Assessing Trae Young and Landry Shamet in the Oklahoma-Wichita State Game

December 16, 2017

By Alan Lu

I decided to tune in to watch Trae Young and Oklahoma take on Landry Shamet and the Wichita State Shockers, as it was a good opportunity to see him play against another first round point guard prospect in Landry Shamet, and his team would be going up against one of the best teams in the country.  When I finished watching the game, Young more than passed the test; he scored 29 points and dished out 10 assists to help get his team the victory.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how the other players may rate as prospects for the NBA.

Oklahoma’s freshman point guard, Trae Young had a terrific showing, as he helped lead his team to a tough road victory over Wichita State.  He is a tremendously skilled offensive player that can make shots in all sorts of ways, and he also is a solid playmaker that possesses very good court vision.  Young showed a very good ability to knock down three-point shots from beyond the arc.  He excelled at making pull-up threes, and he can use crossovers and step back moves prior to knocking those down.  He also can make shots with a hand in his face and he has a lot of range on his shot, although he did struggle more in the second half as he has a tendency to take tough shots.

Plus, he also showed a gifted ability to get scores off the dribble.  Young is a quick, shifty guard that handles the ball very well, and he can split double teams as well as score on floaters.  He can regularly get past his man to score on aggressive drives to the hoop, and he also excelled at getting buckets in transition, but sometimes he can tend to force up shots on offense, which can lead to misses in traffic.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills.  Young did a great job of facilitating the basketball, and he showed off very good court vision.  He will usually throw crisp, accurate passes, and he can throw accurate lobs and long outlet passes to set up numerous scores for his teammates.  He does a very good job of passing the basketball off the dribble, and he can often find roll men as he will make very good reads when he is on the court, but sometimes, Young can commit turnovers when he is faced with heavy ball pressure, as he threw a couple of inaccurate passes that sailed out of bounds, and other times he may over-penetrate when looking to make a play on offense.

Also, he did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  Young would leap up to garner defensive boards when he was on the floor.  He also exhibited fairly average defensive skills.  For the positives, Young would play passing lanes, and he managed to heap on a loose ball to collect a steal.  However, he had trouble defending jumpers, as he would either be out of position or be too aggressive, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  In general, Trae Young played really well, as he showed off strong offensive skills to help lead his team to a road victory over Wichita State.  He is a smart, skilled basketball player that can make a lot of solid basketball plays as he plays the game with a lot of poise, and he could end up being a lottery pick in 2018.

Wichita State’s 6-4 redshirt sophomore point guard, Landry Shamet had a rather uneven performance in his team’s loss to Oklahoma.  He had his highs and lows, but he was not able to consistently play well in this game.  Shamet did a good job of getting scores on strong drives to the basket.  He handles the ball well as he can use a crossover and a behind the back dribble move, and he excelled at getting scores and free throws on those types of plays.  Plus, Shamet also managed to score off of a curl cut.

However, Shamet struggled to knock down jumpers in this game.  He did use a pivot make to make an open, pull-up three-point shot, but he had trouble scoring on spot-up threes off the catch.  He did make a contested, pull-up mid-range jumper as he possesses good elevation on his jump shot, but Shamet was inconsistent at knocking down jumpers against Oklahoma.  Shamet flashed the ability to score in the post, as he was able to score on a turnaround jumper, but he missed two other times when he would look to score on the block.

He displayed fairly average playmaking skills when he was on the court.  Shamet showed a solid ability to get the ball to roll men to set up numerous scoring chances for them.  However, he also was quite turnover prone, as he had trouble throwing entry passes to his teammates, and he also stepped out of bounds once off of a drive to the hoop.  Plus, he showed a decent ability to collect rebounds, as he would leap up high to get quick defensive boards for his team.

However, he showcased below average defensive skills.  Shamet did manage to poke a ball away to get a steal.  However, he did tend to commit touch fouls, as he had trouble guarding quicker players defensively.  Also, there was another time where he didn’t quite get to his man, as a teammate guarded his man instead, but gave up too much space, as this lead his opponent to score on a three-point shot.

In general, this was not Landry Shamet’s best game, but he did have some good moments when he was on the floor.  But he struggled to knock down jumpers consistently, and he also committed too many turnovers on offense against Oklahoma.  The concern is that he may not end up being an especially dynamic playmaker at the next level, and this game did not really help his case, but there is still plenty of more games left in the season, as Shamet could end up being a late first to a second round pick whenever he elects to enter the NBA draft.

Oklahoma’s 6-9 freshman forward, Brady Manek had a really good game in his team’s win over Wichita State.  He shot the ball really well, and he even threw down an emphatic jam off of a drive to showcase his athletic gifts.  Manek did a very good job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor for his team.  He really excelled at making spot-up threes off the catch, and he has a quick release that enables him to get his shot off quite easily.  Plus, he also was able to make a three off of a pick and pop play.

