Assessing Jarrett Allen, Andrew Jones, Deonte Burton, and Others

February 8, 2017

By Alan Lu

Recently, I decided to watch a Big 12 game that took place between Iowa State and Texas, as this match featured several top prospects for the 2017 NBA Draft in Jarrett Allen, Monte Morris, and Andrew Jones.  I wanted to get another chance to see Allen play, especially since he put forth a terrific showing against Kansas earlier this season.  It was a very competitive game that went all the way down to the wire, and Texas came out on top.  Here are my thoughts on how they and other various prospects performed on this day.

Texas’ freshman big man, Jarrett Allen put forth a solid performance, as he led his team to defeat Iowa State at home.  He excelled as a scorer and rebounder on the floor, and he also showcased very good athletic gifts in this game.

Allen really excelled at scoring on the move.  He showed a great ability to garner scores in transition, as he runs the floor well, and he would leap up to throw down dunks on fast breaks.  He has very good hands to catch balls, as he was able to score on a tip dunk, and he also managed to throw down a jam as a trailer off of a put back.  Plus, he also scored on an electrifying alley-oop dunk off of a roll to the hoop.

Plus, he showed off very good low post scoring skills.  Jarrett Allen showed a deft ability to score on hook shots, as his best score from the block was when he made a running sky hook to demonstrate his footwork, shooting touch, and ability to score after using a fairly advanced set of moves.  Allen showed a great ability to score and draw fouls when he was inside the paint, though there was one play where he appeared to get away with a travel on an apparent double-pivot move.

He also flashed the ability to make jumpers from the field.  Allen showed a good willingness to take them when he was on the floor, and he was able to knock down a mid-range jumper in this game, as showed an adequate ability to make them from that range.  Allen did take two spot-up threes, but he missed both times when he elected to shoot the ball from beyond the arc.

But he showed off fairly average playmaking skills in this game.  Allen did show a willingness to find the open man, as he would get the ball to shooters from the post.  Plus, he would also set screens for his teammates.  But sometimes, he would be inaccurate with his passes, and another time, he had a ball ripped away, which led to some turnovers.

Also, he displayed a good ability to rebound the basketball.  He was active at crashing the glass on both ends of the floor due to possessing very good length, athleticism, and instincts, and he was able to get numerous scores off offensive rebounds.  Allen also showed off adequate defensive skills.  He used his length to force misses, and he also heaped on a loose ball to help get his team a steal.  However, he had trouble guarding quicker guards off the dribble, which led his team to allow a few scores.

In general, Jarrett Allen put forth a strong showing, as he played very well to lead Texas to a narrow victory over Iowa State.  He did a great job of scoring and rebounding the basketball, as he wreaked havoc on the Cyclones all game long.  The way he played in this game, he could be a solid pick for a team in the mid first round, as he could end up being a very good player in the NBA.

Texas’ 6-4 freshman point guard, Andrew Jones also put forth a fairly good showing, as he showed off solid playmaking, rebounding, and defensive skills, and he also displayed great athletic ability as he helped get his team a narrow victory over Iowa State.

Jones showed off an adequate ability to garner scores off the dribble.  He is very fast, as he has great speed that can enable him to quickly get to the hoop, and he has a solid first step to the basket.  He does a great job of drawing fouls on defenders to get free throws for his team, and he also was able to get an acrobatic score around the hoop once.  However, Jones also showed a tendency to rush his shots, as he occasionally would miss shots wildly around the basket.  He also flashed the ability to knock down jumpers in this game.  Jones was able to make a quick three-point shot at the buzzer, as he has good range on his shot.  But he also really struggled to make shots consistently, especially when he would attempt mid-range shots.

Also, Jones displayed fairly good playmaking skills.  He didn’t look to pass much early on, as he hoisted up questionable shots early in the first half.  But Jones really started to settle in as a playmaker as the game wore on, as he made a wide array of sound passes, one which included a pass to Allen on a roll to the rim to set up a thunderous alley-oop dunk at the basket.   But Jones also was inaccurate with his passing on occasion, and he played with a relatively slow clock, as the offense would stall at times.

