Thoughts on MarJon Beauchamp and Jaden Hardy in the G-League Ignite’s Loss to Agua Caliente
November 10th, 2021
By Alan Lu
With Jaden Hardy having played so poorly in his team’s first Showcase Cup game of the year, I figured that he was going to have a bounce back game tonight, and that his performance against Agua Caliente tonight would be remembered as “the Jaden Hardy bounce back game.”
Sure enough, Hardy started out with 14 quick points in the first quarter, and he made his first four three-point shots. He started off shooting the ball superbly, and he had already appeared to rehabilitate his draft stock in my eyes to undo his ghastly 6-point performance on 2 of 15 shooting just five days ago. He cooled down considerably, and Hardy ended up scoring 24 points on 7-of-21 shooting, but that is a noticeable improvement from how he had previously played in the G-League. Meanwhile, Beauchamp turned in a strong game by scoring 27 points and hauling in 6 rebounds in his team’s loss. Here are my thoughts on how they fared against the Agua Caliente Clippers. Also, for those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.
MarJon Beauchamp quietly played very well in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente. He especially thrived as a shooter, scorer, and rebounder when he was on the floor, and while Hardy was able to get the loud cheers with his quick offense early in the first half, Beauchamp appeared to be the more steady, consistent performer, as he ended up scoring 27 points in this game.
Beauchamp thrived as a scorer on hustle plays. He showed a knack for scoring off of offensive rebounds, as he was able to run in to score on a tip-in, as well as on a put back. He also managed to score on a backdoor cut, and he also drove in to score in transition another time. He also shot the ball very well, especially from beyond the arc. Beauchamp showed a knack for scoring on pull-up threes, and he also was able to make an open corner three off the catch. He also was able to go to his right to score on a bank, pull-up mid-range jumper.
He also did a decent job of scoring off the dribble. Beauchamp seemed to be more effective in driving to his left to score on offense. He was able to drive to his left to score on a switch of hands layup with his right hand while drawing an extra free throw once. He also showed a knack for drawing fouls when going to the hoop. On the downside, he also struggled to score in traffic when taking the ball to the rim, especially when he wouldn’t get foul calls.
Also, Beauchamp looked to be fairly average as a playmaker in this game. He would look to make the extra pass to find the open man. He was able to find a cutter to set up a scoring chance for a teammate, and he also managed to make a drive and kick pass another time. On the downside, there was one play where he got the ball stolen away from him on a drive that led him to commit a turnover once.
He also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball. He was able to leap up to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor. Defensively though, he struggled in this game. For the positives, Beauchamp was able to tie up an opposing ball handler to force a jump ball. He also was able to contest a three as well as a shot in the paint to help his team force some misses. He also managed to close out hard out on the perimeter to get his opponent to pass the ball another time. On the downside, he tended to be caught ball watching and over-help in the paint, which would lead him to be late to rotate back or to contest the shot, which would often lead him to allow opponents to score on three-point shots. He also would be too aggressive in contesting shots at times, which would lead him to foul shooters.
In general, MarJon Beauchamp put forth a solid performance in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente. He is a very athletic swingman that can shoot and score the basketball, and he’s been one of the more consistent performers on his team amongst the draft prospects. He’s played fairly well in the G-League, and he could be a good pick for an NBA team in the mid first round range in the 2022 draft.
Jaden Hardy had a satisfactory showing in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente. He did a much better job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and he also defended better, especially early on. Still, he was still prone to chucking up some very questionable shots, and his tendency to keep shooting while taking some very questionable shots ended up hurting his shooting percentages a bit in the second half. His supreme confidence in his shot-making ability was what propelled him to get off to such a strong start, but it also likely led him to a steady decline in his shooting later on in this match.
Hardy did a good job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor, and he was especially effective in scoring on three-point shots. He showed a knack for making spot-up threes, as he was able to make one from way out, and he also ran off of a ball screen to make another off of a dribble handoff from well beyond the arc. He also was able to pull up to make a deep three another time. He also was able to go to his left to make a couple of smooth, pull-up jumpers from the mid-range, but he struggled to make mid-range shots consistently in this game. He also tended to take tough, contested shots and sometimes he would hoist up odd, off-balanced shots that would result in misses.
He also showed a solid ability to score off the dribble. Early on, drove hard to his right, he utilized a nice hop step move to split a double team, and he went up strong to score and draw an extra free throw afterwards. He did a great jo of driving hard to the hoop to draw free throws, as he possesses a good set of ball-handling moves to create separation between himself and his defender, and he will also contort his body in ways that will allow himself to get plenty of foul calls to frequently get trips to the free throw line. On the downside, he would also be prone to taking, rushed, off-balanced shots in traffic, and he would sometimes get his shots blocked, or miss when he wouldn’t get foul calls. Hardy also tried to post up another time, but he missed on a turnaround jumper that time.
He also displayed fairly average at best playmaking skills in this game. Though Hardy didn’t look to pass very often, and he was able to find teammates on the break to set up scoring chances for them. He showed that he can find teammates on the move, and he can throw some solid passes off the dribble. On the downside, he would tend to throw hasty passes that would get intercepted. He also threw an inaccurate pass that went out of bounds another time, as it was also a result of miscommunication, and that his teammate didn’t look to get the basketball.
Also, Hardy did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He would chase down balls to get defensive boards, and sometimes he would bring the ball up afterwards. He also played adequate defense in this game. Hardy did a great job of getting steals in this game. He showed a knack for poking balls away from opposing ball handlers to get steals. He also managed to pounce on a loose ball to get another steal, and he also was able to intercept a crosscourt pass. He also was active in contesting outside shots to help his team force misses. On the downside, he would sometimes struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. Other times, he would sag too far off of shooters, as he would give up too much space to them and then allow them to score on open three-point shots.
