Evaluating Gradey Dick, Kyle Filipowski, and Jalen Wilson in the 2022 Champions Classic

November 16th, 2022

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch Kansas and Duke play against each other in the Champions Classic.  This featured numerous first round prospects, and it was a game where two of the blue bloods played in a head-to-head matchup.  This was not a well-played game, as there were plenty of missed shots and turnovers, but Kansas managed to rally back to win this match, as they received clutch play from 6-8 freshman forward Gradey Dick.  The other standout performers of this game were Jalen Wilson and Kyle Filipowski.  Here are my thoughts on how they and other various prospects fared in this game.

Gradey Dick played well, especially down the stretch, to help get Kansas the win over Duke in the 2022 Champions Classic.
(Photo:
Darron Cummings/Associated Press, via Idaho State Journal)

Gradey Dick had a solid showing for Kansas to help his team get the win, especially in crunch time.  What is especially impressive is that he shows a very good feel for the game, and he moves very well off the ball on offense.  He showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He thrived at scoring on backdoor cuts, and he has great body control that enables him to consistently finish plays around the basket in traffic.  He ran the floor to score early on, and he would often score acrobatically off of cuts.  He also caught a lob to score off of a backdoor cut late in this match.

While he was inconsistent with his outside shot, his jump shot looks very promising.  Dick used a crafty pump fake and dribbled in to make a mid-range jumper from the baseline.  Late in this game, he ran off the ball, and made a quick movement three to give his team some much needed momentum.  He was streaky with his outside shot, but he looks to have good form on his jump shot, and he made timely shots in this contest.

He also defended very well.  Dick would consistently stay in front of his man to contest shots to force misses, and he would make sure not to give his opponents much space to operate on offense.  Dick also was able to jump a pass to get a steal, and he also successfully drew a charge another time due to good positioning.

Overall, Gradey Dick played well, especially down the stretch, to help his team get the win over Duke.  He is a smart, skilled swingman that would make team plays to help Kansas throughout this game, and he made smart plays throughout.  He didn’t seem to make flashy plays, and he may not be an iso player nor project a heavy volume shot creator at the NBA level, but he operates very well within the team structure, and he seems to have a very good feel for the game.  Dick is a solid prospect that made winning team plays, and he could be a very good pick for an NBA team in the late first round of the 2023 draft.

Kyle Filipowski had 17 points and 14 rebounds in his team’s tough loss to Kansas.
(Photo:
Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images, via SB Nation’s Duke Basketball Report)

Duke’s freshman big man, Kyle Filipowski had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He is a strong, mobile big man that showed off a solid set of offensive skills throughout the night.  He can score off the dribble and out of the post, and he can also shoot it from the outside.  He made a three early on, though he struggled with his three-point shot later on.  Filipowski was able to score on a dunk off of a drive, and he would outmuscle opponents to score out of the post as well as routinely score off put backs.  He was inconsistent as a shot maker overall, but he showed good ball-handling skills and a promising jump shot.  There was one play where he made a really nice spin move on a drive, in which he missed, but followed that up by grabbing his own miss to score on a strong put back.

Filipowski rebounded the ball very well, and he is a solid ball-handling big man that would often push the pace off of defensive boards.  Sometimes he would overdribble into traffic, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.  Defensively, he looked to be a mixed bag.  He didn’t close out very hard or actively contest a corner three, which led him to giving up a three-point basket to McCullar early on.  Filipowski was able to contest a mid-range jumper to force a miss another time.  Filipowski isn’t overly quick, but he would generally make enough effort to be in position to contest shots most of the time.

Overall, Kyle Filipowski played fairly well, and he showed a variety of skills that could prove to be intriguing for the next level.  He’s an offensively skilled big man that can score from anywhere on the floor, and he can handle the basketball.  On the other hand, he’s not overwhelmingly athletic, and was still inconsistent at making shots in this game.  Still, he seems to have made a solid impression in this game, and he could be an intriguing prospect for NBA teams to consider in the late first to the second round range for the 2023 draft.

Kansas’ forward, Jalen Wilson scored 25 points, and had 11 rebounds, and 5 assists in his team’s win over Duke in the 2022 Champions Classic.
(Photo:
Darron Cummings/Associated Press, via The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Jalen Wilson had a solid showing for Kansas in his team’s win over Duke.  He especially played well early on, and he consistently made plays in this game.  He thrived at scoring on strong drives to the hoop, off put backs, and he also showcased a decent mid-range game.

