Thoughts On Scoot Henderson’s 31-Point Performance, and G-League Ignite’s Loss to Santa Cruz

November 28th, 2021

By Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch the G-League Ignite play in a November 26th game against the Santa Cruz Warriors.  This was on at pretty much the same time of the Duke-Gonzaga game, so I had to re-watch the G-League Ignite-Santa Cruz match, and I was able to do so with thanks to YouTube via NBA G League.  Scoot Henderson had a terrific game, as he scored 31 points in his team’s tough loss to Santa Cruz.  Here are my thoughts on how he and others fared on this day.  For those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.

G-League Ignite’s Scoot Henderson scored 31 points in his team’s narrow loss to Santa Cruz.
(Photo:
Darren Yamashita/USA Today Sports, via Marietta Daily Journal)

Scoot Henderson had a great showing in his team’s loss to Santa Cruz.  He is a speedy, athletic playmaker that did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and he also was able to make some solid plays on both ends of the floor. Henderson did a great job of attacking the basket to score on offense.  Henderson often scored on speedy drives to the hoop.  He can quickly split double teams, as he has great speed and changes directions well, which can enable him to score on smooth layups and thunderous dunks.  He also would quickly get past his opponents to score on high-flying dunks.  He also would’ve scored on a crafty, acrobatic reverse layup if the officials would have given him continuation, but instead drew a non-shooting foul that time.

He also showed a knack for scoring on smooth, pull-up mid-range jumpers.  He is a quick guard that can dribble around screens using either hand, and he was really comfortable at making dribble jumpers from the mid-range, especially from around the elbows.  Also, Henderson did a good job of cutting to the hoop to score the basketball.  He also dribbled off of a screen and proceeded to make a step-back three.  On the downside, Henderson struggled more to knock down threes, especially on spot-up opportunities off the catch.

Also, Henderson displayed solid playmaking skills.  He is a quick, agile guard that can make swift, accurate passes off the dribble, and he was able to make an assortment of passes to rack up assists.  He also can use a series of dribbles moves to create space and separation between himself and his defenders, and he made good reads to find teammates on the move.  On one play though, he telegraphed a weak entry pass that got intercepted.  Later on, he threw an interior pass that ended up getting dropped by his teammate that went to an opponent. Plus, Henderson did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was active at crashing the glass to help his team get boards on both ends of the floor.  He was able to make a good hustle play to get an offensive board, and he also would often push the ball up the floor after getting defensive boards for his team.

He also played adequate defense in this game.  Henderson is an athletic guard that would get his hands on passes acrobatically to get steals, and he also hustled back to poke a ball away from behind to get another steal.  He would chase down loose balls and poke balls away on the defensive end, and he also managed to contest a three to force a miss.  He also was able to apply heavy ball pressure when guarding an opponent late in the game to force his man to make a difficult pass.  Sometimes though, he would get beat off the dribble or would not find a way to stay in front of his man, which would often lead him to allow scores.  Other times, he would over-help in the paint and sag too far off of shooters, which would lead him to allow three-point baskets to the opposition.

In general, Scoot Henderson is a very athletic, energetic guard that played very well in his team’s loss to Santa Cruz.  He showed a knack for attacking the hoop to score often on offense, as he would often score on quick, speedy drives, and he also did a great job of scoring on mid-range jumpers.  He’ll still need to improve his three-point shot and get used to the longer three-point line at this level, but he is quickly adjusting to the G-League in all of the other facets of the game.  Henderson had a terrific showing, as he scored 31 points on 10 of 15 shooting in this game. He is a very athletic lead guard that can really score the basketball, and he is a strong contender to be the top pick of the 2023 draft, as he could be a similar player to Sacramento Kings’ guard De’Aaron Fox in the NBA.

Michael Foster also played very well in his team’s loss to Santa Cruz.  He did a very good job of scoring around the basket, he also rebounded the ball really well, and he also was active as an interior defender and shot blocker.  On the downside, he also was very turnover prone on offense. Foster did a very good job of scoring in the post.  He would often use subtle moves to get past defenders, and he would end up scoring on strong drop step moves.  He also was able to score on a right-handed hook shot early on, and he also used a drop step to split a double team to throw down a powerful dunk another time.  He also showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays, as he ran the floor to score on a powerful jam, and he also used a pump fake to score off of a backdoor cut. Plus, he also did a decent job of scoring off the dribble.  Foster would often go to his right to drive to the hoop.  He was able to score on a thunderous dunk, and he also used a quick ball fake to score another time.  Sometimes though, he wouldn’t get enough touch on his shot, which would lead to some misses.

