Observations on Josh Green, Isaiah Stewart, and Nico Mannion
March 11th, 2020
by Alan Lu
I decided that I would write up the Arizona-Washington, Pac-12 tournament game after all, and this match provided another opportunity to watch talented players play in a high-stakes basketball game. For Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart, it meant playing to keep their season alive, and for Arizona, it meant playing to try to gain a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament. Isaiah Stewart played very well as he excelled as a scorer and rebounder, but Arizona received solid performances from numerous players, as they were able to hold off Washington to advance to the next round of the Pac-12 Tournament. Here are my thoughts on how Josh Green, Isaiah Stewart, Nico Mannion, Zeke Nnaji, and Jaden McDaniels fared on this day.
Arizona’s freshman swingman, Josh Green had a stellar showing in his team’s win over Washington. He excelled as a shooter, scorer, and defender in this game, and he made very solid plays on both ends of the floor.
Green did a very good job of knocking down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense. He showed a knack for making corner threes, as he was able to run off of a ball screen to knock down his third three, and he also showed that he can ably make mid-range jumpers off the catch and dribble.
He also showed a good ability to draw fouls to get to the free throw line, as he can do so off of cuts and off the dribble. However, he also would sometimes struggle to score in traffic, as he can sometimes be prone to rushing his shots, and he also had a shot blocked off of a cut another time.
Also, he displayed average at best playmaking skills. For the positives, Green is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he will look to get his teammates the ball to set up scores for them. However, he also was fairly turnover prone. He was prone to getting his passes intercepted, and he also threw an entry pass that a teammate dropped out of bounds.
He also was able to collect his fair share of boards, and he was especially active at crashing the offensive glass, as he would leap up to get his team rebounds.
Green also played solid defense. He showed a penchant for intercepting passes to get steals, and he would contest threes as well as a shot in the post to force misses. Plus, he also managed to successfully draw a charge on a roll man. Green also managed to recover to block a shot off of a drive due to possessing good athleticism, timing, and instincts that time, but doing so led him to be inadvertently out of position as his opponent grabbed the miss, and he ended up fouling his opponent on a put back.
In general, Green played very well as he generally excelled at making plays on both ends of the court to help his team get the victory. He is a solid player that will make team plays, and he could be a good pick for an NBA team in the mid first round, as he could end up being a very good, 3 and D type of role player in the association.
Washington’s 6-9 freshman big man, Isaiah Stewart played very well in his team’s loss to Arizona. He scored 29 points and hauled in 12 rebounds in this game, and he showed off versatile scoring skills when he was on the court.
Stewart did a very good job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor for his team. He excelled at making face-up, baseline mid-range jumpers, and he also utilized a jab step to make a three-point shot from beyond the arc.
He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He would run the floor and catch long passes to score in transition, and he also would score off of strong put backs after grabbing offensive rebounds. Stewart also showed the ability to make turnaround jumpers after getting offensive boards. He did have his shot blocked once in transition, but he generally did a very good job of getting scores around the basket.
Also, Stewart did a good job of scoring in the post. He would often get deep position, as he was able to score on a jump hook, and he also would tend to draw fouls upon his defenders to get to the foul line. He did miss once on a jump hook, but Stewart generally showed very good strength and scoring touch to score from the block.
On the downside, he was a bit turnover prone on offense. Stewart would sometimes commit careless turnovers, as he was called for a charging foul on a roll, and he also was called for stepping out of bounds after catching a lob pass in transition. He also threw a ball away that led to another turnover earlier in this game.
Plus, Stewart did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He would leap up to get numerous boards on both ends of the floor. However, there was one play where he mistimed the jump, as the ball kind of bounced oddly off the rim, which led him to commit a foul on a put back.
On the downside, he did not seem to play very good defense in this game. For the positives, Stewart managed to block a turnaround, mid-range jumper to a teammate, and he would actively contest shots in the post to force misses. He also managed to rotate to contest a shot off of a drive to get another stop for his team. However, he would often give up too much space to shooters, as he would not even contest plenty of mid-range shots that his opponents would end up making. He also can be too aggressive at times, as he rotated to commit a foul on a cut, and he also was over-played a ball fake, in which he ended up committing a foul in the post another time.
In summary, Isaiah Stewart had a very good showing in his team’s loss to Arizona. He is a strong, physical player that showed the ability to make shots from all over the floor, and he is also mobile big man that showed good competitiveness out there. With his ability to score and rebound, Stewart could be a good value pick for an NBA team in the mid to late first round range of the 2020 draft.
Arizona’s freshman point guard, Nico Mannion also played very well in his team’s win over Washington. He made smart decisions throughout this game, and he had a solid all-around showing to help lead his team to the victory.
Mannion shot the ball very well in this game. He excelled at making spot-up threes off the catch, and he was able to knock one down from way out. Plus, he also used a quick jab step to draw free throws on a pull-up, mid-range jumper.
He also did a good job of scoring on strong drives to the basket. Mannion showed a knack for driving to his left to score on runners, and he also managed to draw an extra free throw after getting one score. Late in the game, he tried to draw a fifth foul on Stewart, but he ended missing on an aggressive, right-handed drive wildly around the basket, as he tried to go around him and wound up missing.
