to handle the ball in the backcourt.
He also showed a decent ability to knock down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense. Golden was able to make an open, spot-up three off of a pick and pop play, and he can take advantage of opponents giving him ample room to get his shot off. He did miss on two mid-range jumpers, but that he made a three-point shot is an encouraging sign that he could maybe develop into being a stretch big at the NBA level. He also was able to score on hustle plays. Golden managed to leap up to get an offensive rebound to score on a tip-in once. Another time though, he missed on a roll to the rim.
He also showed an adequate ability to score in the post. Golden managed to dribble to his right after getting the ball on the block to score on a running layup. He also backed his man down and utilized a pump fake to draw free throws on a strong move inside. He did miss on a turnaround jump hook after using a shoulder fake another time, but he was able to score when he has room to score in the paint. While he did manage to score on a strong drive to the hoop once, he missed two other times, as he doesn’t always have his balance when he takes the ball hard to the hoop.
Golden did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He was active at crashing the glass to help his team get boards on both ends of the floor, and he would leap up to get plenty of boards when he was on the court.
Also, Golden played adequate defense in this game. He is a high-motor player that would actively contest shots in the paint to force misses, and he also hustled back to intercept a pass to get a steal another time. However, he also had trouble defending quicker players, as he would get beat off the dribble to commit fouls and allow scores. Another time, he was called for fouling his man when defending in the post due to being too physical, as he was called for a push from behind. He also sagged too far off of a shooter another time to allow his man to score on a long two.
In general, Grant Golden is a smart, skilled big man that has strong passing skills, and he also has the ability to develop into being a stretch big at the NBA level. He will need to improve his ability to create his own shot and defend in the half-court, and he may only be an average athlete, but his high basketball IQ and good feel for the game could enable him to be a backup center in the NBA similar to former Atlanta Hawks’ center, Pero Antic in the association.
Richmond’s 6-7 senior forward, Nathan Cayo also had a solid showing in his team’s stunning upset win over Kentucky. He is an athletic, powerful combo forward that showed off strong inside scoring skills, he defended well, and he played with great poise to help his team get the victory.
Cayo showed a solid ability to score in the post. He has very good strength, which allowed him to back down his man to score on a strong drop step move inside. Late in this game, he caught the ball in the high post, and dribbled in to score on a powerful, two-handed slam while getting an extra free throw. He also showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays, as he can score on cuts, rolls, and put backs.
He also showed a decent ability to score off the dribble. He would tend to favor going to his right, and he would go hard to get scores around the basket, and he also can take on the contact to draw extra free throws simultaneously while scoring the basketball. However, he struggled more when he would try to use dribble moves to score on plays where he wouldn’t have a beeline to the rim, and he ended up having his shots blocked a couple of times.
Though Cayo didn’t take many jumpers outside of the paint, he was able to make an open, pull-up jumper from the mid-range. He didn’t take any threes though, but he didn’t need to in this game in his team’s win over Kentucky.
On the downside, he was quite turnover prone in this game. For the positives, Cayo showed a willingness to find the open man, and he can pass out of the post to set up scoring chances for his teammates. However, he would sometimes over-dribble, which would lead him to commit some turnovers. After driving hard to the rim towards the baseline once, he threw an ill-advised jump pass that got intercepted. He also tended to have trouble handling the ball in traffic, as he would sometimes get the ball ripped away or lose his footing to commit a traveling violation. He also committed a charging foul when driving hard to the hoop another time.
He also did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball. Cayo was active at crashing the glass, and he was able to get his fair share of boards to help his team get rebounds, especially on the defensive end. However, there was one play where he committed an over the back foul when going for a rebound once.
He also played fairly good defense in this game. Cayo would get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections, and he also poked a ball away from an opponent to nearly force another turnover. He also will actively contest shots in the paint, and he has good strength to hold his ground to force misses from opposing low post players. On the downside, sometimes he would not always show much resistance when defending down low, which would lead his team to commit fouls.
