Observing Scottie Barnes, David Johnson, and RaiQuan Gray

January 19th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch Scottie Barnes and Florida State play against Louisville in a competitive, ACC basketball game.  He squared off against another first round prospect in Louisville’s sophomore guard David Johnson.  Barnes and Florida State got off to a very fast start, as they immediately were able to gain a sizable lead, and they never looked back. 

Though Louisville were able to make some runs to try to chip away at Florida State’s lead, they couldn’t quite fully come back to make it a competitive game.  Barnes slowed down a bit in the second half as he was a little streaky with his jump shot, but Florida State was persistent in their strong all-around play to get the win.  Here are my thoughts on how Barnes, Johnson, and other various prospects fared, as well as how their games may currently stack up as prospects for the NBA.

Scottie Barnes scored 10 points, and made 2 threes, while also having collected 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block in his team’s win over Louisville.
(Photo:
Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Florida State’s 6-9 freshman point forward, Scottie Barnes played fairly well in his team’s double-digit win over Louisville.  He shot the ball well early, and he excelled defensively.  He struggled to score a bit in the second half, but overall, his performance helped his team get the victory.

He did a good job of knocking down threes to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  Barnes would make quick, spot-up threes off the catch, and he showed an improved ability to make spot-up jumpers, as he can make shots in rhythm. He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Barnes was able to score on a backdoor cut, and he also scored on an open put back after running in to grab an offensive rebound late in this game.

On the downside, he struggled more when he would look to score in one-on-one situations.  Barnes had missed the previous game via ankle injury, and so this may have hampered his ability to create his own shot in this game.  He drove patiently to the rim, but missed it too hard off the glass twice.  He also tried to score when posting up, but he ended up missing on a leaning, turnaround hook shot.

Barnes also displayed decent playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving, and he can throw passes off the dribble, as well as find cutters to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  He did not collect an assist in this game, but he generally would keep the ball moving, and he also did not turn the ball over once on offense.

Also, Barnes did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would frequently chase down balls to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he would sometimes bring the ball up after getting defensive rebounds.  However, there was one play where he committed a loose ball foul when pursuing an offensive board once.

Plus, Barnes played satisfactory defense in this game.  He would poke balls away from his opponents to get steals, and he also leapt up to deflect a pass out of bounds another time.  He also blocked a three-point shot, and Barnes has good length, timing, and instincts to contest jumpers to force misses.  However, sometimes he would be too aggressive on closeouts, which would lead him to get beat off the dribble to commit fouls and allow scores.  Another time, he sagged too far back when trying to go around a screen, which led his team to allow a three-point basket.

Overall, Scottie Barnes put forth a fairly good performance in his team’s win over Louisville.  He didn’t quite dominate or take over the game down the stretch, but he made solid team plays throughout this match.  It looks as though that he is still recovering from an ankle injury, but he made some solid plays on both ends of the court.  While he may not have the flashiest game, he is a solid all-around player that could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the lottery of the 2021 draft.

Louisville’s sophomore guard, David Johnson had 15 points and 8 rebounds, but also needed to take 13 shots to get to that point total in his team’s loss to Florida State.
(Photo:
Andy Lyons/Getty Images, via WIVB-TV)

Louisville’s 6-5 sophomore guard, David Johnson had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Florida State.  He had a rather sluggish start in the first half, but he picked it up as the game wore on, and he was able to make a string of good plays later on to help his team stay in it. 

Johnson showed a fairly good ability to score off the dribble.  He tends to favor going to his right, and he has the speed, strength, and body control to regularly score when he is able to use his strong hand to get all the way to the rim.  He was able to score on a running floater, and he also would score on tough layups.  However, he tended to settle for mid-range jumpers too often, which would lead to misses. He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Johnson was able to run in to score on a tip-in after grabbing an offensive rebound.  He also scored on a smooth layup off of a strong drive in transition.

