Assessing Reggie Perry, Tyrese Haliburton, and Amar Sylla In A U19 World Cup Game

October 16, 2019

by Alan Lu

Recently, I decided to take the time to watch several prospects play in a U19 World Cup game that took place between Team USA and Senegal on July 2nd, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via FIBA. This game featured several players such as Tyrese Haliburton, Reggie Perry, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl from the U.S. side, and Amar Sylla and Biram Faye for Senegal. It was close for a good portion of the first half, but the U.S. squad really dominated in the second half to run away with the victory. Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared in this match, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.

Reggie Perry and the U.S. played well in their win over Senegal in the U19 World Cup.
Reggie Perry had a solid showing in the U.S.’s win over Senegal. (Photo courtesy of USA Basketball at usab.com.)

Mississippi State’s sophomore big man, Reggie Perry played very well in United States’ double-digit win over Senegal. He is an athletic, powerful player that excelled at getting scores in the paint, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball, and he also showed off some playmaking skills when he was on the floor.

Perry did a very good job of scoring on hustle plays. He would tend to score on tip-ins off of offensive rebounds, and he also managed to throw down a strong tip dunk to help his team. He also scored on a powerful dunk off of a roll to the rim early on as he also drew contact from an opponent on that play.

He also showed an adequate ability to score in the post. He was able to utilize a drop step move to score off the glass while getting an extra free throw, and Perry is a physical player that will draw plenty of fouls on his opponents. However, he did miss on a jump hook once, and he also struggled to score on drives to the hoop or on jumpers.

He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. Perry showed off some solid passing and ball handling skills at times, and on one possession, he pushed the pace off of a defensive rebound and threw a no-look, bounce pass to an open shooter to help set up a score for his team. However, he may not always show great hands in games, as he had a ball poked away after getting an offensive rebound once, and he also dropped a catchable pass that ended up being intercepted by an opponent.

Also, Perry showed a very good ability to rebound the basketball. He would frequently leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would bring the ball up off of defensive rebounds.

In addition, he also showed off decent defensive skills. Perry would actively contest shots inside the paint, as he would challenge opponents on put back attempts and in the post to force misses. He also managed to actively contest a turnaround, fadeaway mid-range jumper to get another stop that time. Plus, he also deflected a pass to make it difficult for his opponents to get their passes through.

On the other hand, he had a tendency to be too aggressive in trying to reach in for steals, as that would lead him to be called for reach-in fouls, and another play where he whiffed on a steal attempt caused his team to be in a scramble situation that forced bad rotations and for his teammate to foul an opponent around the basket. He also was caught ball watching another time, as he ended up allowing an open man to score on a dunk late in this contest.

In general, Reggie Perry had a fairly solid showing in helping the United States get a victory over Senegal in the U19 World Cup, as he was able to attack the rim with a vivid ferocity, and he also showed off good mobility and tremendous strength in this game. He was able to overpower his opponents with his ability to score around the basket, and he also showed off some surprising passing and ball handling skills. He will need to improve his position defense, but right now, he is a talented prospect that could potentially be a first round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Iowa State’s 6-5 sophomore point guard, Tyrese Haliburton had an interesting showing in this game, as he showed that he is a pass-first point guard that tended to make smart reads on the floor for Team USA. He’s an old-school, throwback type of player, as he rarely looks for his own offense, but he will often look for his teammates to get them scoring opportunities.

In this game, Haliburton showed that he is a solid playmaker that can be a very good table setter and distributor at the NBA level. He is an unselfish player that has great court vision, and he did a great job of making passes in transition to get a string of assists. He can throw accurate lobs and no-look passes, and he also can deftly weave around defenders when handling the ball. He did commit a couple of turnovers though, as he can sometimes struggle to protect the basketball. On one play, he struggled to turn the corner on a drive, and he ended up having the ball stripped away from him. On another he fell when handling the ball, as he lost his balance and ended up getting tied up by a defender on the play.

However, Haliburton took just two shots the entire game despite having started this contest, and he was held scoreless. He missed two spot-up threes, and he continued to show a great reluctance to shoot the basketball. He seemed unwilling to try to create his own shot, and he also seemed to have a slow release when he would hoist up jumpers.