In summary, Nathan Cayo is an athletic, energetic combo forward that has strong inside scoring skills, but he will need to extend his shooting range and improve his playmaking skills to increase his odds to make it to and succeed in the NBA. Right now, he is in between forward positions, as he is very undersized to play inside, but he hasn’t really shown the shooting range or perimeter skills to excel as a small forward at that level yet.
Still, his ability to produce and make high-motor plays could potentially allow him to thrive as a role player in the NBA, and Cayo’s strong performance in this game against Kentucky could at least help him get some looks from teams in the second round of the 2021 draft. In a favorable scenario, if he can significant improve his outside shot, Cayo could end up being a similar player to former Golden State Warriors’ forward, Alfonzo McKinnie in the association.
Kentucky’s freshman swingman, Terrence Clarke put forth an uneven performance in his team’s loss to Richmond, but it may have been the best among any player on his team on this day. While he didn’t make a three-point shot, and he struggled with turnovers and defensive miscues, Clarke did show a solid ability to score both off the dribble and in the post, and he was active as a rebounder and defender in this game.
Clarke showed a solid ability to get scores both off the dribble and in the post. He was able to drive to the hoop to score on a powerful, two-handed dunk, and he also managed to score on a quick, crafty floater. He also excels at switching hands to score on smooth layups, and he also managed to score on a step-back, fadeaway jumper in the post. He also showed a knack for taking on the contact to draw many free throws to get to the foul line. However, he did not make his free throws at a high rate, so there were a few free throws that were left unconverted. Also, he struggled more to score on runners, and he also missed a mid-range shot off the dribble.
He also was unable to make any of his three-point attempts from beyond the arc. Clarke especially struggled to make outside shots off the catch. He almost scored on a pull-up three, but he instead was called for traveling for using a double step-back move when trying to get his shot off.
Clarke was also quite turnover prone in this game. For the positives, he can find teammates in transition, and he also can pass out of the post to find open shooters. He can ably create shots off the dribble, and he threw a fancy, no-look drop-off pass to set up a scoring chance for a teammate on the break once. However, he tended to commit ball-handling turnovers, as he had some trouble handling the ball in traffic. He had the ball ripped away on an aggressive drive to the hoop once, and he also was called for a charging foul another time. In addition, he also threw an inaccurate pass that ended up getting intercepted by a defender on a separate possession.
He also did a fairly good job of rebounding the basketball. Clarke was able to chase down a ball to get an offensive rebound, and he also would leap up to get plenty of defensive boards. He also managed to push the ball up the court off of a couple of defensive rebounds in this game.
Defensively, he looked to be about average. Clarke was able to hustle back on defense to take a ball away from an opposing ball handler on a drive on the break to get a steal. He also was able to contest a long two to force a miss, and he also helped press an opposing ball handler in the backcourt to help force a passing turnover. However, he had a tendency to sag to o far off of shooters, which would cause him to allow opponents to score on a handful of three-point shots. On another play, he didn’t hustle back hard enough as he didn’t cut off penetration on a drive in transition, which led his team to allow a score that time.
Overall, Terrence Clarke is a very athletic swingman that operates fairly well as a scorer on isolation plays, and he also can rebound the basketball. However, he will need to improve his jump shot and decision-making ability in games. Right now, he may project to be a candidate to go in the back half of the lottery of the 2021 draft, but his ability to score and make plays on offense could enable him to be a solid, complementary role player in the NBA.
Kentucky’s 6-6 freshman guard, B.J. Boston had a relatively disappointing showing overall, as he didn’t make a three-point shot and was inefficient in scoring the basketball, but he did score 20 points and collect 10 rebounds in his team’s loss to Richmond.
Boston struggled to knock down jumpers in this game, and he especially seemed reluctant to hoist up threes from beyond the arc. The best jump shot he made in this game was when he used a quick crossover to his left and proceeded to use a quick step-back move to make a long, two-point shot, though his right foot had stepped on the three-point line which prevented him from getting another point on the play. Otherwise, Boston had trouble making pull-up jumpers or spot-up threes, and he will need to expand upon his shooting range in order to improve his ability to space the floor on offense.
He did show a decent ability to get scores off the dribble. Boston can finish plays using either hand, and he can score on acrobatic layups around the basket. He also would drive hard to the hoop to draw plenty of free throws to get to the foul line, though he didn’t make free throws at a high rate in this contest.
