Thoughts on Darius Days, Trendon Watford, and Cam Thomas in the LSU-Arkansas Game

January 14th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I decided to take the time to watch LSU’s 6-4 freshman guard, Cam Thomas play against Moses Moody and Arkansas in an SEC basketball game.  Thomas’ stock had steadily risen to the point where he is now considered a potential lottery pick, and he is a scoring guard that excels at putting the ball in the hoop.  I took the time to see him play in order to see what he can do against another solid basketball team in his conference.  Also, this game featured other notable prospects in addition to Thomas and Moody, such as Trendon Watford and Darius Days.  Here are my thoughts on how Thomas and the others fared, as well as where they may currently stack up as prospects for the NBA.

Darius Days had a strong all-around performance, as he scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead LSU to a double-digit win over Arkansas.
(Photo:
Stephen Lew/USA Today Sports, via Reuters)

LSU’s 6-6 junior forward, Darius Days had a stellar showing in his team’s double-digit win over Arkansas.  He played a strong all-around game, and he continually was able to make solid plays to help his team on both ends of the floor. Days did a great job of scoring on hustle plays.  He would often score on strong put backs after leaping up to grab offensive rebounds, and he was able to score on a turnaround jumper off of one late in this game.  He also sprinted down court and was able to score quickly in transition.

He also shot the ball very well.  Days excelled at scoring on spot-up threes, as he was able to make one from way out off of a pick and pop play, and he also made another three another time. Also, he looked to be fairly average as a playmaker.  Days set good screens, as he was able to score on a pick and pop play early in this game.  He has a wide frame, and he would set firm screens to help create open shots and driving lanes for himself and his teammates.  However, he also was called for a charging foul when trying to score on the break, and he also had a ball poked away when posting up another time.

Plus, he did a terrific job of rebounding the basketball.  Days would often leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he was excellent at scoring on put backs to provide his team with plenty of second chance points. Days also played good defense in this game.  He was able to hustle back to block a shot off of a drive in transition due to possessing solid athleticism and timing.  He also dove to get a loose ball that an opposing ball handler lost to get a steal.  He also managed to successfully draw a charge on a drive due to good positioning.  He also was active in contesting shots to force misses.  He did once commit a loose ball foul in trying to get a ball back after turning the ball over, but generally he defended when he was on the court.

In general, Darius Days played very well in his team’s win over Arkansas.  He especially excelled as a floor spacer and scorer around the basket, and he also rebounded and defended well when he was on the court.  He is an intriguing prospect, as his size and strength allows him to guard bigger players on the court, and he also has the mobility to defend opponents out on the perimeter.  He would be a solid pick for an NBA team, especially in the late first to the second round range, and he has the skills to thrive as a role player in the NBA.

Trendon Watford had a solid showing, as he notched a double-double, and led all players with 23 points to help LSU get the win over Arkansas.
(Photo:
Gus Stark/LSU Athletics, via KALB-TV)

LSU’s sophomore forward, Trendon Watford also played very well, and he was able to score 23 points and had 10 rebounds to help lead his team to a double-digit win over Arkansas. He excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game.  Watford did a fairly good job of scoring off the dribble.  He can use subtly ball-handling moves to score on aggressive drives to the hoop, as he can use a Euro-step move and a ball fake to get past his man, and he also scored on a floater.  He also showed a knack for driving hard to the hoop to get fouled in order to get numerous free throws.  However, sometimes he would miss tough shots in traffic, which would happen more when he wouldn’t get foul calls.

He also flashed the ability to knock down jumpers to provide some floor spacing for his team on offense.  Though he didn’t take many threes in this game, Watford was able to make a step-back three from well beyond the arc.  However, he also threw up two air-balls from around the mid-range, and he wasn’t quite able to consistently score on jump shots that he would take from further away from the basket.

Also, Watford showed a solid ability to score in the post.  He would tend to score on jump hooks, as he can dribble in to score or score on turnaround jump shots.  He showed solid footwork and scoring touch to be an effective scorer in the paint.  Plus, he also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Watford was able to score on a tip-in after leaping up to grab an offensive board.  Plus, he also used a nifty overhead ball fake and dribbled in to score on a put back another time.

However, he was quite turnover prone on offense in this game.  For the positives, Watford can handle the basketball, as he would tend to bring the ball up after grabbing defensive rebounds.  On the downside, he had trouble handling the ball when faced with heavy ball pressure.  He lost the ball handling it out of bounds, and he also was called for a travel when posting up, which led to a score being waved off as a result.  He also tended to commit charging fouls on drives to the hoop.  When doubled in the backcourt, he didn’t get the ball up court quickly enough, which led to a ten-second violation in the backcourt.  Also, he tended to throw inaccurate passes, as he had a couple of them get intercepted.

Also, Watford did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would leap up to get plenty of boards on both ends of the floor, and he especially excelled at collecting defensive rebounds to help his team.  He also played decent defense.  Watford would stay in front of his opponents and contest jumpers to force misses.  However, sometimes he would sag too far off of shooters and give them too much space, as he allowed them to score on a couple of three-point shots.  On a separate occurrence, he was called for fouling an opponent from behind around the basket.

