Assessing Trevon Brazile, Jeremy Roach, and Khalif Battle in the Arkansas-Duke Game

December 1st, 2023

By Alan Lu

I took the time to watch Arkansas play against Duke in a competitive, non-conference basketball game that was played on November 29th.  Arkansas was able to get off to a comfortable lead, but they almost let Duke get all the way back, as Duke made a furious comeback attempt to try to get back in it.  But Arkansas was able to cling and hold on to get a narrow win, and they had strong performances, most notably from Trevon Brazile.  Brazile and Jeremy Roach had the best performances in this game.  Here are my thoughts on how he and other various prospects fared in this game. 

Trevon Brazile turned in a magnificent performance to help lead Arkansas to an 80-75 win over Duke.
(Photo: Michael Woods/Associated Press, via High Point Enterprise)

Arkansas’ 6-10 sophomore big man, Trevon Brazile had a tremendous showing in his team’s win over Duke.  He is a very athletic, skilled big man that did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and he showed a knack for making corner threes smoothly.  He also was able to pull up to make a tough mid-range jumper while getting fouled, and he also showed the ability to score on hustle plays and off the dribble.

Brazile also showcased adequate playmaking skills.  He also was able to pass to a cutter to set up a scoring chance for a teammate, and he also did a good job of taking care of the basketball.  Also, he did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He also defended well.  Brazile would block shots hard off of drives to help his team protect the paint, and he also ably contested a three to force a miss.

Overall, Trevon Brazile played very well in his team’s win over Duke.  He is an athletic, skilled big man that especially shot the ball well, and his strong skill set, especially on offense could make him a lottery pick in the 2024 draft.

Jeremy Roach scored 22 points, and he made a lot of tough shots, as the athletic, strong combo guard kept Duke in it for most of the game.
(Photo: Morgan Chu/The Duke Chronicle)

Jeremy Roach had a strong showing in his team’s loss to Arkansas.  He is a strong, athletic combo guard that showed a knack for scoring on strong drives to the hoop, and he also made a tough pull-up three while getting fouled to show off his outside shooting skills to complement his driving game.  Roach was terrific at shooting and scoring the basketball, and he was able to get to the free throw line often.  On the downside, he had some trouble defending shooters in this game, and he fouled a three-point shooter due to over-aggressiveness.  Overall, Roach played very well in this game, and he could end up being a good find in the late first to the second round range in the 2024 draft.

Arkansas’ 6-5 senior guard, Khalif Battle played well in his team’s win over Duke.  He is an agile, skilled sharpshooter that was able to make his presence felt early by running off the ball to make a quick corner three, and he excelled at making a variety of threes, as well as scoring on aggressive drives to the hoop.  Plus, he also showed off adequate playmaking skills, and he would make drive and kick passes to set up scores for his teammates.

Overall, Khalif Battle had a solid showing in this game, and he is an athletic, skilled guard that can shoot, score, and pass the basketball.  He looks to be an underrated prospect, and he could end up being an effective rotation player in the NBA.

Arkansas’ freshman, Layden Blocker is an athletic combo guard that played well off the bench in his team’s win over Duke.  He showed a knack for scoring on smooth drives and quick backdoor cuts to the hoop.  He was able to drive aggressively on the baseline to score smoothly in traffic.  He also scored on a nice dunk off of a backdoor cut.

He also defended well, as he was able to deflect a pass out of bounds, and he is an active, energetic defender that would make plays on the ball to make things difficult for his opponents.

On the downside, he was quite turnover prone.  He would struggle to handle ball pressure, and he would sometimes throw bad passes or make bad decisions that would lead him to turn the ball over.  Overall, Blocker played well off the bench, and he is a very athletic combo guard that excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor, and he also showed the capacity to be a point guard in the future.  He is a talented prospect, and he could end up being a first round pick in a future NBA draft.

Duke’s sophomore big man, Kyle Filipowski had an adequate showing in his team’s loss to Arkansas.  On one hand, he put up good numbers on the surface, as he still had 26 points and 10 rebounds in this game.  On the other hand, he would tend to miss easy shots at times, especially early on, as he struggled to finish some plays around the basket, and he had trouble knocking down threes from beyond the arc.

Filipowski showed a knack for scoring off the dribble and on hustle plays.  He would score on patient drives to the hoop, and he is a high-odor big man that would consistently score on put backs.  He also ran the floor to score on an acrobatic layup.  He was inconsistent as a scorer out of the post.  He struggled to make threes, but he was able to use a pump fake to make a smooth, stepback three once.

As a playmaker, he looked to be perhaps above average.  He showed the ability to pass on the move, and he also is an unselfish player that would make the extra pass.  On the downside, he would sometimes tend to over-dribble, and he would get stripped on drives that would lead him to turn the ball over.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Defensively, he looked to be about average.  For the positives, he was able to block a shot inside, and he would get his hands on passes to get steals.  He also would contest some shots to force misses.  On the downside, he struggled to defend out in space, as he didn’t always move his feet well, and he would get outmuscled when defending in the post, which would lead him to allow scores.