Also, he was able to catch a lob pass to score on a fast break after getting down the court quickly.  Manek also can make plays above the rim, as he was able to throw down a dunk off of a baseline drive.  He also defended well when he was on the court.  Manek managed to block a shot inside the paint, and he generally did a good job of contesting shots to force misses.  Plus, he will also play passing lanes.  However, he committed a foul on an opposing ball handler once, and he also got beat on a spin move when defending the post to allow his man to score on a dunk another time.

In general, Brady Manek played very well, as he excelled as a shooter, scorer, and defender when he was on the court.  He did a great job of making jumpers from all over the floor, and he has been a good role player for Oklahoma this season.

Wichita State’s 6-9 senior forward, Darral Willis Jr. had a very good game in a loss to Oklahoma.  He did a very good job of scoring and rebounding the basketball, as he ended up scoring 20 points, and collecting 12 rebounds in this contest.  He did a great job of scoring on hustle plays.  Willis excelled at scoring on rolls to the rim, and he also made a floater on one play.  Plus, he also drew free throws on a put back attempt due to possessing a great motor to get the offensive rebound on that particular possession.

He also did a good job of scoring in the post as well as on drives to the basket.  Willis managed to use a quick spin move to throw down an emphatic dunk, and he also used a quick pivot move to draw free throws on a turnaround jumper.  Willis possesses good footwork and solid athleticism, and he can quickly get past his man when he looks to score from the block.  He also excelled as a scorer on drives to the hoop, and he was able to do so once off of a step through move as he scored using the glass.

He also showed a good ability to knock down jumpers.  Willis was able to make a three-point shot off the catch, and he has fairly good range on his jump shot.   He was not too noticeable as a playmaker.  He did generally handle the ball well, but he did also commit a few turnovers, as he did once lose the ball after handling it once.

Willis did a great job of rebounding the basketball, as he would frequently crash the glass to get defensive boards for his team.  Defensively, he looked to be about average.  He can poke balls away to help get steals and deflections for his team, and he can contest threes as well as shots in the post to force misses.  However, sometimes he can be late on his rotations, and he was also beat off the dribble once to allow a score.  In general, Darral Willis Jr. had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Oklahoma.  He is an active combo forward that can make high motor plays on both sides of the ball, and he could end up being a good addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Oklahoma’s junior center, Jamuni McNeace also had a good showing in his team’s win over Wichita State.  He showed off solid defensive skills and a fairly good ability to finish plays around the basket when he was on the floor.  He is a very athletic big man that did a great job of playing interior defense, as he blocked many shots to protect the paint for his team, as he would especially swat shots on drives.  McNeace leapt up high to make a two-handed block once, and he also blocked another shot ferociously.  His only defensive miscue was he was late to contest a three-point shot, which allowed his man to score from beyond the arc.

Plus, he did a terrific job of rebounding the basketball, and he really would crash the defensive glass to haul in many boards against Wichita State.  He also did an adequate job of scoring on rolls to the rim.  McNeace would often roll hard to the hoop, and he was able to throw down a reverse dunk once.  But he did miss a couple of others, as he would not get a firm grip to catch a lob, and he also missed a dunk in traffic another time.  He did struggle to score in the post though, as he had trouble scoring after using low post moves to get his shots up. 

In this game, Jamuni McNeace really excelled at rebounding and blocking shots, and he also was an active finisher around the basket.  He could be an interesting prospect to keep tabs on, as he could be a potential second round pick in 2019.

Conner Frankamp had a decent showing, as he excelled as a scorer and playmaker when he was on the floor.  He did not shoot the ball as well from downtown and he had his struggles defensively, but his ability to make shots and move the basketball helped his team stay in the game for most of the way.  Frankamp did a good job of knocking down pull-up mid-range jumpers.  He can use a pump fake to get past his man, and he also can make shots after dribbling off of screens.  Plus, he also managed to score on a crafty drive to the hoop.

He also was able to make a pull-up three, and he also drew three free throws after dribbling to hoist up another three-point shot once.  However, he had trouble knocking down spot-up threes, and he would hoist up outside shots from well beyond the arc.  He also passed the ball well.  Frankamp would get the ball to the open man, and sometimes he would kick the ball out to shooters off the dribble to set up numerous scores for them.

However, he struggled defensively.  He had trouble guarding quicker players and he would tend to be late on his rotations.  Frankamp committed a foul on a fast break drive, as this lead to a three-point play for the opposition.  Another time, he hung back too far in the paint, as this play led to an opponent to score on a three-point shot.

