Evaluating Landry Shamet, Jacob Evans, and Shaquille Morris

February 19, 2018

By Alan Lu

Recently, I decided to watch an AAC basketball game that took place yesterday between Wichita State and Cincinnati.  It was a tough, hard-fought, competitive match that went back and forth as it went all the way down to the wire, but Wichita State was able to hold on to get a tough win on the road.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared on this day.

Wichita State’s 6-4 redshirt sophomore point guard, Landry Shamet had a solid showing, as he helped lead his team to get the victory over Cincinnati.  He excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor, and he also made some nice passes towards the end of the game to clinch the game for his team.

Shamet did a very good job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor for his team.  He excelled at making pull-up jumpers from all over the court, and he is really adept at making shots when he is given the space to do so.  He made a pull-up mid-range shot from the baseline after using a nifty step back move, and he also used a jab step another time to knock down a corner three.

He also did a decent job of getting scores on patient drives to the basket.  Shamet is a crafty player that changes speeds pretty well, and he does a good job of dribbling off of screens to get the matchup he wants, as he can then get past his man to garner scores around the basket.  He also managed to draw plenty of fouls upon the opposition after taking the ball to the rim, but sometimes, Shamet struggled to score in traffic, as he does not possess an elite initial burst, and he also missed on floaters a couple of times.

Also, Shamet showed off adequate playmaking skills when he was on the court.  He made plays when they counted the most, and he did a good job of throwing long, accurate outlet passes to find open teammates out ahead to set up scores for them.  Shamet can throw crisp interior passes when he plays with patience, and he can display solid court vision when he plays under control, but he also committed numerous turnovers in this game.  He tended to throw lazy passes into traffic that ended up being intercepted, and sometimes he would be careless when handling the basketball, as he will expose the ball to defender at times.  He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Shamet was active at crashing the glass, especially on the defensive end, and he even managed to throw a ball off of an opponent after attempting to get a tough, one-handed defensive board to help his team gain possession of the ball.

Also, Shamet displayed adequate defensive skills.  He generally did a good job of defending drives, as he would tend to be in the right spots defensively.  He rotated once to force an opponent to miss a shot off of a drive, and he also drew a charge another time.  Also, he would step out to successfully challenge threes on occasion, but sometimes, he would give up too much space to allow opponents to score on threes, and his lack of size when defending taller players also made it tough for him to get opponents to miss shots at times.  In general, Landry Shamet played well, as he showed off an array of skills that helped get his team a close win over Cincinnati.  He especially made clutch plays down the stretch, and he could end up being a good value pick for an NBA team in the late first round of the upcoming draft.

Cincinnati’s 6-6 junior swingman, Jacob Evans put forth a fairly good performance in his team’s loss to Wichita State.  He made a lot of solid energetic plays on both ends of the floor, and Evans is a high-motor player that in particular seemed to excel defensively.  Evans did a good job of scoring on strong drives to the hoop.  He would barrel his way to the basket, and he would frequently draw fouls upon the opposition.  He possesses very good strength for a player his size, and he has the body control to score regularly off the dribble when he takes the ball to the rim, but sometimes he would play a bit too out of control, which would lead him to miss shots in traffic and commit turnovers off of drives.

He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He especially showed a knack for drawing free throws after getting offensive rebounds for his team, and he would sky high to get boards as he can really leap up to haul them in.  Though he did struggle to knock down jumpers consistently, Evans was able to run quickly off of a screen once to knock down a spot-up three off the catch.

Also, Evans showed off fairly average playmaking skills in this game.  He did play unselfishly, and he showed the ability to throw long passes to set up scores for his teammates.  But he also committed plenty of turnovers.  Evans had a tendency to make hasty decisions, as he would throw inaccurate passes that would end up going out of bounds, and he also lost the ball after handling it a couple of times as he would struggle to protect the basketball.

He also did a great job of collecting rebounds on both ends of the floor.  Evans was quite active at crashing the glass, and he would fly in to get tough boards, as he can regularly do so even amidst crowds.  Plus, he also played solid defense.  Evans did a great job of collecting steals, as he is a quick, instinctive player that would often poke balls away from opponents to do so.  He also rotated to emphatically block a shot from behind to prevent an opponent from scoring on a cut.  He also would contest threes to force misses, and he also drew a charge when defending in the post. 

However, Evans had some trouble defending in the post, as he was tasked to guard the much bigger, Shaquille Morris in this game.  On one play, he would front his man, but he ended up getting beat on the catch, as he allowed his man to score on a dunk while fouling him simultaneously.  He also would commit touch fouls when defending drives as well as in the post.  Another time, he over-helped in the paint, and lost focus, as he allowed an opponent to score on an open three early in the contest.

