Observations on Isaac Okoro, Reggie Perry, and Robert Woodard

January 5th, 2020

by Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch Isaac Okoro and the Auburn Tigers face off against Reggie Perry and the Mississippi State Bulldogs in an SEC college basketball game that took place on January 4th. Both of the teams got off to rough starts despite playing at frenetic paces, as there were a lot of missed shots and turnovers early on, but they were able to settle in by making far more shots in the second half.   Auburn was able to hold off Mississippi State in the end, as their strong guard play as well as a strong performance from Austin Wiley helped enable them to get a double-digit victory. Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared, as well as how their games may stack up for the NBA.

Auburn's 6-6 freshman swingman, Isaac Okoro had a solid showing in his team's win over Mississippi State.  (Photo: Adam Sparks / Inside the Auburn Tigers, 247Sports)
Auburn’s 6-6 freshman swingman, Isaac Okoro had a solid showing in his team’s win over Mississippi State. (Photo: Adam Sparks / Inside the Auburn Tigers, 247Sports)

Auburn’s 6-6 freshman swingman, Isaac Okoro had a solid showing to help lift his team to a win over Mississippi State. He excelled at attacking the basket to score points, and he showed off a fairly good set of all-around skills when he was on the court.

Okoro did a tremendous job of scoring on fast breaks. He is a gifted athlete that can beat his man down court quite often, and he would tend to score on tough shots in traffic, and he also would throw down high-flying dunks to score in transition. He also rolled hard to the rim to score another time, while drawing an extra free throw.

Plus, he also showed a decent ability to score off the dribble, as he managed to score on an acrobatic reverse layup off the glass on a drive in transition, and he also used a spin move to draw free throws when taking the ball to the rim from a half-court drive. However, he also can sometimes struggle to score in traffic, and he also had his shot blocked when looking to score in the post. Okoro also attempted a spot-up three once, but he missed that time from beyond the arc.

Also, he displayed decent playmaking skills. Okoro is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving, he can find cutters to set up scoring chances for his teammates, and he also can pass out of the post. He did commit one turnover, as he had committed a charging foul on a drive to the hoop, but the opponent also appeared to have flopped, which should have negated the call instead.

In addition, Okoro also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He would chase down balls to get numerous boards to help his team, and he also would leap up to get rebounds on both ends of the floor.

He also played solid defense. Okoro excelled at getting steals, as he can quickly jump passes and poke balls away to force turnovers, and he would also actively contest shots off drives to force misses. Sometimes though, he would get beat off the dribble by quicker guards, which would cause him to allow scores to his opponents.

In general, Okoro is an athletic, skilled swingman that has a variety of skills that can prove to be useful at the next level, and his versatility allowed him to thrive in this game against Mississippi State. He will still need to improve his jump shot, but his athleticism, versatile skill set, and ability to excel on both ends of the floor could enable him to be a mid first round pick in the 2020 draft, as he could end up being a solid player in the NBA.

Mississippi State's 6-9 sophomore big man, Reggie Perry had some solid moments in his team's loss to Auburn.  (Photo: Adam Sparks / Inside the Auburn Tigers, 247Sports)
Mississippi State’s 6-9 sophomore big man, Reggie Perry had some solid moments in his team’s loss to Auburn. (Photo: Adam Sparks / Inside the Auburn Tigers, 247Sports)

Mississippi State’s 6-9 sophomore big man, Reggie Perry played fairly well in his team’s loss to Auburn. He had his ups and downs throughout the game as he struggled to score consistently in the paint and with his position defense on occasion, but Perry also showed off fairly solid playmaking skills, and he also made some good defensive plays, as he is an athletic big man that can pass and handle the basketball, and he is an active help defender that can help his team get stops.

Perry excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He did a good job of running in to score off of put backs after grabbing offensive boards, and he also can use either hand to score on drives in transition. He also would drive right to the hoop to garner scores and free throws, as he possesses a decent ability to score off the dribble, and he also used a step-through move to score in the post to show his ability to score on the block, but he also tended to miss on jump hooks, and he also would sometimes rush his shots that would lead to misses.

