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College Basketball: Freshman Evaluations Part 2

Drew Timme Gonzaga

Timme is the next great Gonzaga big man and will be one of the best interior players in the country next season. His ability to run the floor is very good as he’s dangerous in transition as the rim runner. Also, he’s extremely active in the half-court on the blocks and in the high post area. Furthermore, he has really good hands around the basket to be a dominant low post scorer. His duck-in ability and jump hook capabilities around the basket are great and make him an effective scorer. The area where Timme could improve is his shooting to be able to extend the defense even more. Timme is a very complete offensive post player with great mobility and feel that makes him an extremely tough matchup. As for the defensive end, he does a solid job of containing the basket and can guard on the perimeter if need be. Also, he does an effective job on the defensive glass but could improve his strength to deal with stronger big men. Timme will be one of the best interior players in the country for Gonzaga and in a position to win a national championship.

2019-20 Averages 9.8 points 5.4 rebounds 1.3 assists 62.1 FG%

Boogie Ellis, it appears, will return to the University of M ...Boogie Ellis Memphis

Ellis is a high volume shooter and must improve his shot section and become a more efficient scorer. Furthermore, he’s a dangerous threat in transition spotting up as a shooter. Also, he the ability to get to the basket with his quickness and is very solid in ball screen action. His ball-handling ability allows him to attack gaps for pull up jumpers. The finishing ability around the basket must improve with the ability to stop finishing with runners. Now defensively, Ellis gets in a stance consistently and does a good job on the basketball staying front consistently. He’s not that big so he can get driven on at times and players can shoot over the top. Ellis will be looking to take the next step as the lead guard for Memphis being a more efficient scorer.

2019-20 Averages 8.0 points 3.3 rebounds 1.5 assists 33.0 FG% 32.4 3pt%

Santiago Vescovi Tennessee

Vescovi has a solid feel and brings a steadiness at the point guard position. He’s not very athletic but does a good job of getting to his spots. He makes pull up threes pretty consistently. When he has separation, he finishes around the basket well. He brings solid toughness to Tennessee and does a good job of initiating the offense and making plays for others. An area in improvement for Vescovi would be being quicker in his decision making. Defensively, he’s not the quickest on the ball and can struggle to contain it on drives and shots from the perimeter. He needs to improve his ability to at least contain the basketball more effectively. Vescovi will need to be great at leading Tennessee next season with a team that will be a Top 15 team entering the season.
2019-20 Averages 10.7 points 3.3 rebounds 3.7 assists 37.3 FG% 36.0 3pt%

Will Baker Texas

Baker will need major development in his sophomore season to take the next step forward. Continued, he can make plays off of dribble penetration and utilizes his size well. Also, he can stretch the defense with his ability to shoot jumpers, but must improve his consistency and get more involved offensively. Next, he can be a dangerous pick and pop player with the ability to attack switches and get easy looks. Baker has a high ceiling on the offensive end with a bit more development. Now defensively, he gives good effort, but needs to be able to increase his mobility to guard on the perimeter, as well as, being able to be more physical on the defensive boards. Baker’s development will be key in his success for his sophomore season.
2019-20 Averages 2.1 points 1.9 rebounds 0.3 assists 27.5 FG% 15.4 3pt%

E.J. Liddell Ohio State

Liddell is a very physical interior player and will need to elevate his game with the departure of Kaleb Wesson. He plays with good activity on the offensive end and is very effective with opportunities around the basket. Next, he must improve his skill to finish more consistently in post-up situations, as well as extend his range as a shooter to be able to make mid-range jumpers. Also, he has a solid face-up game with the ability to drive, but needs to finish more consistently. He can be very effective in ball screen situations on the move to the basket with his mobility. As for defensively, he brings good physicality around the basket and can alter drives very well. Also, he can guard the ball well with his mobility and athleticism. Liddell will be a very productive player for Ohio State and its most important interior player next season.
2019-20 Averages 6.7 points 3.8 rebounds 0.5 assists 46.4 FG% 19.2 3pt%

