Observations on Miles Bridges, Tony Carr, and Jaren Jackson Jr.

January 31, 2018

by Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch a Big Ten game that was played between Michigan State and Penn State, as this featured a couple of potential lottery prospects that I have seen before in Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr., but it also featured another prospect that may have a shot at potentially going in the first round in Penn State’s Tony Carr.  It was a close, competitive match for most of the way, as the Nittany Lions actually had the lead in the 2nd half, but Michigan State came storming back to get the victory.  Here are my thoughts on how Bridges, Carr, and Jackson, and others fared on this day.

Michigan State’s 6-8 sophomore forward, Miles Bridges had a solid showing in his team’s win over Penn State.  Although he had some struggles at first against Penn State, Bridges ended up having a very good all-around game as he continued to play well as the game wore on.  Bridges did a good job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor for his team.  He managed to make a couple of quick threes off the catch, and he also made a pull-up three from beyond the arc.  Bridges also was able to make a fadeaway mid-range jumper of the catch from the baseline.  He tended to struggle more to make pull-up jumpers, but he generally shot the ball well when he was on the court.

Also, he showed a good ability to score on aggressive drives to the basket.  Bridges did a better job of getting a solid first step to the hoop this time around, and he was able to get some nice scores as a result.  He threw down a ferocious, rim-rattling, two-handed dunk once, and he also scored on a double-pump leaner in traffic another time.  Also, he was able to draw fouls upon his defenders on a couple of drives.  Sometimes, he would miss shots as he would not always play under control, but he generally excelled at scoring on these types of plays.  Plus, he also managed to score on a fadeaway, turnaround jumper from the elbow as he pivoted to score from the high post. 

He also showed off adequate playmaking skills.  Bridges would find the open to set up scoring chances for his team, and he would throw accurate interior passes, but he committed one notable turnover, as he ended up losing the ball on a drive in traffic, as he struggled to both play under control or to get all the way to the basket on that occasion.

In addition, Bridges did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would frequently come away with defensive boards to help his team, as he would leap up to do so.  But he once lost out on a defensive board in his area.  Another time, he lagged behind as he forgot to block out, as his opponent ended up scoring on a tip dunk.

He also played good defense.  Bridges did a very good job of collecting steals, as he would manage to poke balls away from opposing ball handlers.  He also was able to heap on a loose ball on the ground to help his team come up with another turnover.  Also, he would actively contest shots to force numerous misses, but sometimes, Bridges would commit fouls on the defensive end, as he was called for an off-ball foul when jostling for a rebound, and he also unsuccessfully tried to take a charge, as he was called for committing a blocking foul on a drive.  Bridges also got beat off the dribble once to allow a score, and he also got backed down in the post to allow another score.  Also, on one play, he gave up too much space to his man, as this allowed his opponent to score on a three-point shot.  In general, Miles Bridges played very well to help lead his team to a win over Penn State.  He played well in all facets of the game, as he could end up being a likely lottery pick in the upcoming draft.

Penn State’s sophomore point guard, Tony Carr played really well at the onset of this game, and while he slowed down towards the end, he ended up having a solid showing in his team’s loss to Michigan State.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also did a good job of distributing the basketball.

He did a great job of knocking down jump shots to space the floor for his team.  Carr excelled at making three-point shots from beyond the arc, as he can calmly knock those down both off the catch or dribble.  He also excelled making pull-up, mid-range jumpers from the elbow.  He did throw up a couple of airballs from beyond the arc, but Carr generally did a very good job of making shots in this game.  Plus, he also showed an adequate ability to score in the post, as he managed to make a quick turnaround jumper once.

Also, he showed a decent ability to score on drives to the basket.  Carr was able to score on a floater, and he also used a hop step move to score on a drive in transition.  But he also missed plenty of other shots when looking to score on aggressive drives as he does not possess an elite first step to the hoop, and he would tend to miss runners in traffic.  He also was a bit prone to taking questionable shots, as he missed one runner badly, as on one shot that he missed, it hit the top of the backboard.

He also displayed good playmaking skills.  Carr excelled at facilitating the basketball as he would get the ball to his teammates in a variety of ways to notch assists for his team.  He did a good job of throwing interior passes, and he would also kick it to shooters off the dribble, but he did end up committing several turnovers, as he was inaccurate with a couple of his passes, and he ended up having the ball ripped away from him when posting up another time.  Also, Carr did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He managed to dive on the ground to get an offensive board, and he was able to haul in plenty of defensive rebounds when he was on the floor.

However, Carr showed off just average at best defensive skills in this game.  For he positives, he was active in contesting shots to force some misses, and Carr managed to block a shot to prevent opponent from scoring on a drive in transition.  Late in this contest, he applied good ball pressure when helping a teammate trap an opponent in the backcourt, as they were able to force a turnover.  On the other hand, he had a tendency to wander off, over-help in the paint, and give up too much space to his man, as his team ended up allowing the opposition to score on jumpers.  He also tended to commit reach-in fouls.  Also, on one play, he ended up get beat on a drive in transition, as he ended up allowing his man to score that time.

In general, Tony Carr played well in his team’s loss to Michigan State.  He consistently made plays to help Penn State stay in the game, and he is a tall, athletic point guard that shoots, passes, and handles the ball well.  Carr is an intriguing prospect that may be a similar player to current Chicago Bulls’ point guard Jerian Grant, and Carr could end up going in the late first to the second round range of the upcoming draft.

Michigan State’s 6-11 freshman big man, Jaren Jackson Jr. was able to make some good plays when he was on the court, but he was not able to play well consistently against Penn State.  Mostly, he tended to run into foul trouble, as that combined with his general passivity on offense hampered him in this game.  Jackson did a good job of scoring in the post, as he managed to score on a running jump hook.  Also, he managed to draw a non-shooting foul on a quick cut to the hoop.  He also used a step-back move, but he ended up missing on a pull-up three.

Plus, he attempted to try to score on an aggressive drive to the basket, but he ended up committing an offensive foul by charging into a player to also commit a turnover.  He also did not rebound the basketball very well, but he was able to get a couple of defensive boards against Penn State.

Also, Jackson showed off decent defensive skills.  He did a great job of blocking shots, as he would swat shots to protect the paint.  On one play, he rotated back to defend his man, and he did not bite on a pump fake, as he swatted a shot that was attempted around the basket.   He also blocked a mid-range shot, and he did a good job of forcing misses inside the arc.  However, he struggled to defend out on the perimeter.  Jackson generally struggled to stay with his man when defending out there, as he tended to commit touch fouls when opponents would drive at him.

In general, Jaren Jackson Jr. showed some skills, and he showed some solid shot blocking prowess, but he ultimately didn’t play very well, as he was pretty much a non-factor offensively, and he constantly was in foul trouble.  Jackson is an athletic, skilled big man, but he might not be as polished a player as anticipated.  Drafting him in the lottery might be very risky, but it may be likely that a team would end up picking in the mid first round whenever he declares to enter the NBA draft.

Other Notes:

Michigan State’s 6-0 sophomore point guard, Cassius Winston played very well as he notched a double-double by scoring 15 points and dishing out 10 assists in his team’s win over Penn State.  He shot the ball well, and he also excelled at scoring on quick drives to the basket.  He generally passed the ball well, and he also showed off some defensive skills, as he was able to poke a ball away to get a steal for his team.  In general, Winston is a smart, skilled playmaker that can effectively run a team, and he could end up being a solid find for a team whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.

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