Assessing Ryan Kalkbrenner, Baylor Scheierman, and Tosan Evbuomwan
March 25th, 2023
By Alan Lu
Yesterday, I took the time to watch Creighton play against Princeton in a Sweet 16 game of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Princeton had reeled off surprising wins over Arizona and Missouri, and they featured a solid head coach in Mitch Henderson, as well as a skilled, 6-8 senior point forward in Tosan Evbuomwan, whose strong all-around play had helped his team reel off surprising victories. Meanwhile, Creighton has a very good group of starters that work well and cohesively together, so this would be a good matchup. It was a very competitive game, especially in the first half, but Creighton’s strong all-around play, size, and athleticism proved to be too much for Princeton, and Creighton was able to pull away to get a double-digit win in this game. Here are my thoughts on how the top performers played on this day.
Ryan Kalkbrenner also put forth a superb performance to help lead his team to a double-digit win over Princeton. Creighton’s 7-1 junior center gave opponents fits with his massive size and plus-level athleticism, and his ability to catch high passes and make plays in the paint enabled him to thrive on both ends of the floor.
Kalkbrenner did a great job of finishing plays around the basket. He would consistently catch lobs on rolls to the rim, and he was able to score on a couple of magnetic, alley-oop dunks. He also sprinted hard down the court to score on the break while getting fouled. He also showed off satisfactory low post scoring skills. He would often catch high passes over smaller defenders and get deep position, and he would use strong drop step moves to score around the basket. A couple of times though, he would miss shots in the post, as he wouldn’t always have his shooting touch or balance.
He also displayed adequate playmaking skills. Kalkbrenner is an unselfish player that can pass out of the post, and he was able to find open shooters to notch assists. Sometimes though, he would try to do too much out of the post, and he lost the ball once, and also was called for traveling another time. He also was able to get his fair share of boards to help chip in on the glass.
Kalkbrenner also played satisfactory defense in this game. He was able to block a shot hard off of a drive early on, and he would rotate to contest drives to force misses. On the downside, he struggled to defend opponents more when he would have to guard them either out on the perimeter, or further away from the basket. He would sometimes get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. Another time, he sagged a bit too far off of a shooter, and allowed his man to score on a three-point shot.
Overall, Ryan Kalkbrenner played very well in Creighton’s win over Princeton. He dominated as a force in the paint on both ends of the floor, and Princeton seemed to have no answers on how to guard or score on him. He’ll need to expand upon his skill set offensively and show that he can guard quicker players out on the perimeter more, but his solid ability to make plays on the interior combined with his size and mobility may make him an intriguing option for NBA teams to consider in the late first to the second round range of the 2023 draft.
Baylor Scheierman had a tremendous showing in his team’s win over Princeton. He did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and he also passed the ball well in this game. Scheierman did a great job of knocking down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense. He showed a knack for making spot-up threes off the catch. He has a quick release that enables him to easily get his shot off, has a lot of range on his shot, and he also was able to move off the ball to knock down a three once.
He also used a ball fake to score on a turnaround jumper out of the post, and he also pulled up to make a mid-range jumper from thee baseline another time. Plus, he also managed to score on a left-handed drive early on. He was extremely efficient and crafty in making shots, and he showed a terrific shooting touch as he was able to make shots from all over the floor.
Plus, he also showcased good playmaking skills in this game. He did a good job of throwing accurate passes to find his teammates on the move, and he also excelled at making passes off the dribble to get them the basketball. On the downside, he threw a bad skip pass that resulted in one turnover, and he was called for charging on a drive in transition that led to another. He also rebounded the ball very well. Scheierman also played satisfactory defense, and he was able to hold his ground and contest a shot in the post to force a miss once.
In general, Baylor Scheierman was terrific in this game, and he did a great job of making shots and passes to help his team get a double-digit win over Princeton. He made timely shots time and time again. While he may face questions about his athleticism and ability to guard upper-echelon players at the NBA level, Scheierman is a smart, skilled swingman whose strong offensive skills could make him a solid pick for an NBA team in the second round of the 2023 draft.
Princeton’s 6-8 senior forward, Tosan Evbuomwan had a fairly solid showing in his team’s loss to Creighton. He showed a better jump shot than advertised, and he thrived as a facilitator on offense. On the downside, he struggled to score consistently when he had to create his own shot off the dribble, and he also had some defensive struggles in this game.
Evbuomwan showed a satisfactory ability to knock down jumpers in this game, especially from beyond the arc. He hasn’t shot the three-ball well on the season, so opponents would leave him open, but he was able to knock down a pair of open, spot-up threes off the catch to take advantage of the ample spacing he was able to get on offense. On the other hand, he struggled more to make mid-range jumpers.
He also thrived at scoring on hustle plays. Evbuomwan was able to score on a roll to the rim early on, and he also scored on a put back. He also showed that he can capably score off the dribble as well as out of the post. He was able to score on a floater after dribbling to the post once, and he has a decent first step to the hoop. On the downside, he had trouble finishing in traffic, and he tended to miss on tough, contested shots on those possessions.
Also, Evbuomwan showcased good playmaking skills in this game. He did a great job of throwing accurate, timely passes to find cutters to set up scores for his teammates, and he also excelled at making passes off the dribble to consistently get them the basketball. He made good, smart reads on offense. On one play though, he pushed off when driving to get to the post, which led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover that time.
He also was able to get his fair share of boards, as he was able to get multiple rebounds on both sides of the ball. Defensively, he looked to be about average at best. He was able to get his hands on a pass to get a steal, and he also successfully drew a charge another time. However, he tended to overhelp off his man, which would lead him to be late to rotate back, and it would lead him to give up three-point baskets. Other times, he would struggle to defend quicker opponents off the dribble at times, and he also committed a bad reach-in foul that led him to be in foul trouble in the second half.