Wilson also passed the ball well, as he made an early drive and kick pass to find an open corner shooter to notch an assist, and he also showed that he can throw long, accurate outlet passes to notch assists on the break.  He made good reads on the floor, and he is a solid secondary ball-mover that can pass and handle the ball to help set up scores for his teammates.

He also did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He especially thrived on the offensive glass, and was able to get numerous second chance points.  He also defended well, as he was active defensively, and he would be in good position to get stops.  The only negative was that Wilson really struggled to connect from beyond the arc.  He was unable to make any of his threes, and he will still need to really work on his three-point shot.  That said, he showed a fairly solid mid-range game, and made timely free throws down the stretch, so it’s possible that he could develop into being a passable three-point shooter in the future.

Overall, Wilson played well, and he had a solid all-around game to help lead his team to a comeback win over Duke.  He is an athletic, high-motor combo forward that made solid plays on both ends of the floor.  He will still need to improve his jump shot, but he is a high-motor, team-oriented player that could end up being a solid pick for an NBA team in the second round of the 2023 draft.

Kevin McCullar had a fairly solid showing in his team’s win over Duke.  He shot the ball well, as he was able to make spot-up threes, and he showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  Despite not being overly fast or explosive, he is a crafty scorer that showed a solid floater game, and he was able to take on contact to score on a floater early on. 

He is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass, and he was able to notch a pair of assists.  However, he was inaccurate on a handful of his passes, which led him to be uncharacteristically turnover prone.  He also played satisfactory defense.  He did a great job of poking balls away to get steals, but he also seemed to struggle to guard more athletic opponents at times in this game.

Overall, McCullar played well in this game, and he showed a variety of skills, as he made a slew of team plays throughout this contest.  He may not have great physical tools, but he is a smart, skilled player that can play a variety of positions, which could enable him to be an effective role player in the NBA.

Jeremy Roach had an up and down game for Duke overall.  He scored on strong drives, and he is a strong, athletic point guard who thrived at attacking the hoop to score the basketball.  However, he struggled to make shots from the outside, and he would sometimes force the issue too much on offense, which would lead him to miss on contested shots or to turn the ball over.  He didn’t have a great game overall, but he scored on some impressive drives that could make him an intriguing option to consider late in the 2023 draft.

Other Notes:

Duke’s freshman point guard, Tyrese Proctor had an up and down game in his team’s loss to Kansas.  He was pretty much a non-factor in the first half as he struggled to make shots in that time span, and he struggled to consistently get by his opponents. 

He had a much better second half, as he made a couple of pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he also dribbled in to make a three-pointer.  He had trouble scoring when he would look to go all the way to the hoop, and he’s not a particularly fast or overly explosive athlete.  That said, he showed a promising pull-up game, and he is a tall, skilled playmaker that could end up being a second round pick in the 2023 draft.

Duke’s 6-8 freshman forward, Mark Mitchell wasn’t too noticeable for most of the game, and he was basically a non-factor in the first half.  He was able to make one tremendous play in the second half of this match. He was able to throw down a thunderous dunk off of a drive, and he showed that he can score on straight-line drives and on put backs.  However, he struggled to score in traffic, as he doesn’t handle the ball well or look to change directions often when handling the ball, and he also would commit ball-handling turnovers. He will need to improve his jump shot and ball-handling, but he is an athletic forward that could end up being a second round pick in the 2023 draft.

It was a very disappointing game for Duke’s 7-1 freshman center, Dereck Lively.  He came off the bench, and he made a few plays, but underwhelmed overall.  He scored on a couple of very athletic tip dunks, and he also made a nice tap out to help his teammate get an offensive board.  However, he didn’t always run hard down the floor and at times would merely jog up the court, and he didn’t showcase a jump shot, and also appeared to have his shot stuffed once.  He also appeared to be lost on his defensive rotations, and he allowed Adams to score on a roll to the rim while fouling him.  Right now, he reminds me of former Sacramento Kings’ big man, Skal Labissiere.  Lively is very tall and athletic, but he will need to expand his overall skill set, as he will have to add a jump shot to his game and also show that he can consistently defend well, especially out on the perimeter.  He will need to play considerably better in the future, and he may be closer to being more of a second round prospect rather than a player that should go in the lottery at the moment.

Anyways, those are my thoughts on how Gradey Dick, Kyle Filipowski, Jalen Wilson, and other various prospects fared in this game.  Thanks for reading.

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