Evaluating TyTy Washington, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, and Davion Mintz

January 16th, 2022

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I decided to take the time to watch TyTy Washington and Kentucky play against Kennedy Chandler and Tennessee in a SEC basketball game, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via The Draftmatic.  It was a fast-paced, frenetic contest, but Kentucky dominated early and often to get the win on this day.  TyTy Washington turned in a strong showing, as he played really well to help Kentucky get the victory.  Here are my thoughts on he and other various prospects fared, as well as how their games may stack up as prospects in the NBA.

Kentucky’s freshman point guard, TyTy Washington turned in a strong showing, as he scored 28 points in his team’s blowout win over Tennessee. Even more impressive, Kentucky scored over 100 points against Tennessee in a 40-minute, college basketball game.
(Photo:
Michael Clubb/Associated Press, via The San Diego Union-Tribune)

TyTy Washington played very well in his team’s blowout win over Tennessee.  He is an agile, skilled playmaker that really excelled offensively, and he thrived as a shooter, scorer, and facilitator when he was on the court. Washington did a very good job of knocking down jumpers, especially from the mid-range.  He is a speedy guard that would often go to his left to score on quick, pull-up mid-range jumpers, and he also was able to knock down a couple of floaters.  He also showed that he can knock down threes, and he was able to do so both off the catch and dribble.  He also showed a knack for drawing free throws on aggressive drives to the hoop, and he also managed to score on a drive off of an offensive rebound another time.  Plus, he also was able to score on a backdoor cut once.  It was good to see Washington trust his outside shot more, especially from beyond the arc, and it seemed to really open things up for him offensively.

Plus, he also showed off good playmaking skills in this game.  Washington often make swift drive and kick passes to set up scores for his teammates, and he also is a good passer in transition.  He can find his teammates on the move, and he can throw long, accurate passes to them to get them the basketball.  He was able to throw a behind-the-back pass to find an open shooter once, and he also threw a lob pass to get the ball to a teammate around the basket another time.  However, sometimes he will try to do too much on offense.  He can sometimes over-dribble, and he also threw a couple of hasty passes that led to turnovers.

Also, Washington was able to haul in a board on each end of the floor to help his team chip in on the glass.  Defensively, he looked to be about average.  For the positives, he is an active, athletic help defender that will look to force turnovers.  Washington ran in to intercept a rushed pass to get a steal, and he also ran in to tie up an opposing post player to get another.  He also managed to jump on a loose ball that was deflected to him to help his team get another steal.  He also would contest jumpers to force some misses.  Sometimes though, he would get caught ball watching and wander too far away from his man, and he would sometimes be late on his rotations or not even rotate back, which would lead his team to give up open shots to their opponents.  He also would sometimes struggle to stay in front of his opponents when defending them off the dribble, and he also had trouble defending screens, as he would get caught on them and he would sometimes take bad angles on those plays.

In general, TyTy Washington had a strong showing in his team’s win over Tennessee.  He excelled at knocking down jump shots, and he was able to consistently get into the lane to score and get assists in this game.  He will need to be a more disciplined defender in games, as he sometimes struggled to stay focused when guarding shooters and he also will need to add strength to be able to fight through screens better.  He is a skilled, offensive-minded point guard that is playing much better right now than how he started, and he could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the lottery in the 2022 draft.

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield played very well yesterday in his team’s loss to Kentucky, especially late in the game, and he should play much more this season.
(Photo:
Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel/USA Today Network, via SB Nation’s Rock Top Talk)

Tennessee’s 6-10 freshman big man, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield also played very well in his team’s loss to Kentucky.  He didn’t play much, but he really made his presence felt in the second half, and it became abundantly clear that he should’ve far more in this game, and Tennessee could benefit a lot more from giving him much more playing time over the course of this season.

