Evaluating Killian Hayes In A Eurocup Game

October 24, 2019

by Alan Lu

This time around, I decided to watch Ratiopharm Ulm’s 6-5 guard, Killian Hayes from Germany play in a Eurocup game against MoraBanc Andorra that took place on October 9th, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via AB – Basket. Hayes is a first round prospect for the 2020 draft, and he is a skilled combo guard that has been drawing buzz due to his strong playmaking skills. I set out to watch another game of his, and here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.

Killian Hayes is a 6-5 guard that plays for Ratiopharm Ulm, and he could be a likely first round pick in 2020.  (Photo: Basket Europe.)
Killian Hayes is a 6-5 guard that plays for Ratiopharm Ulm, and he could be a likely first round pick in 2020. (Photo courtesy of Basket Europe.)

Killian Hayes did a decent job of knocking jumpers to space the floor for his team. He is a crafty, skillful ball handler that can quickly use dribble moves and his footwork to create separation between himself and his defender, and he would use nifty step back moves to make pull-up, three-point shots from beyond the arc. He also was able to use a step back move to make a pull-up, mid-range shot another time.  However, he also had a tendency to take tough shots, as he also missed his fair share of pull-up three-point shots, and he would also miss spot-up threes as he would miss it short and it appeared that he would not always follow through on his attempts from beyond the arc.

He also tended to miss shots when he would look to go all the way to the basket to try to score off the dribble. Hayes had trouble scoring on runners, though he was able to draw free throws once on a contested left-handed drive in traffic.  Most times, Hayes sometimes didn’t get enough touch or burst to the hoop when in the paint, and sometimes he would be off-balanced, as he wouldn’t always go to the hoop under control.

Hayes displayed solid playmaking skills in this game. He is a smart playmaker that would throw accurate, timely interior passes to find his teammates on the move, as he can hit cutters and roll men to set up scores for them. He also excels at passing off the dribble, and he is a patient player that possesses very good court vision. He is a poised player that also took great care of the basketball, and he racked up many assists against MoraBanc Andorra. His lone turnover came when he threw a slightly inaccurate, low pass to a roll man that was dropped before an opponent came in to scoop up the dropped pass.

Also, Hayes did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He would leap up to collect defensive boards, as he would he would tend to push the ball up the floor afterwards. He also fought to chase down an offensive board once, and he was able to position himself in such a way to get an opponent to fumble the ball out of bounds, as Hayes’ team was able to retain possession on offense.

However, Hayes will need to improve his defense. Though Hayes showed an adequate ability to play help defense, he will still need to improve his on-ball defense. For the positives, Hayes was able to jump on a loose ball dropped by an opposing ball handler to get a steal, and he also hustled back on defense late in the game to back-tap an opposing ball handler to get another steal. Hayes will use his length, quickness, and instincts to deflect passes and poke balls away, and he also was able to quickly fight through a screen early in the game. Also, he was able to contest a three to force a miss on a separate play.

However, Hayes tends to gamble too much on defense. He can tend to over-help and roam off his man, which led him to be often to be late to rotate back to his man, which would lead his team to allow three-point baskets to the opposition. Usually, he would be caught out of position, as he would be playing too far off his man, and other times, this would lead to scramble situations. Sometimes, he would be slightly out of position when guarding his man, as he would tend to get beat off the dribble, which would lead his team to allow scores off of drives to the hoop. Other times, he would tend to be too aggressive in applying ball pressure, which would lead him to commit reach-in fouls and to him fouling jump shooters. Late in the game, Hayes missed a three-point shot and was discouraged by the miss, and he didn’t run back hard on defense, which led his team to allow an alley-oop dunk on the break.

In general, Killian Hayes didn’t have his best game in his team’s loss to MoraBanc Andorra, but he did show some interesting skills on this day. He is a fairly athletic, combo guard that has very good playmaking skills, and he will also really get after it on the glass. He seems to be showing a better outside shot than anticipated, but on the other hand, he hasn’t been finishing shots on drives nearly as well as hoped.  However, he is a sound playmaker that showed a solid outside shot as well as some defensive skills, which may bode well for him in the future. Hayes is a talented player that could go in the mid first round range of the 2020 draft, as he has a game that may be similar to former Philadelphia 76ers’ guard, Evan Turner in the NBA.

Other Notes:

Ratiopharm Ulm’s 6-6, 1998-born swingman Christoph Philipps played fairly well in limited minutes during his time in this game against MoraBanc Andorra. Philipps is an athletic, high-motor player that will make highly energetic, hustle plays on both ends of the floor, and he will compete relentlessly when he is on the court.

Philipps is a good athlete that plays hard, as he was able to run the floor to score on a high-flying, two-handed dunk in transition after receiving a good pass from Hayes to score on the fast break. However, he also missed a corner three badly another time, as he may have a slow release, which allowed his defender to close out quickly on him to force the miss.

Also Philipps is an unselfish player that will keep the ball moving. He has a good initial first step off the dribble, and he will look to find the open man on offense.  He also showed off adequate defensive skills. Philipps would fight hard through screens to stay with his man, and he also managed to get his hands up to intercept an interior pass to nab a steal once. Plus, he also rotated on a drive to successfully draw a charge to get a stop for his team. He also will rotate on drives, as he will use his length and footwork to force misses and turnovers on the court.  At times, he can be caught ball watching, which can lead him to be out of position, as that can cause him to commit fouls and allow scores. Other times, he will be too aggressive in trying to make plays defensively, as he can tend to pick up quick fouls defensively.

Overall, Philipps is an athletic swingman that can make energetic plays to help his team in a limited role off the bench. He will need to improve his jump shot and can also be foul prone, but he is a gritty player that will run the floor hard, which allows him to score on fast breaks, and he also will look to put himself in the right spots on defense.   Right now, he is a long shot to be drafted, as he will probably go undrafted in 2020, but if he can improve upon his weaknesses, he could end up being an effective role player in the association.