Evaluating Jaime Echenique and Carlos Alocen

October 30th, 2020

By Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch former Wichita State center, Jaime Echenique, who has since signed on to play for Delteco GBC in the Spanish ACB League for the 2020-21 season.  He is playing well for them so far, and he has shown solid inside scoring, rebounding, and interior defense skills for them.  I took the time to watch him play against Real Madrid in a September 19th game, as I saw this with thanks to YouTube via MUHANNAD TV to get a better feel for his game.  This also presented another opportunity to watch some of the other notable prospects, such as Usman Garuba, Carlos Alocen, Dino Radoncic, and Brandone Francis.  Here are my thoughts on how they fared in this game, and where they may stack up as prospects for the NBA.

Recently having played for Wichita State, the 6-11 Delteco GBC center, Jaime Echenique (pictured in the blue uniform, leaping up for a shot block) is a high-motor center whose strong interior play in the Spanish ACB League may make him a candidate to go late in the second round in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Acunsa Gipuzkoa Basket, via ElDesmarque)

Jaime Echenique is a strong, physical center that could project to be a rim protector in the NBA.  He also scored the basketball in a variety of ways, and he has shown an improved jump shot recently. He did a decent job of knocking down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  Echenique made a wide open, spot-up three off the catch early on to show his stretch big potential, but he missed a three on a pick and pop play another time, as well as on a mid-range jumper after using a pump fake once.

Also, he did a good job of scoring on rolls to the rim.  Echenique managed to score on a roll past Edy Tavares in traffic.  Another time, he used a pump fake after slipping the screen to get the ball on a roll, and he drew free throws on a layup around the basket.

Plus, he showed a decent ability to score in the post.  Echenique showed a knack for drawing free throws when he would get the ball on the block.  Sometimes though, he would rush his shots and struggle to score in traffic, as he missed on a turnaround jump hook late in this game.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills in this game.  Echenique is an unselfish player that will keep the ball moving, and he also will set plenty of screens for his teammates.  He was able to quickly pass out of the post to find a cutter to notch an assist, and he also passed back on a dribble handoff to set up another score.  Echenique also would set numerous screens to help his teammates get open shots on offense.  However, he also would struggle to protect the basketball, which would lead him to get the ball poked away, and it led him to commit one turnover early on.

He also was able to get his fair share of rebounds to help his team on the glass.  Echenique was especially active at crashing the offensive glass, and he managed to leap up to get four offensive rebounds in this game.  He also would tip balls to help his team get defensive rebounds, but sometimes he would allow opponents to get boards in his area, and other times balls would go off of his hands and end up out of bounds.

Also, Echenique showed off decent defensive skills.  He is a very good shot blocker that possesses solid length, mobility, and timing, and he would rotate to swat numerous shots in the paint to do so.  He also leapt up to break up a lob pass and tipped it to a teammate to help his team get a steal due to making a good read on the play early on.  Echenique would tend to make solid rotations, and he showed a knack for contesting shots in the post to force misses.  Sometimes though, he would struggle to defend pick and rolls.  Occasionally, he would over-rotate onto opposing ball handlers off of pick and rolls, as he allowed a dunk to a roll man once, but he also didn’t contest a floater on a drive another time.  Another time, he didn’t effectively communicate to a teammate how they should defend the screen, and he sagged too far on a switch on a shooter, which led his team to give up an open three-point basket to his opponent.

In general, Jaime Echenique is a fairly solid rim protector that does a very good job of contesting and blocking shots to help his team protect the paint, and he also score the basketball in a variety of ways.  On the other hand, he only possesses average athletic gifts, and he will need to establish his jump shot more and show that he can consistently excel on offense in games.  Right now, he projects to be a borderline second round candidate for the 2020 NBA Draft, but if he can show that he can consistently score on jumpers and in the post, and also continue to play well in the Spanish ACB League, he could one day make it to the NBA as an Aron Baynes-type of player in the association.