Plus, he also showed a fairly good ability to score on hustle plays. Boston ran the floor to score on a high-flying, two-handed dunk in transition, and he also was able to score on several put backs due to his ability to get offensive rebounds and score in the paint. Sometimes though, he would miss wildly around the basket, as he did not always finish plays under control when trying to score in the paint.
Also, he displayed fairly average playmaking skills. Boston didn’t look to pass the ball very much, but he was able to throw solid interior passes to set up a couple of scores for his teammates. However, he had a tendency to get the ball poked away to nearly turn the ball over, and he also committed a couple of charging fouls when recklessly driving to the hoop to commit offensive fouls and turnovers.
Boston did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He is a very athletic, energetic player that would often leap up high to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he also was able to get some tough boards amidst crowds.
However, Boston was just not very focused defensively in this game, and he tended to make a lot of mistakes due to his constant ball watching on that side of the floor. For the positives, Boston was able to poke a ball away off of a drive to help his team get a steal. He also was able to close out hard on a couple of jump shots to force some misses. However, he tended to get caught ball watching too often, as he would lose track of his man on cuts too frequently, which would cause him to allow scores to them in the paint. Other times, he would struggle to defend on the ball, as he would sometimes get beat off the dribble, or give up open jump shots. Another time, he didn’t run back hard enough on defense, which led his team to allow a score in transition.
Overall, B.J. Boston is a talented, athletic player that can create his own shot and rebound the basketball, but he still may have a ways to go as a prospect for the NBA. He will need to extend his shooting range to be able to make three-point shots at higher levels, and he will need to be a more focused defender in games. Right now, he may project to be a mid-first round prospect for the 2021 draft, but it’s unclear if that draft stock may be too high for him, as there is still a lot of basketball left to go this season. So far, it’s disappointing that he hasn’t been the shooter or playmaker as advertised, but his athleticism and scoring ability could still enable him to succeed as a complementary scorer in the NBA.
Richmond’s 5-9 senior point guard, Jacob Gilyard played fairly well to help lead his team to a stunning upset win over Kentucky. Though the agile playmaker didn’t shoot the ball well in this game, he excelled as a facilitator and defender to help his team get the victory.
Gilyard did a great job of distributing the basketball to help his team get the win. He is a very unselfish player that thrives at finding teammates on the move, and he managed to throw two behind the back passes to get assists. He is a quick, shifty playmaker that passes well off the dribble, and he also has good court vision that allows him get the ball to his teammates in a variety of ways. He only committed one turnover, and he lost the ball on a drive once out of bounds.
Also, Gilyard defended very well in this game. He showed a knack for taking balls away from opposing ball handlers to get steals, and he is a sneaky fast player that can come up from the blindside to do so. He also was able to run in to intercept a pass to force another turnover, and he did a great job of disrupting his opponents’ field of vision and timing. He also was able to rotate to contest a three to force a miss. Sometimes though, he would be too aggressive in trying to make plays, where he would occasionally misplay balls on steal attempts or be too aggressive in defending off the dribble, where it would lead him to be out of position at times.
On the downside, he really struggled to make shots, especially from beyond the arc. Gilyard missed all eight of his three-point shots in this game. On the plus side, he is a subtly fast player that can quickly score on drives in transition, and he also was able to drive left off of a screen to score in the half-court.
Overall, Jacob Gilyard is a tough, gritty point guard that excels as a game manager when he is on the court, and he did a great job of passing and defending the basketball. He’s very undersized at the point as he is a sub-six footer, and he also doesn’t look for his shot very much. Right now, he may be a long shot to be drafted, but he has very good intangibles, and his solid ability to make team plays could enable him to end up in the association as a Darrick Martin type of player in the NBA.
Richmond’s 6-0 senior guard, Blake Francis had his ups and downs, but he played well in the second half to help secure a win for his team over Kentucky. He struggled to consistently make shots in the first half, but Francis is an agile scorer that was able to get some key buckets down the stretch, and he also defended well in this game.
