Thoughts on Jaden McDaniels, Isaiah Stewart, and Killian Tillie

December 9th, 2019

by Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart play in a basketball game that took place between Gonzaga and Washington on December 8th. It was a very competitive basketball game, but in the end, Gonzaga was able to hold off Washington to get a tough win on the road. There were many solid performers that participated in this match. Here are my thoughts on how McDaniels, Stewart, and other various prospects fared, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.

Jaden McDaniels is a likely lottery pick for the 2020 NBA Draft, and he boasts having All-Star potential as a prospect for the NBA.  (Photo: Andy Bao/The Seattle Times.)
Washington’s freshman forward, Jaden McDaniels played very well in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. (Photo: Andy Bao/The Seattle Times.)

Washington’s 6-9 freshman forward, Jaden McDaniels put forth a solid performance in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. He is a very athletic basketball player that showed off his versatility, as he made a variety of shots, he played unselfishly, and he had a very good all-around game.

McDaniels did a very good job of knocking down jumpers to help his team space the floor on offense. He excelled at making three-point shots, as he was able to knock down a step back three, and he also made one off the catch. He also can pull up to make long two-point shots, and he also a solid pump fake move that he can use to draw his defender in the air. He did miss on several mid-range shots, but generally he showed a knack for making pull-up jumpers.

He also showed a very good ability to score on aggressive drives to the basket. McDaniels managed to score on a tough runner in transition, and he also drove from the baseline to throw down a thunderous dunk another time.

Also, McDaniels displayed decent playmaking skills. He is an unselfish player that would keep the ball moving to set up scores for his teammates, as he can find them in transition, and he threw an accurate lob pass to set up a score for a teammate on a separate possession. He also handles the ball well, especially for a player his size. However, he also committed a slew of turnovers, as he can be reckless when handling the basketball, and he also would sometimes throw hasty passes that would get intercepted.

He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball. McDaniels was able to leap up to get plenty of defensive boards to help his team on the glass.

He also played adequate defense. McDaniels managed to rotate to block a shot off of a drive in transition, and he also deflected a pass out of bounds on a separate play. On the other hand, he sometimes would struggle to defend out on the perimeter. He was called for a foul when he inadvertently tripped an opposing ball handler. He also sagged too far off his man another time, which allowed him to allow a three-point basket to his man.

In general, Jalen McDaniels played very well in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. He showed off very good all-around skills, and he was able to make plenty of highlight-reel worthy plays to help his team on the court. Overall, he is a very talented, all-around player that could end up being one of the best to come out of the 2020 draft class, and he is a likely lottery pick that could be a solid starter in the NBA.

Isaiah Stewart could be a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.  (Photo: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press via Rochester First.)
Washington’s freshman forward, Isaiah Stewart had a strong showing in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. (Photo: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press via Rochester First.)

Washington’s 6-9 freshman big man, Isaiah Stewart played very well in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. He showed off tremendous inside scoring skills, and he also excelled as a rebounder to help his team on the glass.

Stewart is a strong, physical bruiser that did a very good job of scoring in the post. He would often get deep position, as he would score on turnaround jumpers, step through moves, jump hooks, and drop steps. He also showed a knack for drawing fouls upon defenders, as he was unstoppable inside. He also showed a good ability to score off of put backs, and he was able to get a strong score while getting an additional free throw once. Plus, he also made a turnaround, mid-range jumper from the baseline to help his team stretch the defense. Adding to that, he also did a great job of making his free throws when he was at the foul line.

He displayed average at best playmaking skills in this game. Though he looked to score quite often, Stewart was able to find the open man to notch an assist, and he also can set good screens to help his teammates get open looks on offense. He did commit a couple of turnovers, as he can be careless when handling the basketball, and he also had one poked away in the post when faced with considerable ball pressure.  Plus, Stewart also did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He managed to haul in many boards, as he would leap up to get multiple rebounds on both ends of the floor.

Defensively, he looked to be about average at best. For the positives, he would look to contest shots to force misses, as he can defend mid-range jumpers and in the post when he’s in position to do so. He also intercepted a pass to get a steal. However, sometimes he would allow his man to get too deep when defending in the post, and he can also be over-aggressive when contesting shots, as this would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. He also can sometimes struggle to defend opponents out on the perimeter, as he can tend to sag too far off his man, and other times he may be prone to over-rotating when guarding out there.

In summary, Isaiah Stewart had a very good showing in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. He is a very good, back to the basket player that also rebounds well, and he also plays with a solid motor. He also has shown an emerging jump shot as he can make mid-range jumpers, and he did a great job of making his free throws. Right now, he will still need to continue to improve his face-up game and on-ball defense, but he is a productive player that could go in the lottery, and he may have the skills to end up being a solid player in the NBA.

Killian Tillie played very well, and he and Joel Ayayi made big threes down the stretch to help Gonzaga get the overtime victory over Washington.  (Photo: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press via The Spokesman-Review.)
Killian Tillie played very well, and he and Joel Ayayi made big threes down the stretch to help Gonzaga get the overtime victory over Washington. (Photo: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press via The Spokesman-Review.)

