Thoughts on Jaylen Wells, Isaac Jones, and Tucker DeVries in the Washington State-Drake Game

March 22nd, 2024

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch Jaylen Wells and Washington State face off against Tucker DeVries and Drake in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.  DeVries got off to a fast start, but Washington State had steady play from Jaylen Wells and Isaac Jones, which helped catapult Washington State to get a hard fought win over Drake in this game.  Here are my thoughts on how they fared, as well as how they may currently stack up as prospects for the NBA.

Jaylen Wells scored 17 points, as he made 3 three-pointers, and had 9 rebounds and 3 assists in his team’s win over Drake in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament. (Photo: Associated Press, via KREM)

Jaylen Wells had a solid showing to help lead his team to a win over Drake.  He is a tall, skilled forward that thrived as a shooter and scorer on offense, and he is a smooth scoring forward whose floor spacing skills will help him at the next level. Wells shot the ball very well, especially from downtown.  Wells showed a knack for making spot-up threes off the catch, and he also used a pump fake and dribbled to his left to make another from long range.  He also excelled at pulling up to make mid-range jumpers.  He also managed to score on a tip-in due to possessing a solid motor.  He missed a couple of aggressive drives to the hoop, but Wells generally excelled at making outside shots in this game.

He also displayed satisfactory playmaking skills.  Wells is an unselfish player that excelled at passing out of the post, and he would find the open man to notch assists.  On one play though, he dropped a pass while running on the move, which led to a turnover.

Plus, he also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  Wells was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he also was able to chase down his own miss to grab an offensive rebound early on.  He also played adequate defense.  Wells would use his length to contest outside shots to force misses.  Sometimes though he would wander around and not guard a man, which would lead his team to give up baskets at the rim.

In summary, Wells played very well, and he especially thrived as a shooter and scorer in this game.  He is a smooth, sharpshooting forward that has above average athletic gifts, and he could end up going in the late first to the second round range in the 2024 draft.

Washington State’s 6-9 senior big man, Isaac Jones had 20 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks in his team’s win over Drake last night. (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images, via Fox 13 Seattle)

Isaac Jones also had a strong showing to help lead his team to a win over Drake.  He is a physical, bruising big man that primarily thrived at operating and scoring out of the post, and he also showed off some rim protection skills by blocking shots in the second half to help his team protect the paint. Jones showed off decent low post scoring skills in this game.  He would often carve out space to operate down low, and he showed solid strength and scoring touch to score in the paint.  He would score on drop steps and jump hooks, and he would use his size and physicality to draw many free throws in this game.  However, sometimes he would miss on off-balanced, contested shots, which would hurt his shooting percentages.

He also thrived at scoring on hustle plays.  He ran the floor and caught a lob pass to score on a high-flying, alley-oop dunk early on, and Jones also managed to score on a tip-in off of an offensive rebound.  Jones also managed to score on an aggressive drive to the hoop.  He also missed on a rushed drive another time, and he also didn’t really look to take outside shots from outside of the paint.

Also, Jones displayed adequate playmaking skills in this game.  When doubled from the high post, he threw a sharp, pinpoint interior pass to notch an assist.  He also excelled at passing out of the post to find open shooters.  Sometimes though, he would struggle to protect the basketball, as he had a ball poked away from him when posting up to commit a turnover.  He also dropped a pass that led to another turnover.

Plus, Jones did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He also played adequate defense.  Jones showed a knack for using his length and athleticism to rotate to block shots to help his team protect the paint.  However, sometimes he would over-rotate and would be late to get back to his man, which would lead his team to give up open shots.  He also would sometimes tend to foul opponents due to over-aggressiveness.

In summary, Isaac Jones played well in his team’s win over Drake.  He is a strong, mobile big man that can score out of the post, and he also is a fairly solid athlete.  He will need to add a reliable jump shot to his arsenal and show teams that he can guard quicker players in space, but he is a productive big man that could be a solid second round pick in the 2024 draft.

Drake’s 6-7 swingman, Tucker DeVries had 14 points and 6 assists, but was just 6 of 18 from the field in his team’s loss to Washington State. (Photo: Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press, via KCRG)

Tucker DeVries had a fast start in the first half, but he struggled to consistently knock down shots down the stretch as he turned in an uneven performance in his team’s loss to Washington State.   DeVries is a crafty, skilled swingman that showed a knack for scoring on smart backdoor cuts to the hoop.  He is a savvy player that moves well off the ball, and he was able to make smart, decisive cuts to score on off-ball motion plays.  Plus, he also ran the floor to score n the break.

On the downside, he struggled to knock down outside shots consistently.  Early on, he was able to make a couple of smooth, step-back mid-range jumpers, and he showed an adequate ability to make shots from that range.  On the downside, he would tend to miss on tough, contested shots, which hurt his shooting percentages.  DeVries was able to move quickly off the ball to make a deep three, but he struggled to make threes consistently, as he had some trouble getting into a rhythm from long range.  Also, DeVries really struggled to score off the dribble or out of the post, as he would tend to take tough, contested shots that would lead to misses.