Overall, Tosan Evbuomwan had a solid NCAA tournament overall, and he is an agile, skilled point forward that has shown that he can be an NBA player in the future. He’s a facilitator that makes good decisions with the ball in his hands, and he passes and handles the ball well. He’ll need to be a more consistent shooter and will need to show that he can guard upper-echelon opponents in games, but his basketball IQ and versatility could enable him to be a second round pick in the 2023 draft.
Creighton’s 6-7 sophomore forward, Arthur Kaluma had a solid showing in his team’s win over Princeton. He did a good job of tough shots off the dribble from the mid-range. He managed to score on a fallaway, one-handed floater while getting fouled. He also managed to score on a nifty, one-legged, fadeaway jumper. He also used a strong drop step move out of the post to score while getting fouled another time. He’s an athletic, energetic swingman that excelled at creating his own shot to score off the dribble and out of the post, but he was unable to make any of the threes he took from beyond the arc.
He also showed off fairly average playmaking skills. On one good play, he wasn’t quite able to fully catch a high lob pass after getting the ball on a hard cut to the rim, so he made a heads up play by saving the ball to a teammate in the post, who then kicked it out to a shooter to set up a score for him. On the downside, he was called for charging on a drive once, and he also threw a weak entry pass that got intercepted another time.
Also, Kaluma showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball. Plus, he also defended well. Kaluma flew in to make a chase down block a shot off of a drive due to possessing good athleticism and instincts. He also contested a shot around the basket to force a miss another time.
Overall, Arthur Kaluma played well in this game, and he made solid plays to help his team on both ends of the floor. He is a very athletic, energetic swingman that can score and defend when he is on the court. He’ll need to improve his jump shot, but his ability to create his own shot and make hustle plays could enable him to be a solid pick for an NBA team in the second round of the 2023 draft.
Creighton’s 6-4 sophomore guard, Trey Alexander played very well in his team’s win over Princeton. He’s an agile, skilled combo guard that excelled at making shots, and he did a good job of making plays on both ends of the floor.
Alexander shot the ball very well, especially from the outside. He showed that he can make long-range jumpers both off the catch and dribble, and he also was able to knock down a smooth, step back three in this game. He also would score on strong drives to the hoop. He also showcased adequate playmaking skills. He was able to throw an accurate outlet pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break. On the other hand, sometimes he would try to do too much on offense, and he can be inaccurate with his passes, which would occasionally lead him to commit turnovers.
He also was able to get his fair share of boards to help chip in on the glass. Alexander also defended very well in this game. He held his ground when defending in the post to force a miss. When defending in the post another time, he was able to successfully draw a charge. He also applied heavy ball pressure when defending an opposing ball handler, and indirectly helped force a ball-handling turnover.
Overall, Trey Alexander had a strong showing in this game, and he is an agile, skilled combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball. He also excelled at making shots within the confines of his team’s system, and he could be a prospect to watch for the 2024 draft.
Princeton’s 6-4 senior guard, Ryan Langborg played very well in his team’s loss to Creighton. He showed a knack for making deep, spot-up threes off the catch, and he also showed that he can run off ball screens to make quick threes from beyond the arc. He would score on strong drives to the hoop, and he also managed to score acrobatically once. He also was able to get a ball on a dribble handoff to score on a fadeaway mid-range jumper. Plus, he also would score on timely, back door cuts.
As a playmaker, he looked to be about average at best. Langborg was able to throw an interior pass to a roll man to get an early assist. However, he threw an inaccurate bounce pass that went out of bounds another time. On a separate play, he lost the ball as it trickled out of bounds instead.
Also, Langborg was able to get several boards to help his team chip in on the glass. Overall, Langborg is an agile, skilled combo guard that excelled as a shot maker and crafty scorer in this game. He‘ll need to show that he can consistently make shots and reliably run the point at higher levels. While it’s uncertain if he’ll be able to make it to the NBA, he probably played well enough to land himself on an NBA summer league roster in the future, and he could end up having a long playing career in professional basketball.
Creighton’s sophomore point guard, Ryan Nembhard had a fairly solid showing in his team’s win over Princeton. He consistently made good passes and decisions on offense, and he would throw pinpoint passes in which his lobs would set up scores for his teammates at the rim. He also would score on quick, strong drives to the hoop, and he also scored on a floater once. He struggled to make shots from the outside, however, and he wasn’t able to make any of the threes he took from beyond the arc.
Overall, Nembhard is a smart, skilled point guard that can reliably run the team and has above average athletic gifts. He’ll need to be a more consistent shooter and show that he can guard upper-echelon opponents at higher levels, but his ability to run the team and create shots for his team could enable him to be a backup point guard in the NBA.
I also was able to watch the third quarter of the Boulogne-Levallois game against Le Portel to watch Metropolitans 92’s 7-4 center, Victor Wembanyama. He was tremendous in the time span that I saw. From watching this quarter of this telecast, and the highlights and from the games I’ve seen previously of him, it’s obvious that Wembanyama has definite NBA superstar potential, and he’s currently head and shoulders, the best prospect in this draft.
He was scoring effortlessly on fadeaway jumpers from both the post and mid-range, he was able to effortlessly make a three, he was blocking numerous shots off of drives to help his team protect the paint. On top of that, he is a very tall, very athletic big man that has a great shooting touch, terrific footwork, and impressive handles. But the most impressive thing was his strong passing skills in this game. Wembanyama consistently made good, smart, pinpoint passes, and he also made a behind-the-back pass to set up a score for a teammate at the rim. Wembanyama has been excellent for his team all season long, and he looks to be the clear cut choice to be the number one overall pick for the 2023 draft.