While Francis didn’t make shots efficiently in this game, he is a quick playmaker that can quickly get to the hoop to score on acrobatic layups around the basket. He also can make threes both off the catch and dribble, but he tended to miss jumpers more than he should have.
He didn’t look to pass that much, but he showed the potential to be able to run the point at the NBA level. Francis was able to drive left off of a screen, as he threw a no-look, behind the back pass to set up a score for a shooter off of a pick and pop play. He also did a fairly good job of finding open shooters in transition. However, he also would sometimes throw inaccurate passes that would go astray, which would lead him to commit turnovers. Francis was able to get rebounds on both sides of the ball to help his team get some boards in this game.
Plus, he also played good defense. Francis would intercept passes, poke balls away, and jump on loose balls to help get steals and deflections, and he also would actively contest jump shots to force misses. He also excelled at taking charges to get stops for his team. However, his lack of size made it tough for him to defend in the post, as he would be prone to committing fouls and allowing scores down low.
Overall, Francis is an athletic, skilled combo guard that can provide some offense, and he also is a better defender than advertised. He will need to make shots more consistently and show that he can effectively run the point at higher levels. If so, he could end up making his way to the NBA as a point guard that could provide some scoring punch there one day.
Kentucky’s 7-0 senior center, Olivier Sarr had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Richmond. He especially played well in the first half, as he operated well as a scorer in the paint, but he struggled with turnovers and defensive woes later on in this contest.
Sarr excelled as a scorer in the post and off of drives to the hoop. He is a solid finisher that can throw down powerful, two-handed dunks to finish plays above the rim, and he also scored on a quick, turnaround jumper from the post. Plus, he also excelled as a scorer on put backs. However, he had trouble making jump hooks or fadeaway jumpers consistently. He did look to take mid-range jumpers, and Sarr was able to make a long two off of a pick and pop play, but he was not able to make mid-range shots consistently in this game.
On the downside, Sarr was quite turnover prone in this game. For the positives, Sarr is a fairly solid screen setter that would help his teammates get open jump shots and driving lanes on offense. On the downside, he tended to hold the ball too long, which would cause him to get the ball stolen away by quicker opponents from the blindside. He also was prone to committing careless turnovers in the post, and he also tended to be inaccurate with his passes.
Sarr did a good job of rebounding the basketball, and he was able to leap up to get plenty of boards on both ends of the floor due to possessing solid length, athleticism, and motor to do so. On the other hand, he will need to improve his defense. For the positives, Sarr was able to rotate to block a shot off of a drive, and he would contest shots when he was in position to do so. He also managed to successfully draw a charge on the break. On the downside, he would tend to sag off of shooters to allow scores for them, and he also had trouble defending opponents off the dribble. Other times, he wouldn’t communicate to his teammates that the screen would be coming, and his team would end up allowing scores on those plays.
Overall, Sarr is an athletic, skilled big man that can score and rebound in the post, but he will need to improve his decision-making ability and defensive skills. Right now, he projects to be a second round prospect for the 2021 draft, and he has the skills to be a rotational big man in the NBA.
Kentucky’s freshman big man, Isaiah Jackson played well in limited minutes in his team’s loss to Richmond. He was not in the starting lineup reportedly due to ankle injury he suffered days ago, but he was still effective as an interior player nonetheless.
Jackson generally excelled as a scorer in the post, and he was active as a finisher around the basket. He also managed to score on a strong, high post drive while getting an extra free throw. Plus, he also drew free throws after looking to score on a powerful dunk attempt in transition. However, he will need to improve his shooting ability, as he missed on a corner three, and he also struggled to make his free throws in this game.
However, he was fairly turnover prone in this game. Jackson is an unselfish player and showed the ability to make passes off the dribble. However, he tended to be inaccurate with his passes. A couple of his passes sailed out of bounds, and he also didn’t have his balance when coming down with an offensive rebound early on, as he threw a hasty pass that ended up being intercepted.