He also did a good job of knocking down threes to help his team space the floor.  Johnson was able to make a step back three, and he also made another three off the catch from way out.  Johnson showed some reluctance to take shots from that range early on, but he was able to show that he can certainly make three-point shots when he hoists them up.

Also, he displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Johnson is an unselfish player that can throw solid interior passes, and he also can throw solid passes both off the dribble and out of the post.  He can throw accurate outlet passes to find teammates in transition, and he also was able to find a roll man to notch an assist once.  Sometimes though, he would throw hasty, telegraphed passes, which would occasionally lead to turnovers. Plus, Johnson did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was very active in crashing the glass, and he was able to help his team haul in numerous boards on both sides of the ball.

He also played satisfactory defense.  Johnson was able to deflect passes due to possessing solid length and anticipation skills.  He also would contest jumpers to force misses.  He also has good strength to hold his ground when defending in the post, as he was able to successfully challenge a shot down low.  However, sometimes he would be too aggressive in trying to make plays, which would sometimes lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, David Johnson had a decent showing in his team’s loss in this game.  He started out slowly, but he was able to show a diverse skill set, as he continually made plays later on to help his team try to stay in the contest.  He is a skilled, versatile player that can play either backcourt vision, and he currently projects to go in the mid to late first round range for the 2021 draft.

Florida State’s RaiQuan Gray had 17 points and 8 rebounds to help lead his team to a win over Louisville.
(Photo:
Scott Utterback/Courier Journal, via WCTV)

Florida State’s 6-8 redshirt junior forward, RaiQuan Gray had a solid showing in his team’s win over Louisville.  He scored 17 points, and had 8 rebounds and 2 assists in this game, and he played well on both ends of the court.

Gray did a good job of scoring in the post.  He was very effective as a finisher around the basket, and he also used a shoulder fake to score on a quick turnaround jump hook.  He also scored on hustle plays, and he was able to score on a cut as well as draw free throws on a put back.

Also, he showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble.  He tends to favor going to his right, and he has a fairly good first step and a ball fake move that can enable him to get all the way to the hoop to score.  He did miss a floater once, as he shot it a little too hard.  While he showed that he can capably make long two-point shots off the dribble, he tended to settle for mid-range jumpers a little too often.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills in this game.  Gray is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he can throw accurate passes off the dribble to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  However, sometimes he can play too recklessly every once in a while.  On one play, he was called for a charging foul when trying to make a play off of a drive in transition.   There was another play where he didn’t throw the ball in time, which led to a five-second violation, which was largely due to indecisiveness.

Plus, he also showed a fairly good ability to rebound the basketball.  He was active at crashing the glass, and he was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  Gray also played satisfactory defense.  He did a good job of deflecting passes to nearly force turnovers for his team.  However, there was one play where he was caught ball watching and briefly spaced out, and then ended up having to foul an opponent on a baseline dunk attempt.

In general, RaiQuan Gray played well in this game, and he excelled at making plays throughout this game to help his team get the win.  He has played well against top-notch competition in college basketball, though he has at times struggled to shoot well in the other games.  Right now, he is a second round prospect for the upcoming draft.  He will need to improve his jump shot and be a more consistent performer in games, but his athleticism, motor, and skill set could potentially enable him to thrive as a role player in the NBA.

Louisville’s redshirt senior point guard, Carlik Jones played fairly well in his team’s loss to Florida State.  He was very effective as a scorer in this game, and he also made some solid plays as a distributor and defender when he was on the floor.

Jones did a good job of scoring on strong drives to the hoop.  He especially excels at going to his right, and he has solid foot speed and body control to regularly score around the basket.  He also excelled at drawing fouls upon his defenders when taking it to the rack as well as in the post to get to the free throw line often.  He also ran the floor and used a crafty pump fake to score another time. He did make an open, step-back three from beyond the arc, but he struggled to consistently knock down jumpers from further out, and he especially seemed to struggle to make pull-up jump shots from the mid-range.

