Thoughts on Andrew Nembhard, Keyontae Johnson, and Paul Scruggs

November 25th, 2019

by Alan Lu

This time around, I decided to take the time to watch Scottie Lewis and the Florida Gators take on the Xavier Musketeers in the Charleston Classic Championship that took place on November 24th.  Lewis is a very athletic slasher that has shown strong defensive skills, but he’s struggled to consistently produce on offense this year. He continued to show his defensive prowess though he struggled on offense yet again in this contest, but the standout performers appeared to be Andrew Nembhard, Kerry Blackshear, Keyontae Johnson, and Paul Scruggs. Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared on this day, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.

Andrew Nembhard helped lead Florida to defeat Xavier to win the Charleston Classic Championship.  (Photo: Tim Casey/Florida Gators.)
Andrew Nembhard helped lead Florida to defeat Xavier to win the Charleston Classic Championship. (Photo: Tim Casey/Florida Gators.)

Florida’s 6-5 sophomore point guard, Andrew Nembhard had a very good showing in his team’s win over Xavier. He played smart, sound basketball, as he is a crafty playmaker that calmly made shots, and he also did a good job of facilitating and defending when he was on the court.

Nembhard shot the ball very well, as he excelled at making spot-up threes, and pull-up jumpers to space the floor for his team on offense, and he also would score on quick, crafty drives to the hoop, as he can finish plays using either hand.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills. He did a good job of finding roll men on the move to set up scores for them, and he has good court vision to spot open teammates in stride. He also is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man. However, he also committed a couple of ball-handling turnovers due to carelessness, as he was called for traveling once, and he also had a ball poked off of his leg on a drive in transition. He also threw a pass that ended up getting intercepted once, but generally Nembhard did a good job of passing the basketball.

Though he didn’t get many board in this game, he was able to chase down a couple of balls to help his team get a couple of rebounds on the defensive end.

He also played decent defense. Nembhard will play passing lanes to get steals and deflections. Sometimes though, he can gamble a bit too much, as he was called for a reach-in foul when defending in the post to give up a score and an extra free throw, and he also was late to rotate to a shooter, which led his team to allow a three-point basket that time.

In general, Andrew Nembhard played very well to help lift his team to a narrow victory over Xavier, and he is a smart, skilled playmaker that showed off solid offensive skills as he runs the team well at the point. Right now, he may be a second round prospect for the upcoming draft, and he may have the skills to be able to be a solid backup point guard in the NBA.

Keyontae Johnson played very well to lead Florida to a win over Xavier.  (Photo: Charleston Classic Twitter.)
Keyontae Johnson hoists up the trophy of winning the Charleston Classic as he helped Florida defeat Xavier in the title game of this tournament. (Photo: Charleston Classic Twitter.)

Florida’s 6-5 sophomore guard, Keyontae Johnson also played well to help his team get the win over Xavier in the Charleston Classic. He did a good job of attacking the basket to garner scores, and he also showed off some rebounding and defensive skills when he was on the court.

Johnson showed a penchant for scoring on smooth, left-handed drives to the hoop, as he can glide in effortlessly to score around the basket, and he also has a series of dribble moves that he can use to get past his man. Plus, he also can score off of cuts to the basket, as he managed to score on a reverse layup off of one cut, and he also threw down a powerful dunk after running off of a curl cut. However, Johnson can sometimes get too predictable when he chooses to attacking the basket to score off the dribble, and he had a couple of his shots blocked as a result. In addition, he was unable to make any of his three-point shots that he hoisted up from beyond the arc.

He also is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man. However, Johnson also committed a couple of turnovers in this game. He was called for traveling when opponents had doubled him in the backcourt, as he was unable to handle the heavy ball pressure. On a separate play, Johnson was whistled for an offensive foul after scrambling to chase down a loose ball thrown from an inbounds pass.

Plus, he also helped out on the glass, as he was able to get his fair share of boards when he was on the floor. Johnson also played adequate defense. He would play passing lanes, and he also successfully contested a leaner off of a drive in the first half to force a miss due to good positioning. However, he also would tend to give up too much space when defending shooters, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on jumpers.

Overall, Keyontae Johnson played well, as he did a good job of attacking the basket to garner scores for his team. He’ll need to show that he can be a more consistent outside shooter in games and prove that he can guard upper echelon players, but right now, he is a second round prospect that could project to be a rotation player at the next level.

Xavier’s junior guard, Paul Scruggs played fairly well, as he showed off versatile scoring skills, and was an active help defender in his team’s loss to Florida. In this game, he managed to lead all scorers with 24 points in this game.

