Thoughts on McKinley Wright and the Mobley Brothers

January 1st, 2021

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch USC’s 7-0 freshman center, Evan Mobley and USC play against Colorado in a Pac-12 conference basketball game.  As he is currently projected to be a top 5 pick, I expected him to dominate in this match.  Instead, Colorado’s senior point guard, McKinley Wright turned into a sterling performance to lead his team to a win, as they mostly not only kept Mobley in check, but they also pretty much shut him down on offense.  Here are my thoughts on how Wright, Mobley, and the others fared on this day, and here is where they currently stack up as prospects for the NBA.

Colorado’s senior point guard, McKinley Wright had a terrific showing, as he especially thrived as a shooter and scorer to lead his team to a convincing, double-digit win over USC.
(Photo:
Randy Sartin/USA Today Sports, via Pac-12)

McKinley Wright played very well in Colorado’s win over USC.  Wright played a solid all-around game, and he especially excelled at shooting and scoring the basketball, as he tended to make sound decisions throughout this match to help his team get the victory.

Wright did a good job of scoring on pull-up, mid-range jumpers and crafty floaters, and he is an agile guard that has solid foot speed and set of dribble moves that can easily enable him to get to spots on the floor to get his shots off.  He also drove hard to the hoop another time to score in transition.  Sometimes though, he would take rushed, off-balanced shots that would lead to misses, but Wright generally showed a knack for making jump shots from the mid-range. He also was able to run off the ball to make an open, corner three off the catch, but he missed on a step back three another time.

He also displayed satisfactory playmaking skills in this game.  Wright is a patient player that can throw good passes off the dribble, and he would kick balls out to shooters to set up scores for his teammates.  He did commit one turnover though, as he threw a pass that ended up getting deflected and intercepted once.

Wright also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball, and he was active at crashing the glass to help his team get defensive boards.  He also played fairly good defense.  Wright would get his hands on passes to get numerous steals and deflections.   However, he had some trouble guarding taller shooters, and he was called for a foul when he tried to draw a charge when defending a roll late in this game.

Overall, McKinley Wright had a strong showing as he thoroughly played well to help lead his team to a stunning win over USC.  He is a smart, skilled playmaker that excelled at making shots and ran the team effectively at the point, and he is a second round prospect that could end up being a solid role player in the NBA.

Evan Mobley scored 12 points, but on just 5 of 14 shooting, and while he collected 7 rebounds and 2 blocks, he did not pick up an assist, nor make a three-point shot, and he also committed 5 turnovers in his team’s stunning loss to Colorado.
(Photo:
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press, via The Los Angeles Times)

USC’s 7-0 freshman center, Evan Mobley didn’t play very well in his team’s loss to Colorado, but he still was able to make some solid plays at times, as he had a few good moments in this game. Mobley generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays, as he would often look to score in the paint.  He would tend to score on rolls to the rim, and he was able to score on a quick, two-handed dunk midway through this match.  He also ran in to score on a put back slam after leaping up to grab an offensive rebound.

He also showed a decent ability to score in the post.  Early on, he made a nice, fade-away jumper from the baseline early on.  He also turned to use a quick shoulder fake to score on a turnaround layup.  Mobley also showed a knack for making touch catches, and drawing fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line, although he didn’t do a good job of making his free throws in this game.  When he was rolling, he showed off solid footwork and shooting touch, and he was efficient at scoring down low early on.  However, Mobley would tend to miss too often on turnaround jumpers and sling hooks later on, and he had trouble making shots down the stretch in the second half.

He also struggled to make jumpers from outside of the paint, especially in the second half.  Mobley didn’t look to score often from outside of the paint, and he would tend to miss from outside of that range, as he also missed on both of his threes, even when he was wide open to shoot off of a pick and pop play.  Mobley also didn’t really look to take the ball to the hoop to score when he would get the ball out on the perimeter, and he didn’t really show much passing or ball handling skills in this contest.

Also, Mobley was quite turnover prone in this game.  For the positives, he was able to throw some accurate entry passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates, and he also would set screens to help teammates get open jump shots to set up scores for them.  He also brought the ball up slowly on another possession later in this game.  However, he would tend to throw inaccurate passes, as he even threw an ill-advised jump pass off of a baseline drive, and he had a couple of his passes picked off by defenders.  He also tended to commit ball-handling turnovers, as he tended to struggle to handle the ball when faced with heavy ball pressure.  He lost the ball once off of a drive early on, and he also was called for a traveling violation when attempting to kick a ball out off of a drive another time.  He also committed a charging foul on another attempt to kick a ball out to a shooter off the dribble, which led him to commit an offensive foul and turnover simultaneously.  On top of it, Mobley tended not to run the floor very hard on offense, so he was often unable to get transition scoring opportunities as a result.

Mobley was able to get his fair share of rebounds, as he was able to leap up to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  He didn’t get nearly as many rebounds as he should have obtained, as he and his team were out-rebounded by the opposition in this game.

Defensively, he looked to be about average.  Mobley is a long, rangy roamer that did a good job of rotating from the blind side to block shots off of drives to his teammates, and he also was able to get his hands on a pass using his length to help his team force a turnover another time.  He would contest shots in the post to force misses, and he also would look to contest jumpers to help his team get additional stops.  However, he would tend to sag too far off of shooters, and he wouldn’t fight through screens quickly enough, as he would allow opponents to score on jumpers.  He also would tend to space out, as he would lose track of his man on cuts, and sometimes he would unnecessarily look to double in the post, which would force bad rotations and lead his teammates to have to rotate to commit fouls.  There was also another play where he didn’t hustle back, as his team ended up allowing a score on a drive in transition.

