Evaluating Filip Petrusev, Zeke Nnaji, and Admon Gilder

December 15th, 2019

By Alan Lu

I decided to take the opportunity to watch Nico Mannion and Arizona face off against Gonzaga in a non-conference, college basketball game that took place yesterday. Mannion is a skilled playmaker that has been rated to be a surefire lock to go in the lottery, and there were numerous prospects that could go in the first round that played in this match. Though Mannion started out well, he unfortunately did not have a great game, as he scored just 7 points on 3-of-20 shooting, despite having racked up a solid 10 assists. On the plus side, plenty of other players fared well, and the standout performers were Filip Petrusev, Zeke Nnaji, Joel Ayayi, and Admon Gilder, with Corey Kispert also having played well. Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.

Gonzaga's sophomore center, Filip Petrusev played very well in his team's win over Arizona, and he could be a first round pick in 2020.  (Photo: Jacob Snow/USA Today Sports via SB Nation's The Slipper Still Fits.)
Gonzaga’s sophomore center, Filip Petrusev played very well in his team’s win over Arizona, and he could be a first round pick in 2020. (Photo: Jacob Snow/USA Today Sports via SB Nation’s The Slipper Still Fits.)

Gonzaga’s sophomore center, Filip Petrusev played very well to help get his team the victory over Arizona. He excelled as an inside scorer and interior defender in this game, and he was able to make plenty of solid plays on both ends of the floor.

Petrusev excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He would frequently score on rolls to the rim, as he would often roll hard to score on powerful dunks. He also was able to use a pump fake move to score on another jam. Sometimes though, he can try to do too much when looking to score around the basket, which can lead to misses.

He also can draw free throws when looking to score in the post. On the other hand, he also had trouble scoring on the block, as he had trouble finding his shooting touch on those types of plays.

Also, he was fairly turnover prone on offense. Petrusev struggled to handle the ball when faced with heavy ball pressure, and he also threw a hasty pass that ended up getting intercepted.

He also was able to help out on the glass to get his fair share of boards in this game. Plus, Petrusev played good defense. He did a great job of blocking shots, as he would often swat shots in the paint, and he excelled at doing so when defending in the post to get stops for his team. However, he also would occasionally pick up quick fouls when trying to contest shots in the post due to over-aggressiveness.

In general, Filip Petrusev had a solid showing in his team’s win over Arizona. He is a skilled, energetic big man that can excel on both ends of the court, and he has the skills to project to be a solid role player in the NBA, as he could be a good value pick for a team in the late first to the early second round range of the 2020 draft.

Arizona's freshman center, Zeke Nnaji had a stellar showing in his team's loss to Gonzaga, and he could be a likely first round pick in 2020.  (Photo: Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images via MSN.)
Arizona’s freshman center, Zeke Nnaji had a stellar showing in his team’s loss to Gonzaga, and he could be a likely first round pick in 2020. (Photo: Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images via MSN.)

Arizona’s freshman center, Zeke Nnaji played very well in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. He excelled as an inside scorer and rebounder when he was on the court, and he also made some solid defensive plays late in this game.

Nnaji did a very good job of scoring on hustle plays. He would frequently score on put backs, and he also scored on a tip slam after leaping up to get an offensive rebound once. He also managed to score on a layup off of a roll in traffic. Plus, he would tend to draw many free throws in the post, and he also used a pump fake to score once while getting an additional free throw. But sometimes he would struggle to score in traffic, as he would sometimes rush his shots, which would lead to misses. He also showed a good ability to make open mid-range jumpers off the catch, and he can make spot-up jumpers off of pick and pop plays. He also attempted a three from way out, but he missed that time from beyond the arc.

He displayed fairly average playmaking skills. Though he looked to score quite often, Nnaji can pass out of the post, which would set up scoring chances for his teammates. However, he also can struggle to protect the basketball, which can lead his team to commit turnovers. He had a ball poked away in the post once, and he also dropped a catchable pass that led to another.

Nnaji did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He would often leap up to haul in boards on both ends of the floor, and he would frequently score on and draw free throws off of put backs after grabbing offensive boards to help his team on the glass.