Haliburton did play very good defense in this game. He is a tall point guard that would effectively use his size and length to make it difficult for his opponents to get their shots off, and he would tightly contest their jumpers to force misses. He’s also a better low post defender than advertised, as he would hold his ground and contest shots to force a wealth of misses. Plus, he also managed to deflect a pass out of bounds to show his activity on this end of the floor. Also, he was able to help out on the boards as he grabbed several defensive rebounds, and he would tend to quickly push the ball up the floor to create transition scoring opportunities for his teammates.

Overall, Tyrese Haliburton is an intriguing prospect, as he is a player that may fit an older era, but the NBA nowadays may be trending towards going for scoring point guards. Haliburton is a very good playmaker and defender, as he does a good job of playing mistake-free basketball, but he rarely takes chances on offense, and has been extremely reluctant to take shots in games. He will need to show that he will be willing to take and make shots in order to force his defenders to play him honestly at the NBA level, so that they will have to treat him as a player that can be a viable scoring option. Right now, he is a second round prospect that may have a chance to be a first round pick in the 2020 draft, and he is a player who has a game that may be sort of similar to current Denver Nuggets’ guard, Monte Morris in the association.

6-9 forward, Amar Sylla from Senegal has been receiving a lot of draft buzz to start the season, as he is a very athletic combo forward that has a variety of skills that could potentially help him at the NBA level. In fact, I had seen a highlight reel of him online in which he showed off tremendous athleticism as well as promising versatility on both ends of the floor.

On the other hand, Sylla has not been tested in professional basketball, as he spent all of last season in the juniors, playing for the Real Madrid Junior Team. As he seemed to largely be an unknown, I spent this time seeing how well he played in this game to get a gauge of his skills.

He generally showed a good ability to score on hustle plays. Sylla has tremendous physical tools, as he was able to score on a thunderous put back dunk off of an offensive rebound, and he also almost scored on a high-flying jam off of a cut that would have counted if his teammate had not committed a double dribble violation. He also ran the floor to score on a layup on the break while getting an extra free throw. Plus, he also managed to drive in from an offensive rebound to draw free throws, as he demonstrated his ability to handle the basketball and take on the contact. However, Sylla can play too wildly at times, as he missed once an awkward, backwards put back layup, and he also missed some easy shots in transition.

Plus, he also showed a good ability to make pull-up, mid-range jumpers in this game. On the downside, Sylla missed all of his three-point shots, and he also had one blocked late in this contest, as he seemed to shoot the ball from too low an angle that time. While he seemed comfortable making shots from the mid-range, Sylla will need to expand his range to improve his ability to knock down threes on a more consistent basis.

Also, he displayed average playmaking skills in this game. Sylla was able to get an assist, and he was able to throw an entry pass to a teammate in the post. Sometimes though, he would throw inaccurate passes, and he also dropped a catchable pass that almost led to a turnover another time.

Sylla did a great job of rebounding the basketball, as he would often haul in boards on both ends of the floor. He would tend to chase down balls to get offensive rebounds, and he also ran in to save a couple of balls by getting them to his teammates before ending up out of bounds due to possessing a good motor. He also would leap up to get a plethora of defensive rebounds for his team as well.

On the other hand, he seemed to have turned in a mixed bag on the defensive end in this game. For the positives, Sylla was able to tip an interior pass to his teammate to get a steal due to making a good read on the ball that time. He also rotated on a drive to block a shot to a teammate due to possessing good instincts, timing, and agility. However, he can tend to be undisciplined and unfocused on this side of the ball, which can lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

He was called for a reach-in foul when defending in the high post, and he also fouled an opponent on the body another time when defending on a drive on the break another time. He also had a tendency to get beat by his man down the floor in transition, and he also took a bad angle as he helped off his man, which led to a scramble situation and for his man to score on a dunk off of a roll early in this game.

In summary, Amar Sylla is a talented prospect that still seems to largely be a question mark in terms of how his game will translate to the next level. On one hand, he is a very athletic combo forward that can make energetic plays on both ends of the floor, and he has shown signs of promising face-up game. On the other hand, he still tends to miss too many make-able shots, and he will need to be a more disciplined defender when he is on the floor. Also, it would help if he can show that he can play well at high-level professional basketball leagues. Right now, he is a talented player that still has a long way to go as a player for the NBA, and he is a late first round prospect that could be a similar player to Golden State Warriors’ big man, Kevon Looney in the association.