In summary, Trendon Watford had a solid showing in his team’s win over Arkansas.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also rebounded and defended well.  He did commit too many careless turnovers though on offense.  Still, he played well, and he is a talented prospect that could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the second round range of the 2021 draft.

Cam Thomas scored 17 points to help lead LSU to a win over Arkansas.
(Photo:
Stephen Lew/USA Today Sports, via Reuters)

LSU’s 6-4 freshman guard, Cam Thomas had a decent showing in LSU’s win over Arkansas.  He is a first round prospect whose been known for his shooting and scoring prowess.  He didn’t quite make shots quite as efficiently as expected, but he excelled at making them when he wouldn’t take threes, and he also showed off better than anticipated playmaking and defensive skills in this game.

Thomas did a decent job of scoring off the dribble.  He is a quick, aggressive scorer that can score on floaters and layups, and he also showed a knack for scoring on mid-range runners.  He also can weave past multiple defenders, and would go hard to the hoop to draw fouls on them.  However, sometimes he would go too fast and out of control, which would lead him to miss shots in traffic, especially when he would not get foul calls. On the downside, Thomas had trouble consistently knocking down threes in this game.  He did make a spot-up three from way out, but he tended to miss on spot-up threes and step-back threes from beyond the arc.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Thomas is an unselfish player that can throw timely passes to find open shooters to set up scores for them.  He also drove the ball up the court, and he threw an accurate lob pass to set up a dunk for a teammate on a breakaway.  He also was able to successfully break a press and get the ball to a teammate late in this game.  However, sometimes he can tend to rush his moves, as he can struggle to handle the ball when pressured, which would lead him to sometimes commit ball-handling turnovers. He also was able to collect his fair share of boards, as he was able to get some defensive rebounds, and sometimes he would push the ball up the court afterwards.

Defensively, he looked to be perhaps above average. Thomas is an active defender that can apply considerable ball pressure, and he was able to rotate to rip ball away from an opponent off of a drive to get a steal.  However, sometimes he would be too aggressive at times, and on one play, he was called for a foul when guarding an opposing ball handler mid-court.

Overall, Cameron Thomas played fairly well in his team’s win over Arkansas.  He did just about everything well except make threes consistently, and he also was a bit turnover prone.  He especially excelled at scoring off the dribble, and he also was a ball mover and an active defender.  While the lottery might be too high of a range for him, Thomas is a talented scorer that could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the late first round, as he could end up being an effective role player in the association.

Arkansas’ 6-6 freshman guard, Moses Moody had his ups and downs in this contest, but he played better in the second half, as he showed off a better motor and a more diverse offensive game in his team’s loss to LSU. Moody excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He did a very good job of scoring on put backs after leaping up to get numerous offensive rebounds, and he also managed to score on a couple of quick, tip-ins in this game.  He also scored on a backdoor cut, and he also used a pump fake in order to score around the basket.  Plus, he also managed to score on a smooth drive in transition later on.

He also showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble.  Moody showed more aggressiveness and a better first step off the dribble, and he was able to draw fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line.  However, sometimes he would take tough shots, as he missed on a floater, and on an acrobatic, reverse layup other times.

On the downside, he struggled to knock down jumpers, especially from further out.  Moody did make an open corner three late in the first half, but he tended to miss on his three-point attempts, and he usually struggled to make pull-up jumpers from the mid-range.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Moody can throw passes off the dribble, and he can throw solid interior passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  Moody is an unselfish player that has shown improved court vision, and he can find cutters and teammates around the basket to get them the basketball.  He also can pass out of the post.  However, sometimes he would telegraph his passes, and he also can throw inaccurate passes that would get intercepted by his defenders. Also, Moody did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He especially was active at crashing the offensive glass to get boards, and he displayed a solid motor and a keen nose for the ball to do so.

Defensively, he looked to be perhaps above average.  Moody was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he was able to contest shots to help force some misses.  However, he tended to commit touch fouls, and he was sometimes prone to picking up quick fouls in this game.

Overall, Moses Moody didn’t exactly dominate, and he didn’t shoot the ball as well as expected, but his performance wasn’t nearly as bad as it was in his team’s loss to Tennessee earlier this month.  He showed a more diverse game, as he’s looked to show that he’s not just a one-dimensional, spot-up shooter, but strangely, he didn’t excel at spotting up to knock down outside shots in his team’s loss to LSU yesterday.  This game probably won’t help or hurt his draft stock, and he is a prospect that projects to go in the late first to the second round range.  If he can play better against top notch competition, that could help him as that may ease his transition to the NBA better for either next season or whenever he ends up declaring to enter the draft.

Other Notes:

Arkansas’ 6-1 junior guard, J.D. Notae had a solid showing in his team’s loss to LSU.  He had a slow start in the first half, as he came off the bench and initially didn’t take many shots, but he played much better as the game progressed, and he showed off his versatile scoring skills and tremendous foot-speed to help his team on offense.