Jackson did a great job of rebounding the basketball, and he has very good length, athleticism, and motor to collect many boards when he is on the floor. He also played decent defense in this game. Jackson is a gifted shot blocker that can swat shots when defending in the post as well as out on the perimeter due to possessing solid length, athleticism, and timing, and he is a solid interior defender that can change shot trajectories when defending in the paint. However, he also struggled more when defending opponents in space, as he would sometimes get beat off the dribble or sag too far off of shooters, and he also lost track of a cutter once to allow a score.
Overall, Jackson is a very athletic big man that could be Kentucky’s best defensive player during the 2020-21 season. He has tremendous shot blocking skills, and he moves his feet well. He will need to play with more focus and cut down on his turnovers on offense. If he can consistently play well this season, he could end up being a mid to late first round pick for the 2021 draft.
Kentucky’s freshman forward, Cam’Ron Fletcher had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Richmond. He was a non-factor on offense for most of this game, and for most of this game, his lone shot was a missed long two off the dribble. He also had a couple of possessions where he had the ball stolen away from him after holding the ball too long.
Fletcher played his best towards the game’s end, as he kept playing hard even when this game was basically decided. He drove aggressively on the break and used a hop step move to score in transition. Then, he managed to score on a quick put back off the glass. Fletcher will need to improve his jump shot and ability to score in the half court, but he is a high-motor player that can thrive as a scorer in the open court and off of hustle plays. He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball, and Fletcher was able to get some tough rebounds in traffic.
Fletcher also looked to be an above average defender in this game. He was able to leap up to intercept a crosscourt pass to get a steal, and he was active in poking balls away to help his team get steals and deflections. He also would rotate to contest shots in the paint to force some misses. However, he would sometimes struggle to defend in one-on-one situations, especially when he would guard opponents in the post. He got backed down very far in the post to allow a score once, and he also made a bad gamble to double off his man that resulted in his team allowing a score at the rim.
Overall, Cam’Ron Fletcher didn’t really have much of an impact in this game, but he played well in the final minutes of this contest when Richmond was far and away the presumptive winner of this match. Fletcher will need to improve his jump shot and ability to operate in a half-court offense. He did show enough potential to suggest that he could potentially be an NBA player one day. Fletcher is an athletic, high-motor player that could project to be a defensive specialist off the bench similar to New Orleans Pelicans’ forward, Wenyen Gabriel in the NBA if things break his way for him sometime down the road.
Kentucky’s freshman point guard, Devin Askew had a poor showing in his team’s surprising loss to Richmond, as he did not make a single field goal, and he only scored two points, as the two free throws he made came fairly late in the first half when the other team was over the limit. He had more turnovers than points and assists, and his lackluster showing, especially on offense may be concerning, as he may be ill-suited to being the team’s starting point guard right now, especially with B.J. Boston and Terrence Clarke being more athletic and gifted shot creators that could be better equipped to run the point for the time being.
Askew did not make a three-point shot in this game, and he struggled to make spot-up threes or to score off the dribble. While he showed the ability to find open teammates to set up scoring chances for them, he struggled to consistently make plays off the dribble. He had a ball poked away on a drive to commit one turnover, and he also committed a charging foul another time. On a separate play, he telegraphed a pass that ended up being picked off by a defender.
On the plus side, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball, and he would sometimes push the ball quickly up the court. Askew also played decent defense in this game. He also was able to jump on a loose ball that his teammate poked away to help his team get a steal, and Askew was active in contesting jumpers to force misses. However, sometimes he struggled to guard quicker players, which would cause him to get beat off the dribble to allow scores.
Overall, Askew did not make a good impression as the team’s starting point guard, and it’s clear that Kentucky in all probability needs a veteran presence that can comfortably run the team at the point. He didn’t threaten Richmond’s defense at all, as he didn’t make many shots, and was quite turnover prone. He’s also not a very good athlete, so he’s not able to quickly get into the lane to generate easy shots for himself or his teammates. While he excelled at the high school level, playing in major college basketball is a significant step up, and he did not seem ready to get this much playing time so early.
All in all, Askew just did not play very well at all, and he will need to play much better moving forward if he wants to remain being Kentucky’s starting point guard this year. Askew will need to shoot better and take better care of the basketball moving forward, but if he keeps playing this badly, it would be doubtful that he would keep his starting job on Kentucky’s team as their point guard this season.