Huntley-Hatfield is an athletic, high-motor big man that thrived at scoring on hustle plays.  He leapt up to score on a powerful tip-in off of an offensive rebound.  He also consistently thrived as a scorer on rolls to the rim.  He also managed to get the ball on a short roll, as he drove hard to his left before utilizing a pump fake to score around the basket once.  Adding to that, he also showed that he can absorb the contact to draw fouls upon his defenders in one-on-one situations to get to the free throw line.  He also took an open three-point shot once, but he missed that time when he hoisted up that jump shot from beyond the arc.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills in this game.  Huntley-Hatfield managed to pass the ball out of the post to notch an assist.  He made good reads with the basketball, and he also managed to throw a long, accurate outlet pass to get the ball to a teammate on the break.  Another time though, he telegraphed a bounce pass that ended up getting intercepted.

Also, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Huntley-Hatfield has a good nose for the ball, and he especially shined as an offensive rebounder in this game.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  He was able to contest a deep three to force a miss.  On the downside, he can sometimes be too aggressive and physical, which can lead him to commit touch fouls and end up out of position.  He was called for a foul by using his hands too much when defending an opponent off the ball.  He also whiffed on a steal attempt when trying to front an opposing post player, which led his teammate to rotate to foul another time.

In summary, Huntley-Hatfield had a strong showing in his team’s loss to Kentucky.  What makes him especially effective on the floor is that he is a very athletic, energetic big man that can finish plays above the rim, and he gives his team a credible lob threat on the floor.  He is a high-upside player that consistently competes to help his team shore up the interior, and he is the most athletic big man they have on the roster.  Tennessee needs to play him more, a lot more moving forward.  If he can develop a consistent outside shot, he could be a really good prospect for the NBA.  He hasn’t gotten enough playing time, but his athleticism, motor, and ability to make plays around the basket could make him an intriguing candidate to be selected in the late first to the second round range on draft day.

Davion Mintz (pictured in the middle, wearing #10) had a strong showing in Kentucky’s win over Tennessee yesterday.
(Photo:
Jordan Prather/USA Today Sports, via Sportsnaut)

Kentucky’s 6-3 sixth-year senior guard, Davion Mintz also played very well in his team’s win over Tennessee.  He shot the ball very well, and he also showed off some surprising athleticism by throwing down a ferocious, rim-rocking dunk off of a baseline drive early on in this contest. Mintz shot the ball very well in this game.  He showed a knack for making his outside shots, and he especially did a good job of scoring on pull-up jumpers.  He showed that he can make corner threes with ease, and he also can calmly knock down dribble jumpers.  He also managed to score on a mid-range floater while getting fouled simultaneously.  He also used a pump fake to get past his man on a baseline drive, and he then promptly scored on a thunderous, jaw-dropping dunk to really get his team and the crowd going.

Also, Mintz passed and handled the ball well in this game.  He can make an assortment of passes off the dribble and on the break to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  He threw a lob pass to notch an assist, and he also threw a timely bounce pass ahead to a teammate to help him score in transition another time.  Plus, Mintz did not turn the ball over once on offense.

Though he didn’t grab many rebounds in this match, Mintz was able to chase down a defensive board once, and he then pushed the ball quickly up the floor afterwards.  Early in this game though, a ball went off his foot when he tried to pursue a defensive board, and the possession ended up going to the other team.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Mintz was able to contest a shot off of a drive to force a miss once.

Overall, Davion Mintz turned in a strong showing in his team’s win over Tennessee.  He really turned heads by not only shooting well, but also by showing some impressive athleticism along the way.  He has been overshadowed by higher profile teammates on his roster, but his ability to shoot the basketball combined with having underrated athletic gifts could enable him to project well into a shooting specialist role in the NBA, as he could end up being a similar player to former NBA journeyman guard, Charlie Bell in the association.

Kentucky’s fifth-year senior guard, Kellan Grady also turned in a solid showing in his team’s win over Tennessee.  He did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and he also was able to make some solid defensive plays in this game.  Grady showed a knack for scoring on quick, open spot-up threes, especially in the corners.  He also ran the floor to score on the break while getting fouled to get an extra free throw afterwards.  As a playmaker, he looked to be about average.  He can make an assortment of passes off the dribble to set up scores for his teammates.  Sometimes though, he would telegraph his passes, which would get intercepted by his defenders.