He also pulled up to make a long two, but Perry struggled to consistently knock down jumpers in this game, as he missed all of his three-point shots from beyond the arc.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills. Perry is an unselfish player that will keep the ball moving, and he was able to throw a sharp pass off the dribble to find a cutter to set up a score. He possesses fairly good court sense and handles the ball well, especially for a player his size, and he was able to bring the ball up the floor a couple of times. However, he also committed several careless turnovers, as he had a ball ripped away from him in the post, and he also got intercepted after throwing an inbounds pass another time.

Also, Perry did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He would often leap up to get some tough boards on both ends of the floor, and he also managed to get a handful of boards in traffic.

Plus, he also played adequate defense. Perry is an active help defender that can get blocks and steals, and he also can get stops for his team when he is in position to do so. He managed to block a put back to force a miss, and he also will use his length to successfully challenge a couple of three-point shots. He also found a loose ball to get a steal, intercepted a pass to collect another, and he also tied up an opponent when going for a rebound. Plus, he also has fairly good feet to guard opponents out on the perimeter, and he also managed to draw a charge when defending a drive early on.

However, he also would sometimes be a bit late to contest threes, and he also was late to rotate back to his man, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on long-range jumpers. He also tended to bite on pump fakes, and he also was called for a couple of fouls when defending around the basket due to over-aggressiveness.

In summary, Reggie Perry is an athletic, skilled big man that can do a lot of different things to help his team in games. He will need to improve his jump shot, and he will need to show that he can guard shooters on a consistent basis. Still, he possesses solid playmaking skills as he passes and handles the ball well, and he’s shown an emerging face-up game on offense. Right now, he may be a second round pick for the upcoming draft, but he is a skilled big man that could end up thriving as a role player similar to Washington Wizards’ center, Thomas Bryant in the NBA.

Mississippi State's sophomore forward, Robert Woodard II had his ups and downs in his team's loss to Auburn.  (Photo: Rogelio V. Solis/ the Associated Press, via Montgomery Advertiser.)
Mississippi State’s sophomore forward, Robert Woodard II had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Auburn. (Photo: Rogelio V. Solis/ the Associated Press, via Montgomery Advertiser.)

Mississippi State’s sophomore swingman, Robert Woodard II had his ups and downs in this game, but he had some good moments in his team’s loss to Auburn. He showed a good ability to make jumpers, and he made some athletic plays on both ends of the floor, but he missed too many shots around the basket that he could have made, and he also committed some careless turnovers on offense.

Woodard is a decent shooter that can make spot-up threes to space the floor for his team. He was able to make an open, corner three, and he also ran off the ball to knock down a quick three-point shot another time. On the downside, he is not a very good free throw shooter, as he’s had trouble making free throws consistently when he’s at the foul line, and he ended up missing all of his free throws in this game against Auburn.

He also can score on hustle plays. Woodard managed to throw down a powerful, two-handed dunk off of a cut, and he also can score off of put backs after leaping up to get offensive rebounds, as he also managed to score on a tip-in in transition. However, he missed too many shots off of put back attempts, and he also missed an easy layup on a drive in transition. In addition, he struggled to consistently score off the dribble, as he tended to miss on floaters when he would take the ball to the basket.

He also was a bit turnover prone on offense. For a positive, Woodard was able to find an open shooter to notch an assist. He did commit a couple of turnovers though, as he lost the ball carelessly after getting an offensive rebound to an opponent, and he also had a ball poked away after grabbing a defensive board another time. Woodard is not an elite ball handler nor seems to possess a whole lot of dribble moves, and he struggled to protect the basketball, as he had a tendency to expose the ball to defenders.

Also, Woodard did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball. He would often swoop in to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he would attack the ball with ferocity to help his team on the glass.

Plus, he also played solid defense. Woodard would actively contest shots to force misses, and he also ran down a loose ball to help his team collect a steal. He can be overly aggressive in contesting shots though, which can lead him to commit fouls.

Overall, Robert Woodard showed some interesting skills, as he can make spot-up threes, he rebounds the ball very well, and he can score on off-ball motion plays. He will need to improve his ability to create his own shot as well as play more under control to make more shots around the basket. Right now, he may be a second round prospect for the upcoming draft, but he could project to be a 3 and D type of role player in the association.