Villanova’s incoming freshman forward, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had a fairly good game, as he made some solid hustle plays on both ends of the floor to help the United States get a win in this game.

Robinson-Earl showed a knack for scoring in transition as well as off of broken plays, as he was able to intercept an inbounds pass to score on an emphatic jam in traffic while getting an extra free throw, and he excelled at throwing down powerful dunks to help his team. He also was able to make an open, long two-point shot, but he also missed both of his three-point attempts.

He also made one good pass, as he threw a long outlet pass off of a defensive rebound to help set up a score on the break to show off his vision that time. However, he can be unfocused at times, as he was caught traveling by shuffling his feet on one possession, and he also dropped a pass off of a roll that ended up being intercepted another time.

Robinson-Earl also rebounded and defended well, and he also showed a knack for intercepting passes to nab steals for his team.   However, there was one play where he went too slowly when fighting through a screen, as an opponent made a deep pull-up three on him. Another time, he was called for a reach-in foul when defending an opposing ball handler.

Overall, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is an athletic combo forward that plays with a lot of energy when he is out on the floor, and he also has shown a budding face-up game on offense. He will need to continue to improve his jump shot, but he is a talented player that could be a potential first round pick in the future.

This was also my first time watching 6-9 big man, Biram Faye from Senegal in a full game, as he was on some people’s draft boards last season, and so I was expecting him to have a good game against the United States. Unfortunately, I was not impressed by what I saw out of him in this contest. He tended to drop a lot of catchable passes, he also tended to show poor decision-making skills, and he also missed a lot of shots that he could have made in this game.

He didn’t actually make many shots in this game, which was disappointing. Still, he showed a good ability to score in transition. He was able to score on a powerful dunk as a trailer on the break. He also drove up the court off of a defensive rebound, as he used an overhead ball fake to score on a layup in the open court another time. On that occasion, he showed off solid ball handing skills and footwork, as he was able to get a smooth score on a fast break.

Faye also was able to leap up to get an offensive rebound, as he pivoted to score on a jump hook in traffic. However, he tended to wildly miss shots around the basket after getting offensive rebounds, and he also generally had trouble knocking down jumpers in the paint or from beyond the arc.

He was able to show some passing and ball handling skills, but Faye committed far too many turnovers on offense. On one good play, Faye posted up and backed his man down before finding a cutter to notch an assist. He also pushed the ball up the floor another time to drop it off to a teammate to set up a scoring chance on a separate play, as no one had crowded him. However, he also tended to make silly, mental mistakes that led to frequent turnovers. Faye dribbled off of his own foot out of bounds early on, and he also traveled when attempting to pass out of the post. Faye also dribbled into a trap and tried to pass out before getting intercepted, and he also had a ball ripped away off of a drive another time. In addition, he also showed a knack for dropping catchable passes that would halt the flow of his team’s offense.

In this game, Faye rebounded the ball well, as he would leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he especially showed a knack for crashing the glass to get offensive rebounds for his team. He even managed to push the ball up the floor off of a defensive board to show some ball handling skills, as he can handle the ball when he’s focused.

Also, Faye played fairly good defense in this game. He was able to rotate to block a shot off of a drive to himself, and he also ran in to intercept an errantly throw interior pass to get a steal another time. He also was able to jump on a loose ball to help his team get another, and he also will contest shots and close out hard to force misses.

Overall, Biram Faye made some good plays and some bad plays, but he missed far too many shots and committed too many turnovers to have a positive impact for his team overall in this game. Still, when he’s focused, he can be an athletic interior defender that can get stops for his team. Right now, he may be a borderline second round candidate, but if he plays well this year, he could move up draft boards in 2020.

Other Notes:

6-7 forward, Zlaire Williams made a very solid impression late in this game, as he managed to make some impressive scores and defensive plays down the stretch. Amongst the players that are eligible for the 2021 draft, he looked to have played the best out of them. He was able to make an open trail three in transition, and he also used a quick step back move to score on a long two. Plus, he also would run the floor to score on high-flying dunks on the break.