Also, Grady was able to leap up and save a ball to help his team get a defensive rebound once due to making an impressive hustle play that time.  Grady also played solid defense in this game.  He did a great job of making plays on the ball to help his team on the defensive end.  He would catch errant passes thrown by his opponents to help his team get steals.  When defending an opponent off the dribble, he made a timely block on a mid-range shot, as he swatted the shot to a teammate.  Plus on another play, he also was able to get through a couple of screens as he used his length to successfully challenge a mid-range shot.  However, he also would tend to struggle to fight through screens, as his teammates wouldn’t call them out, and it would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Kellan Grady played very well in his team’s win over Tennessee.  He made a slew of good plays on both ends of the floor, and he could project well into a 3 and D type of role at higher levels.  Currently, he projects to be a borderline second round candidate.  He’s not an overwhelming athlete, but his ability to shoot and pass the basketball and compete could enable him to make his way to the NBA one day.

Tennessee’s freshman point guard, Kennedy Chandler had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Kentucky.  He shot the ball well, as he excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game, and he is a very athletic guard that can score the basketball in a variety of ways.  However, he was not particularly effective at distributing the basketball on a consistent basis, as he was too turnover prone on offense, and he also struggled mightily on the defense end in this game.

Chandler did a very good job of shooting the basketball.  He particularly excelled at scoring on quick, spot-up threes, and he showed that he can knock them down especially when he’s given ample space to get off his shot.  He also made both of his threes from well beyond the arc, as he has NBA range.  He also thrived at scoring on mid-range jumpers off the dribble, as he can use either hand to score on those possessions.   In addition, Chandler also ran off of a back screen to score on a quick, backdoor cut. 

Plus, he also did a decent job of scoring off the dribble.  He showed a knack for dribbling off of screens and going to his right to score on quick layups, and he also was able to split a double team once.  He is a fleet-footed guard that can change speeds, and he also can use nice change of pace, dribble moves to get past his defenders.  He also would draw fouls upon his defenders on aggressive drives in transition to get to the free throw line.  However, sometimes he would take tough, off-balanced shots around the basket that would lead to misses.

On the downside, Chandler was quite turnover prone on offense.  While he is an athletic playmaker that can operate as a lead guard, he doesn’t seem to possess natural court vision, and he would tend to play too wildly and carelessly that would lead him to commit turnovers.  For the positives, he is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he an throw timely interior passes to his teammates to set up scoring chances for them.  On the downside, he would sometimes rush his passes, which would end up going astray, as he threw one that got intercepted, and he threw a couple of inaccurate passes that ended up going out of bounds.  He also dropped a couple of inaccurate passes that went out of bounds, but it seemed that he could’ve made a better attempt to try to catch those balls before it landed out of bounds.

He also did a satisfactory job of rebounding the basketball, and Chandler would often push the ball up the floor after chasing balls down to get defensive rebounds for his team.  On the other hand, he really struggled defensively.  For the positives, he is an active help defender that will look to force turnovers.  Chandler was able to run in to quickly intercept a pass and he also swiped a ball away to help his team get steals.  He also managed to contest a mid-range shot to force a miss once.  However, he would tend to struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, as he would get beat on quick moves to the hoop, and he also would get outmuscled other times.  He also struggled to defend screens and he wouldn’t try to recover hard afterwards to get back to his man.  He also would take bad gambles that would lead him to foul jump shooters or wind up out of position.

Overall, Kennedy Chandler did a very good job of shooting and scoring the basketball, but he was not nearly as effective as a playmaker or defender in this game.  He tended to throw rushed, inaccurate passes that would result in turnovers, and he really struggled to defend on most possessions.  There were times where it seemed as if he didn’t give nearly as much effort on the defensive end as he should have.  He is a talented guard, but he will need to improve in the finer points of the game.  Still, he could end up being a solid value pick for an NBA team in the mid to late first round range of the 2022 draft.

Oscar Tshiebwe has been having a very good season this year at Kentucky.  In this game though, he brought forth an uneven performance in his team’s win over Tennessee.  He is a strong, mobile big man that rebounded the ball well, and he was able to make some solid plays on both ends of the floor.  However, he didn’t quite shoot as well as he had in previous games, and he also had his fair share of struggles on the defensive end in this game.