Alabama’s 6-11 senior center, Austin Wiley also played well to help lift his team to a victory over Mississippi State. He excelled as a scorer in the post, and he also excelled as a shot blocker to help his team protect the paint.

Wiley showed a decent ability to score in the post. He would often get good position to score on the block, and he would tend to score on jump hooks.   He also showed a good ability to draw free throws, as he can do so after using power dribble to get his shots up. Sometimes though he would struggle to score in traffic, which would lead to misses. Another time, he ran the floor to score on a powerful jam on the break.

Wiley also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. He can pass out of the post, as he was able to do so once to notch an assist, but he also sometimes can get his passes deflected on occasion.

He also was able to haul in his fair share of rebounds to help his team crash the glass. He also played solid defense. Wiley excelled at rotating to block shots in the paint defensively, and he would contest shots off the dribble to force misses. Plus, he also managed to deflect an entry pass out of bounds to nearly get a steal. Sometimes though, he would defend a little too physically, which would lead him to commit fouls. There was a separate play where he rotated on a drive, but ended up getting beat off the dribble by a quicker guard, as his team ended up allowing the score.

Overall, Austin Wiley is a strong, mobile big man that can score, rebound, and defend when he is on the court, and he had a fairly solid game to help get his team the victory. Right now, he may be a second round pick for the upcoming draft, as he may project into a backup center role for the next level.

Mississippi State’s 6-11 redshirt junior center, Abdul Ado had a very good game in his team’s loss to Auburn. He did a tremendous job of blocking shots as he played stellar defense, and he also rebounded the ball well. On offense, he wasn’t especially active in looking to score often, but he was very efficient in making shots in the limited number of touches he had on offense, and he also didn’t turn the ball over once in this contest.

Ado is a solid defensive player that does an outstanding job of blocking shots. He is a very athletic, energetic player that would often swat shots off of drives and in the post to teammates, as he possesses very good length, athleticism, and timing to do so. He tended to make good rotations, and he made it hard for his opponents to get clean looks to score in the paint. Plus, Ado also would run in to poke balls away from opposing ball handlers to get steals, and he also managed to deflect a pass out of bounds another time.

On the other hand, sometimes he would commit fouls in the post due to over-aggressiveness, and he also gave up deep position when defending on the block that led his team to allow a score on a separate play. Other times, he doesn’t communicate to his teammates where to go on screens, as his team would allow open three-point shots and would sometimes fail to cut off penetration when opponents would drive the ball to the hoop. On a separate play, he ended up getting beat down court, which led his team to allow a score on a fast break.

Overall, Abdul Ado is a gifted defender that really excelled at blocking shots to help his team protect the paint. On offense though, he doesn’t look to get involved enough to be a reliable scoring threat, even though he was very efficient in the limited number of touches he had on that side of the ball. He will need to be more assertive on offense and continue to expand his skill set. Right now, he may be a borderline second round candidate for the NBA draft, but he could project into a defensive specialist role for the next level.

Auburn’s 6-7 redshirt senior forward, Danjel Purifoy excelled at making spot-up threes, and he also played a fairly good all-around game to help get his team the victory over Mississippi State.

He shot the ball fairly well as he can make spot-up jumpers off the catch, and he also ran off a ball screen to make an open three once. He also managed to score on a tip in after getting an offensive rebound, and he also scored on a up and under move after driving quickly to the rim another time. Sometimes, he can struggle to score in traffic though, and he can be streaky with his jump shot, which can lead him to miss shots.

Purifoy also did a good job of passing the basketball, as he had a knack for throwing long outlet passes to find teammates in transition, and he also threw a bullet pass to find a cutter to set up a score another time. Plus, he did not turn the ball over once on offense.

He also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball, and he also can bring the ball up the floor after grabbing defensive rebounds for his team.

Plus, he also played decent defense. Purifoy can poke balls away and jump passes to get steals and deflections, and he also would actively contest jumpers as well as shots in the post to force misses. He also hustled back on defense, and forced an opponent to rush his shot in transition to help his team get a stop on a separate play. However, sometimes he would get beat off the dribble or over-rotate, which would lead his team to allow scores around the basket. Also, he committed a foul on a put back after his opponent had collected a rebound once.