He also demonstrated some playmaking skills, as he drove on the break and threw a behind the back pass to set up a scoring chance for a teammate. Williams also played solid defense. He was able to rotate to block a three-point shot, and he also would get his hands on balls to get steals and deflections for his team. At other times, he would be late on his rotations, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Zlaire Williams is a gifted athlete that showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also has the potential to be a shutdown defender at the NBA level. He is definitely a player to keep an eye on, as he could be a likely lottery pick in the 2021 draft.

The player that impressed me the most on Senegal’s team may have been their starting point guard, Jean-Jacques Boissy. He is a speedy playmaker that can get any shot he wants, and he is a fleet-footed player that would occasionally make very difficult shots as well as display some very solid court vision at times, despite having a rather mediocre game overall.

Jean-Jacques Boissy is a fairly good shooter that showed a knack for making impressive pull-up threes, and he was able to make his first one from well beyond the arc. However, he also is a streaky shooter that displayed spotty shot selection, as he tended to miss numerous pull-up threes later on, as this could have been largely chalked up to fatigue down the stretch.

He also is a fast player that has a lightning quick first step, as he was able to drive right by his man to score on a quick, finger-roll layup, and he also used a behind the back dribble move to score on a smooth drive in transition another time. However, he also can tend to miss shots in traffic, as he can tend to overtly try to force the issue on offense.

Boissy is an adequate playmaker that occasionally displayed some very good passing and ball handling skills, but Boissy also committed far too many turnovers as the team’s primary ball handler on offense. He can quickly get into the lane to kick balls out to shooters, and he also has the court sense to find trailers in transition to set up scoring chances for them. He also will tend to make good reads, as he can find his teammates open down the court and get the ball to them. His best pass was when he threw a nifty, behind the back pass to set up a score for his teammate on the break. However, he also had moments where he would have trouble protecting the basketball, as he would lose it in traffic when facing heavy pressure. He also tended to make mental mistakes, as he was called for pushing an opponent down when off the ball, and he also committed a double dribble violation. In addition, he also had a tendency to throw hasty passes that would sail out of bounds.

Also, Boissy did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He would run in to get boards, and he also would crash the glass to help his team get offensive rebounds. He also displayed adequate defensive skills. Boissy was able to make a chase down block on an opponent to stop a score in transition due to possessing very good speed, timing, and leaping ability. He also was able to run in to tie up an opposing ball handler after his man fell to force a turnover, and he also jumped on a loose ball to help his team get another steal. He is an active help defender that will make numerous plays on the ball to get stops for his team. But sometimes he can be unfocused, as he was called for a reach-in foul, and he also tripped up an opponent to commit another foul. He also was caught ball watching another time, which led his team to allow a score off of a cut.

Overall, Jean-Jacques Boissy is a promising young prospect that could potentially be a player to keep an eye on in a future NBA draft. He is a talented player that can make difficult shots and passes, and he also is a rangy defender. He will still need to be a more consistent shooter and work on improving his decision-making skills and cut down on the number of turnovers he commits on offense. He may still have a long way to go as a prospect for the NBA, but if he can continue to improve as an overall player, he could perhaps be a similar player to Oklahoma City Thunder guard, Dennis Schroder in the league.

6-5 high school senior, Jalen Suggs had his ups and downs in this game for Team USA, but he was able to make a couple of spot-up threes off the catch, and he also can get quick scores off the dribble as well as score in transition. He also threw a couple of accurate lobs to notch assists, and he also was an active defender that can get steals and blocks. However, he committed a couple of passing turnovers and had a ball poked away that led to another, and he also had some trouble defending opponents off the dribble. Overall, Suggs is an athletic swingman that could project into a 3 and D role at the NBA level, and he could be a player to keep an eye on for the 2021 draft.

6-11 center, Khalifa Diop from Senegal also played fairly well, as he showed a knack for getting to the free throw line, and he also showed off adequate low post scoring skills, as he managed to score on a step-through move due to possessing good footwork. He also excelled at scoring around the basket, as he was able to score on a high-flying dunk in transition. In addition, he also made an open three, and he also used a spin move to score on a layup off of a drive on the break.

