Observations on Matthew Hurt, Trent Forrest, and Vernon Carey Jr.

February 11th, 2020

by Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch Duke play against Florida State in a very competitive, ACC college basketball game. This match featured numerous prospects that could potentially get selected in the first round of the upcoming draft, and it was a nail-biter that went down all the way to the wire. In the end, Duke managed to hold on to edge out Florida State to get the victory, though it also came with some controversy, as Matthew Hurt apparently elbowed Trent Forrest after grabbing an offensive rebound late in this game, and managed to draw a foul on him in the process. The standout performers were Matthew Hurt, Trent Forrest, Vernon Carey Jr., and Jordan Goldwire. Here are my thoughts on how they performed, as well as how their skills may translate to the NBA.

Matthew Hurt could potentially be a first round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.  (Photo: Henry Haggart/The Chronicle.)
Duke’s freshman forward, Matthew Hurt played very well in his team’s win over Florida State. (Photo: Henry Haggart/The Chronicle.)

Duke’s freshman forward, Matthew Hurt rebounded from a tough performance in his team’s win over North Carolina to have a solid showing to lift his team to a victory over Florida State.

Hurt shot the ball very well, as he would calmly knock down three-point shots to stretch the floor for his team. He was able to make an open corner three, and he also used a pump fake and a side step move to make a pull-up three about a minute after he made his first long-range jumper of the game. Hurt has a nice, subtle pump fake move that he can use to regularly draw defenders in the air, which would enable him to get his shot off more easily.

He also displayed an adequate ability to score off the dribble. Hurt was able to use a pump fake prior to driving right to the rim, as he was able to draw free throws that time. However, he also had his shot blocked another time off of a high post drive.

His most controversial play that seemed to have college fans divided was what happened after he grabbed an offensive rebound late in this game. Hurt managed to leap up to get the board, but he apparently elbowed Forrest in the face, as he not only was not called for fouling him, but he instead drew the foul on his defender. Hurt was able to get free throws out of that, as he made both of his free throws to help put the game away. Obviously, Duke fans seemed to be pleased with the result, but Florida State fans seemed to be irate and angered at the call that the officials had decided to make.

Also, he displayed adequate playmaking skills. Hurt was able to kick a ball out to a shooter off of a drive to help set up a score for his teammate, and he showed decent court vision, ball handling skills, and the willingness to find the open man. Plus, he also did not turn the ball over once on offense.

However, he did not grab many rebounds in this game. Hurt did get perhaps the most important rebound down the stretch, as he leapt up to get a clutch offensive board late in the second half to help seal the victory for his team. He also was able to leap up to get a defensive rebound on a separate play.

Plus, Hurt also played good defense in this game. He played with much more effort, activity, and awareness, as he was able to really make solid plays on this side of the ball. Hurt managed to stay with Williams on a drive to block his shot out of bounds, and he would actively contest shots off the dribble due to possessing fairly good length, timing, and instincts. Hurt also managed to successfully challenge a pull-up three to force a miss, and he did a good job of contesting jumpers to force misses. He did rotate to commit a foul on a drive once, but Hurt generally excelled at making solid plays on the defensive end in this game against Florida State.

In general, Matthew Hurt played very well in his team’s win over Florida State. Obviously, he shot the ball very well, but he also showed that he is a skilled basketball player that can make plays when counted on to do so. When he’s focused and dialed in, he can play like a player worthy of being a first round selection in the upcoming draft. Right now, Hurt may project to go somewhere in the late first to the second round range, as he could end up being a floor spacing combo forward similar to Denver Nuggets’ forward, Keita Bates-Diop in the NBA.

Trent Forrest could potentially go in the mid to late second round range for the 2020 NBA Draft.  (Photo: Alison Posey/ABC27, via WTXL Tallahassee.)
Florida State’s senior point guard, Trent Forrest played very well in his team’s loss to Duke. (Photo: Alison Posey/ABC27, via WTXL Tallahassee.)

