Assessing Ochai Agbaji, Terrence Shannon Jr., and Jalen Wilson

December 18th, 2020

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch Ochai Agbaji and Kansas play against Terrence Shannon Jr. and Texas Tech in an early season, Big 12 conference basketball game.  It was a very competitive, hard-fought match that went all the way down to the wire, and Jalen Wilson was able to set a solid off-ball screen to help Agbaji score on a game winning backdoor cut to the basket off of an inbounds pass from Marcus Garrett.   Wilson then managed to block Shannon’s shot to help Kansas win the game.  Here are my thoughts on how Agbaji, Shannon, and the others fared, as well as how they may rate as prospects for the NBA.

Kansas’ 6-5 junior guard, Ochai Agbaji had a strong showing, as he scored 23 points and made the game-winning basket to lead his team to a 58-57 victory over Texas Tech.
(Photo:
Michael C. Johnson/USA Today Sports, via FOX Sports)

Ochai Agbaji played very well, as he put forth a strong all-around game to lead his team to a win over Texas Tech.  He shot the ball very well from downtown, as he excelled at making a slew of threes off the catch, and he has a quick release that enables him to easily get his shot off.  He also used a nifty, behind the back crossover move to make a step-back, mid-range jumper. 

He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Agbaji ran off of a ball screen to score quickly on a backdoor cut, and he also ran the floor and drove in to score on a high-flying, two-handed dunk in transition.  He also showed a solid ability to score on quick drives to the hoop, and he also showed a knack for using pump fakes and going hard to the rack to draw fouls to get to the free throw line.

He also displayed perhaps above average playmaking skills.  He handled the ball well, and kept turnovers to a minimum.  He also would throw entry passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates, and he was able to recognize a favorable mismatch in favor of his teammate to get him a post touch.  However, he did throw an ill-advised, crosscourt pass that ended up getting intercepted by a defender.

Also, he was able to get his fair share of boards to help his team get rebounds.  Agbaji was active at crashing the glass, as he would chase down balls to get defensive boards, and he would sometimes push the ball up the court afterwards.

Plus, Agbaji also played very good defense.  He hustled back to block a dunk attempt on the break due to possessing very good athleticism and timing to do so.  He also deflected a pass out of bounds another time.  He also would use his length to close out on shooters to force them to miss on three-point shots.

In general, Ochai Agbaji is a very athletic swingman that had a stellar showing in his team’s win over Texas Tech.  He is playing really well this season, and he could end up being a solid pick for an NBA team in the first round of the 2021 draft.

Texas Tech’s sophomore swingman, Terrence Shannon Jr. had a sterling performance in his team’s loss to Kansas.
(Photo:
Mandi McDonald/The Daily Toreador)

Texas Tech’s 6-6 sophomore forward, Terrence Shannon Jr. also played well in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He made solid plays on both ends of the floor, and he played a solid all-around game when he was on the court. Shannon shot the ball very well, especially from downtown.  He showed a knack for making deep threes off the catch, as he can move off the ball to do so, and he has a lot of range on his shot.  He also used a quick crossover move before pulling up to make a three-pointer from way out, and Shannon did a great job of making outside shots in this game.

He also showed a decent ability to score on strong drives to the hoop.  Shannon has a solid first step off the dribble, and he can quickly get to the rim to get scores and free throws for his team.  Shannon also used a quick drop step move to draw free throws by going up strong after posting up once.  Also, he was able to pull up to make a floater from the mid-range.  However, he did miss on an off-balanced runner once, and he also had trouble making pull-up jumpers from the mid-range.

As a playmaker, he looked to be fairly average.  Shannon didn’t seem to make any noteworthy passes, but he was able to set an on-ball screen once.  He also handles the ball well.  However, he doesn’t always look to change directions when he drives to the hoop, and he was called for committing a charging foul when taking it to the rim early on.

Also, Shannon did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He was especially active at crashing the glass to get defensive boards and he was able to bring the ball up once.  He also played good defense.  Shannon showed an impressive ability to successfully draw charges when defending drives and in the post due to good positioning, and he would contest jump shots to force misses.  He also defended a drive out on the perimeter and poked a ball out of bounds due to possessing good anticipation skills.

