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College Basketball

College Basketball: Junior Evaluations Part 1

Luka Garza Iowa

Garza is the best big man in college basketball and is a dominant force with his ability to score at all three levels with the size and skill he brings. He’s physically imposing but his feel and ability to move great with his back to the basket is great. Also, he has the ability to face up and attack very effectively with his short jumper and ability for a drop step. Furthermore, he’s dynamic in ball screen action with the ability to step out to the 3-point line where he is very good. Next, his overall mobility and footwork is exceptional and is what really makes him so good and difficult to guard. As well as, being a really good screener opening himself and others well. Additionally, his touch around the rim is elite and the positioning by Garza is better than any big in the country. As for defensively, he could improve his post positioning and overall technique, as well as moving more effectively on the defensive is key for his growth there. Garza will be the lead for National Player of the Year and helping Iowa compete for the National Championship and Big Ten title next season.
2019-20 Averages 23.9 points 9.8 rebounds 1.2 assists 54.2 FG% 35.8 3pt%

Collin Gillespie - Men's Basketball - Villanova University AthleticsCollin Gillespie Villanova

Gillespie is the leader of Villanova and set the tone with their offensive success as he has a great feel and is as fundamentally sound as any point guard in the country. Next, he’s great in catch and shoots opportunities from deep. He also gets into the middle of the lane in great control with his jump stop and the ability to pass or shoot. Furthermore, he’s really good at getting others in scoring positions, and dribble penetration is great with his ball and head fakes. Additionally, an area he could get better in creating his shot off the dribble and making shots with contested defense. He moves really well without the basketball and gets set up in a scoring position. Also, he’s a tough player who will scrap for everything and fits perfectly into the Villanova scheme and culture. Defensively, he’s really solid with his overall positioning and effort. He does a good job of taking away space for the guard and fighting through screens. Gillespie will be one of the best point guards in the country and will look to lead Villanova to a National Championship.
2019-20 Averages 15.1 points 3.7 rebounds 4.5 assists 40.6 FG% 35.7 3pt%

Geo Baker Rutgers

Baker is a clutch player with his big-time shot-making ability for Rutgers. Furthermore, he does an exceptional job of making plays off the dribble especially in late shot-clock situations. He is also really good in ball screen action situations getting downhill or creating shots. Next, his shot-making from three could improve with the ability to take the next step in that area. Also, he plays with major confidence and toughness leading Rutgers offensively, which helped them become a factor in the Big Ten. The isolation ability to score benefits Rutgers as they are not strong offensively but Baker can negate some of those issues. He also could improve getting to the basket more effectively by getting easier shots. Now defensively, he brings solid effort but can be a step behind on active players off the ball. Baker will look to lead Rutgers to be back in a position to make the NCAA tournament.
2019-20 Averages 10.9 points 3.0 rebounds 3.5 assists 39.9 FG% 28.0 3pt%

Corey Kispert Gonzaga

Kispert is a knockdown shooter who really took great strides in becoming the go-to option for Gonzaga on the perimeter. Next, he’s very good in transition getting a 3-point spot up shot with great ease or using his size to get to the basket effectively. Also, he moves extremely well without the basketball creating space to get open for shots and his great shooting ability. Furthermore, he’s capable of being a really good cutter to the rim and having the size to finish very well. Additionally, he can be very good at ball screen action getting to the middle of the lane with runners and short jumpers. His area of improvement could be making more shots off the dribble and getting to the rim more often. Kispert is a very good scorer, not just a shooter. As for the defensive end, he moves well laterally and has the size to defend drives effectively. He’s a well-rounded defender who is solid in everything he does. Kispert will be one of the best players in college basketball looking to contribute to Gonzaga winning the National Championship.
2019-20 Averages 13.9 points 4.0 rebounds 2.1 assists 47.4 FG%

Mark Vital Baylor

Vital is a perfect fit in what Scott Drew and his program want. His overall toughness and versatility defensively are exceptional. He’s the ultimate glue guy who will contribute to winning in any aspect for the team he’s one of the best all-around contributors in the country. Furthermore, he runs the floor hard and can be a factor in transition. He rebounds exceptionally well even though he’s undersized. He’s a non-offensive threat with the inability to really shoot or have the ball skills to attack, that’s the area he must improve in. Additionally, he will score on second-chance opportunities and any loose ball is going to be Vital’s. Vital’s offensive game needs to work to be somewhat of a factor for them in the scoring department. Now defensively, he’s elite with the ability to guard all positions and give tremendous effort on each position. The ability for him to guard the ball with ease then be able to guard any big very well is extremely impressive. Vital is super important to the success of Baylor and will look to be part of a National Championship team next season.
2019-20 Averages 6.1 points 6.2 rebounds 1.8 assists 45.9 FG% 11.8 3pt%

