Observing Gradey Dick, Jalen Wilson, and LJ Cryer
January 24th, 2023
By Alan Lu
Yesterday, I took the time to watch Keyonte George and Baylor take on Gradey Dick, Jalen Wilson and Kansas in a tough, competitive Big 12 basketball game. Baylor got off to a hot start early on due to their strong guard play, hot shooting, and tough defense. Kansas received sterling performances from Gradey Dick, Jalen Wilson, and Kevin McCullar, but they received little support from their other players. Though Keyonte George had an off-shooting night, his teammates were able to pick up the slack, and Baylor had many strong contributions from their players, which helped them get the win over Kansas. Here are my thoughts on how Gradey Dick, Jalen Wilson, and other various prospects fared in this game.
Kansas’ 6-8 freshman forward, Gradey Dick had a strong showing in his team’s loss to Baylor. He ran into some early foul trouble in the first half, but he had a terrific second half, as he consistently made shots and solid plays to help his team on both sides of the ball.
Dick did a very good job of scoring off the dribble. He made excellent use of pump fakes to drive to the rim, and he would score on strong, graceful drives to the hoop. He also showed that he can take on the contact to draw fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line. He also shot the ball very well from the outside. Dick excelled at making spot-up threes off the catch, and he also was able to go to his left and pull up to score on a smooth, mid-range jumper. Plus, he also thrived at scoring on hustle plays. He made swift back door cuts to get the ball, and he was able to score on a couple of high-flying dunks, including one where he caught a lob to score on a magnetic, alley-oop dunk midway through this match.
He also is an unselfish player that can pass and handle the basketball, and he will make plays within the flow of the offense. He showcased adequate playmaking skills, and he will make the extra pass to find the open man. On one play, he was able to make a drive and dish pass to find a cutter to set up a scoring chance for a teammate once.
Also, Dick was able to get boards on both ends of the floor to help his team chip in on the glass. He also played satisfactory defense in this game. Dick was able to run in to jump a pass to get a steal, as he was able to save the ball to a teammate before falling out of bounds. He also would consistently contest outside shots to force misses, and he also contested a shot off of a drive to get a stop late in this game. On the downside, he would sometimes struggle to stay in front of quicker players off the dribble, which led him to allow a score once, and to commit a blocking foul another time. He also got overpowered after rotating to a roll man early, which led him to commit a foul on that occasion.
In general, Dick played very well in his team’s loss to Baylor. He is a smart, skilled swingman that played a very good all-around game, and he was able to leverage his ability to make jump shots to help him score on quick back door cuts as well as on strong drives to the hoop. He also tended to be in the right spots defensively and generally played sound positional defense. Overall, he is a solid prospect that could end up going in the late lottery for the 2023 draft.
Kansas’ 6-8 junior forward, Jalen Wilson put forth a sterling performance in his team’s loss to Baylor. He had a strong all-around game, and he consistently made solid plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.
Wilson did a very good job of shooting and scoring the basketball. He excelled at making spot-up threes off the catch, and he was able to make one from way out. He also showed a knack for scoring on strong drives to the hoop, as he was able to utilize a Euro-step to score once, and he also scored on an acrobatic, reverse layup early on. He has a quick first step off the dribble, and he can consistently get past his man to score at the rim. He also was able to score on a turnaround jumper from the post. He also managed to score on a backdoor cut another time.
Plus, Wilson did a good job of passing and handling the basketball. He thrived at passing out of the post to get assists, and he would find cutters to set up scoring chances for his teammates. Also, he was able to get his fair share of rebounds to help his team on the glass. Defensively, he looked to be about average at best in this game. He was able to make a terrific shot block off of a drive to get a stop, and he also stayed in front of his man when defending a drive to force a miss another time. However, he would sometimes tend to get beat off the dribble when defending quicker players out on the perimeter, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.
In summary, Jalen Wilson put forth a very good performance in this game. He especially thrived as a shooter, scorer, and passer, and he showed off solid all-around skills as well as a much improved outside shot. He is having a terrific season this year, and he could be a very good pick for an NBA team in the first round of the 2023 draft.
LJ Cryer played very well to help lead his team to a win over Kansas. He is an athletic, skilled guard that really excelled as a shooter and scorer, especially in the first half. Cryer did a terrific job of running off the ball to make movement threes, especially from the corner, and he also showed a knack for making dribble threes, as he was able to make a step-back three from out.
He also showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble, as he can score on speedy drives to the hoop, and he also made a mid-range runner, although he slowed down a bit in the second half. Cryer showed off adequate playmaking skills in this game. He can find open shooters to get them the ball, and he was able to make a drive and kick pass to notch an assist. Another time though, he threw a bad pass that got intercepted. While he didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, Cryer was able to grab a board on both sides of the ball.
Overall, Cryer put forth a superb showing in his team’s win over Kansas. He especially shot the ball well, and he may be quite underrated as an NBA prospect, and he could project into a microwave type of scorer role in the NBA.
Jalen Bridges had a solid showing in Baylor’s win over Kansas. He is an athletic, energetic swingman that made a lot of good hustle plays, especially on the defensive end. He played very good defense in this game. Bridges showed a knack for intercepting passes to get steals, and he also made a couple of excellent, high-flying shot blocks when defending in the post. When defending a smaller guard out on the perimeter, he was able to stay with his man and alter the shot to force a miss.