Real Madrid’s 6-4 point guard, Carlos Alocen played well in limited minutes, and he excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor to help his team get a win over Delteco GBC. He showed a good ability to get scores off the dribble.  Early on, Alocen drove right off of a screen, proceeded to use a behind the back crossover move to his left, and then scored on a crafty, fall-away layup while getting the extra free throw.  Late in this contest, Alocen used a behind the back crossover move while handling the ball to get to the free throw line. 

However, on another play, he drove aggressively to the rim, but ended up missing wildly around the basket early on.  On the downside, Alocen was unable to connect on any of the three-point shots he hoisted up from beyond the arc, and he struggled to make shots from long distances.

Alocen excelled as a facilitator in this game, and he showed off good playmaking skills when he was on the court.  He pushed the ball up the floor and then threw a lob pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break.  Alocen also has very good court vision, as he threw a no-look pass to find a cutter another time, and he excelled at finding open corner shooters off the dribble to get them the basketball.  Alocen showed a knack for making passes off the dribble, and he showed a knack for throwing accurate, no-look passes to notch assists.

He also rebounded the ball well.  Alocen was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor, and he would tend to bring the ball up and push it up the court to create early offense for his team.  Plus, Alocen also played solid defense in this game.  He would rotate to poke balls away and would deflect passes to nearly get steals.  Plus, he also tenaciously fought through a screen to stay with an opposing ball handler.  Another time, Alocen actively contested a three-point shot using his length to force a miss late in this match.

Overall, Carlos Alocen had a solid game to help Real Madrid get the win, even though he struggled with his three-point shot against Delteco GBC.  He did the little things well, as he excelled as a facilitator, rebounder, and defender, and also is an above average athlete that showed off more speed and agility than anticipated.  Alocen is a skilled player that can play either backcourt position, and he could poised to be a second round pick in the 2021 draft.

Other Notes:

Real Madrid’s 6-8 forward, Usman Garuba also played in this game, and there was a lot of anticipation to see how he would fare, given that he is currently considered to be a candidate to go in the lottery for the 2021 draft.  Unfortunately though, he did not play very well at all, and he struggled to score or establish any sort of rhythm on offense on this day.

On offense, Garuba would look to score on rolls and in transition, and he would run the floor hard, but often times no one would find him on the move.  He did get the ball on rolls to the rim three times, but he didn’t show a sense of when to shoot the ball, and he would tend to hesitate before getting his shots blocked by an interior defender.  

He also seems to hold the ball too low when he releases it for a shot, which would lead him to get his shots blocked.  Garuba also tended to pass up open shots, as he was quite tentative on offense.  On one good play, he ran in to score on a tip-in after leaping up to get an offensive rebound late in this game.

Garuba showed adequate playmaking skills in this game.  He was able to swing the ball to find a shooter in the corner to  notch an assist, and Garuba showed the willingness to move off the ball on offense.  He also set an on-ball screen to help create an open driving lane for his teammate on a separate possession. Garuba was able to get his fair share of boards, and he leapt up to get a pair of offensive rebounds in this game.  He also was able to tip balls to teammates to help his team get defensive rebounds as well.

Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  Garuba was able to contest a three and a shot in the post to force some misses, and he has good strength to hold his ground when defending down low.  However, sometimes he would be caught ball watching and sag too far off of shooters, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on three-point shots.

In summary, Usman Garuba did not play well at all, and it is very concerning that he would not take many shots nor make many of them in this game.  He didn’t seem to excel at any one area on the floor, and there may be concerns as to how well his game would translate to the NBA.  He is an athletic, combo forward that plays with a solid motor, and he generally is an unselfish player that plays solid defense in games, but he will need to improve his shooting and scoring skills moving forward.