MaCio Teague Baylor

Teague has really good size and the ability to be a knockdown dependable shooter for Baylor. Next, he does a good job of getting shots off the dribble and is really effective from the mid-range. Also, the ability to isolate Teague with his ability to create his own shot is very effective for Baylor. Furthermore, he moves well off the basketball with the ability to come off handoffs and screens to get really good looks. The scoring ability with the size of Teague is really good and makes him a difficult matchup for teams. On the defensive end, he does a solid job with his size and containing the basketball. Teague will be a major part of Baylor’s success next season looking to win the National Championship.
2019-20 Averages 13.9 points 4.6 rebounds 1.9 assists 40.0 FG% 35.5 3pt%

Marcus Garrett Kansas

Garrett brings a lot of intangibles to Kansas leading to a great amount of success and is the regaining Defensive Player of the Year. Next, he does a good job getting to the basket with his quickness and he finishes well. Also, his perimeter shooting has continued to improve and is a capable 3-point shooter when he gets good looks. Additionally, he does a good job setting up others with his passing and rebounds the ball well. He will get isolated at times for him to create off the dribble. He will be taking on duties as the lead guard for Kansas with the departure of Devon Dotson. His ability to contribute in so many aspects makes him very valuable for Kansas’ success. Now, defensively he brings elite effort on the basketball with the ability to switch on any perimeter player. His length of toughness contributes very effectively on and off the ball. Garrett will be crucial to Kansas’ success on both ends of the floor next season.
2019-20 Averages 9.2 points 4.5 rebounds 4.6 assists 44.2 FG% 32.7 3pt%

Jay Huff Virginia

Huff has the ability to be stretch the defense effectively with his ability to shoot the three and he is very efficient around the basket. Additionally, he’s very solid in ball screen action with the ability to dive to the rim strong and pop out to the perimeter. Furthermore, he has the ability to flash to the high post and is an effective mid-range shooter. Also, an area in which he could improve is to make plays off the dribble and drive to the basket more consistently. Huff and Sam Hauser will be a very good duo in the frontcourt for Virginia offensively. Now, defensively he moves well and does a good job with hedging on ball screens and recovering. He could improve his strength to defend back to the basket bigs better. Huff will be a very productive player for Virginia in his senior season.
2019-20 Averages 8.5 points 6.2 rebounds 0.8 assists 57.1 FG% 35.8 3pt%

Xavier Tillman Michigan State

Tillman brings great toughness and moves very well on offense for Michigan State with the ability to roll and pop impact-fully. Also, he has a really good touch around the basket and is extremely effective in transition as a rim runner. Next, he has the ability to make mid-range jumpers effectively and has solid hands as well. Furthermore, he gets really good post positioning and plays well with his back to the basket. Additionally, he could improve his smoothness with the basketball and be a bit more skilled with the ball to really take the next step. On the defensive end, he brings good physicality and posts defense, as well as the ability to get out on the perimeter if need be. Tillman will be one of the best big men in the country if he returns to Michigan State.
2019-20 Averages 13.7 points 10.3 rebounds 3.0 assists 55.0 FG% 26.0 3pt%

Brad Davison Wisconsin

Davison plays the game with great passion and intensity with the ability to make tough shots. His ability to make the catch and shoot threes is very solid and he can create his own shot off the dribble. Also, he’s best suited to play off the ball as he moves well and gets better scoring opportunities. His overall shot selection could improve to make him a more efficient scorer. Additionally, he could look for more opportunities to drive the basketball at times. Davison is a very solid offensive player who plays with a great competitive spirit. As for defensively, he doesn’t have great strength or quickness so he can struggle to stay in front of the basketball. He must improve on the defensive end especially guarding the ball. Davison is a very solid player and will be a major part of Wisconsin looking to win the Big Ten.
2019-20 Averages 9.9 points 4.3 rebounds 1.9 assists 39.5 FG% 35.9 3pt%

D’Mitrik Trice Wisconsin

Trice brings good shot-making and facilitates the offense very well for Wisconsin. Further, Trice can settle for tough contested shots and with his size, he can struggle to create separation as well. Continued, he uses ball screens a lot to get downhill and will drag them out and get solid looks at mid-range jumpers. Also, he can is good at making threes off the dribble in isolated situations, as well as having the ability to make a catch and shoot threes pretty well. Next, he is a high volume shooter who can get really hot or cold so he needs to find more consistent to really take the next step. In addition, to getting into the lane more on drives with the ball screens. Defensively, he can get caught up in screens and big guards can shoot over the top of him. He does bring really good activity on the ball and gets in you defensively. He moves laterally well and is very solid defensively. Trice will be in the backcourt with Davison looking to secure a Big Ten title.
2019-20 Averages 9.8 points 4.0 rebounds 4.2 assists 38.0 FG% 37.6 3pt%

