Observing Jared McCain, Jeremy Roach, and Yves Missi

December 22nd, 2023

By Alan Lu

Recently, I took the time to watch Duke play against Baylor in a highly anticipated, non-conference game that featured several first round prospects such as Ja’Kobe Walter, Kyle Filipowski, Jared McCain, and other various prospects that took place on December 20th.  Tyrese Proctor didn’t play in this game, but that didn’t deter Duke at all, and Duke was able to get a win over Baylor.  Here are my thoughts on how the top performers fared on this day.

Duke’s freshman guard, Jared McCain scored 21 points, made 3 threes, and dished out 3 assists in his team’s win over Baylor on December 20th. (Photo: Lance King/Getty Images, via Ball Durham)

Duke’s freshman point guard, Jared McCain had a strong showing in his team’s win over Baylor.  He is a skilled playmaker that excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game.  He shot the ball very well, especially from beyond the arc, and he excelled as a three-point shooter off the catch.  He also showed a knack for making mid-range jumpers and scoring on strong drives to the hoop.

He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills.  McCain is an unselfish player that would find open shooters to notch assists.  On one play though, he went too fast and out of control as he over-dribbled, which led him to lose the ball out of bounds to turn the ball over.

Overall, Jared McCain played well, and he showed off solid offensive skills to help his team get the victory.  He made smart plays on the court, and he is a skilled point guard that could be a good value pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range of the 2024 draft, and he could end up being an effective rotation player similar to Milwaukee Bucks’ point guard, Cameron Payne in the NBA.

Duke’s senior guard, Jeremy Roach scored 18 points, and had 3 rebounds and 3 assists to lead his team to a win over Baylor in this game. (Photo: Associated Press, via The Killeen Daily Herald)

Jeremy Roach also played very well to help lead Duke to a win over Baylor.  He is an athletic, energetic combo guard that showed off a solid set of all-around skills, and he showed a knack for scoring the basketball to help his team down the stretch.

Roach showed a knack for scoring on strong, speedy drives to the hoop.  He also was able to move off the ball to make a three-pointer early on.  He was able to make mid-range jumpers off the dribble, but he struggled to make them consistently.  In addition, he did a good job of drawing free throws, as he would do so on strong drives as well as on a cut to the basket.

He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills.  Roach did a good job of making an assortment of passes to set up scoring chances or his teammates.  On one play though, he threw a hasty jump pass that got intercepted.

Roach was able to chip in on the glass to help his team get a fair share of boards on both ends of the floor.  He also defended very well.  He would poke balls away to help his team get steals and deflections, and he would apply significant ball pressure to make things tough on opposing ball handlers.  He also would stay with his man and contest shots to force misses.

Overall, Jeremy Roach had a strong showing, and he especially excelled at making plays in crunch time.  He showed that he can consistently score on strong, aggressive drives to the basket, and he is a skilled scoring guard that could end up being a good find for an NBA team in the 2024 draft.

Baylor’s freshman center, Yves Missi scored 11 points, and had 10 rebounds and 5 blocks in his team’s 78-70 loss to Duke in this game. (Photo: Adam Hunger/Associated Press, via The Herald Journal)

Yves Missi also played well in his team’s loss to Duke.  He is an athletic, energetic center that showed a knack for making hustle plays on both ends of the floor.  He would often run in to score on strong tip slams and put backs, and he can ably finish plays in traffic.  On the other hand, he missed on a stepthrough leaner in the post, and although he showed good footwork that time, he left it short.  He also didn’t look to take outside shots from further out.  He didn’t seem to make any noteworthy passes, but he was called for a travel on a drive to the basket that led him to turn the ball over once.

Also, Missi did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He also defended well in this game.  He did a terrific job of blocking shots, and he would stay with opponents on drives and rolls to swat shots to teammates, and he also would rotate to block and contest other shots when defending in the paint due to possessing very good length, athleticism, and timing.  On the downside, he would sometimes play too aggressively when defending opponents off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls.  Other times, he and his teammates would have defensive breakdowns when defending in pick and roll situations, and his teammates would often be too slow to fight around the screen on those possessions.

Overall, Yves Missi had a solid showing in this game, and he excelled at making plays in the paint to help Baylor in this game.  He has been having a very good freshman season, and he will be a likely first round pick in the 2024 draft, and he could end up being a solid role player similar to Washington Wizards’ center, Daniel Gafford in the association.

Ja’Kobe Walter put forth an up and down performance in his team’s loss to Duke, as he made shots on offense, but really struggled defensively.  He shot the ball well and he showed off his usual scoring prowess in this game.  On the downside, he was a bit turnover prone, and he was terrible defensively, as he would often get beat off the dribble to allow scores, one time by Foster, another by McCain, and often by Roach in this game.

Walter showed a knack for making spot-up threes off the catch to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  He would run off ball screens to make quick threes, and he also excelled at knocking down three-pointers from the corners.  Plus, he also would score on strong drives to the hoop.  Walter also was able to run in to score on a tip-in due to making a good hustle play that time.  He struggled more to score on dribble, mid-range jumpers, but Walter excelled at making shots elsewhere.

He also was quite turnover prone.  For the positives, Walter can make the extra pass to find the open man, especially when he plays with patience.  On the other hand, he would tend to throw inaccurate passes that would go astray, and he would over-dribble and get balls poked away to commit turnovers.

Also, Walter was able to haul in his fair share of boards to help chip in on the glass on both ends of the floor.  Defensively though, he was very bad in this game.  There were some positives, though.  He was able to rotate back to intercept a pass to get a steal.  He would actively fight through screens.  He also rotated to poke a ball away off of a drive to nearly get another steal.