Jones also rebounded the ball very well.  He would leap up to grab tough boards in traffic, and he would push the ball up court after hauling in defensive rebounds for his team.  He did a great job of pushing the pace when he saw chances to get fast break opportunities for his team, and he excelled as a rebounder due to possessing great athleticism, motor, and instincts to do so.  Plus, he also showcased adequate defensive skills.  Jones possesses quick hands and solid anticipation skills to collect steals for his team.  However, he can tend to have lapses on occasion, which can lead him to commit fouls or allow scores at times.

In summary, Andrew Jones started off slowly, but he played significantly better as the game wore on.  He made a three at the buzzer to close out the first half, and he was able to carry the positive momentum to have a solid second half.  As a result, he showed a good set of skills on both ends of the floor to help get his team the win, and he could end up being a worthwhile pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range of the draft.

Like Jones, Iowa State’s 6-4 senior guard, Deonte Burton had a similarly slow start in the first half, and he ended up playing well as the game wore on.  He struggled to make shots early on, but he later found his rhythm late in the contest, and he also rebounded and defended well in this match against Texas.

Burton showed off a good ability to garner scores off the dribble.  He was able to throw down an impressive dunk on a fast break drive, and he showed a knack for scoring on strong drives to the hoop.  But sometimes, he would shy away from contact, as he would throw up awkward misses on occasion.

But he was rather inconsistent with his jump shot.  Burton did do a good job of making threes off the catch.   However, he missed a couple of pull-up, mid-range jumpers, as he was unable to knock down a shot in that range. 

However, he showed off fairly average playmaking skills.  Burton did show a willingness to make the extra pass, and he tended to make better passes when he would play patiently when he was on the floor.  However, he also tended to make hasty passes, which would cause him to commit numerous turnovers.  Also, he showed a very good ability to rebound the basketball.  Burton collected many defensive boards when he was on the court, as he possesses great strength, motor, and instincts to do so. 

Plus, he also played solid defense.  Burton showed a knack for jumping passes to obtain an absurd number of steals, and he also excelled at swatting shots off of drives due to possessing solid athletic tools and timing.   But there was one especially bad defensive play, as he got beat easily off the dribble once, which led his team to give up a score, and an extra free throw afterwards.

In general, Deonte Burton had a decent showing in a loss to Texas, as he also helped get his team key buckets down the stretch.  Though it was not enough to get his team the win, he showed a diverse skill set in this game, as he could end up being a good find for a team in the NBA.

Iowa State’s senior point guard, Monte Morris had an uneven showing, as he had his highs and lows in a loss to Texas.  He generally passed the basketball well, and he also was active as a defender on the court.  But ultimately, Morris was relatively disappointing in his overall performance, as his play here paled in comparison to his superb showings against Oklahoma State and Kansas.

Morris showed an adequate ability to garner scores off the dribble.  He showed a knack for drawing fouls upon opposing defenders, and he has very good speed and quickness to get to the hoop.  He also managed to score on a floater, as well as on a fast break drive.  However, he also showed a tendency to miss shots in traffic.

He especially struggled with his jump shot against Texas.  This was by far the most disappointing aspect of Morris’ performance, as his inability to make jumpers in this game hindered his ability to be efficient as a scorer.  He did make a quick mid-range jumper off the catch, but he missed all four of his three-point shots, as he was unable to connect on any of his attempts from long distance.

On the other hand, Morris did display solid playmaking skills.  He is a patient, steady playmaker that excels at controlling tempo and limiting his turnovers to a minimum, and he did a great job of getting the ball to shooters to rack up a wealth of assists for his team.  He has very good court vision, and his ability to move the basketball and consistently find the open man certainly helped Iowa State here.