Florida State’s senior point guard, Trent Forrest had a tremendous showing in his team’s loss to Duke. Defensively, he was terrific, and he excelled at scoring off the dribble to help his team get buckets in this game.

Forrest played very good defense against Duke. He did an excellent job of intercepting passes to get a plethora of steals, and he is an agile, fleet footed defender that can make a lot of plays on the ball. He also managed to jump on a loose ball to get another steal, as he was able to push the ball up the floor afterwards. Plus, Forrest also blocked a shot off of a drive on the break to a teammate to showcase his athleticism and strong defensive skills. He also managed to successfully draw a charge when defending a drive another time. A few times, he would give up too much space to shooters, as he would not always contest shots in time, which would cause him to allow them to score on three-point shots.

He also did a good job of getting scores off the dribble. Forrest would score on strong, aggressive drives to the hoop. He was able to score on a reverse layup once, and he also split a double team to score on a quick layup another time. He also showed a knack for drawing fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line. Forrest also did a good job of scoring on pull-up jumpers from the mid-range, and he also scored on a speedy dunk on a drive in transition another time. He had trouble making threes though, as he was unable to make them when he would hoist them up from beyond the arc.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills. Forrest is a good ball handler that handles it well, and he also is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving. He also managed to throw a lob pass to set up an alley-oop dunk for his teammate. However, he also would sometimes throw hasty passes that would get deflected and intercepted, and he also was called for traveling on a play where he would have made a floater if that call had not been made.

Forrest also did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He would frequently chase down balls to help his team get boards on both ends of the floor, and he was able to show that he has a keen nose for the basketball.

In summary, Trent Forrest played very well, as he had a coming out party in his team’s tough loss to Duke. He excelled at driving the ball to the basket to score the basketball, he played great defense, and he made solid, athletic plays at the point. Right now, he has flown under the radar as a draft prospect, but he is a skilled basketball player that could be a great find for a team in the NBA, as he could end up thriving as a role player for the next level.

Vernon Carey Jr. could potentially go in the late lottery in the 2020 NBA Draft.  (Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images, via Bleacher Report.)
Duke’s freshman center, Vernon Carey Jr. quietly played well in his team’s victory over Florida State. (Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images, via Bleacher Report.)

Duke’s 6-10 freshman center, Vernon Carey Jr. had a fairly good showing in his team’s win over Florida State. He made shots efficiently, he rebounded the ball well, and he also has very good hands to catch long passes on offense.

Carey showed a good ability to score in the post. He would often get deep position to garner scores around the basket. He was able to catch a lob pass to score on a thunderous alley-oop dunk, and he also pivoted to score on a drop step leaner while drawing an extra free throw another time. Carey also did a good job of scoring off of put backs, and he also showed a knack for drawing fouls to get to the free throw line. Sometimes though, he would miss on tough shots in traffic after trying to quickly maneuver his way to the hoop.

He took even less shots than in the previous game, and he did not look to take jumpers from outside of the paint. While that may certainly help Carey at the collegiate level, which is played at a considerably slower pace than in the NBA, he will need to expand his shooting range and be more comfortable in taking outside shots in the future to broaden his skill set.

On the downside, he was quite turnover prone on offense against Florida State. For the positives, Carey was able to find a cutter from the high post to notch assists, and he has very good hands to catch tough, long passes on the break. However, he would sometimes struggle to handle or protect the basketball in traffic, and he also can sometimes throw inaccurate passes that may go astray.

Also, Carey did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He would often leap up to get strong boards on both ends of the floor, and he was able to get a two-handed offensive board once in this game.