In summary, Jacob Evans played fairly well, as he would make plays in the paint to help his team on both ends of the floor.  He did not shoot the ball well from outside the paint area, and he struggled with turnovers, but he excelled at getting scores in the paint, and he also made some solid plays defensively.  With his skill set, he could end up being a solid pick for an NBA team in the second round on draft day.

Wichita State’s 6-8 senior big man, Shaquille Morris had a good showing in his team’s win over Cincinnati.  He did a very good job of getting scores in the paint, he excelled as a screen setter for his team, and he also played solid defense in this game.  Morris did a good job of getting scores in the post as well as off the dribble.  He managed to use a drop step to score on a powerful dunk while drawing an extra free throw once.  On a separate play, he used a quick spin move to score on a turnaround jump hook off the glass.  Plus, he also drove in to score another time after getting the ball on a re-post.

He also showed a good ability to score on hustle plays.  He can excel as a finisher around the basket when he plays under control, and his best score of the game may have been late in the contest, as he ran the floor to catch a long outlet pass on the break, and he went on to score on a thunderous dunk.  He did take a couple of mid-range shots, but he missed them on both occasions.  Also, he showed off decent playmaking skills.  Morris is a tough, physical player that set very good, firm screens to free up opponents to get scores off of drives.  However, he also can be inaccurate with his passes, as he also threw a pass out of bounds after diving on the ground to get a steal early on.

Though he did not grab many boards when he was on the floor, Morris was able to haul in multiple offensive rebounds against Cincinnati.  However, sometimes he would allow opponents to get boards in his area, as he would end up committing fouls around the basket.  He also played solid defense.  Morris did a good job of swatting shots on drives to protect the paint for his team, and he also would poke balls away to get steals.  He also would actively contest shots all over the floor to force misses, but sometimes, he would struggle to keep up with his man, as that would lead him to allow scores around the basket.  In general, Shaquille Morris had a good game, as he made a lot of solid plays to help his team on both ends of the court.  He is a strong, mobile big man that has been a solid player for Wichita State this season, and he could likely be a solid addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster this year.

Wichita State’s 6-8 junior swingman, Markis McDuffie had a fast start as he made several shots early on against Cincinnati, and he was able to show some prowess as a shooter and defender when he was on the court.  His play cooled off later on, but he was able to make some impactful plays to help his team get the win.  McDuffie did a good job of effectively spacing the floor for his team, as he would knock down jumpers from all over the court.  He made a quick pull-up mid-range jumper from the baseline, and McDuffie also managed to make an open corner three out on the break.

He also showed the ability to score on hustle plays.  He managed to score on a put back once, but sometimes he can rush his shots, which can lead to misses.  Also, McDuffie managed to take the ball coast to coast to draw free throws on a drive in transition, as he possesses solid foot speed and good ball handling skills to do so.

Also, he showed off adequate playmaking skills.  McDuffie is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to find the open man, and he can kick it out to shooters due to possessing good court sense.  He did commit one turnover as he was called for committing a charging foul on a drive as the bucket was waved off, but that call could have gone either way.  He also exhibited good rebounding skills.  He showed a knack for crashing the glass to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he possesses good athleticism, motor, and instincts to do so.

Plus, McDuffie also displayed adequate defensive skills when he was on the court.  He possesses good lateral footwork, and he would tightly guard his man off the dribble, as this would lead his opponents to commit passing turnovers as well as to miss shots.  He also managed to poke a ball away before an opponent got it right back due to possessing active hands, but sometimes, he would give up too much space to allow opponents to score on jumpers.  Other times, he would struggle to defend drives when there would be contact, as he fell down once to allow a score, and he tripped an opponent another time to commit a foul.

In summary, Markis McDuffie had a pretty good showing, as he was able to make some good plays to help his team get a narrow victory over Cincinnati.  It still may not help his case as a draft prospect, as he still had a rather pedestrian stat-line in his team’s road win, but McDuffie showed a diverse skill set on this day, and he could end up being a potential second round pick in the future, as he could end up being a similar player to former New York Knicks forward, Cleanthony Early.

Cincinnati’s senior forward, Gary Clark had a fairly good game in his team’s loss to Wichita State.  He played well in numerous areas, as he is a high motor player that played well on both ends of the court.  Clark did a good job of getting scores in the post.  He has good strength to back his man down, as he can draw plenty of free throws, and he also managed to use a spin move to score on a stepthrough move.  He also scored on a tip in off of an offensive rebound, and he also managed to draw a non-shooting foul off of a drive to the hoop.