In summary, Jaden Hardy turned in a much better game than how he fared previously in the G-League, as he showed a much better jump shot, scoring skills, and he was more focused defensively. That said, he still had some shot selection issues, and his tendency to shoot whenever and wherever possible seemed to both help and hurt him in this game. Hardy is a very good player when his shot is going down, but he also can shoot his team out of games. Currently, he is talented enough to get selected in the lottery, but his poor shot selection and rampant chucking could be significant flaws in his game. Still, it’s a good sign that he’s turned in a much better game this time around, and Hardy is a very athletic, scoring combo guard that could project into an instant offense, bucket-getter role similar to former Memphis Grizzlies’ guard, O.J. Mayo in the NBA.
Michael Foster had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente. He showed a solid ability to score off the dribble. Foster drove aggressively towards the baseline, and he was able to spin left to score and get the extra free throw. He also showed a knack for making strong moves and drawing fouls to get to the free throw line often. He also showed the ability to make mid-range jumpers both off the catch and dribble. He struggled more to score in the post and he missed both of his three-point shots. While he missed on turnaround, fadeaway jumpers in the post for most of the way, he was able to make one late in this contest.
He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. Foster was able to find a cutter to notch an assist. He also set an on-ball screen to help his teammate get an open driving lane. On the downside, there were times where he struggled to handle the ball when under pressure, and he had a ball stolen away from him when posting up once. He also threw a bad pass that led to another turnover.
He did a decent job of rebounding the basketball, and Foster was able to get boards on both ends of the floor. He also played satisfactory defense in this game. Foster did a good job of blocking and altering shots to help his team protect the paint. He also was able to successfully challenge outside shots to get stops for his team. On the downside, he would sometimes get beat on moves to the hoop, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores, and there were times where he didn’t seem to give nearly enough effort. He also would tend to sag too far off of shooters, and he would sometimes not even try to actively contest shots, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on outside shots.
Overall, Michael Foster didn’t have his best game, but he was fairly effective as a scorer off the dribble and interior defender against Agua Caliente. On the downside, he struggled to make shots consistently, and he also would tend to struggle to defend out on the perimeter. Currently, he’ll need to improve his outside shot and perimeter defense, but he is a tough, physical big man whose ability to make plays in the paint could enable him to go somewhere in the late first to the second round in the 2022 draft.
Dyson Daniels had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente. He didn’t look to shoot the ball very much, but he showed off versatile scoring skills in this game. He also looked to make a more concerted effort to defend at times, and he was able to block a couple of shots. He still was rather turnover prone, and there were times where he still struggled defensively in this game.
Daniels showed a solid ability to knock down outside shots. He was able to make an open corner three. He also was able to pull up to score on a mid-range floater. He also showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble. On one play, he drove right off of a screen, and he utilized a hesitation move to his left to score. On the other hand, there was another possession where he missed wildly on an apparent, no-look layup on a drive in transition.
On the downside, he was fairly turnover prone on offense. For the positives, he is an unselfish player that will consistently look to find the open man, and he can make solid passes off the dribble to set up scoring chances for his teammates. He has good speed and ball handling skills, which enables him to make swift drive and kick passes to find open shooters. On the downside, he would sometimes throw weak, lazy passes that would get intercepted. He also bobbled a pass after running off of a cut and lost the ball out of bounds. There was another play where he handled the ball up the court, but he had it poked off of himself before it went out of bounds, which led him to commit another turnover.
Also, Daniels did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor, and he would sometimes bring the ball up after getting defensive boards. Defensively, he looked to be about average at best. For the positives, he is an active help defender that did a good job of getting blocks and steals in this game. Daniels was able to block a couple of shots to help his team protect the paint, and he showed good recovery speed and lateral quickness in doing so.
He also managed to intercept a pass to get a steal. He also would poke balls away, and he also pressured an opposing ball handler to force a ball-handling turnover another time. On the downside, he would sometimes struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. Other times, he would not even make the effort to contest shots despite being in the area. He also had trouble fighting through screens, and he would tend to be late on his rotations, which would lead him to give up open shots to his opponents.
Overall, Dyson Daniels was able to have some good moments at times, but his play was inconsistent in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente. He’s shown that he is capable of turning in a strong, all-around game, but he will need to make less mental mistakes on either end of the floor, and he will also need to be more assertive in looking to make plays on offense, as he can tend to be too passive and fade into the background. Right now, he is an athletic combo guard that has some intriguing skills, but he is also unpolished prospect that will need to continue to improve as an overall player. Currently, he may project to go in the late first to the second round in the 2022 draft.
Fanbo Zeng did not play very much in this game, and he didn’t make much of an impact in the few minutes that he was on the floor. For a prospect that is looking to build his draft stock, such limited playing time in this game was a blow to his hopes to try to rise up draft boards.
On offense, Zeng was able to dribble to his right to draw a non-shooting foul. He also ran in and leapt up to get an offensive rebound, but he also ended up missing on a tip-in due to rushing. Defensively, got faked out by a shake move on the baseline, but he also was able to loosely contest a mid-range shot to force a miss. Overall, Zeng just did not play much at all in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente, and he will need more time on the court if the G-League Ignite is truly interested in placing development as their top priority this season.
Scoot Henderson did not play in this game, and in watching ESPN Plus’ live telecast, they said that he was out due to a broken rib. This likely means that he will be out for quite awhile, and probably a long time, and it’s uncertain if he will play this season. He’s not eligible to enter the draft until the year 2023, so he doesn’t have to rush his way back. It’s important for him to recover and get healthy, and it will be fun to watch him play whenever he is able to play at full strength.