Defensively, he looked to be about average. Nnaji managed to rotate to block a shot when defending in the post ferociously out of bounds, and he did a decent job of swatting shots to help his team protect the paint. He also hustled back to contest a drive in transition to get a stop for his team. However, he had some trouble defending opponents off the dribble, as he ended up getting beat off the dribble a couple of times to allow scores.

Overall, Zeke Nnaji had a solid showing in his team’s loss, and he is an athletic, high-motor big man that can score and rebound the basketball. He had the best game amongst players on his team on this day, and he is an intriguing prospect that could be a good value pick in the late first round range of the upcoming draft, as he has the skills to be a solid role player in the NBA.

Gonzaga's redshirt senior guard, Admon Gilder had his best game since his performance against his old team, Texas A&M, and Gilder could be a second round pick in 2020.   (Photo: Jacob Snow/USA Today Sports via SB Nation's The Slipper Still Fits.)
Gonzaga’s redshirt senior guard, Admon Gilder had his best game since his performance against his old team, Texas A&M, and Gilder could be a second round pick in 2020. (Photo: Jacob Snow/USA Today Sports via SB Nation’s The Slipper Still Fits.)

Gonzaga’s redshirt senior guard, Admon Gilder played very well to help get his team the victory over Arizona. He shot the ball very well, and he also made some very solid passes to help get his team the win.

Gilder did a great job of making spot-up threes off the catch to provide floor spacing for his team. He struggled more to score off the dribble, but his ability to make jump shots helped open things up for his team. He also is a good interior passer, as he would throw lobs to find Petrusev on rolls to the rim to set up alley-oop dunks for him, and Gilder also pushed the pace to find an open man ahead to set up a score on the break. He did commit one turnover, as he had a ball poked away when handling it due to carelessness.

Plus, he also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He hauled in numerous defensive rebounds, and he would sometimes push the ball up the court to help create fast breaks for his team. Defensively, Gilder looked to be about average. He was able to run down a ball to intercept a pass to get a steal. On the other hand, he was prone to fouling opponents after they would catch passes, and he also committed a foul on a drive after getting beat off the dribble another time.

In summary, Admon Gilder played very well, as he excelled as a shooter and facilitator in this game against Arizona. This may have been the best game he’s had since he played against his former team, Texas A&M a month ago, and Gilder has always been a skilled combo guard that can contribute in many ways in games. He hasn’t been the most consistent player, but when he’s making shots, it can really allow him to get into a groove and settle into the game. Right now, he may be a borderline second round prospect, but if things break his way, he could end up making an NBA team’s roster as a 3 and D type of role player in the association.

Arizona's freshman point guard, Nico Mannion had a rough outing as he struggled mightily to make shots in his team's loss to Gonzaga.  (Photo: Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images via SB Nation's Arizona Desert Swarm.)
Arizona’s freshman point guard, Nico Mannion had a rough outing as he struggled mightily to make shots in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. (Photo: Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images via SB Nation’s Arizona Desert Swarm.)

Arizona’s freshman point guard, Nico Mannion struggled in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. Early on, he excelled as a facilitator, but he had trouble making shots throughout this contest, and he also committed several turnovers on offense.

He struggled often to make shots, but he was occasionally able to score on left-handed drives to the hoop, and Mannion also made a pull-up three late in the game. However, he really struggled to make threes, as he had trouble making wide-open shots, and he often was unable to connect on runners off the dribble. He doesn’t possess overwhelming foot-speed, but in previous games, he would make enough shots, and his very good playmaking skills, creativity, and feel for the game would allow him to excel on offense. In this game, he had trouble scoring, so defenses were able to collapse on him in the paint and they sagged off of him to let him to take open jumpers that would lead to misses.

Mannion displayed solid playmaking skills. He is a patient player that will probe the defenses, and he also throws solid interior passes that enables him to set up a wealth of scores for his teammates. He does a good job of finding teammates on the move, but he would sometimes over-dribble and mishandle the basketball, and he also threw a couple of passes that ended up being intercepted by his defenders.