Tshiebwe did an adequate job of scoring in the post.  He was able to catch a lob to score on a powerful alley-oop dunk.  He also would score on basic moves, as he managed to score on a right-handed hook shot and on a close range jumper another time.  Sometimes though, he would set up too far away, and he would sometimes take rushed, contested shots that would result in misses.  He also was able to calmly knock down a step-back, long two to show his shooting range.  He also tried to score on a quick drive on the break and he also used an overhead ball fake to show his improved ball-handling skills, but he missed the layup short, as he appeared to run out of gas and get tired on his way up for the layup.

He also looked to be about average as a playmaker.  Tshiebwe did a good job of setting screens to help his teammates get open driving lanes to take mid-range shots.  He also threw an accurate outlet pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break.  On the downside, he would sometimes be too physical when looking to set up in the post, which led him to commit offensive fouls and turnovers.  He hooked his arm when trying to post up off the ball.  Another time when dribbling along the baseline from the post, he was called for clearing out with his off arm.

Also, Tshiebwe did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He excelled at chasing down balls to get boards on both ends of the floor. He also looked to be about average as a defender in this game. Tshiebwe did a good job of intercepting passes to get steals, and he also poked a ball away in the post to get another. He also is a strong, physical player that would hold his ground when defending in the post, and he would contest shots in the paint to force misses. He also was able to help force a couple of turnovers when defending in the paint. On the downside, he would sometimes not communicate to his teammates effectively when they were defending in screen situations, which would lead them to wind up in scrambling situations and allow scores. Other times, he would struggle to defend opponents off the dribble and would also be late on his rotations. He also would sometimes take bad gambles and wind up out of position.

Overall, Oscar Tshiebwe has playing very well this season at Kentucky, and he has been one of the most productive players in college basketball. This was not one of his better games, but he’s played much better than anticipated overall over the course of this year, and he’s surely made West Virginia regret not playing him more and allowing him to transfer elsewhere. He is a physical bruiser that is a very effective scorer and rebounder in the paint, which has really helped him this year. In the meantime, he’ll need to add a reliable outside shot to his arsenal, and he’ll need to show that he can effectively defend opponents out on the perimeter and in screen situations on a consistent basis. Currently, he projects to be a second round prospect for the 2022 draft.

Kentucky’s junior point guard, Sahvir Wheeler played well in his team’s win over Tennessee.  He excelled as a shooter, scorer, and facilitator in this game.  On the downside, he also struggled defensively when he was on the floor. Wheeler did a very good job of shooting and scoring the basketball.  He showed a knack for scoring on strong drives to the hoop, and he is a quick, physical guard that can finish plays using either hand around the basket.  He also thrived at scoring on pull-up, mid-range jumpers, as well as in transition.  Though he didn’t take many threes against Tennessee, Wheeler also managed to score on an open corner three to provide floor spacing for his team in this game.

He showed off very good playmaking skills in this game.  Wheeler did a great job of passing off the dribble to set up scores for his teammates in transition, and he also would throw accurate interior passes to notch assists.  He also was able to make a crafty, wraparound pass to notch an assist on the break due to possessing good court vision.  Sometimes though, he would over-dribble, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.  He was called for a charging foul once on a drive, and he also lost the ball on a drive another time.  On one play, he threw a hasty pass that ended up getting intercepted by a defender.

Also, he was able to get a pair of defensive boards in this game.  Defensively though, Wheeler struggled in this game.  For the positives, he is an active help defender that would help his team force turnovers.  He was able to get his hands on passes and also poke balls away to get steals and deflections.  On the downside, he tended to take bad gambles, and he would also lose focus defensively, which would often lead him to allow opponents to score on open jumpers.  He would often over-help in the paint and be late to rotate back to his man.  He also would bite on pump fakes when defending jump shooters, which would lead him to be out of position.  He also would sometimes wander away from his man, and he also would sometimes get beat off the dribble when defending his opponents.

Overall, Sahvir Wheeler had a solid showing in his team’s win over Tennessee.  He is an agile, skilled playmaker that can score and pass the basketball, and he reliably ran the point to help them get the victory.  However, he didn’t defend well in this game, and his lack of size or elite athleticism may make it tougher for him to succeed at higher levels.  Still, he is a tough, hard-nosed player that competes relentlessly when he is on the floor, and his intangibles and ability to make plays on offense could allow him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA someday, or at least to carve out a solid playing career in professional basketball.