Delteco GBC’s 6-8 Serbian forward, Dino Radoncic had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Real Madrid.  He is a mobile, combo forward that can attack the basket to score and rebound the basketball, but he struggled to knock down jump shots in this game. Radoncic was unable to make any of his four three-point shots that he hoisted up from beyond the arc.  He would tend to take open, spot-up threes off the catch, but he was unable to connect on any of them. 

On the plus side, Radoncic did a very good job of scoring on hustle plays.  He would tend to score on quick, smart cuts to the hoop.  On one play, he made a smart cut to the basket, and he used a pump fake prior to scoring on a tough angle, layup, while getting the extra free throw.

He also showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble.  Radoncic drove right to the hoop, and while he couldn’t get all the way to the rim, he used a physical step-back move to knock down a pull-up jumper from the mid-range area.  Another time though, he ran off of a ball screen, but ended up missing on a drive in traffic, as he could not finish the shot around the basket.

He also displayed perhaps above average playmaking skills.  Radoncic was able to bring the ball up, and he would set screens to help his teammates get open jump shots.  However, there were times where he nearly turned the ball over.  On an aggressive drive once, he fell as he threw a weak bounce pass that barely got to his teammate.  Another time, he drove to the hoop, but got the ball poked away out of bounds to nearly turn the ball over another time.

Radoncic did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would leap up to get plenty of defensive boards, and he would sometimes bring the ball up or push it up the court.  On one play though, he committed a reach-in foul shortly after an opponent was able to snare a defensive board.

Defensively, Radoncic looked to be perhaps above average.  He is an active help defender that would deflect passes and poke balls away to nearly get steals, and he would use his length and motor to contest shots to force misses.  However, sometimes he would be late on his rotations, and he also can struggle to defend quicker players off the dribble, which can lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Dino Radoncic is a mobile, skilled combo forward that can score on off-ball motion plays, and he also showed some ball handling prowess, but he will need to improve his jump shot and on-ball defense in the meantime.  Right now, he projects to be a borderline second round candidate for the 2021 draft.

Former Texas Tech swingman, and Delteco GBC’s rookie, 6-5 swingman Brandone Francis also played in this game.  He was able to make one spectacular play by swatting Garuba’s shot from behind in this game. Unfortunately though, he struggled to make shots as he didn’t play well overall, and he went scoreless in his team’s loss to Real Madrid.

Francis played solid defense in this game.  He is a solid athlete that rotated to block a shot from behind to a teammate due to possessing good timing and leaping ability to do so.  Another time, he tried to swipe at a ball from an opposing ball handler, and his activity caused the ball handler to get scared and dribble the ball out of bounds.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Francis will look to initiate plays for his teammates, and he was able to get the ball to shooters on drive and kick plays to set up scoring chances for them.  However, he also drove to the hoop to attempt a floater, but ended up getting called for traveling once due to taking one too many steps.

Plus, he also was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor, and Francis was able to help his team on the glass by chasing down rebounds to get a couple of boards for them due to possessing a good motor.

However, Francis just could not score the basketball in this game.  There was one play where it appeared that he drew a foul when attempting a floater, but instead was called for traveling, and it would be that sort of game for him on offense.  Francis could not make any jump shots, as he could not connect on spot-up opportunities, nor make any of the pull-up jumpers that he would hoist up.  He would look to cut to the basket, but no one was able to get him the ball on those occasions.

Overall, Brandone Francis is an athletic swingman that was on the 2019 Texas Tech that played in the National Championship game prior to losing to Virginia, and so I thought that maybe he would be a player to watch in the Real Madrid-Delteco GBC game.  Unfortunately, he didn’t shoot the ball well nor excel when he was on the court, and he didn’t seem to have a lasting impact on the floor.  He did make a nice shot block defensively, but his inability to knock down shots consistently has plagued him in the G-League and overseas so far.  Right now, Francis is a fringe prospect that is unlikely to get drafted, but if he makes it in the NBA, he could project to be a 3 and D role player similar to former journeyman guard, Cartier Martin in the association.

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