He also played adequate defense. Carey showed a good ability to intercept passes and loose balls that were dropped in mid-air to get steals, and he also was able to deflect a pass to nearly collect another. He also showed a fairly good ability to defend opponents in the post as well as off of drives, and he would contest shots off the dribble to force misses. However, sometimes he would give up too much space to shooters, which would allow them to score on jumpers. Other times, he would struggle to help his team cut off penetration, as he would get beat on moves to the hoop, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Vernon Carey Jr. played fairly well in his team’s win over Florida State. He is a strong, mobile center that can score with his back to the basket, and he also is a very good rebounder that can play adequate interior defense. On the other hand, he will need to be more comfortable in taking outside shots in games, and he can still tend to struggle to guard quicker players out on the perimeter. Right now, Carey may project to go in the mid to late first round range this year, and he could end up being a solid rotational big man in the NBA.

Florida State’s sophomore swingman, Devin Vassell had some good moments in his team’s loss to Duke. He played very good defense and was able to make some tough shots, but he also struggled to make shots consistently in this game.

Vassell did a good job of scoring on hustle plays. He was able to score on a floater after getting the ball on a curl cut, and he also showed a good ability to score on drives on the break. Though he also managed to score on a smooth floater off of a half court drive, Vassell struggled to score on those types of plays consistently, and he also had a couple of his shots blocked. He also had trouble making pull-up jumpers in this game, but he was able to use a crossover to make a pull-up three once.

He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. Though Vassell looked to score quite often when he would get chances to touch the ball on offense, he was able to throw a nice interior pass off the dribble once, and he also brought the ball up another time.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He would frequently crash the glass to collect defensive boards, and he can jump very high in the air to get them.

Also, Vassell played good defense in this game. He showed a knack for blocking shots from all over the floor to get stops for his team, and he would intercept passes and poke balls away to get steals and deflections for his team. He also was able to contest a three to force a miss. Sometimes though, he would be badly out of position, as he can tend to gamble for steals too much, which can lead him to allow opponents to score on jumpers. Another time, he was beat on a drive, which led his opponent to score on a floater.

In summary, Devin Vassell played solid defense in his team’s loss to Duke. He was able to make some highlight reel worthy plays, and he is an athletic, high-motor swingman that could project to be a good defensive player in the NBA. He will need to be a more consistent player on offense and be more focused as an on-ball defender, but Vassell has the athleticism and the defensive skills to thrive as a role player at the next level.

Duke’s freshman swingman, Cassius Stanley had some good moments in his team’s win over Florida State. He was able to score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he also made some solid plays on both ends of the floor. He struggled to consistently knock down jumpers and committed plenty of turnovers, but he was able to make some contributions to help his team get the victory.

Stanley excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He was able to cut to the hoop to score on a floater, and he also scored on a thunderous tip slam after running in and leaping up to grab an offensive board. Plus, he also was able to draw fouls when he would look to score in transition.

He also showed a fairly average ability to get scores off the dribble. He would draw fouls when driving to the hoop, as he would get to the free throw line, but sometimes he would get his shots blocked in this game. Stanley struggled to make jump shots consistently against Florida State. While he was able to make an open, spot-up three, he missed on other long-range jumpers from beyond the arc.

On the downside, he was a bit turnover prone in this game. For the positives, Stanley is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man to set up scores for his teammates. However, he also made some mental mistakes that led him to commit some turnovers. Stanley lost the ball on a drive once, and he also threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted another time. Then, he dropped a pass out of bounds later on, as he took his eyes off the ball. The weird thing was, even though he had good hands to leap up and score on a tip dunk, he also managed to drop a pass out of bounds in this game.

He also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He would often go up to get boards on both ends of the floor, and Stanley would leap high in the air to get a couple of defensive boards for his team.

Defensively, Stanley looked to be about average in this game. He was able to deflect a pass out of bounds to nearly get a steal, and he also would contest jumpers to force some misses. One another play, he hustled back on defense, as he was able to draw an offensive foul on an opponent due to possessing a very good motor and due to being in good position to do so.

However, he had some trouble staying in front of his man off the dribble, as he would get beat, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores. Other times, he would make bad gambles in trying to go for steals, which would lead him to commit reach-in fouls as a result.