Santiago Vescovi also had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Kentucky.  He did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and he made shots efficiently when he was on the floor.  Vescovi showed a knack for knocking down open, spot-up threes off the catch.  He also thrived at scoring on mid-range floaters, as he can go to either hand to do so.  He went to his right to score on a mid-range floater.  He also drove to his left off of a screen, and he then used a pump fake to score on a crafty up and under, mid-range floater.  Plus, he also managed to score on a backdoor cut another time, as he made a good read to run to the hoop off the ball to get it in order to score around the basket.

Also, he displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  Vescovi can throw solid passes off the dribble, and he would tend to kick balls out to shooters to get them opportunities to knock down open shots.  He also threw a crafty, wraparound pass to find a teammate around the hoop another time.  Sometimes though, he would be careless with the ball, which would lead him to commit turnovers.  When handling the ball once, he fell down and lost the ball that time.  On another play, he threw a weak entry pass that ended up getting picked off.

Plus, he also did a satisfactory job of rebounding the basketball.  Vescovi would hustle to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he also managed to push the ball up the floor once off of a defensive board.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  For the positives, he did a very good job of swooping in to intercept passes to get steals for his team.  However, he tended to get beat on quick moves in one-on-one situations, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores.  There was also another play where he didn’t fight hard enough through a screen or try to recover to get back to his man, which led him to allow an opponent to score on a long two-pointer.

Overall, Santiago Vescovi played well in his team’s loss to Kentucky.  He did a good job of knocking down shots, and he can do so in a variety of ways.  On the other hand, he will need to improve in the other facets of the game.  He’s not a true point guard nor is an elite athlete, but his ability to knock down shots could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA sometime down the road.

Tennessee’s junior swingman, Josiah-Jordan James had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Kentucky.  He shot the ball well, and he also was able to make some solid defensive plays when he was on the court, and he showed an improved outside shot, which was encouraging.  On the downside, he was also turnover and foul prone in this game. James shot the ball very well in this game.  He showed a knack for scoring on open, spot-up threes off the catch.  He also used a pump fake to score on an open three early on.  He also did a solid job of scoring on mid-range jumpers.  On one possession, James drove quickly to his left to score on a tough, fadeaway mid-range jumper from the baseline.

Unfortunately though, he was fairly turnover prone on offense.  For the positives, he was able to throw some solid, long passes accurately to get the ball to his teammates.  However, he also threw several hasty passes that resulted in turnovers, as two of them ended up going out of bounds, and another pass of his ended up getting intercepted.  He also dropped a pass that went to an opponent another time, though that turnover was credited to his teammate that time.

Also, James was able to do a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  He was active at crashing the glass, and he was able to get boards on both ends of the floor.  He also would tend to push the ball up the court after leaping up to get defensive rebounds.  He also played adequate defense.  He did a good job of blocking shots off the dribble to himself due to possessing solid athleticism, timing, and instincts.  He also was active in contesting mid-range shots to force misses.  He was also able to rotate to pressure a ball handler to force a passing turnover.  Plus, he also managed to successfully draw a charge to get a stop for his team. 

However, he also struggled to guard shooters at times.  Sometimes he would over-help in the paint, and he would be late to rotate back, which would lead him to be out of position.  On one such play, he ended up fouling a shooter on a corner three, as he landed on top of him.  He also would sometimes be in the area to defend opponents, but would not contest those shots, which would lead his team to give up those baskets.  Other times, he would be called for reach-in fouls, as he would be too aggressive in going for steals.

Overall, Josiah-Jordan James played well in his team’s loss to Kentucky.  He turned in a good showing on offense, and he was generally active in looking to make plays defensively.  He generally defended well when he was focused and dialed in, but he would sometimes make careless mistakes that would result in turnovers or in him being out of position on the defensive end.  James will need to continue to work on his outside shot, as he has struggled to knock down shots this season.  Right now, he is a borderline second round candidate for the 2022 draft.  He’ll need to improve his outside shot, but if so, he could project into a backup role at the NBA level.

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