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College Basketball Freshman Evaluations: Part 4

Colby Jones Xavier

Jones had a very solid freshman season for Xavier and has the talent to develop into a really good player. Furthermore, he has really good size at his position with the ability to get to the rim effectively and finishes strong. Next, he’s a really solid catch and shoot three-point shooter at 33.3% and should only get better from the perimeter. Additionally, he plays well off the ball being in a position to score, he could improve his skill with the basketball to be more effective. Also, he rebounds very well for a guard contributing 4.8 rebounds a game. The growth in Jones’ game will come from his ability to be more of a playmaker with basketball. As for defensively, he brings good size and length on the ball with activity. He could improve his overall strength to contain drives more effectively. Colby Jones is going to be an impact player for Xavier next season.

Dwon Odom Xavier

Odom showed flashes of what his potential could develop into a Xavier. Now, Odom plays with good toughness and is quick with the basketball allowing him to get in the lane and make plays. Furthermore, the most important aspect for Odom is going to be to develop a perimeter jump shot as he only shot 15.3% of the three. Additionally, his ability to finish over defenders and the pace he has getting to the basket is very good. As well as, his ability to be a factor in transition with his capabilities of taking it all the way to the basket. Odom plays well off of handoffs and ball screen letting him get downhill. Ultimately, his potential revolves around his shot and growth in that area. Now defensively, he brings good toughness on the ball and fights over screens to stay on his man. His activity on the defensive on and off the basketball is really good and makes him a consistent defender. Dwon Odom will look to elevate his game on the offensive end helping Xavier get back to the NCAA tournament.

Ethan Morton Purdue

Morton came in with expectations to produce and never really could find his rhythm in his freshman season. Now, he has a really good size from the guard position but needs to use that to his advantage. Therefore, the turnovers he has had must be eliminated because of the nature of them being enforced. Next, he does have the ability to be a very solid catch and shoot player from the perimeter. Furthermore, his overall game must become way more efficient to stay on the floor and be productive. Also, the key for Morton will be playing with more confidence and being comfortable in the flow of the game playing to his strengths. As for the defensive end, he has the size to disrupt guards and contains drives well using his body. Morton does a really solid job with positioning and being active off the basketball.

Zach Edey Purdue

Edey had a good freshman season and has the ability to be the next really good big at Purdue with his 7’4 frame. First off, he is efficient around the basket with shooting 59.7% from the field. Next, he does a really good job of getting post positioning with duck ins and just using his natural size. Furthermore, he needs to improve his touch when a few feet away from the basket to be even more effective. Continued, he can be very effective off of handoffs and ball screens diving to the rim with getting passes towards the basket. Also, when he gets two feet in the paint he extremely difficult to stop with his size as he can just dunk the basketball with ease. Additionally, he can draw fouls at a high rate and will need to continue to develop his three-throw ability to get easy points. As for defensively, he can be very productive with his size and ability to alter shots around the basket consistently. Also, the area in which he needs to improve is being able to be decent on the perimeter in ball screen situations to not give up easy looks from the perimeter.
Purdue Freshman Zach Edey Teaches Wisconsin's OId-Timers a Lesson - Sports Illustrated Purdue Boilermakers News, Analysis and More

Eric Gaines LSU

Gaines will have a way larger role for LSU with multiple departures from their perimeter. First off, Gaines must improve his ability as a shooter with 22.2% from the field and 17.2% from three. Continued, he will be more ball-dominant for LSU and will need to be stronger with the ball and be their playmaker. Additionally, he has the ability to be dynamic in transition with his temp with the basketball but must finish around the rim more consistently and stronger. Next, Gaines will need to build his body up, even more, to be productive on both ends. Also, he has really good athleticism and must put that to use with improving his skill set with the basketball and playing with more control. As for defensively, he has the length and athleticism which makes him very solid on the basketball. His quickness and length on the ball can force turnovers and lead to opportunities in transition. Eric Gaines will have the opportunity to develop into a major contributor for LSU, but the offensive end needs to improve in order to do so.