Overall, Cassius Stanley is a very athletic swingman that could project to be a defensive specialist at the next level. He is an energetic player that does a good job of making hustle plays on both ends of the floor, but he will need to improve his jump shot and cut down on the number of mistakes he makes on the offensive end. Right now, he would be a very good value pick for a team in the late first to the second round, as he may be a high upside player that could end up excelling in his role in the NBA.

Duke’s freshman swingman, Wendell Moore Jr. didn’t play nearly as well as he did against North Carolina, but he still was able to some really solid plays to help his team get the victory over Florida State.

Moore showed a good ability to score in transition. He ran the floor to get the ball once, as he was able to score on a magnificent, acrobatic reverse layup on the break.

He also used a series of dribble moves, as he drove right to score on a smooth, pull-up jumper from the mid-range area. However, Moore generally struggled to score off the dribble or to score on pull-up jumpers in general, and he even had one shot blocked off of a drive. He did take one three-point shot, but he missed it that time from beyond the arc.

He also was quite turnover prone in this game. On one good play, he was able to kick a ball out to a shooter off of a drive to notch an assist. Moore would also bring the ball up the floor several times. However, he can tend to be careless with the basketball, which can result in turnovers. Sometimes he would commit ball-handling turnovers due to recklessness, and he also threw a pass that ended up getting intercepted.

Also, he was able to collect his fair share of boards, and he would sometimes bring the ball up the floor after getting defensive rebounds.

Moore also played decent defense. He was able to rotate on a drive, as he really came in from the blind side, as he elevated to block a shot ferociously out of bounds. He also would play passing lanes to make it difficult for his opponents to get passes through. Also, he would actively contest shots to force some misses. Sometimes though, he would struggle to stay in front of his man on drives, which would lead him to allow scores to his opponents.

Overall, Moore is an athletic, physical swingman that may be a high upside player worth taking in the 2020 draft. Right now, he is a player that possesses solid defensive skills, as well as promising scoring and playmaking skills, but he will need to improve his jump shot and be more comfortable in taking outside shots, and he will have to cut down on mental mistakes to limit his turnovers on offense. He could be a worthwhile pick for a team in the late first to the second round range, as he could project to be a gritty, upper-tier defensive specialist in the association.

Duke’s sophomore point guard, Tre Jones didn’t have his best game, but he was able to make just enough plays to help his team get the victory over Florida State.

He did an adequate job of getting scores off the dribble. He has a series of dribble moves that he can use to get scores, as he was able to use a stutter step to score on a layup, and he also scored on a floater. Jones also showed a good ability to score on pull-up, mid-range jumpers. He tended to miss on off-balanced shots off the dribble though, and he tended to struggle more to score in traffic. Also, he was unable to make any of the threes that he hoisted up from beyond the arc.

He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills in this game. Jones is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he can find teammates ahead to set up scores for them. He is a good passer in transition, and he also threw an accurate lob pass to set up a score for a teammate once. Jones committed far too many turnovers though, as he would throw hasty passes that would get intercepted, and he also would sometimes carelessly lose the ball when handling it.

He also was able to chip in to get a few rebounds in this game, as he would chase down balls to get defensive rebounds, and he would then bring the ball up the floor afterwards. Jones also played decent defense. He would be active in the passing lanes to get steals and deflections, and he also stripped an opposing ball handler on a drive to nearly get a steal another time. He also managed to force a miss when defending in the post once when guarding a much taller player. However, sometimes he would get beat off the dribble, which would cause him to allow scores to his opponents.

Overall, Tre Jones didn’t play very well, but he made enough plays to help his team get the victory. He is a table setter that can at times make some fascinating plays on both ends of the floor, and he could project to go in the late first to the second round of the 2020 draft, as he could end up being an effective role player in the NBA.