Scruggs showed a tremendous ability to knock down pull-up, mid-range jumpers to help his team space the floor on offense. He would use ball fakes and dribble moves to create separation between himself and his defender, and he did a great job of making shots from that range to get buckets.

He also was able to score on a tough, fadeaway jumper in the post while getting an extra free throw afterwards. Plus, Scruggs also flashed the ability to score on strong, left-handed drives to the basket. However, he also can get a little too predictable in looking to go left, as he also missed a slew of runners and other shots in traffic.

Also, Scruggs was able to make a couple of open spot-up threes, but he had trouble making long-range jumpers consistently from beyond the arc against Florida.

However, he was quite turnover prone on offense. For the positives, Scruggs is an unselfish player that can pass and handle the basketball, and he was able to throw an accurate entry pass to help set up a score for a teammate in the post. However, he tended to throw inaccurate passes that would either sail out of bounds or get intercepted, and he also had a ball poked away from him when handling the basketball on a separate possession.

Though he didn’t grab many rebounds overall in this match, Scruggs would leap up to get tough offensive rebounds in traffic, as he especially was active on the glass in the second half. He also played fairly good defense.   Scruggs was able to tip a pass to a teammate to help his team get a steal due to making a great read on the play, and he also managed to block a shot off of a drive due to possessing good timing, leaping ability, and recovery speed to do so. On the downside, he tended to be too aggressive when defending opposing ball handlers, which led him to commit fouls and run into foul trouble late in this game.

Overall, Paul Scruggs had a fairly good game, as he was able to pour on a lot of points as he scored the basketball in a variety of ways to help his team on offense. He did struggle to make shots consistently at times, and he had quite a few turnovers, but he was able to keep his team in the contest with his ability to score the basketball. Right now, he may be a second round prospect for the 2020 draft, as he could project into being a rotation player at the next level.

Florida’s senior center, Kerry Blackshear also put forth a solid performance to help lead his team to a victory over Xavier. He showed off a solid ability to score in the paint, and he also generally rebounded and defended well.

Blackshear did a good job of scoring on hustle plays in this game. He showed a knack for scoring on rolls to the rim, as he would pick and choose his spots to do so, and he also managed to score on a strong put back after getting an offensive rebound. He also showed a knack for drawing fouls when posting up, as he would get often deep position, and he did a good job of scoring on drives to the basket. He was able to use a nice spin move to score from the high post, and he also managed to score on a runner while getting an extra free throw another time. He missed on his lone three-point attempt though, but generally Blackshear excelled at making shots from the field against Xavier.

Plus, he also is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he also did a good job of passing out of the post to set up scoring chances for his teammates. However, he threw an inaccurate pass out of the post once that sailed out of bounds, and he also had a ball poked away when posting up another time that led him to commit another turnover.

Also, Blackshear did a good job of rebounding the basketball, as he was able to leap up to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor. However, he also was prone to committing fouls when going after rebounds, as he can be overly aggressive in pursuing boards at times.

He also played adequate defense in this game. Blackshear managed to swat a shot off of a drive, and he also did a good job of deflecting passes to make it difficult for opponents to get their passes through. However, he tended to flop when defending in the post, which would cause him to allow scores. On a separate play, he gave up deep position when defending on the block, as he allowed his man to score around the basket that time.

In summary, Kerry Blackshear had a solid showing to help his team defeat Xavier, as he showed off strong inside scoring skills, and he also managed to get a double-double to help his team get the victory. Blackshear has been a productive player in college basketball, as he can score and rebound the basketball. While he may need to shore up his interior defense and be a more consistent shooter in games, Blackshear’s ability to score and rebound could allow him to thrive as a role player in the NBA, as he could be a good find for a team in the second round range of the 2020 draft.

Florida’s 6-5 freshman guard, Scottie Lewis played very good defense in his team’s win over Xavier. He would often rotate to block and alter shots in the paint, as he would come in from the blindside to swat shots due to possessing great leaping ability, timing, and instincts to do so. He also is an agile, pesky defender that will bring heavy ball pressure, as he can poke balls away to get his team steals and deflections. He also can be undisciplined defensively on occasion, as he would commit reach-in fouls when defending opposing ball handlers, and he also bit on a pump fake, which led him to commit a foul and allow a score on a drive. On a separate play, he was late to rotate back to his man, as he ended up allowing his man to score on a three-point shot.

Plus, he also would help out on the glass, as he would chase down balls to get his fair share of boards on both ends of the floor.

However, he struggled to make shots in his team’s win over Xavier. Early on, Lewis showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble, as he managed to score on a quick, right-handed drive to the hoop after getting the switch to take on a bigger, slower footed defender. He also managed to get to the foul line on a strong left-handed drive to the hoop, and he also made both of his free throws.