Gonzaga’s senior big man, Killian Tillie had a very good showing in his team’s win over Washington. He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also played a solid all-around game to help his team get the victory.

Tillie did a very good job of scoring on jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team. He showed a penchant for making spot-up threes off the catch, and he also can make long-range shots from well beyond the arc. He also used a pump fake to make an off-balanced, mid-range jumper from the baseline. He also can score in the post as well as off of hustle plays, though he also missed on a couple of jump hooks in this game.

He also showcased solid playmaking skills. Tillie is a patient player that sees the floor well, as he was able to find a cutter to notch an assist, and he also threw a long outlet pass to find a teammate on the break to set up another. He didn’t turn the ball over often, but his lone turnover came when he threw an errant pass that ended up being intercepted.

Also, he was able to get his fair share of boards, as he would sometimes be able to chase down balls to get rebounds to help his team on the glass. Plus, he also played very good defense. Tillie was able to get his hands on passes to get steals, and he also would go for loose balls to help his team collect others. He also played very good defense when guarding a smaller player on an inbounds play, as he managed to force the opponent to commit a five second violation. Sometimes he can struggle to guard his man though, as there was one play where he sagged too far off his man, which led his opponent to score on a three-point shot.

Overall, Killian Tillie is a skilled, athletic big man that helped his team in a variety of ways to get them the victory over Washington. He has a lot of skills that could prove to be useful to teams at the next level. He is an intriguing prospect that could go in the late first to the second round range of the 2020 draft, and he could end up being a very good find for a team in the NBA.

Gonzaga’s sophomore center, Filip Petrusev also played very well in his team’s win over Washington. He did a good job of scoring and rebounding the basketball, and he managed to score 17 points and haul in 10 rebounds to help his team get the victory.

Petrusev did a decent job of scoring in the post. He can score on jump hooks and step-through moves, and he possesses good strength, footwork, and shooting touch to garner plenty of scores around the basket. He also has good hands to make tough catches, but sometimes he would miss on contested turnaround jump hooks.

He also showed an adequate ability to make mid-range jumpers, and he also drew free throws off of an offensive rebound in this game. However, he would sometimes be streaky with his jump shot, and he would also struggle to score in traffic on occasion, which would lead to misses.

He also displayed fairly average at best playmaking skills. Petrusev can pass out of the post, as he was able to find a cutter to set up a scoring chance once. However, he also can struggle to operate out of double teams, as he had a pass intercepted once, and he also had a ball poked away after being doubled another time.

Plus, he also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. Petrusev was able to leap up to get numerous boards on both ends of the floor. However, there was one play where he committed an over the back foul, which led his team to allow a put back score and an additional free throw on that play. He also played adequate defense. On one play, he was able to challenge a mid-range jump shot to force a miss once.

Overall, Filip Petrusev is a skilled big man that excelled as an inside scorer and rebounder in this game. He is a player that could excel in his role at the next level, and he could end up being a solid role player in the association.

Gonzaga’s 6-3, redshirt senior point guard, Ryan Woolridge put forth a solid performance to help lead his team to a narrow victory over Washington. He excelled at attacking the basket to garner scores, and he also played terrific defense when he was on the court.

Woolridge did a good job of scoring on quick, aggressive drives to the hoop, and he also can score on backdoor cuts. He did miss a couple of runners, and did not look to take jumpers from outside of the paint area, but he excelled at making shots efficiently in this game.

However, he was also quite turnover prone in this match against Washington. For the positives, Woolridge is a fairly athletic combo guard that handles the ball well, and he is an unselfish player that can find open shooters to set up scores for them. However, he had a tendency to try to force the issue too much on offense, as he ended up committing several ball handling turnovers, and he struggled to handle heavy ball pressure on occasion. He also can be careless with the basketball, which can lead him to commit other turnovers.

He also did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball. Woolridge would leap up to get rebounds on both ends of the floor, and he also managed to get a tough offensive board once.   He also played very good defense. He would often jump passes quickly to get steals, and he also would jump on loose balls to help his team collect others. He also managed to back-tap an opponent from behind to nearly force another turnover, and he will also contest threes to force misses.

Overall, Ryan Woolridge had a solid showing in his team’s win over Washington. He is an athletic, high-motor player that can score and defend when he is on the floor. He will likely need to improve his jump shot and show that he can effectively run the point at the next level, but Woolridge is an intriguing prospect that may have the skills to be a solid role player in the NBA.

Washington’s sophomore point guard, Quade Green also had a strong showing in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. He excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor. In this game, he would tend to make pull-up jumpers, and he also can score on floaters off the dribble. He also passed the ball well; as he would threw solid interior passes to set up scores for his teammates. Sometimes though, he would struggle to handle heavy ball pressure, which would lead him to commit some turnovers. Plus, he played adequate defense. Green managed to jump a pass to get a steal, but he also would sometimes pick up quick fouls due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Green had a solid game, as he showed off versatile skills on offense to help his team stay in the contest. Right now, he may be a borderline second round prospect for the 2020 draft, but even still, he may have the skills to make it to the NBA as a backup point guard in the league.