Though he didn’t grab many rebounds, Mannion was able to grab a couple of defensive boards to help his team on the floor. He also played fairly average defense. He ran in to poke a ball away from an opposing ball handler late in the game to get a steal, and he also ran back to contest a drive in transition to force a miss another time. However, he also had trouble fighting through screens, which would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Nico Mannion didn’t have his best game, but he still was able to have some good moments in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. He showed off solid playmaking skills, but he was unable to make many shots in this match, as he really struggled to shoot or score the basketball. Right now, he will need to get his jump shot back to help his team more on the offensive end. Currently, he may project to go in the late lottery, but his offensive skills could allow him to be a solid role player in the NBA.

Arizona’s freshman guard, Josh Green had an adequate showing in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. Though he didn’t make shots consistently, he was able to attack the basket to garner scores, as he played better towards the end, and he also played solid defense in this game.

Green excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He was able to get the ball on a cut to the hoop, and he leapt up to score on a high-flying, alley-oop dunk that time. He also did a good job of knocking down pull-up mid-range jumpers, and he also showed an adequate ability to score off of drives, as he can make floaters, and draw fouls upon his defenders. However, sometimes he would miss on off-balanced runners, and he can struggle to score in traffic. Green did make an open spot-up three off the catch, but he had trouble making long-range jumpers consistently from beyond the arc.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills. Green can kick balls out to shooters off the dribble to set up scoring chances for them, and he can find teammates on the move. He also was able to get his fair share of boards, as he would leap up to get defensive rebounds when he was on the floor.

Also, Green played decent defense. He showed a knack for intercepting passes to get steals, and he would also use his length and positioning to contest jumpers to force misses. He did commit a foul when defending a bigger player in the post though, and he would sometimes sag too far off his man when guarding shooters, which would occasionally cause him to allow them to score on jumpers.

Overall, Josh Green had his ups and downs, but he was able to make some solid plays in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. Green is a skilled swingman that could project to be a 3 and D type of player in the NBA, and he could likely end up being selected by a team in the mid to late first round range on draft day.

Gonzaga’s 6-10 senior big man, Killian Tillie did not play nearly as well as he did against Washington, but he still was able to do some good things in his team’s win over Arizona.

Though he struggled to make jumpers, Tillie was able to make an open, spot-up three off of a pick and pop play, and he showed some ability to shoot on the move. He also can score in the post, as Tillie managed to score on a running jump hook, and he also would draw free throws when looking to score around the basket. However, sometimes he would not always go up strong when trying to score off the dribble in traffic, which would lead him to miss shots.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills. Tillie is a very good passer from the post, as he would find cutters quickly to rack up assists, and he is an unselfish player that can often find the open man. On the downside, he did commit one turnover, as he threw an inaccurate entry pass that ended up skipping out of bounds.

Though he didn’t grab many rebounds for a player his size, he was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor, as he would leap up to get them at times. However, he also committed a foul when going for a defensive rebound another time.

Defensively, he looked to be about average. Tillie was able to block a shot ferociously off of a put back, and he also managed to contest a shot in the post to force a miss. However, he would tend to give up deep position when defending in the post, which would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores. Also, he would be late to rotate on switches when guarding shooters, which would cause his team to allow three-point baskets to the opposition.

Overall, Killian Tillie didn’t have his best game, but he still showed that he is a mobile, skilled combo forward that can score in a variety of ways, and he is a good passer for a player his size. He’s been injury-prone throughout his collegiate career, but he can be a dynamic offensive player when he is on the floor. Right now, he may be a second round prospect, but his ability to contribute in a variety of ways, could allow him to be an effective role player at the next level.

Others:

Gonzaga’s 6-5 redshirt sophomore guard, Joel Ayayi played very well in his team’s win over Arizona. He excelled at shooting and scoring the basketball, as he would score on strong drives to the hoop, and he also can make threes off the catch and dribble. Plus, he also ran in to score on a tip-in after getting an offensive rebound, while also drawing an extra free throw afterwards.

He also is an unselfish player that can find teammates on the move, which netted him a lot of assists in this game, and he would run in and leap up to crash the glass to help his team get numerous rebounds. Defensively, he looked to be about average in this game. He has good footwork to trap opposing ball handlers, and he also contested a three to force a miss, but sometimes he would have lapses defensively, which would cause his team to allow scores.