He also was active at crashing the glass, as he was able to collect his fair share of boards when he was on the floor.  Morris would leap up to collect defensive rebounds, and he also collected an offensive board.  He also played very good defense, as he jumped a pass to get a steal, and he also managed to block a shot.

In general, Monte Morris put forth a decent showing in a loss to Texas, but it was relatively disappointing given the circumstances of which he absolutely dominated Oklahoma State and Kansas in previous games that were played in January.  Still, Morris is a steady, reliable playmaker that can effectively run the team, and he could be a good pick for a team in the late first to the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft.

Iowa State’s senior guard, Matt Thomas did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball, as he really excelled as a floor spacer for his team.  He showed a tremendous ability to make threes off the catch, and he also made one off of a screen.  Also, he managed to make a mid-range jumper after using a step back move to create separation from himself and his defender.

On the other hand, he did not show much else aside from being able to shoot and score the basketball.  Thomas did not collect an assist, and he once threw a bad pass that was intercepted.  He also was a bit prone to committing fouls, and he ended up fouling Allen on a put back, which enabled Texas to get two free throws to ultimately win the game.

Right now, Matt Thomas is an interesting prospect, but he may be a bit one-dimensional as a prospect for the NBA.  If he does make it, his calling card will be his jump shot.  He is not likely going to be drafted by a team in the association, but his ability to shoot the basketball likely would give him a shot to earn a roster spot in the NBA.

Other Notes:

Texas’ senior big man, Shaquille Cleare excelled as an inside scorer and rebounder on the floor.  He used his size, strength, and shooting touch to score often in the post, mostly on jump hooks.  He also would finish plays to get other scores around the basket, as he would do so on hustle plays.  Cleare also showed a knack for finding open shooters from the post, and for rebounding the basketball.  Overall, Shaquille Cleare has not had much draft buzz, but he is a low post, scoring big man that could make an NBA team’s summer league roster sometime in the future.

Iowa State’s 6-4 senior combo guard, Nazareth Mitrou-Long showed off solid offensive skills, as he excelled as a shooter and scorer off the dribble.  He showed the ability to make spot-up threes, as well as the ability to make tough shots off of drives to the hoop.  Plus, he also made solid passes when he was on the court.  Mitrou-Long played fairly well, as he may have what it takes to make an NBA summer league team’s roster this year or sometime down the road.

Iowa State’s senior forward, Darrell Bowie had a good stretch in the second half, as he obtained a series of scores around the basket, as his teammates would drive to the hoop to draw in multiple defenders, and Bowie would find himself wide open underneath the hoop.  He even threw down an emphatic dunk to give his team a boost in that time span.  He may be an undersized power forward that has put up pedestrian numbers and has been overshadowed by his higher profile teammates, but his athleticism and ability to provide energy could potentially enable him to make an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Texas’ sophomore combo guard, Kerwin Roach Jr. had an up and down game, but he was able to make some good plays in this contest against Iowa State.  Roach was able to score on a tip in on the break, as he was able to score off of a fast break rebound.  Plus, he generally excelled as a scorer off the dribble, as he would draw plenty of free throws for his team.  Also, he was actively defensively, as he would jump passes to help his team collect steals.

However, he struggled to make jumpers, and he tended to commit touch fouls in this game.  Ultimately, Roach had trouble making shots consistently.  But still, he showed off solid athletic gifts, and the ability to excel as a two-way player at times, and he could be an intriguing prospect to watch in the future.

Overall, this was a very competitive game, as it came all the way down to the wire.  But early at first, it did not appear destined to be so, as Texas played extremely well in the beginning, as Iowa State had trouble guarding Jarrett Allen and Shaquille Cleare, and the Cyclones struggled to make shots early.

But Iowa State later started to make more shots, and made it tougher on the Longhorns to make plays on offense, as the Cyclones started forcing more misses and turnovers.  But ultimately, Texas made enough plays down the stretch to get the win, as Jarrett Allen and Andrew Jones were the main catalysts in helping their team to hold on to get the victory.

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