He also showed off versatile scoring skills. Bridges was able to make a spot-up three, and he also ran the floor to score on a dunk. He also was able to dribble in to score and get fouled, but sometimes he would struggle to create his own shot or be too passive on offense. Overall, Jalen Bridges played well in this game, and he may be an underrated prospect that could end up being a second round pick as a 3 and D type of player in the NBA.
Kevin McCullar also played well in his team’s loss to Baylor. He showed a knack for scoring and drawing lots of free throws on strong drives to the hoop, and he also was able to pull up to make a mid-range jumper from the baseline. McCullar is a strong, tall ball-handler that can take on the contact to score, but he also isn’t super quick, as he had a couple of his shots blocked from the post. He also had some trouble with his outside shot, as he wasn’t able to make a three-pointer in this contest.
He also showed off solid playmaking skills, and McCullar is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to get assists. He also did a terrific job of rebounding the basketball. McCullar also defended well, as he was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also flew in from the blindside to swat a mid-range jumper hard to a teammate.
Overall, McCullar played well, as he made solid team plays on both ends of the court, especially in the second half. He will still need to improve his jump shot and be more assertive on offense, but he is a versatile player whose skill set and solid feel for the game could enable him to be an effective role player in the NBA.
Langston Love had a solid showing in his team’s win over Kansas. He did a decent job of scoring off the dribble. He tended to favor going to his right, and he can score on strong drives and get fouled to draw free throws. Sometimes though, he would drive wildly to the hoop, which would lead him to miss shots in traffic.
He also showed a decent ability to knock down outside shots. He didn’t take many of them, but he was able to score on a tough, turnaround mid-range jumper while getting fouled, and he also made a quick three-point shot another time.
Love generally handled the ball well, but he was called for traveling due to an up and down violation when he jumped up but came down with the ball without shooting it once. He also defended well. He broke up a lob pass at the rim, and he also successfully drew a charge another time.
Overall, Langston Love is an athletic, skilled combo guard that excelled as a shooter, scorer, and defender in this game. He provided his team with a much needed boost off the bench, and he could end up being a solid second round pick for an NBA team if he decides to enter the 2023 draft.
Adam Flagler had a decent showing in his team’s win over Kansas. He especially played well in the first half, and he showed that he is an agile, skilled combo guard that is also a three-level scorer on the court. He showed that he can score on strong drives to the hoop, and he can pull up to score on crafty jumpers. However, he was quite streaky with his jump shot as he had trouble knocking them down in the second half, and he took a lot of tough shots that hurt his shooting percentages later on.
He also showcased adequate playmaking skills. While he predominantly looked to score, Flagler showed that he can pass and handle the basketball. He was able to throw a long outlet pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break. On the other hand, he threw a long pass that sailed out of bounds another time. Though Flagler didn’t get many boards, he was able to get a rebound on each side of the ball. Defensively, he looked to be perhaps above average. He did a good job of picking off passes to get steals. However, on one play, he got beat off the dribble to allow a score. He also was caught ball watching, and ended up committing a foul another time.
Overall, Adam Flagler had his ups and downs, as he played very well in the first half, but struggled to consistently make plays in the second half. Still, he is an athletic scorer that can make shots in a variety of ways, and he showed that he could project into a microwave type of scorer role in the NBA.
Keyonte George had an off night as he didn’t shoot the ball very well in his team’s win over Kansas, but he still had some good moments at times. There were consecutive plays in the second half where he shined, as he was able to intercept an entry pass to get a steal, and he also drew free throws by driving hard to his left to get to the rim.
In this game, George took a lot of tough shots, but he generally would tend to miss on quick, contested drives, and he also had trouble connecting on his threes, as he couldn’t make them consistently off the catch or dribble from the outside. For the plus side, George was able to score on a strong, energetic put back after leaping up to get an offensive rebound. He also dribbled to his right to score on a smooth, pull-up jumper from the mid-range midway through this match. George took a lot of tough shots that he couldn’t usually quite connect on, but he is an agile, confident shooter that will keep shooting, so he’s bound to get his way out of a shooting slump sooner than later.
Also, George showcased satisfactory playmaking skills in this game. He would make timely passes to find the open man, and he was able to throw a timely, interior pass to a roll man to notch an early assist.
He also showed a satisfactory ability to rebound the basketball. George is an active defender, but he seemed to struggle on the defensive end in this game. On one good play, he was able to jump a pass that was intended for a post player to get a quick steal. However, he tended to get caught out of position, which would get him into trouble. Sometimes, he would commit reach-in fouls when defending opposing ball handlers. Other times, he would overplay his man or get caught ball watching, and he would get beat off the dribble as well as on a cut, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.
Overall, this was not a great showing for Keyonte George, but his strong showing against Gonzaga earlier this season combined with having put forth good numbers this season will surely keep his stock afloat, at least for now. He didn’t show great shot selection and sometimes would be a bit mistake prone defensively, but George is an aggressive player that has shown shot-making, playmaking, and defensive skills this season. More games will be needed to further evaluate him. While he didn’t play well in this game, he still could be a high-upside prospect that could be worth taking in the late lottery or mid first round of the 2023 draft.
All in all, those are my thoughts on how Gradey Dick, Jalen Wilson, Keyonte George, and other various prospects fared in the Baylor-Kansas game. Thanks for reading.