On the other hand, Lewis really struggled to knock down jumpers, as he would tend to miss on contested pull-up jumpers inside the arc, and he also missed a couple of corner threes badly from downtown.

He also was fairly turnover prone in this game. On the bright side, Lewis can push the ball up the floor, as he has very good acceleration to get it up court, and he also can kick balls out to shooters to set up scoring chances for his teammates. However, he also can tend to be careless with the basketball, which can lead him to commit turnovers. He lost the ball once after driving wildly to the hoop, and he also threw an interior pass off the dribble that ended up getting intercepted. Later on, he dropped a catchable pass that ended up in his opponent’s hands, which led his team to cough up another turnover.

Overall, Scottie Lewis is a defensive minded combo guard that excels at blocking shots to help his team protect the paint. His offensive skills look to be a work in progress, as he really has trouble making jumpers, and he can be prone to hoisting up some bad shots, as shot selection can be a significant issue for him. Right now, he may project to be a defensive specialist at the next level, and he could end up being selected by an NBA team in the late first round range of the 2020 draft.

Other Notes:

Xavier’s 6-7 junior forward, Naji Marshall had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Florida. He excelled at scoring on aggressive drives to the basket, and he also scored on a turnaround jump hook in the post, but Marshall struggled to knock down jumpers on offense, and he didn’t look to take many shots in this game.

On the other hand, he displayed decent playmaking skills. Marshall would throw solid interior passes to set up scores for his teammates, as he threw a lob pass to set up an alley-oop dunk, and he also threw a nice bounce pass to get his teammate a fast break score another time. However, sometimes he would not get enough on his passes, which would lead them to get intercepted by defenders.

Overall, Marshall is a fairly athletic swingman that can pass and handle the basketball, but he will need to improve his jump shot and be a more assertive player on offense. Right now, he may be a borderline second round candidate for the upcoming draft, but if he can work to improve his three-point shooting skills significantly, he could end up being a 3 and D type of role player in the NBA.

Xavier’s 6-4 senior point guard, Quentin Goodin played fairly well in his team’s loss to Florida, as he did a good job of making shots down the stretch. He excelled at making open, spot-up threes off the catch, and he also was able to set a hard screen to help his teammate get open, which enabled his teammate to knock down the open jumper.

Plus, Goodin played solid defense, as he would get his hands on passes and poke balls away to help his team get steals, and he also contested a three to force a miss. On the other hand, he struggled to score off the dribble when attacking the basket, and he also occasionally would get his passes intercepted.

Overall, Quentin Goodin is a smart, savvy playmaker that does a good job of taking care of the basketball, and he did a good job of knocking down his jump shots in this particular game against Florida. He will still need to be more assertive on offense and show that he can make jumpers consistently, but if he can, he could end up competing for a roster spot in the NBA sometime down the road.

Xavier’s 6-9 senior big man, Tyrique Jones quietly had a fairly good game in his team’s loss to Florida. He possesses adequate low post scoring skills, as he has good strength to back down his man, and he also can score on jump hooks and drop step moves. He also was able to leap up to score on an alley-oop dunk. He struggled more to score in the post when he would take contested shots, but generally he did a good job of getting deep position to finish plays around the basket.

He will also look to pass out of the post at times, but he can also be fairly turnover prone on offense. Jones struggles to pass out of the post when double-teamed, as he was called for traveling once when doubled, and he also threw a hasty pass that was intercepted by a defender.

Plus, he also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball, as he was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor. However, he also struggled defensively, as he had trouble defending his man off the dribble or on rolls to the rim, which would lead him prone to committing fouls, as he ended up allowing a couple of scores and additional free throws on those plays.

Overall, Tyrique Jones is an athletic, high motor big man that can get numerous scores and rebounds in the paint. He will need to improve his face-up game and defensive skills, but he is an energetic player that may have the skills to compete for a roster spot in the NBA.

Florida’s 6-3 sophomore guard, Noah Locke did a very good job of knocking deep threes from well beyond the arc to space the floor for his team, and he also excelled at intercepting passes to get steals defensively. Locke had a strong showing in his team’s win over Xavier, and he could be a potential second round pick whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.

Florida’s 5-11 freshman point guard, Ques Glover is a speedy, agile playmaker that shot the ball well, as he showed a knack for scoring on pull-up jumpers, and he also managed to score on a floater off of a right-handed drive. However, he also had some ball handling turnovers, as he would try to rush to make plays on offense. Overall, Glover did a good job of making shots to provide floor spacing for his team, and he could be a player to keep an eye on in the future.