Overall, Filipowski put up good counting numbers in his team’s loss to Arkansas, but it still seemed like he should’ve played better.  He missed some easy shots around the basket at times, and he still has not improved his outside shot.  Still, Filipowski is an agile, high-motor big man that can score the basketball, and he could end up being a first round pick in the 2024 draft.

Arkansas’ 6-6 senior swingman, Jeremiah Davenport quietly played well in his team’s win over Duke.  He did a good job of making open, spot-up threes off the catch, even though he didn’t get many opportunities to shoot the basketball.  He also was able to make a solid drive and dish pass to get an assist.  He also blocked a shot off the dribble to show his defensive skills.  Davenport is a fairly athletic swingman that played well, and he could project into a 3 and D role at the NBA level.

Arkansas’ 6-8 forward, Chandler Lawson had a decent showing in his team’s win over Duke.  He is a fairly athletic, energetic big man that excelled as an interior defender, and he would block shots in the paint to help his team defensively.  On offense, he struggled to consistently score the basketball, as he would sometimes have trouble finishing plays against longer and taller opponents, but he was able to score out of the post and on hustle plays at times.  Overall, he did a good job of making team plays to help Arkansas get the win.  As for his pro future, he will need to improve his outside shot and add more perimeter skills, but he could end up carving out a decent career in pro basketball.

El Ellis had a decent showing in his team’s win over Duke.  He is an agile, skilled point guard that did a good job of passing the basketball to get assists, and he would consistently make good passes and find teammates on the move to do so.  He also showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble, as he showed a solid floater game, and was able to split a double team to score once.  However, Ellis would sometimes miss on tough shots, and he was unable to make any of the threes that he took in this game.

In addition, Ellis also defended well.  He was able to block a shot off the drive convincingly out of bounds.  Overall, Ellis played fairly well, and he is a skilled point guard that could end up competing for a roster spot in the NBA in the future.

Arkansas’ center, Makhi Mitchell had a solid showing for his team off the bench.  He is a fairly athletic, energetic big man that excelled at making shots in the brief time that he was in the game.  He was able to score on a roll to the rim.  He utilized a pump fake to make a mid-range jumper from the right elbow.  He also scored on a nifty, up and under, turnaround layup from the post when matched up against Filipowski.  Overall, Mitchell played well, and he could end up making his way to the NBA someday.

Other Notes:

Tyrese Proctor was up and down in his team’s loss to Arkansas.  He struggled to make shots consistently, but was able to show off a variety of scoring skills, as he has been at his best when taking and making mid-range jumpers.  Still, he didn’t shoot the three-ball well, and he would sometimes struggle to score off the dribble.

He did a fairly good job of distributing the basketball, as he would make drop off passes to get assists, but sometimes he would throw hasty passes that would lead to turnovers.  Plus, Proctor also defended well.  He would apply significant ball pressure, and his length and activity levels would bother and frustrate guards, as he would get his hands on balls to get steals and deflections, and he would get stops and force turnovers.  Overall, Proctor is a skilled playmaker that will need to improve his outside shot, but his ability to run the team and defend could enable him to be a fairly solid role player at the NBA level, and he could end up being picked in the late first to the early second round range of the 2024 draft.

Jared McCain’s performance was a mixed bag in his team’s loss to Arkansas.  He struggled to score consistently, but he would sometimes draw free throws on strong drives to the hoop, and he also made an open three in this game.  He is an unselfish player that can kick balls out to teammates to get them the basketball.

Also, McCain did a great job of rebounding the basketball in this game.  He also defended well, as he would apply significant ball pressure and get his hands on balls to get steals and deflections, and his ball pressure helped force a ten-second violation.  Overall, McCain is a prospect that would likely go in the late first to the second round range.  He’s not an overly explosive athlete, but he is a skilled playmaker that can make plays on both ends of the floor.  His best case scenario comparison may be Boston Celtics’ guard Malcolm Brogdon, and the success of McCain’s pro future at the NBA level may hinge on his jump shot and how much that progresses in the future.

Mark Mitchell didn’t have a very good game, as he struggled to make shots, especially when he would look to take jumpers or score off the dribble, but he was able to finish a couple of plays in the paint.  He defended better, as he would contest threes to force misses, but he also fouled a mid-range shooter that led his team to also giving up a basket. Mitchell will need to improve his jump shot and handles, but he is a strong, athletic forward that is currently a second round prospect for the 2024 draft.

It was surprising that Duke’s freshman swingman, Caleb Foster played so little in this game, especially since he was the one of the stars of the 2023 Champions Classic.  He did once split a double team when driving to the hoop to draw a non-shooting foul, but he didn’t shoot very often and was held scoreless, so it was not a very good game for him.  His playing time has been sporadic and he hasn’t quite been able to replicate the same level of success that he had in the Champions Classic.  Still, Foster is an athletic shooter that has the potential to be a solid NBA player, and he could be a worthwhile pick for an NBA team in the mid to late second round range of the 2024 draft.

All in all, those are my thoughts on how Brazile, Roach, and other prospects fared in this game.  Thanks for reading.

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