In general, Conner Frankamp had a fairly good game, as he excelled at making shots inside the arc, and he showed a good ability to move the basketball.  He did not shoot the three-ball as well, but he did manage to draw three free throws after attempting to get one up from beyond the arc.  As he is a skilled player that could project into a shooting specialist role, he could end up being on an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Wichita State’s senior big man, Shaquille Morris did not have a great game, but he was able to get numerous scores on hustle plays, and he also excelled at blocking shots to protect the paint for his team.  He ultimately did not shoot the ball well and he also had trouble scoring in the post, as he struggled to make shots efficiently against Oklahoma.  Morris showed a good ability to score on hustle plays.  He was able to throw down multiple dunks off rolls to the rim, including one where he caught a lob pass and scored on a strong alley-oop dunk once.  However, he did get his shot blocked on a put back attempt another time.

However, he struggled to score consistently in the post.  Morris did use a spin move to score on a turnaround jumper, but he had trouble getting turnaround jumpers to fall for most of the game, and he even had one shot blocked.  He also had trouble knocking down jumpers.  Morris did make one long two-point shot, but he missed a mid-range jumper, and he missed both of his threes from beyond the arc.  He did show off adequate playmaking skills.  Morris played unselfishly, as he was able to find a teammate on a curl cut to set up a score for him, but he did also commit a turnover, as he threw a bad, inaccurate outlet pass that ended up getting intercepted.

Morris showed an average ability to help his team on the boards.  He also played good defense, as he did a great job of blocking shots around the basket, as he showed a good blend of quickness, leaping ability, and timing to do so.  He will play passing lanes, and he can deflect passes and catch errant passes that are thrown right to him.  Plus, he is a strong, physical player who will hold his ground in the post, which will allow him to force misses.  However, he gave up too much space to an opponent on a switch once, as his team ended up allowing a three-point basket.  Another time, he committed a foul trying to fight through a screen.

In general, Shaquille Morris did not have a great showing, but he did show some solid playmaking and defensive skills.  He will need to be a more consistent low post scorer and jump shooter, but as he has played well this season and has been a key player on one of the best teams in the country, he could be a likely candidate to end up an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Other Notes:

Wichita State’s senior center, Rauno Nurger had an uneven performance, but he did have some good moments in this game in a loss to Oklahoma.  He did make an open three off the catch, and he also was able to score on a quick roll to the basket.  Though he also scored on a jump hook in the post, he generally had trouble scoring on jump hooks.  Nurger did rebound well when he was on the floor.  Plus, he did seem to show adequate defensive skills, as he would be in position to contest a variety of shots to force misses, but on one play, he over-helped on a drive, as his team ended up allowing a three-point basket that time.  In general, Nurger turned in a decent showing, and he could perhaps end up on an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Wichita State’s senior forward, Rashard Kelly was not too noticeable for most of the game, but he did have his moments as he would make energy plays.  He threw down a thunderous dunk on a drive in transition once, and he also blocked a shot in the post.  Plus, he also ran down a quick offensive board due to possessing great motor.  He didn’t really stand out for most of this contest against Oklahoma, but he would occasionally make some solid plays when he was on the court.

Zach Brown did not have a great game against Oklahoma.  He did not look to shoot the ball often, and he ended up being turnover prone when he would look to make plays on offense.  He did make a mid-range shot though off of a pump fake move.  Defensively, he was about average.  He forced an opponent to miss a three-point shot.  But another time, he committed a foul in transition, as that led to a three-point play for the opposition.

Oklahoma’s senior big man, Khadeem Lattin was a non-factor in this game against Wichita State.  He did pretty much nothing of relevance on offense, as he was held scoreless and committed two turnovers on this day.  In the first half, he was hampered by foul trouble and an inability to contribute much on offense.  When he was on the floor, Lattin showed a tendency to get his shot stuffed, and he had trouble getting his shots up.  He traveled on a roll to the rim once, and he had a ball poked away when posting up another time. 

Lattin did rebound the ball well, as he would leap up to get some tough defensive boards in traffic.  Defensively, he was about average.  Lattin did block a shot to prevent an opponent from scoring on a put back, and he would contest threes to force misses due to possessing good length and timing to do so.  However, he had trouble defending his man in the post as well as on drives, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Another time, he didn’t get back to the roll man in time after hedging out on the screen, as this resulted in his team giving up a dunk to the opposition.

In general, Lattin did not play well at all, but that did not really matter that much for Oklahoma, as the rest of their players played well to get the win over Wichita State.  As for Lattin, he will need to be a more consistent player on offense, as he may need to improve his skill level significantly on that side of the ball, and he will need to be a more disciplined defensive player in order to stay away from foul trouble, but as he is currently having a good senior season, he could end up being a likely candidate to end up on an NBA team’s summer league roster.

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