On the downside, he was quite turnover prone on offense.  For the positives, Foster can pass out of the post, and he was able to find a cutter to notch an assist.  He also threw a very long outlet pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break early on.  Plus, he also would set solid on-ball screens to help his teammates score on open jump shots.  However, he committed a lot of turnovers in this game.  He tended to throw inaccurate passes, as a couple of them got intercepted, and one of them skipped out of bounds.  He also had trouble handling the ball when heavily pressured, as he had a ball poked away from him in the post a couple of times, and he also lost the ball on a drive due to going too fast and out of control on that possession.  He also set a hard moving screen that led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover, and he also dropped a catchable pass down low late in this match.

Also, Foster did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He would often leap up to get boards, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and he would sometimes bring the ball up after getting them for his team. He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Foster has very long arms, as well as good instincts, and timing that allow him to rotate and recover to block shots to help his team protect the paint.  He also would often use his length to poke balls away, and he also was able to get his hands on a pass to get a steal.  He also did a good job of contesting shots off the dribble to force misses.  He would tend to be late on his rotations, and he would sometimes give up on plays or not even actively contest shots despite being in the area, which would lead him to allow opponents to score around the basket.  He also would sometimes get beat off the dribble by quicker opponents, which would put his team in compromised situations.

In summary, Michael Foster had a very good showing in his team’s loss to Santa Cruz.  He did a great job of attacking the hoop to score on offense, and he also excelled as a rebounder and shot blocker in this game.  He’ll need to improve his outside shot and cut down on his turnovers, but he is a strong, athletic big man that could be a good pick for an NBA team in the mid to late first round range of the 2022 draft.

MarJon Beauchamp played fairly well in his team’s loss to Santa Cruz.  He was very effective in scoring on off-ball motion plays, and he also was active as a rebounder and defender when he was on the floor. Beauchamp did a good job of scoring on hustle plays.  He especially thrived as a scorer in transition.  He would run the floor to score on high-flying dunks, and he also used a hop step move on a drive in transition to score quickly off the glass.  He also showed a knack for scoring off of put backs, as he would score on a couple of turnaround put-backs, as well as on a floater.  On the downside, sometimes he would try to do too much and rush himself, which would lead to some misses.  He also didn’t seal his man when trying to get the ball in the post, and his teammate was not able to successfully throw the ball to him, which led to a team turnover.

He also was able to make an open corner three off the catch to show his shooting skills.  On the downside, Beauchamp also missed on two other three-point attempts, and he also threw up an unsightly air-ball once.  He used a crossover move to pull up, but he ended up missing on a long two off the dribble. Also, Beauchamp showcased decent playmaking skills.  He was able to pass out of the post to set up a score for an open shooter on offense.  He also threw a timely pass to a cutter to notch another assist, and Beauchamp can throw accurate interior passes to find teammates on the move.  On the other hand, there was one play where he dropped a hard interior pass that ended up out of bounds.

Plus, Beauchamp did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He thrived at collecting boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would bring the ball up after getting defensive rebounds for his team.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average in this game.  For the positives, Beauchamp is an athletic, active help defender.  He was able to get his hands on a pass to get a steal, and he also showed that he can jump on loose balls and poke balls away.  He also did a decent job of contesting shots on the defensive end, and he also rotated to block a shot to a teammate due to possessing good athleticism, timing, and instincts.  On the downside, he would sometimes be late on his rotations or to contest shots, which would usually lead him to allow scores.  He also would give up too much space to shooters, which would lead him to allow them to score on three-point shots.

Overall, MarJon Beauchamp had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Santa Cruz.  He is a very athletic swingman that showed a knack for making hustle plays, but sometimes he would be a bit unfocused defensively.  He’ll also need to improve his outside shot in the meantime.  Still, he is a very athletic swingman that can score and defend, and he could be a good pick for an NBA team in the mid to late first round range on draft day.

Dyson Daniels had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Santa Cruz.  He showed off versatile scoring skills and he also generally defended well in this game, but he also had trouble knocking down threes and he also was too turnover prone on offense. Daniels did a decent job of scoring off the dribble.  He would take the ball up court to score on emphatic, two-handed jams on the break.  He also showed a knack for driving to his left to get fouled in order to get to the free throw line.  He also used a spin move to his right another time, but he ended up missing on a floater due to rushing.

He also was quite turnover prone on offense.  For the positives, Daniels can throw long, accurate passes to find open teammates, and he is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man.  On one play, was able to set up a score for a teammate on the break.  On the other hand, he would sometimes struggle to make plays in this game.  When handling the ball once, he dribbled off of himself and lost it to an opponent.  He also had the ball stolen away from him another time.  Sometimes, he’ll stare down at his passing targets for too long, and he would telegraph weak passes that would get intercepted.

Though he didn’t get many rebounds in this game, Daniels was able to chase down a loose ball to get a defensive board, and he then pushed the ball quickly up the floor afterwards. Daniels also played solid defense.  He did a very good job of intercepting passes to get steals, and he was able to poke a ball off of an opponent’s leg to force another turnover.  He also managed to jump on a loose ball to help his team get a steal.  Also, he did a good job of contesting shots to force misses.  Sometimes though, he wouldn’t move his feet very well defensively, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores when defending opponents off the dribble.