Also, Jones displayed adequate playmaking skills.  He was able to throw solid interior passes to find cutters to set up scores for them.  He also can throw accurate passes off the dribble.   However, he also committed a couple of ball-handling turnovers, as he can struggle to handle the ball when faced with heavy ball pressure.  He also telegraphed a dribble handoff pass, which led it to getting picked off by a defender.

Though he didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, Jones was able to get a board on each end of the floor.  He also played satisfactory defense.  Jones did a good job of jumping passes to get steals.  He also made a nice hustle play to try to get a loose ball, but had stepped out of bounds before he was able to throw it off of an opponent to force another turnover.  He also has good strength to hold his ground in the post, which helped him force a miss once.  However, sometimes he can be too aggressive defensively, as there was one play where he was called for a reach-in foul when trying to steal a ball away from an opposing ball handler.

Overall, Carlik Jones had a fairly solid showing in his team’s loss to Florida State.  He was at his most effective as a scorer off the dribble in this game.  He is a skilled playmaker that can score the basketball, and he is a second round prospect that could project into a backup point guard role in the NBA.

Louisville’s 6-7 sophomore swingman, Samuell Williamson also played fairly well in his team’s loss to Florida State.  He excelled as a scorer and rebounder in this game, but he also struggled with turnovers on offense. Williamson showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  He was able to score on an athletic, two-handed dunk, and also drove in to score on a baseline floater.  He showed a knack for making pull-up jumpers from the mid-range, but every once in a while, he would miss on floaters from time to time.

He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Williamson ran in to score on a tip-in, and he also scored on a quick, turnaround layup off of another offensive rebound.

On the downside, he was quite turnover prone on offense.  On one good play, he was able to drive and kick a ball out to a shooter to set up a scoring opportunity for his teammate.  However, he tended to throw inaccurate passes that would go astray, and he also had a ball poked off of him on a drive to lose it out of bounds another time.  He also dropped a pass on a backdoor cut that led to another team turnover. Also, Williamson did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was especially active at crashing the offensive glass, and he was able to help his team score on second chance points.

Defensively, he looked to be about average.  On the plus side, he was able to successfully draw a charge when defending a drive to get a stop for his team.  However, he also struggled to guard shooters in this game.  He would tend to give up too much space to allow scores to them on jumpers.  There was another play where he bit on a pump fake, and flew by an opponent, which led his man to score on an open three-point shot.

Overall, Samuell Williamson had a decent showing in this game.  He excelled as a scorer and rebounder, but he struggled with turnovers and on the defensive end at times when he was on the floor.  Right now, he projects to be a borderline second round candidate for the upcoming draft.  He will need to improve his outside shot and defense, but his athleticism, motor, and scoring ability could enable him to make his way to the NBA someday.

Florida State’s senior swingman, M.J. Walker had his ups and downs in his team’s win over Louisville.  He struggled to shoot or score efficiently in this game, as he especially struggled to knock down jumpers, but he passed and defended well, and he dished out 10 assists to help his team get the victory.

Walker struggled to make shots efficiently, but he was able to score on a right-handed drive off of a screen.  He can score when looks to go all the way to the basket  to score off the dribble, but he generally struggled to make mid-range jumpers or three-point shots.

He displayed satisfactory playmaking skills.  Walker is an unselfish player that can throw accurate passes off the dribble, and he also can throw solid interior passes and outlet passes to set up a wealth of scores for his teammates.  However, he also was quite turnover prone.  He threw an inaccurate entry pass that went out of bounds once.  He also was called for committing a couple of charging fouls off of drives to the hoop due to recklessness.  He also would throw hasty entry passes that would get intercepted by his defenders.

Walker did a decent job of rebounding the basketball, and he would leap up to help his team get their fair share of defensive rebounds.  He also did a good job of getting blocks and steals, as he defended well when he was on the court.  He excelled at rotating to block shots off of drives due to possessing solid athleticism, timing, and instincts.

