Evaluating Phillip Wheeler and George Conditt IV in a BSN Game

June 15th, 2022

By Alan Lu

The withdrawal deadline for international players have passed, so it’s clearer now as to whom is still in this year’s draft.  In the meantime, I decided to watch Piratas de Quebradillas’ 6-8 forward, Phillip Wheeler play in a April 9th BSN game against Gigantes de Carolina with thanks to YouTube via Telemundo Puerto Rico. This game also featured former Iowa State big man, George Conditt IV, who also is an early entrant in the 2022 draft.  It was a very competitive game in which George Conditt IV played surprisingly well right out of the gates in his first professional league game.  This match went all the way into overtime, and Phillip Wheeler played very well in overtime to help get the Quebradillas the win over Carolina.  Here are my thoughts on how Phillip Wheeler and George Conditt IV fared, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.

Piratas de Quebradillas’ 6-8 forward, Phillip Wheeler is currently an early entrant that is eligible to be selected in the 2022 NBA Draft.
José Raul Santana/BSN, El Vocero de Puerto Rico)

Phillip Wheeler is an athletic, energetic combo forward that had a solid showing, as he especially thrived at making hustle plays in overtime to help Piratas de Quebradillas get the win in this game. Wheeler generally thrived at scoring on hustle plays.  He would often look to score on cuts and fast breaks, and he would run hard off the ball to get it to score on powerful dunks and layups.  Wheeler would use off-ball movement to finish plays above the rim.  Sometimes though, he would try to overtly force the issue, and he had a couple of balls knocked away when attempting to score off of cuts late in this match.

He also showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble.  Wheeler has good foot speed, quickness, and also showed the body control that enabled him to finish plays at the rim.  He was able to change directions when driving to the hoop, and he managed to cleverly split a double team to score on a smooth layup in traffic.  He also showed that he can take on the contact when driving to the basket to draw fouls upon his defenders.  On the downside, after using a spin move on a drive, he missed on a contested, off-balanced layup in traffic, although there appeared to be some contact that time. 

He also ran the floor to get the ball in the post and used a drop step down low, but missed on a contested jump hook, as sometimes he would not go up strong enough when looking to score in traffic.  Wheeler also attempted a couple of spot-up threes from beyond the arc, but he was unable to connect from long-range.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Wheeler can handle the ball and push it swiftly up the floor in the open court.  He also will sometimes make the extra pass to find the open man, and he also threw a sharp interior pass to get the ball to a teammate early on.  However, sometimes he would show a loose handle when handling the basketball, and he will need to tighten his handle in order to be able to maneuver around defenders more when pressured.

He didn’t get many rebounds in this game, but Wheeler was able to get a board on each end of the floor, and he also pushed the ball quickly off of a defensive rebound late in this match.  Wheeler also played decent defense in this game.  He was able to intercept a pass to get a steal.  He also would sometimes make quick rotations to cut off penetration, and he also would use his length to contest shots to force misses.   However, sometimes he would be late to make his rotations, which would lead him to give up open jumpers to his opponents.  On one play, he got beat off the dribble, which led his team to give up the basket early on.

In general, Phillip Wheeler played well, especially in crunch time to help his team get the overtime victory.  He is a very athletic, energetic forward that excelled at making hustle plays, but he will need to improve his jump shot and he may also need to show that he can consistently play well at higher levels.  He didn’t get much playing time in the G-League this year, but he’s played very well in Puerto Rico’s top professional league, the BSN.  Currently, Wheeler’s draft stock is surprisingly not very high, and he may be a long shot to be drafted.  Still, he is an intriguing prospect that could project into a serviceable role player in the NBA, and if he makes his way into the NBA, he could end up being a similar player to Chicago Bulls, Derrick Jones Jr. in the association.

Former Iowa State big man, George Conditt IV is currently playing for Gigantes de Carolina in Puerto Rico’s top league, the BSN, and he is also eligible to be selected in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Stephanie Rojas/El Nuevo Día)

Gigantes de Carolina’s new 6-10 big man, George Conditt IV also played well in his team’s overtime loss in this game.  Conditt made plenty of very athletic, energetic hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor, especially early on, but he ended up fouling out just before the end of regulation, so he was unable to play in overtime.

Conditt did a very good job of scoring on hustle plays.  He showed a knack for scoring on rolls to the rim and fast breaks.  He showed good body control and footwork to score on rolls, and he also would accelerate and run the floor hard to score in transition.  He managed to score on a thunderous dunk on a give and go.  He also ran the floor and accelerated to get the ball before then scoring on a quick layup off the glass in traffic.  He also drew free throws on a backdoor cut, but also got blocked another time due to rushing.

On the other hand, he struggled to knock down his outside shots.  He missed on a face-up, mid-range jumper from the baseline, and he also missed on his lone three-point shot from beyond the arc.  Conditt’s shooting form looked good, but he had some trouble with his accuracy and touch to get his shots to go in from intermediate to long distances.

Also, Conditt showcased average at best playmaking skills in this game.  He did a good job of setting screens to help his teammates get open driving lanes and jump shots.  He also was able to push the ball quickly off of a defensive board, and he would sometimes make the extra pass to find the open man.  On the downside, he ended up colliding into a defender when handling the ball on the break to commit a charging foul.  He also threw a rushed, inaccurate long outlet pass that sailed out of bounds another time.

Plus, he also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Conditt was especially active at crashing the glass to help his team get defensive boards, and sometimes he would push the ball up the court afterwards.  However, sometimes he would not corral balls to secure rebounds, and he would also get outmuscled other times, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Conditt also played solid defense in this game.  He did a great job of blocking shots due to possessing good athleticism, length, timing, and instincts.  He really excelled at swatting shots to help his team protect the paint, and he also was able to block a mid-range shot to himself.  He also showed a knack for swatting shots to himself to help his team get defensive boards, and his length and timing would allow him to be able to aptly defend in the post despite sometimes giving up deep position.  He also would get his hands on passes and poke balls away to help his team get steals and deflections. 

He would also apply solid ball pressure when defending out on the perimeter, and he did a very good job of contesting shots to force misses.  On the downside, he would sometimes over-hedge and not get back to the roll man, which would lead his team to give up baskets at the rim.  He also would sometimes struggle to defend in one-on-one situations, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Sometimes he would get beat off the dribble, and other times he would be late on his rotations on the defensive end.

In summary, George Conditt IV played well despite fouling out of this game, and he made a lot of highly energetic plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.  He is a very athletic big man that showed promise at Iowa State, but was something of a relative underachiever, as he never really got as much playing time as expected, nor averaged double digits in points per game in any season in college.  This year with Gigantes de Carolina, he’s off to a good start, as he’s shown more scoring and playmaking skills than he seemed to show at Iowa State, and he’s also excelled as an energetic shot blocker and interior defender.  Because he didn’t really put up great statistics in college and was not invited to any major pre-draft camps, Conditt may be a long shot to be drafted.  Still, he is an intriguing prospect due to his size, athleticism, and motor, and if he can play up to his abilities on a consistent basis, he could end up being a solid role player similar to former Orlando Magic center, Marcin Gortat in the NBA.

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