Omar Payne Florida

Payne has very good athleticism and he plays with good energy on the offensive end. Furthermore, he must improve his skill set with the basketball to be more of an offensive threat. Next, off the basketball, he can be very effective with cutting to the basket and in ball screen actions diving to the rim. Also, his strength needs to improve to be able to absorb contact inside and finish through contact. He brings good activity on the offensive boards providing second chance opportunities. Now defensively, he has very good length but the strength needs to able to improve to defend in the post. Also, he’s quick enough to stay in front of the ball and can alter shots at the rim with his length. Payne has room to grow on both ends of the floor with his raw athleticism but needs to start developing more of an overall skill set.
2019-20 Averages 3.8 points 3.6 rebounds 0.2 assists 61.4 FG%

Kofi Cockburn Illinois

Cockburn is a very physical interior presence that is very impactful with his scoring and rebounding ability. If Cockburn gets two feet in the paint with the basketball it is nearly an automatic two points. Further, he does a very good job of sealing his defender with very good hands to secure the basketball consistently. The activity that Cockburn brings in the post with reposting and his footwork is very solid. Continued, his mobility and ability to keep fighting for position are very good, which allows him to be a dominant post scorer. His exceptional size and toughness make him a very difficult matchup for teams in the paint. He’s got good touch around the basket and can finish with contact. As for the defensive end, he must improve his ability to guard face-up bigs and consistently having active hands. Also, he brings really good physicality and does a solid job defending the post. Cockburn will be one of the best bigs in the country next season for Illinois.
2019-20 Averages 13.3 points 8.8 rebounds 0.6 assists 53.2 FG%

De’Vion Harmon Oklahoma

Harmon has good athleticism which allows him to be a player who can contribute in a multitude of ways. Furthermore, he’s solid with the basketball and has good shiftiness to get to the basket but needs to finish more consistently. He also needs to become a better overall shooter who could make perimeter jumpers at a higher rate. Next, he can be a very good player in transition with his ability to spot up as a shooter and attacking the basket. His efficiency will need to improve as a go-to option for Oklahoma on the perimeter. Now defensively, Harmon will apply very good pressure on the basketball and does a good job of consistently staying in front of his man. Also, he is scrappy off the basketball as well as fighting to be in the right position. Harmon will be a very productive guard for Oklahoma on both ends of the floor as long as he becomes a more effective scorer.
2019-20 Averages 7.4 points 1.8 rebounds 2.0 assists 36.4 FG% 34.3 3pt%

Anton Watson Gonzaga

Watson has really good athleticism and a very good ability to run the floor as a rim runner. Furthermore, he brings really good activity on the offensive boards with the ability to attack in transition with the basketball. Also, he has very good mobility and versatility on the offensive end with very solid hands and finishing ability around the basket. The threat of Watson in the ball screen continuity of Gonzaga will be very impactful with his athleticism diving to the rim. Watson will be the most versatile forward for Gonzaga and should excel next season offensively. Now defensively, he brings the versatility to guard multiple positions and has very good athleticism and length. Also, he can create turnovers on the defensive end and is dangerous in transition. The lateral quickness must improve to be able to contain the basketball better. Watson has an extremely high ceiling for Gonzaga as long as he is healthy the frontcourt will be the best in the country.
2019-20 Averages 4.9 points 3.1 rebounds 1.5 assists 53.8 FG%

Kai Jones Texas

Jones is very raw as an offensive player, but has very good size and athleticism that makes him a player with potential. He does a very solid job of moving with the basketball, as he will cut to the basket for easy opportunities. Next, his length and vertical jump make him a very good rebounder and effective in second-chance opportunities. Continued, he runs the floor extremely well with an ability to finish with ease. Also, to be a bigger factor he must be a more skilled player and become stronger to take the next step. If he improves his shooting ability he will an extremely difficult player to guard for opposing teams. As for the defensive end, he has very good versatility with his ability to guard multiple positions, as well as containing the ball on the perimeter with his length and ability to move laterally with providing some rim protection. Jones’ development will be very key in his success for his sophomore season.
2019-20 Averages 3.6 points 3.2 rebounds 0.4 assists 50.0 FG% 29.2 3pt%