Notae did a fairly good job of scoring off the dribble.  He is a speedy, fleet-footed guard that can quickly get to the hoop to score.  He also has a wide array of ball-handling moves, and he would sometimes weave past defenders to get to the rim.  He also can draw fouls when taking pull-up, mid-range jumpers to get to the free throw line.  However, sometimes he would take tough, contested shots, as he would sometimes miss on drives in traffic or on mid-range shots due to rushing.

He also was able to knock down several three-pointers in this game.  Notae showed that he can make threes both off the catch and dribble, though he also missed plenty of long-range jumpers other times, as he was quite streaky with his jump shot.

He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  He can throw solid interior passes, and he has the court vision to throw accurate no-look passes to set up scoring chances for them.  He is also a speedy guard that can get to anywhere he wants with the basketball.  However, other times, he would throw inaccurate passes that would end up going out of bounds, which would lead him to commit turnovers.

Also, Notae did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was very active at crashing the glass, and he especially excelled at collecting offensive rebounds to help his team.

Plus, he also played satisfactory defense.  Notae can rotate to poke balls away to get steals, and he also jumped on a loose ball to collect another.  He is an active help defender that has good hands, and he excelled at helping his team force turnovers.  However, he also would commit touch fouls due to over-aggressiveness.  On another play, he allowed a taller shooter to score on a three-point shot, as he wasn’t quite tall enough to ably contest the shot that time.

Overall, J.D. Notae played well in his team’s loss to LSU.  He scored 22 points in this game, and while he didn’t get many assists, he did just about everything else well for his team.  He doesn’t have much draft buzz right now, but his solid athletic gifts and scoring skills could enable him to be a worthwhile second round pick for an NBA team whenever he decides to declare to enter the draft.

LSU’s 6-6 freshman forward, Mwani Wilkinson played very well in his team’s win over Arkansas.  He made solid plays on both ends of the court, and he is a high-motor player that excelled in this game. Wilkinson excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He sprinted down court to catch a lob pass to score on a high-flying, alley-oop dunk in transition.  He also was able to score on put backs after grabbing offensive rebounds.  He also was able to drive in from the high post, as he was able to maneuver his way to score on a quick layup.

In addition, he showed off some range, as he was able to make an open corner three from beyond the arc.  Wilkinson displayed adequate playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he also did not turn the ball over once on offense. He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Wilkinson was quite active at crashing the glass, and he was able to leap up to help his team get multiple boards on both ends of the floor.

Also, Wilkinson played decent defense in this game.  He was able to tie-up an opposing ball handler mid-court to get a steal, and he also was able to pounce upon loose balls to help his team get another.  Sometimes though, he can be too aggressive in trying to make plays, which can lead him to commit touch fouls.

Overall, Mwani Wilkinson is a very athletic, high-motor forward that had a solid all-around game in his team’s win over Arkansas.  He actually didn’t look to shoot the ball enough, but he was very effective, as he made all of his shots, and scored 11 points to help his team in this game.  He hasn’t drawn much draft buzz, but he is a talented player that could be worth keeping tabs on, as he could project to be an effective role player in the NBA someday.

LSU’s 6-4 junior guard, Ja’Vonte Smart had his ups and downs in his team’s win over Arkansas.  He scored 13 points, but needed 13 shots to get to that point total, but he did notch 5 assists in this game. He is a strong, aggressive scorer that can quickly get to the rim, and he often was able to get fouled by his opponents to get to the free throw line.  Smart can use dribble moves to get past his opponents, and he especially excelled at scoring on drives in transition.  However, sometimes he would struggle to score in traffic, and he had a couple of his shots blocked out of bounds.

Also, Smart flashed the ability to knock down jumpers.  He was able to make a step back 3, but he missed on two other three-point attempts, and he also missed on a pull-up, mid-range jumper another time. Plus, he displayed decent playmaking skills.  Smart is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man to get assists, but sometimes he would commit turnovers due to carelessness. 

Smart was able to get his fair share of boards to help his team get rebounds, and he was able to get boards on both ends of the floor.  Defensively, he looked to be about average.  He was active defensively.  However, he had some trouble defending opponents out on the perimeter, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Ja’Vonte Smart is an athletic, skilled combo guard that can score the basketball, but he struggled to make shots consistently or to defend at times in this game.  He’s flown under the radar as a draft prospect, but he could project to be a second round prospect whenever he decides to declare to enter the NBA draft.

Arkansas’ 6-1 junior point guard, Desi Sills played well in his team’s loss to LSU.  He primarily excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game.  Sills did a good job of scoring on strong drives to the hoop, and he also showed a penchant of getting fouled to get to the free throw line.  He also was able to make a pair of spot-up threes, and he made outside shots efficiently against LSU.  Plus, he also scored on a backdoor cut to the hoop.

Overall, Sills did a good job of making shots in this game, and he also rebounded the ball well, but he also did not pick up an assist, either.  Still, Sills is an athletic shot maker that has been a solid contributor in his role to his team, and he could be a player to watch next season.

NBA Scouting Live
error: Content is protected !!