Nate Reuvers Wisconsin

Reuvers is a very solid stretch four who is also effective around the basket. Furthermore, he is a solid rebounder and contributes to key second chance opportunities. Next, he is a very steady shooter and is a great 3-point shooter. Additionally, he has the ability to face up and attack off the bounce and shoot over the top for mid-range jumpers effectively. He’s not quick getting open for the ball but gets in good positioning on cuts and spaces the floor to get open opportunities. His strength around the basket must improve. Also, his hands might be his best skill as they are very sound is always ready to shoot the basketball. As for defensively, he does a very solid job of containing the ball on the perimeter and provides some rim protection. His strength could improve to guard the post better but his ability to move is very solid. Reuvers will be one of the best frontcourt players in the Big Ten next season.
2019-20 Averages 13.1 points 4.5 rebounds 0.6 assists 44.8 FG% 33.7 3pt%

Mitch Ballock Creighton

Creighton's Mitch Ballock and former Jay Anthony Tolliver on the ...Ballock is possibly the best shooter in college basketball and requires major attention from defenders. Furthermore, he is very lethal in transition with his ability to spot up for threes. His ability to move without the basketball in the half-court is exceptional with his shot-making and quick release. Moreover, his shot preparation off the catch and dribble is sensational, as he is always in control and getting quality looks. His ability to make shots all over the perimeter makes him a unique and major factor for Creighton’s offensive success. He could become a better player with the basketball for dribble penetration and driving opportunities. Now defensively, he’s not very strong on this end, as he’s not a great athlete and can struggle to guard the ball. He brings good effort but lacks the athleticism and size to be a quality defender. Ballock is a pure shooter will continue to be a dangerous threat offensively for Creighton.
2019-20 Averages 11.9 points 5.3 rebounds 3.1 assists 43.9 FG% 43.5 3pt%

John Fulkerson Tennessee

Fulkerson made great improvements for Tennessee becoming a reliable interior scorer. Further, he is really active on the offensive end and plays really well with his back to the basket, as well as being able to attack off the dribble with his quickness against slower bigs. Next, he can consistently make mid-range jumpers he’s in great control and takes them with ease. Also, he has a great spin on drives that allows him to create separation and finish at the rim strong. He plays with a great amount of freedom and confidence with the basketball is impressive. His strength could improve to be even more effective inside but his shot-making and efficiency were excellent. Fulkerson has an opportunity to be the best frontcourt player in the SEC next season. As for defensively, he does a decent job of defending the ball but can get blown by quicker forwards and guards. He utilizes his hands well at the basket to contest drives well. Fulkerson will look to lead Tennessee to the SEC title as the favorites going into the season.
2019-20 Averages 13.7 points 5.9 rebounds 1.3 assists 61.2 FG%

Yves Ponds Tennessee

Ponds took major steps forward on the offensive end for Tennessee this past season. He’s an exceptional athlete with the ability to rebound the basketball very well and provide second chance opportunities. Next, he has the ability to play inside and out with his athleticism to attack slower forwards and his shot has vastly improved from deep. His mobility makes him a very difficult cover for defenses and he has the opportunity to get even better offensively. His post-up game could improve with going at people and settling less for turnaround fades. The potential for Ponds is very high and if he can take even more strides he could be SEC Player of the Year. Now, defensively he’s an exceptional athlete and brings great effort on this end. He has really good length and size with great activity on and off the ball. Also, he will make plays the rim and help create transition opportunities by forcing turnovers. Yves Ponds and John Fulkerson will make for a very good frontcourt for Tennessee looking to win the SEC.

2019-20 Averages 10.8 points 5.4 rebounds 1.1 assists 48.9 FG% 34.9 3pt%

Fabian White Jr. Houston

White Jr. brings really good consistency and toughness inside for Houston. Next, he does a good job of stepping away from the basket and can make mid-range jumpers well. His effort on the boards is really impressive and makes plays for second chance opportunities consistently. Further, the overall effort makes him a valuable piece for Houston and always finds his way to basketball. His mobility offensively is good to cut open and provide extra space. The overall skill work of his game must improve and he needs to be more effective with his back to the basket. White Jr. brings the toughness for Houston inside but to take the next step he needs to improve his ability to score more effectively. Now, defensively he does a solid job around the rim and rebounds well. He can struggle to get out on the perimeter and could improve his mobility. White Jr. will be a major factor for Houston inside as they should be a top 10 team in the country.
2019-20 Averages 9.3 points 5.5 rebounds 0.8 assists 47.2 FG%

Images Courtesy of, Bleacher Report, Omaha World-Herald, Villanova Athletics,

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