Overall, Purifoy had a solid all-around game to help get his team the win, and he excelled at knocking down threes down the stretch. He has been a good role player for his team, and he could project to be a 3 and D type of player at the next level. While he hasn’t garnered much draft buzz, he has the skills to compete for a roster spot in the NBA.

Other Notes:

Auburn’s 6-0 senior point guard, J’Von McCormick had a slow start to this game, but he ended up having a solid showing to help his team get the win over Mississippi State, as he scored 28 points against them.

He showed a knack for scoring on floaters off the dribble, and he also managed to score on a quick cut to the basket while getting an additional free throw afterwards. McCormick also made a couple of pull-up threes to show his range in this game.   Plus, he also managed to score on a couple of reverse layups after grabbing offensive rebounds. However, he had trouble making jumpers consistently, and he missed several shots badly off the dribble. Sometimes, he would tend to rush his shots, which would lead him to miss shots wildly around the basket.

He also was quite turnover prone. For the positives, McCormick is a speedy playmaker that handles the ball well, and he can pass off the dribble as well as in transition to notch assists. However, he had trouble protecting the basketball as he would try to do too much at times, and he also would throw hasty passes that would lead him to commit turnovers.

McCormick also would run down balls to get rebounds, as he especially excelled at crashing the offensive glass to do so. He also played decent defense. McCormick was able to intercept passes to get steals, and he was also active in contesting shots to force misses. Sometimes though, he would get beat off the dribble, which would lead his team to allow scores.

Overall, J’Von McCormick is an athletic combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball, and he could project to be a microwave type of scorer at the next level. He will need to improve his playmaking skills and ability to run the point, and he had a tendency to try to overtly force the issue, which would lead to some bad misses and turnovers. Right now, he may be a borderline second round candidate, and he may have the skills to make his way onto a team’s roster in the NBA.

Mississippi State’s 6-2 junior guard, Nick Weatherspoon didn’t have his best game, but he made several highlight-reel worthy plays, as he is a tremendously athletic specimen that was probably the best athlete among all of the players that participated in this match.

Weatherspoon did a decent job of scoring on quick drives to the basket. He has a very good first step to the hoop, as he can explode to the rim to score in transition, and he also can score on layups and runners off the dribble. On one play, he drove hard right to the basket in transition, as he ended up scoring on a thunderous dunk that time. However, he also has a tendency to miss shots wildly, as he also would be prone to missing off-balanced layups in traffic. In addition, he had trouble knocking down jumpers, but he did use a pump fake to draw free throws on a pull-up, mid-range jumper once.

On the downside, he was quite turnover prone in this game. For the positives, Weatherspoon can kick balls out to shooters off the dribble to notch assists, and there are times where he shows good court vision when he plays under control. However, he can tend to play too recklessly. He tended to commit ball handling turnovers due to carelessness, and he also threw a couple of hasty passes that ended up getting intercepted.

Weatherspoon didn’t grab many rebounds against Auburn, but he was able to swoop in to get a couple of defensive boards. He also played terrific defense in this game. Weatherspoon is an excellent shot blocker for his size, as he would fly in to swat shots ferociously to help his team protect the paint. He also was active in contesting three-point shots to force misses, and he also drew a charge when defending a charge on the break. He also was able to run in to poke a ball away out of bounds to nearly get a steal. Occasionally, he can be too aggressive on the defensive end though, which can lead him to commit fouls.

Overall, Nick Weatherspoon is a very athletic combo guard that has promising scoring and defensive skills, but he will need to show that he can knock down jumpers consistently and show that he can effectively run the point. He is an elite athlete that could be a dynamic player if he can put his skills altogether, but he also tended to play too recklessly on offense. Right now, he may be a second round prospect for the time being. If he can make strides to improve as an overall player, he could quickly move up draft boards, as he may possess considerable upside as a prospect for the NBA.

