Assessing Terrance Arceneaux, N’Faly Dante, and Jarace Walker
November 21st, 2022
By Alan Lu
Yesterday, I decided to watch Jarace Walker and the Houston Cougars play against Kel’el Ware and the Oregon Ducks in an early season non-conference, college basketball game. It was a grind it out, defensive battle in which both teams struggled to make shots or to control the ball, but Houston received strong performances from their freshman swingman Terrance Arceneaux, as well as from their perimeter players to get a double-digit victory over Oregon. Here are my thoughts on how Arceaneaux and other various prospects fared in this game.
Terrance Arceneaux had a terrific showing in this game. He is a very athletic, energetic swingman that played a strong all-around game, and he thrived at making plays on both ends of the floor. He did a great job of knocking quick, spot-up threes off the catch to provide floor spacing for his team on offense. Arceneaux would often make timely outside shots, and he also showed that he can move off the ball to make quick three-pointers from beyond the arc.
Also, Arceneaux was active in scoring on hustle plays. He was able to score off of a swift backdoor cut while getting fouled, and he also scored on a high-flying breakaway dunk in transition another time. Sometimes though, he would try to rush his shots, which would lead him to miss shots or get it blocked in traffic. He was able to show an adequate ability to score off the dribble, and he managed to score on a running, bank layup off the glass once.
Arceneaux also rebounded the ball well, and he did a great job of grabbing offensive boards. He also played very good defense. He did a terrific job of jumping passes to get steals, and he also actively contested a three to force a miss another time.
In general, Terrance Arceneaux played really well to help lead his team to a win over Oregon. He played very well overall, and he seems to have a similar game to former Denver Nuggets’ swingman, Will Barton. If Arceneaux keeps playing well, he could end up being a lottery pick in the 2023 draft.
Oregon’s 6-11 senior center, N’Faly Dante played very well in his team’s tough loss to Houston. He is a very athletic, energetic big man that has improved his overall skill level considerably, and he excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor.
Dante showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays. He caught lob off of a cut, which enabled him to score on an alley-oop dunk early on. He also showed a fairly solid dribble game, and he was able to use crafty ball-handling to score on numerous put backs off offensive rebounds.
He also showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble. Dante was able to drive to the hoop and use a pivot move to score on a turnaround jump hook. Another time though, he missed on a contested fallaway layup, but he appeared to get fouled on the play. He also attempted a contested long two, but missed awkwardly as he took the shot late in the clock.
Also, Dante passed the ball very well. He generally threw accurate passes to notch assists throughout the game. He was able to throw a long outlet pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break. On a drive another time, he drove midway and found a cutter to notch an assist. He did drop a catchable entry pass that led to a team turnover once, but Dante did a good job of passing and handling the basketball overall.
Plus, Dante did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He also played very good defense. He showed a penchant for blocking shots around the basket to help his team protect the paint, and he also swatted a long two early on due to possessing good length, athleticism, and timing. He also managed to successfully challenge a mid-range jumper to force a miss late in this match.
In summary, N’Faly Dante had a strong showing in this game, and he played the best amongst big men that participated in this match. He is a solid interior player that could step into an NBA game right away, and he could end up being a solid pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range in the 2023 draft.
Houston’s 6-8 freshman forward, Jarace Walker had a decent showing in his team’s win over Oregon. Though he ran into some foul trouble, he shot the three-ball much better in this game, and he also made some very strong defensive plays, midway through this match.
Walker shot the three-ball well against Oregon. Though he has struggled with his jumper at times early in the season, he excelled as a spot-up shooter in this game. He was able to take advantage of being given ample time and space to knock down open spot-up threes, and he also made a bank three in the second half.
He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays. After helping his team force a turnover on the defensive end, Walker sprinted down court hard to get the ball to score on a fast break. Also, Walker was able to drive to the hoop to score on a right-handed, jump hook. However, despite showing some solid ball-handling moves, he struggled to score consistently off the dribble, as he had trouble getting enough touch or to finish plays around the basket.
Also, Walker passed and handled the ball well. He is an unselfish player that made accurate passes off the dribble and out of the post to consistently find the open man, and he was able to notch several assists in this contest. He tended to make timely passes, but there was one play late in this game where he passed the ball off with only a few seconds left in the shot clock that later led to a shot clock violation.
He also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball. Also, Walker played good defense in this game. He showed a knack for playing passing lanes to get steals and deflections due to possessing very good hands, length, athleticism, and anticipation skills. He was able to leap up to deflect an inbounds pass and then threw it off the inbounder in mid-air to force a turnover. He also managed to poke a ball away to a teammate to force a turnover that later led him to score on a fast break. Walker also managed to block a shot hard off of a cut. He also contested a three to force a miss. There was one play where he lost track of his man on a cut that led him to give up a basket. He also ran into foul trouble, as he would tend to pick up ticky-tack touch fouls. Generally though, Walker excelled at making plays consistently on the defensive end, and he has the skills and physical tools that could enable him to be a shutdown defender at the NBA level.
Overall, Jarace Walker played fairly well in this game. He will need to show that he can be a consistent shooter on offense, but he is an athletic, skilled swingman that could end up going in the late lottery of the 2023 draft.
Marcus Sasser had a decent showing in his team’s win over Oregon. He ran into some early foul trouble in the first half, so he wasn’t able to make a huge impact early on. While he was streaky with his shot, he was able to make clutch plays on both ends of the floor to help his team get the victory.