D.J Jefferies Memphis

Jefferies brings really good versatility with his ability to stretch the defense with his 3-point shooting along with his physicality and scoring inside. Furthermore, he can play off the basketball as he moves very well and he can push the ball himself in transition effectively. He does a very solid job of rebounding the basketball on both ends. He could improve his shot-making off the dribble to become a more complete scorer. Also, his ability to get to the basket is good with his size and athleticism, but he must be able to finish more consistently. Jefferies can attack in a multitude of ways offensively and should be the focal point for Memphis offensively. Now defensively, he has good size and athleticism, but could improve his ability to contain the basketball. He brings solid energy on the defensive end and does a good job contesting shots. Jefferies will be one of the best players in the AAC next season.
2019-20 Averages 10.8 points 4.3 rebounds 1.5 assists 51.2 FG% 39.0 3pt%

Justin Moore Villanova

Moore fits into the Villanova offense’s style and culture extremely well. He’s got very good size and contributes very well on the boards for a guard and can pass effectively. Next, he moves without the basketball very well and can make the catch and shoot threes effectively. Further, he plays with great ball control and is very good in transition and the half-court getting to his spots. His size allows him to post up smaller guards effectively and he can make fade-away jumpers. Moore could limit his turnovers at times by trying to make the extra play a bit too much. Moore can be very effective in ball screen situations getting to the basket with his size. If Moore can drive more consistently he will take the next step as a complete scorer. As for the defensive end, he has solid use of hands and moves pretty well. He’s not a great on-ball defender, but he does a solid job and is not a liability. Moore will be a part of possibly the best perimeter in the country next season at Villanova.
2019-20 Averages 11.3 points 3.1 rebounds 1.9 assists 41.8 FG% 39.6% 3pt

Casey Morsell Virginia

Morsell has a really good size and ability to shoot over the top of defenders and get to the basket. He moves well off the basketball and can get clean shots off, he just needs to able to make more shots. Also, he can attack in ISO situations with his size and physicality. Morsell needs to clean up his skill level to take the next step as a scorer and become more efficient but has the potential to do so. If his perimeter scoring can take the next step it will open up his ability to drive to the basket. As for defensively, he provides very good size and physicality on the basketball with very solid lateral movement. He will be a very good perimeter defender for Virginia and fits into their culture on that end very well. Morsell’s offensive development will be the key to his growth as a Sophomore.
2019-20 Averages 4.0 points 1.7 rebounds 0.7 assists 27.7 FG% 17.6 3pt%

Lester Quinones Memphis

Quinones has a really good size for a guard with his ability to shoot over the top on defenders and get to the basket. Next, he brings good activity off the ball to spot up as a shooter and to come off of handoffs effectively. Also, he can be a knockdown shooter but needs to improve his overall shooting percentages. Continued, he plays with a great amount of confidence with a quick release. Quinones will continue to develop his offensive game to be a more consistent scorer. As for the defensive end, he has a very solid size on the basketball and plays with good activity and use of hands. Quinones will be a very important piece to the Memphis perimeter next season.
2019-20 Averages 10.7 points 3.8 rebounds 2.2 assists 40.2 FG% 31.3 3pt%

Malik Hall Michigan State

Hall can be a very effective stretch four with his ability to move and shoot the basketball. Next, he can make mid-range jumpers effectively stepping away from the interior. Also, he fits very well into the ball screen roll and replaces offense with his ability to finish at the rim diving strong and shooting from three. He brings good physicality and toughness on the boards on both ends. The mobility of Hall is his best trait on the offensive end and he has solid hands and touches around the basket. His sneaky athleticism also makes him dangerous in transition as he runs the floor well. Now defensively, he needs to do a better job defending on the perimeter with his mobility. Furthermore, he must improve in his ball screen defense to guard switches effectively. Hall fits into the Michigan State style as a big and will have to be the main guy if Xavier Tillman doesn’t return.
2019-20 Averages 4.6 points 3.7 rebounds 1.2 assists 53.6 FG% 33.3 3pt%

Images Courtesy of, Business Insider, ESPN 92.9 FM, Gonzaga University Athletics

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