AJ Hoggard Michigan State

Hoggard struggled in his freshman season at Michigan State and will look to improve for his sophomore season. Now, Hoggard has good size allowing him to get to the basket well but needs to finish at a high level with more consistency. Next, he needs to improve his ability to shoot perimeter jumpers as he shot 16.7% from three. Furthermore, he will need to continue to develop as a playmaker for others being smart with the basketball. Additionally, his physicality could make him an effective player, getting into the lane, however, will only be able to do that with improving skill and shot-making ability. Now defensively, he brings good ball pressure and can get physical with guards. If Hoggard can improve his mobility and shape he could contain drives at an even higher rate. AJ Hoggard has to improve his body and shot-making ability to have a great impact on Michigan State next season.

Julian Strawther Gonzaga

Stawther did not have a large role for Gonzaga in his freshman year, but brings great potential and could be in line to start next season. First off, he has really good size and the ability to have a major impact in transition spotting up or around the basket. Next, Strawther is a very solid catch and shoot player from three and will continue to develop his perimeter shooting. Additionally, he moves well off the basketball and will be a really good cutter around the basket. Further, an area where he could really showcase would be getting to the basket on drives finishing with his length and athleticism. The potential for Stawther is very high Jon the offensive end and he should develop into a very good player at Gonzaga. As for defensively, he has the athleticism and length to develop on this end. The improvement of strength and positioning off the ball would improve his defense. Julian Strawther is going to be a breakout player next season for Gonzaga.

Dre Davis Louisville

Davis brings the versatility to play out on the perimeter and inside for Louisville. Next, Davis needs to improve his skill with basketball to utilize his athleticism as a driver. As well as, improving his perimeter jumper only shooting 25.0 from three and being more efficient around the basket. Additionally, he needs to have more control over his drives to be more effective and consistent. The overall growth of his skill with basketball will go a long way with his development. Furthermore, he is capable of being a factor in transition and on the offensive glass with the energy he plays with. As for defensively, he does a really good job of being in a stance being consistent with his effort. As well as, his versatility to guard multiple positions and the athleticism being able to contain drives effectively. Dre Davis brings it defensively, but must further develop his offense to have a more significant impact for Louisville.

JJ Traynor Louisville

Traynor has really good physical traits and can be really effective around the basket on cutting opportunities. Further, he will need to develop his strength more to be able to handle physicality in the paint and post better. Additionally, he has good skill around the basket being able to get consistent looks. Next, he is capable of attacking off the dribble from the perimeter with his quickness attacking slower bigs. He is capable of being a factor in transition with his ability to run the floor. Also, he is very raw and needs to further development, but shows major signs of potential to develop into a very solid player for Louisville. Now defensively, he has the length and size-matched with activity to disrupt drives around the basket. As well as, being able to contest shots with his length, however, improved strength would improve his interior defense. JJ Traynor has a lot of potentials to develop into a larger role for Louisville on both ends.

Jae’Lyn Withers Louisville

Withers had a very good freshman season for Louisville with his ability to score and rebound at a high level. First off, he has really good mobility and athleticism being very effective in ball screen action driving to the basket. Next, he drives with toughness and has touched around the basket to finish effectively through contact. Furthermore, he brings the ability to be a factor in transition with him running the floor and getting into an attacking position. Additionally, he has really good efficiency from the field at 55.2% from three and could elevate his game with establish a perimeter jumper. Continued, he brings really good effort on the offensive glass for 2nd chance opportunities and the ability to face up effectively. As for the defensive end, he brings the mobility to contribute out on the perimeter and be good in ball screen defense. His improvement with interior defense could improve with positioning and strength. Jae’Lyn Withers will be one of the best players in the ACC next season.