Overall, M.J. Walker didn’t shoot or score the ball very well against Louisville, but he fared better in the other elements of this game.  He has had a solid senior season so far, but he has had his fair share of shooting woes in the past.  He will need to be a more consistent performer in games, but his athleticism and versatility could allow him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA next season.

Florida State’s 6-9 junior forward, Malik Osborne also played fairly well in his team’s win over Louisville.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also showed off impressive athleticism in this game. Osborne excelled as a scorer in the post as well as off the dribble.  He can score on quick turnaround jump hooks, and he also drove in to score on a jaw-dropping, powerful dunk off of a drive to the hoop.  He also was effective as a scorer on rolls to the rim after setting screens for his team. He struggled more to make threes, but he was able to make a long two-point shot from just inside the arc.

Osborne was able to get rebounds on both ends of the floor to help chip in to get his team some boards.  He also was perhaps above average defensively.  Osborne wa able to intercept a pass to get a steal.  However, he also committed a loose ball foul when going for a defensive board another time.  Also, there was another play where he sagged too far off his man, which led him to allow an opponent to score on a three-point shot.

Overall, Malik Osborne is a very athletic, energetic combination forward that excelled as a scorer in this game.  He primarily excelled as a scorer in the paint, and he showed that can handle the basketball to score off the dribble from further out.  He will need to make long-range shots more consistently.  He shot the three-ball well last season as a sophomore, but is struggling to make them this season so far.  He will also need to be more assertive on offense on a consistent basis.  Right now, he may be more of a prospect for the 2022 draft, but if he can improve his outside shot and be a more consistent player in games, he could increase his odds to make it to the NBA sometime down the road.

Louisville’s 6-8 redshirt freshman forward, Jae’Lyn Withers excelled as a low post scorer, as well as a scorer on hustle plays to help his team in this game.  He would often score on put backs, rolls, and cuts to the hoop, and he also was able to score on a powerful dunk off of a cut once while drawing an extra free throw.  He struggled defensively though, as he had some trouble defending pick and rolls as well as out on the perimeter.

Overall, he is a very athletic, high-motor player that played fairly well, and he scored 14 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in his team’s loss to Florida State.  He will need to improve his face-up game, on-ball defense, and extend his shooting range, but he showed impressive athleticism in this game, and he could be a player to watch sometime down the road.

Florida State’s 6-8 redshirt junior forward, Wyatt Wilkes shot the ball well, as he especially excelled as a spot-up shooter and scorer to help his team get the win over Louisville.  He scored 13 points, and he made 3 threes in this game. He excelled at making spot-up threes off the catch, and he also scored on a tough, mid-range jumper off the dribble.  He also was able to score on a put back after grabbing an offensive rebound. He also was able to get his fair share of boards, as he was able to get rebounds on both ends of the floor to help his team on the glass.  He also defended well, and he was able to intercept passes to get steals for his team.

Overall, Wilkes played very well in this game, and he is a mobile, skilled forward that can shoot and score the basketball.  He hasn’t gotten consistent run on the court, but he could be a prospect to watch next season, as his jump shot and motor could allow him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA sometime down the road.

Florida State’s 6-4 senior guard, Rayquan Evans also played very well to help get his team the victory over Louisville.  He excelled at scoring on quick threes off the catch, as he can use pump fakes and run off ball screens to get open to shoot the basketball.  He struggled more to score off the dribble, but he was able to run the floor and score on athletic dunk off of a drive in transition. He also defended fairly well.  Evans was able to intercept a pass to get a steal.  However, there was another time where he got back on defense, but bit on a pump fake, which allowed an opponent to score on the break.

Overall, Evans excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game.  He is an athletic, skilled combo guard that can provide quick offense when he is out on the floor.  He doesn’t always play a starter’s workload in terms of minutes on the court, but his ability to knock down shots could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA next season.

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