Auburn’s 6-4 redshirt junior guard, Samir Doughty excelled at attacking the basket to garner scores, as he showed a deft ability to score on floaters, and he also scored on a quick cut to the basket another time. He struggled to knock down jumpers though, and he had a couple of shots blocked off the dribble, but he generally was efficient in making shots.

He also threw solid interior passes, as he can find teammates on the move to notch assists, but sometimes he can be inaccurate with his passes, which can lead him to commit turnovers.

Doughty rebounded and defended well against Mississippi State. He was active at crashing the glass, and he also blocked a three-point shot to a teammate. He also would play passing lanes to get steals and deflections, and he would actively contest jump shots to force misses. Sometimes though, he would commit reach-in fouls, and on one occasion, it led him to allow a basket and an extra free throw to an opponent.

Overall, Doughty is a skilled combo guard that can contribute in a number of ways to help his team get wins. Though he’s flown under the radar as a draft prospect, Doughty has been having a very good season for Auburn. Right now, he may project to be a second round prospect whenever he decides to enter the draft, as he could project to be a microwave type of scorer in the NBA.

Auburn’s 6-7 senior forward, Anfernee McLemore did not have a great game in his team’s win, as he struggled to make shots from the field. He struggled to score from the post, missed an easy dunk off of a cut, and missed his only three-point attempt, but McLemore did score on a floater after getting the ball in the paint once.

He would look to crash the glass, as he was able to help his team get a couple of defensive boards. Defensively, he did not do so well in this game. On the bright side, he was able to contest a shot off of a drive to force a miss. On the other hand, he tended to get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores, and he was quite foul prone in this game. He also bit on a pump fake, which lead him to foul an opponent on a mid-range shot another time.

Overall, McLemore did not play very well in his team’s win over Mississippi State, and he’s had a rather perplexing career so far at Auburn. McLemore is an athletic, combo forward that has shown promises at times, as his most promising year as a prospect likely was his sophomore season, as he’s shown versatile scoring skills and terrific shot blocking skills in limited stretches.

However, McLemore has never really been able to play more than 20 minutes per game in any season yet, and his tendency to end up in foul trouble limits his ability to stay on the floor. He’s also shown a tendency to fade into the background on offense, and he can be quite inconsistent as a scorer in games. He’ll need to be a more consistent player when he’s on the floor. Right now, he’s a borderline second round prospect for the upcoming draft, but he has the skills to end up making an NBA team’s summer league roster in 2020.

Other Notes, Part II:

Gonzaga barely squeaked by Pepperdine to win in a close contest in an in-conference match between 2 West Coast Conference teams yesterday.

Pepperdine’s 6-1 junior point guard, Colbey Ross scored 24 points, and had 10 assists and 5 rebounds in his team’s loss, as he is a skilled playmaker that can shoot and pass the basketball. Ross did have a chance to tie the game late when his team was down 73-70, but Gonzaga’s senior big man, Killian Tillie used length and timing to block the three-point shot to seal the win for the Bulldogs.

Pepperdine’s 6-6 senior forward, Kameron Edwards also played fairly well in his team’s loss to Gonzaga.  He is an athletic combo forward that can attack the basket to garner scores, and he also excelled at grabbing rebounds and steals for his team. Late in this game, he managed to drive to throw down a thunderous dunk off the dribble. He is an intriguing prospect that could go in the mid to late second round range, as he could compete for a roster spot in the NBA.

Earlier this afternoon, Michigan State squared off against Michigan, and senior point guard, Cassius Winston starred in this matchup, as he excelled at knocking down threes and floaters off the dribble, and he also passed the ball well. He made a step back three, and he also rotated to the post to poke a ball away from Jon Teske to get a steal for his team. Winston had a terrific showing to help lift his team to a double-digit victory, as he scored 32 points, and dished out 9 assists to get his team the win.

Another player who played well was Michigan State’s 6-8 junior big man, Xavier Tillman. He excelled at scoring on rolls and in the post, and he would set good screens for his teammates to help get them open looks to score. Plus, he also made a three, and he excelled at rebounding and blocking shots to help his team protect the paint. Right now, he projects to be a second round prospect, as he could excel as a rotational big man in the NBA.