He also displayed adequate playmaking skills. Mannion tends to make smart decisions with the ball, as he can find open shooters on the break, and he also was able to weave a pass to a cutter off the dribble to set up a scoring chance for his teammate. He did commit his lone turnover of the game as he threw an inaccurate hard pass that ended up going astray.
Though he didn’t grab many rebounds, Mannion was able to get a defensive board in this game. He also played solid defense. Mannion showed a knack for running in to intercept passes, and he would contest threes to force numerous misses. He also managed to stay in front of his man once to force his opponent to commit a traveling violation. On the downside, he would occasionally struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, as he was beat off the dribble to allow a score, and he also got outmuscled on another drive to allow a score in transition.
Overall, Nico Mannion had a strong showing in his team’s win over Washington, and he played well on both ends of the floor to help his team get the victory. He is a smart, skilled playmaker that can shoot and pass the basketball, and he could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the mid first round range on draft day.
Arizona’s freshman center, Zeke Nnaji played fairly well to help his team get the victory over Washington. He primarily excelled as a scorer and rebounder in this game, but he also was fairly turnover and foul prone in this game.
Nnaji showed a decent ability to score in the post. He can finish plays around the basket, and he showed a knack for drawing fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line. Sometimes, he would miss on off-balanced shots, as he would attempt to score on some fairly complicated moves in traffic. Nnaji also did a good job of knocking down mid-range jumpers to help space the floor for his team.
On the downside, he was fairly turnover prone on offense. For the positives, Nnaji is an unselfish player that will look to pass from the post, and he can find the open man to notch some assists. However, he tended to throw inaccurate pass that would sail out of bounds, and he also lost the ball while trying to handle it another time that led to another turnover.
He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball. Nnaji was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor. However, there was one play where he was outmuscled on a rebounding attempt, which led him to allow a put back score. He also was called for committing an offensive foul another time when trying to go for an offensive board.
He will also need to improve his defense. For the positives, Nnaji was able to get a steal and he also contested a shot off of a drive to force a miss. He also managed to stay in front of his man when guarding out on the perimeter to force his opponent to pass the basketball. However, he tended to pick up fouls, as he can be over-aggressive in trying to contest shots or when going for steals, and he also got outmuscled in the post another time to allow a score. Sometimes, he can struggle to guard players out on the perimeter, and there was one play where he gave up too much space to a shooter as he didn’t even contest the shot, which led his opponent to score on a three-point shot.
Overall, Nnaji did a fairly good job of scoring and rebounding the basketball. He will need to improve his defense and take better care of the basketball, but he is an athletic, energetic big man that could be a solid value pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range of the upcoming draft.
For Washington’s freshman forward, Jaden McDaniels, if this was his last game of his collegiate career, well, it wasn’t a particularly good or memorable one. He struggled to make his presence felt in the first half, and while he had a good stretch run in the second half when Isaiah Stewart was off the floor due to foul trouble, McDaniels ended up struggling throughout to make shots, and he also committed too many turnovers and fouls in his team’s loss to Arizona.
McDaniels struggled to make consistently shots in this game, but he was able to run off of a ball screen to make a quick spot-up three off the catch, and he was able to dribble around before knocking down a pull-up jumper from the mid-range area. He also struggled to make threes from beyond the arc though, and he had trouble making long-range shots consistently against Arizona.
On the plus side, he was able to draw a foul when posting up a smaller defender, and he also drew free throws on a put back. McDaniels also managed to use a spin move off of a drive to score on a tough, close-range jumper. He tended to struggle to score in traffic though, as he would be prone to missing shots when he wouldn’t get foul calls.
He was quite turnover prone on offense in this game. For the positives, McDaniels is an unselfish player that can handle the basketball, and he can throw solid passes off the dribble to set up scoring chances for his teammates. On the downside, he had a couple of his inbounds passes picked off, and he also threw a ball away out of bounds another time, as he tended to throw hasty passes in this game. He also was called for stepping out of bounds that led him to commit another turnover.
Also, McDaniels was able to swoop in to collect his fair share of boards on both ends of the floor. However, he also was called for committing a couple of over the back fouls when going for boards at various moments of this game.
He also played decent defense. McDaniels was able to poke a ball away from an opponent off of a drive to get a steal, and he was able to deflect a pass another time. He also was able to contest jumpers to force misses. Sometimes though, he would be too aggressive on the defensive end, which would lead him to commit touch fouls. There was another play where he was caught over-helping in the paint, and was late to rotate to defend a corner three, which led his team to allow an opponent to score on a three-point shot.
Overall, Jaden McDaniels is a very athletic, versatile combo forward that has a variety of skills that may suggest he may have considerable upside as a prospect for the NBA. However, he struggled to consistently make shots in this game, and he just did not play very well overall in his team’s loss to Arizona. Throughout this season, he’s shown flashes of brilliance, but has been too inconsistent with his overall play, as he can be prone to shooting slumps and to committing careless turnovers on offense, and he may be far from being polished player for the NBA. Still, he’s a talented enough player to potentially warrant consideration to go in the lottery, but it’s more likely that he may end up getting selected in the mid to late first round range of the upcoming draft.