Overall, Dyson Daniels didn’t have his best game, but he was able to make some solid plays at times against Santa Cruz.  He is an athletic, big point guard that can pass and defend, but he will need to improve his shooting and scoring skills and also be more consistent in games.  Currently, he is projected to be a first round prospect for the 2022 draft.

Jaden Hardy also put forth an uneven performance in his team’s loss to Santa Cruz.  He didn’t shoot the ball very well, and his shot selection continues to be pretty bad, but he showed a good ability to score off the dribble when he would decide to go all the way to the basket to score.  He had some defensive breakdowns at times, but Hardy was able to make some good passes in this game.

Hardy showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  He has a very good first step, and he would tend to score on strong drives to the hoop.  He can use either hand to quickly get to the rim, and he also showed a knack for drawing fouls in order to get to the free throw line.  He has good body control and balance to regularly finish plays at the rim, but sometimes he would rush his shots, which would lead to some misses.  He also would sometimes look to quickly cut to the hoop and move off the ball, but his teammate, Kosta Koufos kept setting moving screens on offense.

Unfortunately, Hardy didn’t shoot the ball very well, and he particularly struggled to knock down outside shots.  He would often miss on quick, contested pull-up jumpers from both the mid-range and beyond the arc, and he also missed all of his three-pointers in this match.  He tended to settle for taking too many tough, contested jumpers, which ended up hurting his shooting percentages considerably against Santa Cruz.

Also, Hardy displayed adequate playmaking skills in this game.  He is a very athletic, speedy combo guard that can quickly get into the lane, and he can throw crisp, accurate interior passes to set up scores for his teammates.  He also showed that he can make drive and kick passes to consistently find open shooters.  On the downside, he would sometimes throw lazy passes that would get intercepted.  He also drove to the hoop, but had the ball stolen away from as he fell down another time.

Also, Hardy did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  He was able to chase down boards to help his team get defensive rebounds, and he would tend to push the ball up the court afterwards.  Hardy also played adequate defense in this game.  He did a very good job of poking balls away to get steals, and he also was able to block a shot off the dribble and swat it to a teammate.  Plus, he also was able to successfully draw a charge to get a stop for his team.  Hardy was able to jump on a loose ball to help his team get another steal, and he also did a decent job of contesting shots to force misses.  Sometimes though, he would be unfocused defensively.  Occasionally wouldn’t pick up a person on defense or try to contest shots, and he also would sometimes give up too much space to shooters, which would lead him to allow scores.  Other times, he would be too aggressive, and he would commit touch fouls as a result.

Overall, Jaden Hardy didn’t play very well, but he was able to have some good moments at times in his team’s loss to Santa Cruz.  He will need to greatly improve his shot selection, and he will need to be a more disciplined defender in games.  Still, he’s a very athletic combo guard that can get any shot he wants, and he could be a good player if he shoots the ball well.  His draft stock is very high, and may be a tad inflated, but Hardy is still a very talented prospect that at least could project well into a sixth man role off the bench in the NBA.

Fanbo Zeng had his ups and downs in his team’s tough loss to Santa Cruz.  He made his presence felt early, as he was able to draw free throws to score and also block a shot, but he also tended to pick up quick fouls later on, although some of it was due to questionable officiating. Even still, he was also too passive on offense, so that didn’t offset his tendency to pick up quick fouls. Zeng did a decent job of scoring off the dribble.  He was able drive hard to his left to draw free throws, and he then made the free throw to score two points for his team.  He also was active in moving off the ball, as he slipped a screen to get open, and he would’ve scored on a tip-in if his teammate had not drawn a foul earlier.

He also was active in setting screens for his teammates.  Zeng also was able to run in and leap up to get a defensive rebound, and he then initially brought the ball up before passing it off to a teammate.  Plus, he also rotated to block a shot on a drive in transition due to possessing solid athleticism, timing, and instincts.  On the downside, he generally struggled defensively aside from that possession.  When defending in the post, he allowed his man to get deep position as he didn’t show any resistance, and he ended up committing a foul around the basket.  He also struggled to stay in front of an opposing ball handler another time, and he then fouled an opponent on a drive as a result of preventing his opponent from landing.

Overall, Fanbo Zeng didn’t have a great game, but it’s good to see that he is healthy and ready to get some minutes in games.  He’ll need to stay away from foul trouble, and he’ll need to be more assertive on offense.  Currently, he has plenty of things he needs to work on, but the utmost priorities for him would be to get consistent playing time, be assertive, and to keep playing hard in games. He’s struggled over the past few games, and he hasn’t seen nearly enough playing time recently, but if he can get back to playing well, he could move up draft boards and put himself in serious contention to be a second round pick in the 2022 draft.

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