Overall, Terrence Shannon Jr. is a very athletic swingman that put forth a strong performance in his team’s loss to Kansas.  If he can continue to shoot the ball well this season, he could move up draft boards rapidly, and play his way into the lottery range.  As of right now, he will need to continue to knock down outside shots, but his strong athletic gifts combined with his ability to make plays on both ends of the floor could enable him to be a solid pick for an NBA team in the first round range of the 2021 draft.

Kansas’ freshman forward, Jalen Wilson (pictured wearing #10) had his ups and downs in this game, but he made a couple of solid plays down the stretch, which included a game-saving block to help his team get a big win over Texas Tech.
(Photo:
Texas Tech Athletics, via KUSports.com)

Kansas’ 6-8 freshman forward, Jalen Wilson made two solid plays back-to-back towards the end of the game to help his team pull out a tough win over Texas Tech.  However, for most of the game, he didn’t play very well, as he had trouble getting going on offense, but his clutch play down the stretch helped his team get the victory.

Wilson didn’t take many shots on offense, but he showed off versatile scoring skills when he was able to hoist them up.  He was able to score on a tough, fallaway layup after driving hard to the hoop, and he also drew free throws on a strong drive in transition.  Plus, Wilson also can knock down outside shots, as he was able to make a smooth, spot-up three from beyond the arc.

On the downside, he was quite turnover prone on offense.  Wilson tended to commit ball-handling turnovers, as he would try to do too much at times.  He drove in hard, but fell and got the ball poked away to lose it to an opponent, and he also committed a charging foul another time.  Wilson tended to play too fast and out of control when driving to the hoop, which would result in him committing turnovers.  He also threw a couple of inaccurate passes that sailed out of bounds.  For the positives though, Wilson is an unselfish player that has fairly good court vision, as he can throw long passes and also pass out of the post, and he also set a solid off-ball screen to help his teammate score on a backdoor cut late in this game.

Though Wilson didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, he was able to leap up to get a few defensive boards when he was on the floor.  However, there was one occasion where he didn’t block out his man, which led his team to allow a put back score.

Also, Wilson played solid defense.  He was able to make a game-saving block on a mid-range shot due to possessing good length and timing, as he made a clutch play to help seal the win for his team.  Wilson also was able to jump on a loose ball after his teammate deflected a pass, and he showed a knack for contesting jumpers to force misses.  He also was able to successfully draw a charge when defending a drive.  However, sometimes he would give up too much space to his opponents and would not quite be in position, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Jalen Wilson didn’t have his best game, but he made solid plays down the stretch to help his team get the win.  He will need to learn to play more under control and be a more consistent player on offense, but he is an athletic, skilled combo forward that could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the second round range of the 2021 draft.

Kansas’ 6-5 senior guard, Marcus Garrett had some good moments in his team’s win over Texas Tech.  He struggled to make shots consistently, but he excelled in the non-shooting or scoring related elements in this game.

Garrett did a decent job of scoring on strong drives to the basket.  Garrett can use either hand to finish plays at the rim.  He was able to go to his left to score on a bank shot off the glass, and he also drove right before using an overhead ball fake to his left to score on a crafty layup.  However, there would be times where he would not quite go up strong enough, as he had a couple of his shots blocked.  He did show a good ability to score off of cuts, as he would score and draw free throws on strong moves to the hoop.

He had trouble knocking down jumpers though, as he was unable to make a pull-up jumper from mid-range, and he also missed on all of his three-point shots that he attempted from beyond the arc. Also, Garrett displayed good playmaking skills.  He passes well off the dribble and in transition, and he possesses very good court vision.  He was able to throw a lob to notch an assist, and he also can throw timely passes to find cutters on the move.  He will kick balls out to shooters to get them the basketball, and he is an unselfish player that can set up numerous scores for his teammates.  He did commit one turnover though, as he lost the ball once on a wild drive to the hoop due to recklessness.

Also, Garrett did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball.  He was active at crashing the glass to get numerous boards for his team, and sometimes he would bring the ball up after getting his team defensive rebounds.

He also played fairly good defense in this game.  Garrett was able to jump a pass to get a steal, and he would ably defend in the post as well as out on the perimeter to get stops for his team.  He also hustled back on defense and poked a ball away to nearly force another turnover.  However, sometimes he can be too aggressive on the defensive end, which can lead him being prone to committing touch fouls.  Other times, he may sag too far off his man, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on three-point shots.