However, he would often get beat off the dribble as he would rarely stay in front of his man, and Walter would not provide much resistance when defending opponents out on the perimeter.  He did a poor job of defending opponents off the dribble, and it would often lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Ja’Kobe Walter was able to show off his usual shooting and scoring prowess, but he will need to play much better on the defensive end of the floor.  He is a very talented prospect that can put the ball in the hoop, but he’ll need to improve his court vision and defense.  Currently, he projects to be a lottery pick in the 2024 draft, and he could end up being a solid player similar to Miami Heat’s guard, Tyler Herro in the NBA.

Caleb Foster had a solid showing to help his team get a win over Baylor.  He is an athletic, energetic swingman that is known for his shooting prowess, but he let it be known that he has other skills other than knocking down long-range jumpers in games.

Foster showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  He was particularly effective at going to his left to score on strong drives to the hoop, but he also was able to use a nifty, behind-the-back dribble move to get past Walter to score another time.  He also was able to use a behind-the-back dribble move to knock down a smooth mid-range jumper.  But sometimes he would rush his shots, which would occasionally lead to misses and blocked shots.  Also, he didn’t take any threes in this game, but Foster was efficient at making shots against Baylor.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Foster is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to find the open man to set up scores for his teammates.  On the downside, he can be careless with the ball at times, which can lead to turnovers.  He was called for a charging foul when taking it to the rim once, and he also threw a pass that got intercepted another time.

Also, he did a decent job of rebounding the basketball, and Foster would sometimes push the pace after getting defensive boards.  He also played adequate defense.  He would look to close out on shooters, and he was able to deflect a pass out of bounds once.  However, his lack of size would make it difficult for him to guard taller shooters, as he allowed a corner three-point basket once.

Overall, Caleb Foster played well to help Duke get the win in this game.  He is an athletic, skilled swingman that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he could end up being a first round pick in the 2024 draft.

Jalen Bridges played fairly well in his team’s loss to Duke.  He showed a knack for running off ball screens to make spot-up threes off the catch.  Bridges also would look to score off of hustle plays.  He also was able to get his fair share of boards on both ends of the floor.  He didn’t really look to create his own shot off the dribble that much, and he didn’t really seem to make much of an impact defensively in this game, though.  Overall, he is an athletic, energetic swingman that shot the ball well but also seemed to fade into the background too much at times, and he projects into a 3 and D role at the NBA level.

Mark Mitchell had a fairly solid showing to help his team get the win over Baylor.  He excelled at making hustle plays on both ends of the floor, and he also showed some ability to score off the dribble in this game.  He is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to find the open man.  He also defended well, as he would get his hands on passes to get steals, and he would contest shots to force misses.  

On the downside, he’s really struggled with his three-point shot this season, and he continued to miss shots from beyond the arc.  Overall though, Mitchell is an athletic, energetic combo forward that can make hustle plays on both ends of the floor, and he could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the second round of the 2024 draft.

Kyle Filipowski had his ups and downs in his team’s win over Baylor.  He struggled to make shots in the first half, but he played progressively better in the second half, and he made sound plays to help his team get the win.

He struggled to consistently score off the dribble or out of the post, but he was able to use some solid dribble moves to score at times.  Filipowski didn’t shoot the ball well, but he was able to use a pump fake to draw free throws on a step-back three.  He also managed to score on a strong dunk after rolling hard to the rim.

He also showcased satisfactory playmaking skills.  Filipowski passed the ball well, and he is a good passer that will find teammates out of the post to set up scores for his teammates.  He can find them on the move, and he has solid court vision.  On the downside, he will sometimes try to do too much and over-dribble, which would cause him to commit ball-handling turnovers.

He did a good job of rebounding the basketball, and Filipowski is a high-motor player that would haul in lots of boards in this game.  He also defended well.  Filipowski would get his hands on passes and poke balls away to get steals, and he would contest and alter shots both out on the perimeter and in the paint to get stops for his team.  On the downside, he would sometimes play too aggressively on the defensive end, which would lead him to be out of position defensively.

Overall, Kyle Filipowski played better as the game progressed, and he turned in a decent showing at the game’s end.  He is a solid prospect that has a versatile set of skills, but he will need to continue to improve his outside shot.  Still, his ability to make hustle plays and plays off the dribble could enable him to be a first round pick, and he could end up being an effective role player in the NBA.

Rayj Dennis had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Duke.  He is an agile, skilled combo guard that excelled at scoring on smooth, crafty drives to the hoop, and he also showed a solid floater game.  He also was able to move off the ball to make a corner three.  He also was able to make a fadeaway jumper out of the post another time.  Sometimes though, he would drive and force up shots in traffic, which would occasionally lead to misses.

As a playmaker, he looked to be about average at best.  He is an unselfish player that can handle the ball and would sometimes look to get the ball to his teammates.  However, he tended to throw hasty passes that would either wind up out of bounds or get intercepted, and he was very turnover prone in this game.

Dennis did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  Dennis would look to contest shots on the defensive end, but his lack of size would make it difficult for him to successfully challenge shots on the defensive end.

Overall, Dennis played fairly well in this game, and he is a scorer that can make shots in a variety of ways.  He’ll need to take better care of the basketball and improve his defense, but he is a skilled combo guard that could end up making his way to the NBA someday.

All in all, those are my thoughts on how McCain, Roach, Missi, Walter, and other various prospects fared in this game.  Thanks for reading.

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