Overall, Joel Ayayi had a stellar showing in his team’s victory over Arizona, and he is an athletic, skilled swingman that has flown under the radar as a draft prospect. Still, he has a lot of skills that could prove to be useful at the next level, and he could be a player to watch in the future.

Gonzaga’s 6-7 junior forward, Corey Kispert showed a good ability to score off the dribble and in transition, as he can finish plays using either hand and pull up to knock down mid-range jumpers to garner scores for his team. He also made a couple of spot-up threes, and he can run off ball screens to do so, but he struggled to make three-point shots consistently. Defensively though, he would sometimes trail his man on plays, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Kispert is a skilled swingman that can shoot and score the basketball. Right now, he may be a second round prospect, but he has the skills to project into a shooting specialist role in the NBA.

Arizona’s 6-0 redshirt senior guard, Max Hazzard excelled at knocking down quick, spot-up threes off the catch to space the floor for his team on offense. He also managed to get a tough offensive rebound, but he had trouble defending opponents off the dribble in this game, which would lead him prone to committing fouls on drives to the hoop. Overall, he is an athletic, skilled combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball, and he may have the skills to make an NBA team’s summer league roster in 2020.

Gonzaga’s 6-3 redshirt senior guard, Ryan Woolridge played fairly well in his team’s win over Arizona. He didn’t look to shoot the ball very much, but he showed a knack for scoring on backdoor cuts, and he also can draw free throws on speedy drives to the basket. However, he also missed a couple of threes from beyond the arc.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills. He can quickly kick balls out to shooters to set up scores for them, and he has fairly good court vision.   Sometimes though, he would occasionally play too recklessly on offense, which would lead him to commit a couple of ball-handling turnovers.

He also was able to help out on the glass to get defensive rebounds when he was on the floor, and he can get tough rebounds to help his team on the glass. Woolridge also played solid defense. He managed to strip an opposing ball handler in the post to get a steal, and he also was able to jump on loose balls to help his team collect others. Plus, he also contested a three to force a miss.

Overall, Ryan Woolridge had a fairly solid game in his team’s win over Arizona, and he is an agile, defensive-minded playmaker that can make shots efficiently, and lock down his opponents on defense. Right now, he will need to improve his jump shot and take better care of the basketball, but he may have the skills to be a backup point guard in the NBA, as he could project to be a similar player to former Chicago Bulls’ point guard, C.J. Watson in the association.

Gonzaga’s 6-10, freshman center, Drew Timme had some good moments in his team’s win over Arizona. He did a good job of scoring on pull-up, mid-range jumpers as well as off of put backs, as he showed a surprisingly good ability to score off the dribble. He did miss on a jump hook when posting up once, but generally Timme showed a good ability to make shots and draw free throws when he would hoist them up. He also rebounded the ball fairly well when he was on the floor, and he was active at crashing the offensive glass. However, he was quite foul prone defensively, as he tended to commit fouls when defending in the post as well as off of drives.

Overall, Timme is a skilled, mobile big man that can score and rebound the basketball. He’s played well when he is on the floor, and he could be a prospect to watch sometime down the road.

Arizona’s 6-10 senior center, Chase Jeter played fairly well in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. He showed a decent ability to score in the post, as he has good footwork, strength, and shooting touch, and he can score on jump hooks and drop step moves around the basket. He also excelled at scoring off of put backs. Occasionally though, he would sometimes struggle to score in traffic as he would try to force the issue too much, and he had a couple of his shots blocked.

He also did a good job of passing from the post to get assists, and he would leap up to get tough offensive rebounds in traffic. Defensively, he looked to be about average. Jeter would hold his ground to defend in the post to force misses, and he also was able to successfully draw a charge when defending a drive. However, he would sometimes be late on his rotations, and he tended to be foul prone when defending around the basket.

Overall, Jeter had a solid showing in his team’s loss, and he is an athletic, energetic big man that can score in the post and grab rebounds when he is on the court. Right now, he may be a borderline second round candidate, but still, he is a fairly talented prospect that may have the skills to compete for a roster spot in the NBA.