Sasser showed an adequate ability to knock down jumpers. While he took a lot of threes and made and missed his fair share, he was able to make several spot-up threes, especially down the stretch. He also showed that he can score in transition, and he was able to jump a pass to get a quick steal, and then drove up court to score on a surprisingly athletic dunk. As the lead ball-handler, while Sasser is an agile point guard that can get his shots up, he struggled to consistently get past his man or all the way to the basket, and he often needed a screen to create separation on offense. As a playmaker, he didn’t seem to make many noteworthy passes and he also did not get any assists in this game, but he is a shot creator that can create shots for himself and his teammates.
He played satisfactory defense in this game. He is an aggressive, feisty defender that consistently gives good effort, and he excelled at jumping passes to get steals. He would sometimes be too aggressive and commit touch fouls, but he generally made solid plays to help his team on the defensive end.
Overall, Marcus Sasser had his ups and downs, but he saved his best for last, as he was able to make a string of solid plays down the stretch to help his team pull away to get the win. He will need to be a more consistent player in games, but his ability to knock down shots and defend could enable him to be a second round pick in the 2023 draft.
Jamal Shead had a fairly solid showing in this game. While he was streaky as a scorer on offense, he showed a decent pull-up game, as he can make them from mid-range and beyond the arc, and he also would drive to the hoop to score at times.
He also is an unselfish player that will kick balls out to shooters to set up scores for them. He also would jump passes to get steals defensively. Overall, he had his ups and downs, but he is an athletic, skilled combo guard that can get his shots up, and he could project into a microwave scorer type of role in the NBA someday.
This was a baffling and very disappointing performance from Oregon’s freshman center, Kel’el Ware. He was virtually non-existent on offense, and aside from making one terrific shot block in the first half, he didn’t seem to do much of anything or significant in this game. Still, he is an athletic big man that showed flashes of his potential at times, and it’s hard to judge or tell how bright his future could be since he’s played so few games in the college season thus far.
Ware took a corner three early on, but missed. What was extremely confounding was how frequent he would pass up open shot opportunities, and Ware was often far too passive on the offensive end. He was able to draw free throws after getting the ball on an energetic roll to the rim late in this game, but it was far too late for him to make any real impact for his team on offense.
He also didn’t grab enough rebounds, but he was able to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he was able to leap up to get a strong defensive board in the second half. Ware played satisfactory defense. He was able to block a shot hard off of a drive to make his presence felt early on. He would defend straight up when defending in the post, and he would use his length and positioning to force misses. He did get beat off the dribble once, but his teammate was able to swoop in to block a shot on that possession, so that didn’t hurt his team that time.
Overall, Kel’el Ware didn’t play well nor asserted himself very much in this game, but it’s still very hard to get a firm grasp or accurate read on his NBA potential right now. He was tremendous at times in the high-school All-Star games, but he also sometimes plays too soft, will show a low motor, and not do nearly enough on either end of the floor at times. If he ends up in adverse conditions in the NBA, he could end up being a fringe backup big man similar to Boston Celtics’ big man, Noah Vonleh, a player that struggled early on and bounced around before finding his footing as a defensive-minded backup center. If he ends up in a favorable scenario and reaches close to his full potential, he could turn out to be a solid, versatile big man similar to Dallas Mavericks’ center, Christian Wood. Ware will need to make a more concerted effort to involve himself more on both ends of the floor. Right now, he could still end up being a mid to late first round pick in the 2023 draft.
Quincy Guerrier struggled in this game, but he was able to make some solid plays at times against Houston. He had trouble making shots consistently, and he especially struggled to make threes, but Guerrier showed that he can draw fouls on strong drives to the hoop, and he also made a deep three in this game. Guerrier also managed to score on a backdoor cut, but he also had his shot blocked another time.
He also defended well. He was able to contest a put back to force a miss. He also successfully drew a charge another time due to good positioning. Overall, Guerrier struggled with his outside shot or to score consistently, but he showed flashes of his skills on both ends of the floor, and he also played energetically and passionately. He will need to be a more consistent shooter or scorer on the floor, but in a favorable scenario, he could end up being a 3 and D type of player like Philadelphia 76ers’ swingman, Danuel House in the NBA.
Will Richardson had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Houston. He is an agile, skilled combo guard that showed versatile scoring skills, and he is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass, but he didn’t pass the ball well in this game, and he was extremely turnover prone against Houston.
He showed a solid ability to score off the dribble. Richardson is a crafty guard that can change directions and use hesitation moves to score around the basket. He also ran off of a ball screen to make a quick three early on to show his shooting skills. He didn’t take as many threes as expected nor make as many of them, but Richardson showed that he can score from anywhere on the floor. He also was able to score on a put back, but missed another time.
Richardson was able to throw some very good, long passes, but he generally threw hasty, inaccurate passes that tended to either get intercepted or result in turnovers. He played adequate defense, and he was able to deflect a pass once. Overall, Richardson showed some interesting skills, but he was far too tentative at times, and he did an astonishingly bad job of passing the basketball in this game. He’s usually known for shooting and passing well, but he did not pass the ball very well in this match, and he was more of a driver than a shooter in this game. Right now, Richardson may be a long shot to be drafted, but he is a skilled combo guard that could end up competing for a roster spot in the NBA next season.
Anyways, those are my thoughts on how Arceneaux and other various prospects fared in the Houston-Oregon game. Thanks for reading.