Washington’s 6-6 junior swingman, Nahziah Carter had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. He had his ups and downs, but he also made some solid plays at times. Still, he rarely ever looked to pass the basketball, and there were times where he probably should have passed it off to McDaniels or Carter late in this contest.

Carter showed an adequate ability to knock down spot-up threes off the catch, and he also possesses a solid ability to draw fouls off of quick drives to the hoop. He also managed to use a hesitation move to score on a runner in transition, as he also excelled at scoring on fast breaks. However, he also tended to miss wildly on half-court drives to the hoop, and he tended to force up too many questionable shots down the stretch that would lead to misses.

He also may need to improve his playmaking skills. He can be a good passer when he decides to do so. He was able to get one assist by throwing a sharp pass to find an open shooter on the floor. However, he also tended to throw inaccurate passes that would get intercepted, which would lead him to commit turnovers.

He also was able to collect his fair share of rebounds to help his team get defensive boards. Carter also played decent defense. He would fly in to block shots due to possessing very good athleticism and timing, and he also can deflect passes. He also contested a shot in the post, which caused his man to rush his shot and miss around the basket. However, Carter also would sometimes be too undisciplined defensively, as he would prone to fouling due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Nahziah Carter is a very athletic swingman that has some shooting and scoring skills, and he plays energetically when he is on the court. However, he will need to pass more and improve his shot selection. Right now, he may be a second round prospect for the 2020 draft, and if he can continue to hone his overall game, he could end up being a 3 and D type of player in the NBA.

Other Notes:

Gonzaga’s 6-5 redshirt sophomore guard, Joel Ayayi made a big three to help his team seal the win late in overtime against Washington. He was streaky with his jump shot, but he was able to make a big long range shot down the stretch, and he also did a good job of scoring off the dribble when looking to attack the basket. He also passed the ball very well, as he possesses good court vision and can make timely passes. Defensively, he looked to be about average. He took a ball away from an opposing ball handler to get a steal, but he would sometimes struggle to guard his man, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, he is an athletic swingman that could be a player to keep an eye on this season, and he has quietly played well this year. He may be an underrated prospect for the 2020 draft, and he could project to be a solid role player in the NBA.

Gonzaga’s 6-7 junior swingman, Corey Kispert had some good moments in his team’s win over Washington, as he showed off a variety of scoring skills when he was on the floor. Kispert is known for his ability to shoot the basketball, as he made a couple of spot-up threes, but was too inconsistent with his jump shot in this game. He did run the floor and catch a lob pass to score on a high-flying, alley-oop dunk on the break, and he also can score on hustle plays.

Defensively, he looked to be average at best. He was able to pick off a pass to get a steal, and he also contested a mid-range jumper to force a miss, but also tended to foul opponents on jump shots due to over-aggressiveness. Overall, Kispert is a skilled swingman that can shoot and score the basketball, and he is a fairly athletic player that could project into a shooting specialist role at the next level.

Gonzaga’s 6-10 freshman center, Drew Timme played fairly well in his team’s win over Washington. He excelled at scoring on hustle plays, was active on the glass, and he also showed some defensive skills in this game.

Timme excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He would frequently score on tip shots, and he was able to run in to score on a tip dunk once. He also attempted to score in the post after catching an entry pass, but he ended up rushing his shot, which led to a miss that time.

He also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He would tend to leap up to collect boards, as he was able to haul multiple rebounds on both ends of the floor.

He also played adequate defense. Timme was able to get his hands on a pass thrown to the post to get a steal, and he also successfully drew a charge when defending a drive. He also stepped up on a drive, and helped cause a ball handler to lose the basketball due to good positioning. However, he also can tend to foul opposing ball handlers due to over-aggressiveness. Overall, Timme is a fairly athletic, high-motor player that could be a prospect to keep an eye on in the future. If he can continue to hone his game, he could end up being a solid role player in the NBA.

Gonzaga’s redshirt senior guard, Admon Gilder didn’t play nearly as often as expected, as he came off the bench, and didn’t play big minutes in this contest. He was able to score on a cut to the basket, and he also used a pump fake to make a mid-range shot another time, but he also tended to miss on floaters off the dribble, and he also missed on a spot-up three from beyond the arc. Gilder didn’t play very much in this game, and he was virtually a non-factor in his team’s win over Washington, but his track record at Texas A&M may suggest that he may have the skills to end up on an NBA team’s summer league roster either in 2020 or sometime down the road.

Washington’s 6-9 junior forward, Hameir Wright played fairly well in his team’s loss to Gonzaga. He is an athletic combo forward hat excelled at scoring on spot-up threes, and he also scored on a floater off of a drive. Plus, he also did a tremendous job of blocking shots to help his team protect the paint. However, he can play too recklessly at times, which would lead him prone to committing fouls. Overall, he did a good job of shooting the basketball and blocking shots, and he could be a prospect to follow for the 2021 draft.