In general, Evan Mobley did not play well, and he was nowhere near as effective as he could have been or was back when he played in his team’s loss to Connecticut.  Mobley is a tall, very athletic big man but there are concerns that he’s not demonstrated a reliable enough face-up game, and his tendency to be unfocused defensively is also another source of concern.  He is a skinny big man that has tended to struggle to defend stronger players in the post, and he might not be the surefire top 5 pick he was touted to be at the beginning of the season.  Right now, he’s still a very good bet to go in the lottery, but he will need to show more versatility as an offensive player, and he will need to defend much better and be more focused on that end that how he fared on this day against Colorado.

USC’s sophomore big man, Isaiah Mobley had some good moments in his team’s loss to Colorado.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he did a decent job of scoring in the post in this game.  Mobley scored on a jump hook, and he also utilized an up and under move to score on a nifty, step-through move.  However, sometimes he would take, tough off-balanced shots that would lead to misses.

He also was able to score on a strong right-handed drive to the hoop, and Mobley also was able to make a spot-up three off of a pick and pop play to show his range in this game. However, he was quite turnover prone on offense.  Mobley tended to commit ball-handling turnovers, as he was called for palming, and he also lost the ball in the post another time.  He also lowered his shoulder when posting up to commit a charging foul on a separate possession.  When posting up on a separate play, he used a spin move but fell upon doing so, and he ended up throwing an off-target pass that got intercepted.

Mobley was able to grab his fair share of boards, as he was able to get rebounds on both ends of the floor, and he would tend to bring the ball up the court off of defensive rebounds to show some ball-handling skills.  He didn’t grab as many rebounds as he should have, but he was able to help his team get some boards, nonetheless.

He also played decent defense in this game.  Mobley was able to rotate to block a shot in the post to a teammate, and he would contest threes as well as shots in the post to force misses.  He also managed to deflect a pass in the backcourt later on.  However, there was another time where he got outmuscled when defending an opponent off the dribble, which led him to allow a score to his man.  He also fell when defending a step back long two as he showed shoddy footwork when defending out on the perimeter that time, as he allowed his opponent to score on the jump shot.

In summary, Isaiah Mobley had his ups and downs in his team’s loss, as he made shots efficiently and showed off some defensive skills, but he was entirely too turnover prone and he didn’t grab enough rebounds in his team’s loss to Colorado.  He will need to improve his decision-making ability and he will need to trust his outside shot more.  Right now, he projects to be a borderline second round candidate for the 2021 draft.

Other Notes:

USC’s 6-2 senior point guard, Tahj Eaddy had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Colorado.  He scored 16 points and made 4 threes in this game, and he excelled at making quick, spot-up threes off the catch.  He also was able to run off the ball to make a three-pointer early on.  Plus, he also dribbled off of a screen and pulled up to make a mid-range jumper another time.

He also is an unselfish player that would look to find the open man to set up scores for his teammates.  He did commit one turnover, as he was called for traveling on a drive, as he would have scored on a layup off the dribble had that call not been made.  He also played adequate defense, and he was able to get a steal, and he also deflected a pass out of bounds another time.

Overall, Tahj Eaddy is an agile, skilled guard that can shoot and score the basketball.  He will need to continue to show that he can effectively run a team at the point and also guard upper echelon players, but his ability to knock down jumpers could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA next season.

Colorado’s 6-7 senior forward, Jeriah Horne had a decent showing in his team’s win over USC.  He excelled at knocking down three-pointers to show his sharpshooting prowess, as he can do so both off the catch and dribble.  He also was able to make a step back long two from the baseline just inside the arc.  He tended to miss more on mid-range jumpers and in the post though, but he was very effective in knocking down three-point shots in this game.

As a playmaker, he didn’t get any assists, but he was fairly turnover prone, and sometimes he would throw hasty passes that would go astray.  Horne was quite active at crashing the glass, and he did a decent job of rebounding the basketball, as he was able to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  He also played decent defense, as he was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, but he also committed a foul in the high post another time.

Overall, Horne played fairly well in this game, and he seemed to play better than the box score indicated.  He did a good job of knocking down shots, and he was active as a rebounder and defender in his team’s win over USC.  He will need to continue to improve as an overall player, but his ability to knock down jump shots could give him a shot to compete for a roster spot in the NBA next season.

Colorado’s 6-7 senior forward, D’Shawn Schwartz had a solid showing in his team’s win over USC, and he scored 13 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in this game.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, as he made an open spot-up three, and he also showed a knack for scoring and draw free throws off the dribble and on hustle plays.  He tended to miss on three-point shots though, and he also missed on a jump hook in the post, but Schwartz was aggressive as a scorer, and he did a great job of getting to the free throw line and making his free throws on offense.

He also did a great job of rebounding the basketball, and he led his team in rebounds in this game.  He did commit several fouls though, as he was called for a charging foul off of a drive on offense, and he also was called for a reach-in foul on the defensive end.

Overall, Schwartz is a strong, mobile forward that can score and rebound the basketball.  He will need to stay away from foul trouble to be able to stay on the floor for longer stretches, and he will need to be a more consistent shooter on offense.  Still, he is a high-motor player whose ability to make hustle plays could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA next season or sometime down the road.

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