Plus, Diop also rebounded the ball very well, and he would actively contest shots in the paint to force misses. However, sometimes he would throw hasty passes that would get intercepted.

Overall, Khalifa Diop is a talented player that has a variety of skills that could prove to be useful at the NBA level. He will need to continue to develop and hone his game but if he can continue to progress as an overall player, he could be a solid prospect for the 2021 draft.

7-1 center, Ibou Dianko Badji from Senegal is an athletic big man that could project to be a solid rim protector in the NBA. He excelled at blocking and rotating to alter shots in the paint, as he would swat them to teammates to get stops. He also would use his length and timing to actively contest shots to force misses, and h also jumped on a dropped pass from a roll man to get a steal.

He also would get scores and free throws around the basket, and he was able to score on a couple of powerful dunks for his team. However, he will need to work on his free throw shooting. He also tended to be inaccurate with his passes which would lead to turnovers, and he also had a ball poked away from him that led to another. Overall, Badji is a player to keep an eye on in a future draft, as he could project to be a defensive specialist in the association.

Alabama’s sophomore guard, Kira Lewis did not play very well for the United States in this game, but he was able to make a couple of solid plays on both ends of the floor. On the downside, he was held scoreless. On the plus side, he passed the ball well, and showed good court vision by being able to regularly pass off the dribble to set up scores for his teammates in transition. He also was able to help out on the boards, and he also defended well. Lewis ran in to poke a ball off of a drive to get a steal once, and he also jumped on loose ball to help collect another. Plus, he showed a knack for contesting threes to force misses.

Overall, Lewis did not have a great game, but he did the little things to help himself in the non-shooting or scoring-related elements of this contest. Lewis will need to improve his ability to make shots consistently, but he is a second round prospect that could be a similar player to E’Twaun Moore if he can make the necessary improvements to his game.

6-8 point forward, Scottie Barnes had his ups and downs in Team USA’s win over Senegal. He struggled to make shots, and he didn’t take many of them, but he did other things well when he was on the floor.

He made only one field goal, as he scored on a contested, pull-up mid-range jumper, but he was unable to score on a couple of left-handed drives to the rim, and he also missed on a tip-in after leaping up to get an offensive rebound.

Barnes did show good court vision as a secondary ball mover on offense, and he also was able to get rebounds, steals, and blocks for his team. He made one impressive shot block by swatting an opponent’s put back attempt from behind due to possessing good leaping ability and timing. But sometimes though, he would commit touch fouls on the defensive end due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Scottie Barnes did not have his best game, but he is a talented playmaker that can run the point if called upon to do so, and he is a rangy defender that can get stops for his team. He may be one of the most talented players in his high school class, and he could be a first round prospect for the 2021 draft.

6-7 guard, Cade Cunningham did not stand out as much as the other players in this game, but he was able to score on a couple of hustle plays, as well as one off of a lob as he scored on an alley-oop dunk on the break. However, he had trouble scoring off the dribble, and he also was unable to make a three-point shot. Cunningham also displayed good playmaking skills. He is a savvy point forward that excelled at throwing long outlet passes to find shooters in transition, and he also has good court vision. He also is a very good defender, as he would regularly play passes and challenge shots, and he also broke up a lob pass that was intended for a player around the basket. He also will aptly contest shots from both out on the perimeter and in the paint force misses.

Overall, Cade Cunningham is a tall point forward that showed off solid playmaking and defensive skills. He will need to improve his ability to shoot and score the basketball, but he is a player to keep an eye on, as he could be a high first round prospect for the 2021 draft.

6-5 guard, Jalen Green didn’t dominate in this game, but he showed off strong defensive skills, as well as a knack for scoring on hustle plays. Green was able to score on an alley-oop dunk on the break, and he would frequently score in transition. He also showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble, as he was able to use a spin move to draw free throws on a runner. However, he also missed on an aggressive baseline drive in traffic. Also, he was unable to make any of his threes in this game.

Green defended very well, as he would frequently intercept passes to get a hoard of steals, and he also defended a drive out on the perimeter before blocking the shot out of bounds. He also would contest jumpers to force misses, and he also used a pull out the chair move when defending a bigger player in the post to get him to commit a traveling violation.