He also showcased solid playmaking skills.  DeVries especially showed a knack for throwing solid interior passes to find open teammates in the paint to notch assists, and he also can make drive and kick passes to find the open man.  He excelled at finding teammates on the move, and he especially did a good job of getting the ball to Brodie.  On one play though, DeVries drove to the hoop but got the ball poked away, which led to a costly turnover late in the game. Also, DeVries was able to chip in on the glass to get a few defensive boards in this game.  He was active defensively, but there was one play where he gave up too much space and allowed an opponent to knock down a three-point shot that time.

Overall, DeVries didn’t have his best game, as he struggled to make shots efficiently in his team’s loss to Washington State.  From watching him play, he has a game that may be similar to former Miami Heat guard, Voshon Lenard, and DeVries could end up being a skilled offensive player whose shooting and playmaking skills could allow him to thrive in a supporting role.  DeVries is going to need to be able to step up his play against upper-echelon opponents, as he’ll need to be a more consistent shooter and will need to improve his defense, but his skill set and ability to move off the ball and quickly operate on motion plays could enable him to be a second round pick in the 2024 draft.

Drake’s 6-10 senior center, Darnell Brodie also had a solid showing in his team’s tough loss to Washington State.  He primarily operated as a low post scorer, and he also was able to make some solid hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor. Brodie showed a satisfactory ability to score out of the post.  He was able to score on a drop step, as well as on an up and under, step-through move, and he also used a spin move to score on a jump hook another time. He showed solid strength, footwork, and scoring touch to score inside.  Sometimes though, he would miss on jump hooks when he would look to score on the block.

He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Brodie was able to throw down a strong dunk off of a roll to the rim, and he also managed to score on a put back another time.  He didn’t look to take many outside shots, and he missed an open mid-range jumper once. As a playmaker, he looked to be fairly average in this game.  On one good play, Brodie was able to throw an accurate bounce pass to find a cutter to notch an assist.  However, he can sometimes be careless with the basketball, which would lead him to commit turnovers.  When dribbling in the post, he lost the ball that led to a turnover.  He also threw a hasty entry pass that got intercepted another time.

Brodie also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He also played adequate defense.  He showed solid length, timing, and instincts to block shots, as he would rotate to swat shots off of drives to help his team protect the paint.  However, sometimes he wouldn’t show much resistance when defending in the post, which would lead him to commit fouls, and Brodie ended up committing a lot of fouls and fouling out.

Overall, Brodie played fairly well in his team’s loss to Drake.  He is a strong, mobile big man that can make some solid plays in the paint on both ends of the floor.  He will need to add a reliable outside shot to his arsenal and be a more disciplined defender in games, but his ability to make hustle plays could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA in the future.

Drake’s 6-1 junior guard, Atin Wright played well in his team’s loss to Drake.  He is an agile, skilled scoring combo guard that especially thrived at making dribble, mid-range jumpers  to score the basketball.  He was streaky with his three-point shot, but Wright especially showed a knack for making pull-up, mid-range jumpers on offense.

As a playmaker, he looked to be fairly average.  He was able to find a cutter to notch an assist.  However, sometimes he would be careless when handling the basketball, which would lead him to commit ball handling turnovers.  Overall, Wright is a fairly athletic, energetic combo guard that can score the basketball.  He will need to improve in the other facets of the game, and he will need to show that he can reliably run the point at higher levels, but his above average athletic gifts and ability to knock down shots could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA in the future.

Myles Rice had his ups and downs in his team’s win over Drake.  He didn’t shoot the ball very well overall, as he often would miss on wild, rushed drives to the hoop.  But he was able to make a spot-up three off the catch, as well as run off the ball and utilize a pump fake to make a pull-up, mid-range jumper to show his ability to knock down outside shots.  Plus, he also ran the floor, and drove down court to score on a high-flying dunk in this game.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Rice showed that he can make passes off the dribble to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  He also was able to throw a nice lob pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break.  However, sometimes he would play too recklessly, which would lead him to commit turnovers.  He committed a charging foul when driving to the rim once, and he also threw a hasty pass that got intercepted another time.

He also played decent defense in this game.  Rice is a feisty defender that would poke balls away to get steals and deflections.  However, sometimes he would struggle to defend quicker players, which would lead him to commit reach-in fouls due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Rice didn’t have his best game, but he is an agile, skilled point guard that was able to make some plays on both ends of the floor.  He will have to take smarter shots in games, but he may be a prospect to keep tabs on in the future.

All in all, those are my thoughts on how Jaylen Wells, Isaac Jones, Tucker DeVries, and others fared in this game.  Thanks for reading.

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