Evaluating Terrance Ferguson at the 2016 Nike Hoops Summit

March 9, 2017

By Alan Lu

6-7 swingman, Terrance Ferguson spurned the Arizona Wildcats to join the Adelaide 36ers in the NBL, and in doing so, it has been very hard to find full game footage of him playing with a specific date and box score that can be linked to his performance.

As a result of not likely being able to see him play this season, I decided to see a performance of his when he is at his best.  That game just so happened to be at the 2016 Nike Hoops Summit.  Thanks to YouTube via Best College Basketball, I was able to revisit his tremendous showing back then.  Here are my thoughts on how he played that day, and how his game may translate into the NBA.

Terrance Ferguson is a gifted shooter that has an ultra quick release, and he can quickly roll to spots, as he can make many spot-up threes off the catch.  He is at his best when he plays on a fast paced team where he can launch many long range shots in transition, and he excels at making threes in the corner.  Plus, he also used a crossover and a step back to make a contested pull-up three from NBA range.  Also, he will run the floor to make himself available for possible transition scoring opportunities, though no one found him on the break in this game.  All of Ferguson’s shots were three-point attempts in this match, and he did a terrific job of shooting the basketball.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Ferguson is an unselfish player that will quickly swing the ball to open shooters, as he can set up scoring chances for them.  Also, he will occasionally set screens for his teammates, and on one play, he made himself open on a pick and pop play after setting one for his team.  But he did commit one turnover as he was called for stepping out of bounds after receiving a bounce pass from beyond the arc.  On the other hand, he did not collect a single rebound in this game.  Ferguson has not been known for his rebounding, and while his team did not need him to crash the glass on this day, he may need to improve his ability to do so in the future.

Ferguson was surprisingly active as a defender in this match.    He showed off strong defensive skills, as he would quickly jump a pass to get a steal, and he often would poke balls away and deflect passes, and he dove on the ground after poking a ball away to help his team get a steal due to possessing great hustle, quickness, and instincts on that play.

Also, he did a very good job of pressuring opponents up the court, as he would help force them to commit ball handling turnovers, and Ferguson also would fight through a series of screens.  Plus, he would race back on defense to prevent opponents from getting out on the break, and he would use his length and timing to contest shots to force misses.  He did have a few miscues, as he can commit reach-in fouls due to over-aggressiveness.

In general, when Terrance Ferguson is on his game, he can be a really good basketball player on the floor.  In looking at his statistics this year through the RealGM website, he has not been having a great season in the NBL overseas so far unfortunately, and part of that may be a combination of things, his playing time being juggled around, playing at a slower pace, and him being asked to play a more conservative style defensively, which may lead him to get far fewer steals or blocks than he may be capable of getting.

But here in the 2016 Nike Hoops Summit, Terrance Ferguson really showed what he is capable of when he is unleashed and able to play his game.  He is a very athletic swingman that can really shoot the basketball, and he could project to be a 3 and D type of player in the NBA.  He is a player that has a lot of upside, and he could be a good pick for an NBA team in the mid to late first round portion of the upcoming draft.

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