Observing Karim Jallow

April 24, 2018

by Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch FC Bayern II’s 6-6 guard, Karim Jallow from Germany, as he has recently declared to enter the 2018 NBA Draft, as he will be testing the waters.  I took the opportunity to watch him participate in a Pro B German League game against BBC Coburg that was played on February 4th, as I was able to see this with thanks to Sportsdeutschland.tv.  With this in mind, I decided to assess his strengths and weaknesses, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.

Karim Jallow had a slow start to this game, but he had a much better second half, and he played fairly well overall.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, he made hustle plays on both ends of the floor, and he also is a good help defender.  He can be streaky with his jump shot and he can tend to gamble too much defensively, but he was able to help his team in many different areas to get them the win in this contest.

He did a good job of getting scores on strong drives to the hoop.  Jallow is an athletic swingman that possesses a solid first step off the dribble, and he can often draw free throws upon the opposition on aggressive moves to the basket.   He has good speed, strength, and body control that allows him to consistently create his own shot on isolation plays as well as when he is able to get out in the open court.  Plus, he also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Jallow was able to score off the glass after rolling hard to the rim, and he also would get scores off of offensive rebounds, as he managed to score on a tip-in once. 

Also, he showed off an adequate ability to knock down jumpers.  Though Jallow has struggled to consistently make threes this season, he did a good job of knocking down three-point shots in this game.  Late in this match, Jallow made an open three off the catch, and another time he used a step back move to knock down a pull-up three while getting knocked down by a defender.  But sometimes, he may rush to make moves, which may not always allow him to cleanly get shots up on offense.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Jallow tends to throw good interior passes, and he also handles the ball well, as he can kick it out to shooters to set up scoring chances for them.  He can throw long, accurate passes, and he will also bring the ball up as well as set the occasional screen.  Plus, he also will look to run off screens every once in a while.  But he did commit a couple of turnovers in this game.  One was where he ran off of a screen to get the ball, but he ended up pushing an opponent down to commit an offensive foul.  Another was when he lost the ball to an opponent after briefly recovering a ball that appeared to be deflected his defender.

In this game, he didn’t grab many rebounds, but Jallow did show a knack for crashing the glass on offense to help his team get some offensive rebounds, as he would hustle to make plays due to possessing a good motor.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  For the positives, Jallow is a solid help defender that can get his hands on passes and quickly heap on loose balls to help his team get steals.  He has good lateral quickness and agility, and he will actively look to get his hands on balls to force turnovers.  Also, he will also look to contest shots, as he can defend in the post as well as out on the perimeter, and he also rotated to alter a shot on a drive to force a miss another time.

However, Jallow tends to roam a lot, and he can get into some trouble defensively because he has a penchant for gambling quite a bit on that end of the floor.  He will tend to rotate off of his man, and he will sometimes rotate to commit reach-in fouls when opponents look to score off drives as well as in the post.  Jallow has a tendency to commit reach-in fouls, and he will tend to be caught ball watching and roam around, which can make him vulnerable to allow scores off of cuts.  He also occasionally struggled to defend opponents off the dribble, and he also got backed down in the post to allow a score another time.

In summary, Karim Jallow is an athletic, skilled swingman that will look to aggressively make plays on both ends of the floor.  On offense, he will primarily look to take it to the basket to garner scores, and he also can score on off-ball motion plays.  But although he shot the three-ball well in this game, he has only made roughly 30% of his threes this year according to RealGM.  While he will look to crash the glass and he is quite adept at getting steals, Jallow’s tendency to gamble a lot to force turnovers can lead him out of position quite a bit, which can cause him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Right now, Jallow may be an interesting prospect, but he may need to prove that he can play well at higher levels overseas in order to improve his chances to succeed in the NBA.  Still, he is a player that may possess considerable upside, as he could be a worthwhile selection for an NBA team as a second round, draft and stash candidate this year.

Other Notes:

I also was able to watch Bayern Munchen II’s 6-9, 1996-born big man, Marvin Ogunsipe from Austria.  He is a fairly athletic, skilled stretch big that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, though he has not shot the ball well overall this season.  But he played well particularly in this game against BBC Coburg.

Ogunsipe is a versatile scorer that can knock down threes off the catch, and he also can score on pick and pop plays.  Plus, he also did a good job of scoring on drives, as he managed to throw down an emphatic jam off of a strong drive to the hoop once, and he also scored on a runner after using a pump fake another time.  Also, he can score on hustle plays as he will run the floor, and he also showed some low post scoring skills, as he managed to score on a jump hook, but he can struggle with his shooting touch at times on offense.

Plus, he played unselfishly in this game, and he handles the ball fairly well for a player his size.  He was able to kick the ball out to a shooter after using a spin move off of a drive to notch an assist, and he also will get the ball to his teammates to set up scores for them.  Sometimes, he will set good screens to help get his teammates open on offense.   But he also may struggle to protect the basketball, which can cause him to commit turnovers.

He also did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball.  Ogunsipe would especially look to crash the defensive glass, as he would leap up to get them for his team.  But sometimes he would not get boards in his area as he would be a bit too slow to react, and this would occasionally lead him to allow put back scores.  Defensively, Ogunsipe appeared to be a mixed bag on this end.  He would rotate to contest drives to force misses, and he would also play passing lanes to make it difficult for his opponents to get passes through.

However, he had a tendency to sag too far off his man or when defending screens, as opponents would knock down three-point shots.  Also, he would sometimes get beat off the dribble, as this would lead his team to allow scores.  In summary, Marvin Ogunsipe is a fairly athletic, stretch big that could potentially end up on an NBA summer league roster one day, but he will need to be more consistent in knocking down jumpers, and he will need to improve his position defense.  Right now, he will likely go undrafted, but if he makes strides in his overall game, he could end up having a long career as a serviceable role player overseas.

I also managed to watch Bayern Munchen II’s 6-7, 1998-born point guard, Amar Gecic from Germany play.  He is a skilled offensive player that can comfortably run the point, and he also can score the basketball in a variety of ways.  Gegic showed a fairly good ability to get scores off the dribble.  He managed to use a pump fake to score on a layup off of a baseline drive, and he also threw down a dunk after taking it to the rack another time. 

He also did a good job of knocking down jumpers, particularly off the catch, and he also showed a knack for drawing free throws on those shots.  Gegic generally excelled at drawing fouls upon the opposition, and he also managed to score on a give and go out on the break after running the floor to get the ball.

On the other hand, he displayed fairly average playmaking skills at best in this game.  For the positives, Gegic played unselfishly, and he can make an assortment of passes to set up scores for his teammates.  However, he also committed numerous turnovers due to carelessness.  He didn’t get many rebounds, but he would sometimes run in to get boards, and he was able to push the ball up the floor once off of a defensive board.  However, he didn’t show great timing to get rebounds, as opponents were able to leap up to get balls over him.

Defensively, he may have been perhaps above average.  Gegic would play passing lanes, and he also will contest jumpers to force misses.  However, he once got beat off the dribble in transition to allow a score on a drive, and he also bit on a pump fake on a baseline drive that led to a pass that led to a three-point score for the opposition another time.

In general, Amar Gegic may be a player to watch, especially if he can get more playing time at the higher levels in Europe.  He is an above average athlete that has a variety of skills on offense, and he could end up being a potential second round pick in the future, as he may be a similar player to that of former Los Angeles Lakers guard, Sasha Vujacic.

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