However, he struggled to make threes consistently.  While he did make a three off the catch, he missed several other shots from long range, and he once threw up an airball when attempting a tightly contested corner three in this game.  Clark also showed off adequate playmaking skills.  He tended to throw crisp passes to find the open man.  But sometimes, he would have trouble protecting the basketball, as he had the ball knocked away a couple of times to almost commit turnovers.  He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball, as he would usually collect defensive boards when he was on the floor.

Also, he played good defense.  Clark did a great job of collecting steals, as he managed to pick off a pass once, and he also excelled at poking balls away from his opponents.  He also managed to swat a shot to prevent an opponent from scoring around the basket due to making a good, quick rotation to do so that time.  He also would actively contest shots to force misses, but sometimes, he would struggle to stay in front of his man when defending drives or in the post, as he would get beat off the dribble to commit fouls and allow scores on occasion.

In summary, Gary Clark played well on both ends of the floor, as he was able to make a lot of hustle plays for his team.  However, he did not shoot the ball well from outside the paint area, and his playing style may resemble that of an undersized big man, as he may need to improve his perimeter skills considerably to be able to swiftly adjust to the NBA next year.  Still, he is having a solid senior season, he could end up being a likely addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Cincinnati’s 6-5 sophomore swingman, Jarron Cumberland had an up and down game in his team’s loss to Wichita State.  He was the leading scorer on his team in this game, but he also took a lot of shots to do so, and he also struggled with turnovers and with his position defense when he was on the floor.

He showed a decent ability to score on drives to the hoop, as well as to knock down threes.  Cumberland can accelerate to the hoop, as he managed to make a circus shot high off the glass on the break after quickly taking the ball to the basket in transition.  He also has the strength and body control to score on contorted jump shots off the dribble, but sometimes he may miss shots due to not possessing an elite first step to the hoop.   Also, Cumberland made spot-up threes off the catch, but he was inconsistent in making shots from beyond the arc, and he had trouble making threes off the dribble.

In addition, he also displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  Cumberland is an unselfish player that can kick it out to shooters to set up scores for them.  However, he also was turnover prone, as he would occasionally be too reckless when driving the ball to the hoop, and he also threw a bad crosscourt pass that ended up getting intercepted after passing out of a low post shot.

In this game, Cumberland did not grab many rebounds, but he did grab a couple of defensive boards, and he quickly pushed the ball up the floor off of his second defensive rebound.  Defensively, he looked to be average at best.  He did manage to get a hand on an interior pass to help his team get a steal, and he would also contest jumpers to force some misses.  However, he would be occasionally be late on his rotations, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores, and he would also give up too much space, which would cause him to allow opponents to score on three-point shots.

Overall, Jarron Cumberland was able to make shots in a variety of ways, but he did so inefficiently, and he did not seem to excel in the other parts of the game.  Right now, he is a powerful off-guard that can score in a variety of ways, but he will need to focus on making shots more efficiently as well as to improve upon his weaknesses to be a more complete player.   With his skill set, he could be a potential second round pick in the future if he is able to hone his overall game.

Other Notes:

Wichita State’s 6-6 senior guard, Zach Brown did a good job of making threes to space the floor for his team.  He used a step-back move to make a pull-up three from well beyond the arc, and he also made a quick three off the catch.  He also is an unselfish player that helped set up a score by getting the ball back to a teammate on a repost.  However, he also committed a couple of turnovers due to carelessness.

He also played good defense, as he would look to poke balls away to almost get steals for his team, and he would actively contest shots force misses.  But sometimes, he would end up committing fouls going for offensive rebounds due to over-aggressiveness.  In summary, Brown was able to make some good plays to help his team on the floor, and he could end up being a good addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Wichita State’s senior forward, Rashard Kelly quietly had a good game in his team’s win over Cincinnati.  He excelled as an inside scorer, as he scored on a dunk off of a cut early on, and he also showed a good ability to score in the post as well as off the dribble.  He also is a good passer that will also set screens for his team, and he also excelled as an offensive rebounder due to possessing good athleticism, as well as a great motor, and instincts.  However, he did struggle defensively though, as he had some trouble defending in the post, and sometimes he would get outmuscled when defending in the post, which would cause him to commit fouls.  In summary, Kelly is a good role player for Wichita State, and he is a team player that could end up on an NBA team’s summer league roster either this year or sometime down the road.

Cincinnati’s 6-0 junior guard, Cane Broome excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor, as he would score on quick, crafty drives to the hoop, and he also made a couple of threes off the catch. 

Wichita State’s 6-5 sophomore guard, Austin Reaves excelled as a shooter to space the floor for his team, and he also managed to score on a crafty drive to the hoop once.

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