Moussa Cisse

Cisse had a good freshman season at Memphis, however is only scratching the surface on his potential. Furthermore, he has great physical traits with his length, size, and athleticism. Next, when he has two feet in the paint he is very effective and has the ability to play above the rim. Continued, he has the ability to be a major force on the glass on both ends and adding to 2nd chance opportunities. Additionally, he has to continue to work on his overall strength and consistent touch around the basket. As well as, being able to extend his range to the mid-range area. He could be a major factor in transition with his ability to run the floor and get early post-up opportunities. As for defensively, he has the length and size to be a major factor as a rim protector. The area in which he could improve is controlling his mobility and adjust his positioning. Moussa Cisse has tested the NBA draft waters and the transfer portal but has a lot of room to develop into the player he is capable of being.
Moussa Cisse - 2020-21 - Men's Basketball - University of Memphis Athletics

Ryan Kalkbrenner Creighton

Kalkbrenner had a solid freshman season and will be in a more prominent role next season for Creighton. Furthermore, he is really efficient around the basket being at 64.5% from the field. Next, he could improve his post-up ability against high-quality bigs being able to finish easily with either hand. Additionally, he has good mobility and can be used well in ball screens diving and slipping to the rim. Continued, he needs to improve his overall strength and positioning in the post to be more effective. Kalkbrenner has a lot of skill and potential he will just need to have a strong off-season to further develop. He is good with mobility in handoffs with creating space for others on the perimeter. Now defensively, he is a really good rim protector with his size and moves well enough. He has the ability to alter shots at a high level without fouling and is a factor defensively. Ryan Kalkbrenner will develop into a very productive player at Creighton.

Eric Dixon Villanova

Dixon had a very limited role for Villanova this past season and will look to elevate into a starting role. Next, Dixon has really good size and mobility from his position capable of stretching out on the perimeter. Furthermore, he fits the model of Eric Paschall who had great success for Villanova. Additionally, his development with his three-point shot and being able to take players off the dribble will be vital in his progression. Continued, he is solid around the rim getting in good positioning to score but must improve his posting with the back to the basket. Dixon will need to improve his skill with basketball to reach his full potential. As for the defensive end, he has the mobility and versatility to guard multiple positions. His improvement could take place with overall positioning and really disrupting offensive players. Eric Dixon will need to the big off-season to develop into his potential to have a massive impact on Villanova next season.

Mason Gillis Purdue

Gillis had a solid freshman season at Purdue and has the potential to be a cornerstone for them. Furthermore, Gillis brings really good effort on the offensive glass for 2nd chance opportunities. Next, he has the ability to stretch the floor in catch and shoot opportunities from three at 35.2%. Also, he fits very well within his role at Purdue being someone who doesn’t need the basketball to still produce. He plays with physicality and being able to play well off the basketball as a cutter. Continued, he has the ability to draw fouls with his style of play and when going to the boards he always has two hands on the basketball. The area in which Gillis could improve is the ability with the basketball to be more of an individual threat. As for the defensive end, he has good size and toughness, but he needs to improve his positioning off the basketball. Also, he does a solid job of containing the basketball and is a contributor to the glass. Mason Gillis is a very solid player for Purdue with the ability to get even better on both ends.

Ace Baldwin Jr. VCU

Baldwin had a solid freshman season for VCU and now will be in an elevated role with Bones Hyland’s departure. Furthermore, he will need to become a more efficient player to have a greater impact as a scorer. Additionally, he plays with good pace and uses his body well to get into scoring areas. Next, he needs to be able to finish around the basket at a higher level around defenders. Continued, he gets others involved effectively but needs to be more efficient with limiting the turnovers. The ability to take higher percentage shots for Baldwin Jr. will be vital in his development. As for the defensive end, he does a very solid job on the basketball using body and active hands effectively. He is also engaged off the basketball being in a position to help and sticking with shooters. Ace Baldwin Jr. has an opportunity to have a breakout season for VCU leading in an attempt for the A-10 title.

Images Courtesy of, Sports Illustrated, University of Memphis Athletics, Xaiver University Athletics

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