Overall, Marcus Garrett had his ups and downs, but he was able to consistently make solid plays in the non-shooting or scoring-related categories, and he is an athletic point guard that has solid playmaking and defensive skills.  Right now, he may be a borderline second round candidate for the 2021 draft, but if he can improve his outside shot, he could end up being an effective rotation player in the NBA.

Texas Tech’s 6-7 freshman forward, Micah Peavy played fairly well in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He is an athletic, high-motor player that would tend to score on hustle plays.  He managed to score on a two-handed dunk off of a backdoor cut, and he also would tend to score on quick put backs after getting offensive rebounds.  He also was able to get the ball down low, and he then used a pivot move to score on a turnaround jumper around the right elbow.  However, he would sometimes rush his shots, which would lead him to get them blocked, and he also did not often look to take jump shots that were outside of the paint.

Also, he displayed average at best playmaking skills.  Peavy is an unselfish player that can find teammates on the move to set up scoring chances for them, and he also can handle the ball in the open floor.  He also was able to set an on-ball screen once.  However, he also threw a couple of hasty entry passes that resulted in turnovers for his team.

Also, Peavy did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was quite active at crashing the glass, and he was able to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  He also was able to get some tough offensive rebounds in traffic, and he was able to provide his team with second chance points afterwards.

He also looked to be fairly average defensively.  Peavy would pounce on loose balls that his teammates would poke and deflect away to help his team get steals, and he would contest shots in the post to force misses.  However, sometimes he would be caught ball watching and sag too far off of shooters, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on three-point shots.  Other times, he would not quite be in position when defending opponents in the paint, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Micah Peavy is an athletic, energetic combo forward that plays bigger than his listed height, and he had a fairly good showing in his team’s loss to Kansas.  Still, he will need to extend his shooting range, and he will need to be far more assertive on offense, as he will need to look to take more shots in games.  Right now, he will need to expand upon his skill set offensively.  Right now, he would project to be a borderline second round pick if he were to declare for the 2021 draft.  He has the skills to project into a 3 and D role at the NBA level, but he will need to significantly improve his perimeter skills, especially since his pro position will be at the small forward spot at the next level.

Texas Tech’s 6-2 junior guard, Mac McClung had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He is an aggressive scorer that has a relentless motor, and he did a good job of scoring the basketball when he was on the court. McClung did a decent job of knocking down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  He was able to make a pair of threes, as he used a jab step to knock one down early on, and he also made a corner three while drawing an extra free throw.  He also excelled at getting fouled when taking long-range jumpers, as he was able to get many free throws due to his ability to draw contact and get fouled by his defenders.  McClung also was able to make a quick, pull-up jumper from the mid-range.  However, he also was a bit streaky with his jump shot, as he would sometimes miss outside shots quickly due to rushing.

He also showed a decent ability to score on quick drives to the basket.  McClung would tend to favor going to his right, and he would often draw fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line.  However, he would also tended to take difficult, off-balanced shots, as he would tend to miss shots in traffic when he would not get foul calls.

On the downside, McClung didn’t get many assists in this game, and he committed more turnovers than collected assists against Kansas.  He did manage to dribble out of a trap, as he threw a crisp, accurate entry pass to set up a score for a teammate once, and McClung can throw some good passes off the dribble.  However, sometimes he would over-dribble, and he ended up throwing a couple of hasty passes that ended up getting intercepted. Though he didn’t grab many boards in this game, McClung was able to chase down a couple of balls to get his team a pair of defensive rebounds.

He also played satisfactory defense.  McClung was able to jump on a loose ball to help his team get a steal, and he also rotated to poke a ball away to nearly force another turnover.  He also would close out on shooters to force misses.  However, sometimes he would be too aggressive when defending opposing ball-handlers, and sometimes he would over-help in the paint and be late to rotate on shooters on the defensive end.

In summary, Mac McClung is an agile, high-motor combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball.  He will need to improve his shot selection and also show that he can effectively run the point on a consistent basis, but his ability to put up points in a hurry could help him make an NBA team’s roster one day.

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