He also showed off adequate playmaking skills. Green was able to hit the cutter to notch an assist, and he also threw a bounce pass in transition to collect another. He generally passed the ball well, but sometimes he had trouble protecting the basketball, which would lead him to commit turnovers on offense.

Overall, Jalen Green is an athletic swingman that excels at attacking the basket to garner scores, and he also is a terrific defender. He will need to improve his jump shot, but still, he is a talented player that could be a lottery pick in the 2021 draft.

Oklahoma State’s 6-4 sophomore guard, Isaac Likekele helped himself by having a good showing with Team USA to help them get the win over Senegal.

He is an athletic combo guard that excelled at scoring on hustle plays, and he also played very good defense. Likekele would run the floor to score on emphatic dunks on the break, and he also managed to score on an acrobatic reverse layup after being left open underneath the basket. He also made a pull-up mid-range jumper from the left elbow. But sometimes, he would miss shots wildly around the basket, as he had some shots that he could have made that did not go in.

Also, he showed off decent playmaking skills. Likekele can find open teammates to set up scores for them, and he also swing the ball to find shooters. He did commit one turnover in this game, as he threw a weak interior pass that was intercepted by a defender.

Likekele also would help out on the defensive glass to get them for his team, and sometimes he would push the ball up the floor.

He especially defended well in this game. Likekele was able to rack back to block a shot off of a drive in transition, and he also will poke balls away to get steals and deflections. He also ran in to try to tie up an opponent after someone had dropped a pass, which helped force a shot clock violation. Adding to that, he will actively contest shots to force misses.

Overall, Isaac Likekele is an athletic combo guard that seems to play bigger than his size, and he played very good defense when he was on the court. He will need to improve his jump shot and playmaking skills, but he is a player to keep an eye on, as he could be a second round prospect for the 2020 draft.

Purdue’s 6-9 sophomore center, Trevion Williams played fairly well to help Team USA get the victory over Senegal in the U19 World Cup. Much like former Purdue player and current Sacramento Kings’ big man Caleb Swanigan, Williams is a skilled, below the rim bruiser that will often look to score in the post, and he is also a fairly good passer and rebounder. But though he may project to be a player that could have a good collegiate career, there may be some serious concerns that his game just may not translate very well to the NBA.

Williams was able to use a drop step and a pump fake move to score in the low post. However, he had a shot blocked another time after attempted to use a pump fake, and he also missed on a contested scoop layup on a separate play. Williams showed a knack for scoring around the basket, and he also was able to score on a quick cut to the basket once. He also excelled at scoring off of offensive rebounds. On the other hand, he did not show much of a face-up game, as he take one shot outside of the paint or look to score much off the dribble.

Plus, he also is a good passer for a player his size. Williams was able to throw a nice pass from the post to find a teammate underneath the hoop, and he also threw a no-look pass from the high post to find a cutter to set up another score. Williams throws solid interior passes as he can pass out of the post, but sometimes he would throw inaccurate passes that would get intercepted or sail out of bounds.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball. Williams doesn’t seem to jump very high, but he is a high-motor player that will crash the glass to often get rebounds on both ends of the floor. He also played above average defense in this game. Williams has good hands, as he can poke balls away, jump on loose balls, and get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections for his team. He also was able to contest a three to force a miss. However, sometimes he has a tendency to be caught ball watching, which can lead him to allow scores off of cuts and jumpers. Another time, he didn’t communicate to a teammate that a screen was coming, which led his teammate to be caught on a screen, which led to a scramble situation, and for another teammate to rotate to foul a player around the basket.

In summary, Trevion Williams had a good game, as he made shots efficiently in the paint, and he also showed some passing and rebounding skills, while he also played some subtly solid defense in this game. However, he also tended to have trouble making shots in traffic, as he may not have much lift. It doesn’t help that he has almost the exact same build and game as former Purdue player Caleb Swanigan, as both players lack elite physical tools outside of possessing very good strength, and Swanigan has been floundering as an end of the bench player in the NBA so far. It’s not expected that Williams’ stock will be very high this year, but if he dominates college basketball, people will be forced to take notice. Regardless of when he enters the draft, he may be a borderline second round candidate for the NBA.