Other Notes:

Duke’s 6-2 junior point guard, Jordan Goldwire did a tremendous job of shooting the basketball, as he showed a knack for making three-point shots, and he has a lot of range on his shot. He also did a good job of getting scores on drives to the basket. He also made a good pass once, as he drew in multiple defenders on a drive before making a nifty drop off pass to a teammate down low to set up a scoring chance for him.

He also played fairly good defense. Goldwire would apply heavy ball pressure to help his team get stops, and he would be active in passing lanes to make it difficult for his opponents to get their passes through, but sometimes he would commit reach-in fouls due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Goldwire is just now getting extensive playing time this season, and he shows promise as a defensive minded point guard for the next level. He will need to continue to be assertive in looking for his shots on offense, as he can sometimes be too tentative when he is on the floor. He will likely need to stay in school to hone his overall game, but he is an intriguing prospect that could be worth keeping an eye on for the 2021 draft.

Florida State’s 6-9 sophomore forward, Malik Osborne had an adequate showing, as he especially played well down the stretch in the second half to keep his team in the game against Duke.

He was able to score the basketball in a variety of ways. Osborne showed a good ability to make open, spot-up threes, and he would score on hustle plays as well. He would score on tip-ins, as he also scored on an athletic tip slam after getting an offensive rebound. He also was open underneath the basket, as he was able to score on another dunk. He also showed the ability to get scores off the dribble, though he seemed to be a bit inconsistent in doing so.

Osborne was quite active at crashing the glass, and he especially seemed to excel at hauling in offensive boards, as he would provide his team with plenty of second chance points. He also played good defense, as he would block shots off of drives to help his team protect the paint.

Overall, Malik Osborne is an athletic, skilled combo forward that has a variety of skills that could prove to be useful at the next level. While he isn’t asked to score too often, he can shoot and defend, and he could project to be a 3 and D type of role player in the association.

Florida State’s 6-8 freshman forward, Patrick Williams did not have his best game, but though he struggled to make shots, he was able to make some solid defensive plays when he was on the floor.

Williams showed a decent ability to get scores off the dribble in this game. He would score on strong drives to the hoop, and he can make shots using either hand. He even was able to score on a bank shot after taking the ball to the rim once. Plus, he also showed a knack for drawing fouls to get to the free throw line. Sometimes, he would struggle to score in traffic when he wouldn’t get foul calls or favorable bounces to score, which would lead to misses.

He also was able catch a lob pass off of a cut to draw free throws. However, Williams had trouble knocking down jumpers, as he would tend to miss on pull-up jumpers from the mid-range area, and he also missed completely when hoisting up a three-point shot once from beyond the arc.

Though he looked to score quite often, Williams was able to kick a ball out to a shooter to set up a scoring chance for him. He did commit a turnover once, and he will need to make a more concerted effort to look for open teammates, especially when his shots aren’t falling in games.

Though he didn’t grab many rebounds, he was able to get a couple of boards for his team. Williams also played perhaps above average defense. He was able to swat a shot off of a drive to get a stop, and he would also intercept passes to get numerous steals for his team. He also can stay in front of quick ball handlers to cut off penetration. However, he can tend to be a bit undisciplined defensively. Williams would tend to bite wildly on pump fakes, which would lead him to be out of position, as this would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores. He also got beat off the dribble another time to allow a score. Other times, he may have occasional lapses on the defensive end. On one play, he was late to rotate to his man, as he allowed his man to score on an open corner three another time.

In this game, Patrick Williams did not play very well, and it’s questionable if he will be able to develop his offensive skills to be at least adequate on that end at the NBA level. On the plus side, he is a good athlete that can score on hustle plays, and he also is a very good free throw shooter. However, he doesn’t seem to take or make enough jumpers, as he will need to improve his jump shot and extend his shooting range. Right now, his defense seems to be ahead of his offense. He currently may project to go in the late first to the second round range, and he may be a project player that may possess considerable upside as a player that could both be a versatile defender, and also be a 3 and D type of prospect for the next level.