These juniors are looking to take the next step in their games. They will go from being good players to top-level players. The following is a breakdown on each player’s skill set and the areas they need to make improvements on to take their game to that next level. Here are some juniors looking to take that next step:
Lamar Stevens, Forward, Penn State
Peters has really good control and physicality. He has a very solid mid-range jumper in which he takes in rhythm. The feel he plays with is really good and he has the ability to attack isolation posts. He can utilize his physicality and dominate more in the post to get more post-up opportunities. His post defense is really good, as he has great positioning and good strength. His length and ability to guard on the perimeter is very solid. Peters is a very well rounded defender who could have a huge year next season for Penn State.
2018-19 Averages 19.9 points 7.7 rebounds 2.1 assists 42.2 FG% 22.0 3pt%
Alpha Diallo, Guard, Providence
Diallo does a little bit of everything for Providence. His versatility is very good as he can play multiple positions. The ability to go in transition is good with the ability to finish at the basket. He will hit occasional threes must improve to be a more consistent shooter. The length and athleticism he brings as a defender is really good. His lateral quickness could improve to stay with quicker guards. Diallo’s ability to make perimeter jump shots consistently will take his game to the next level.
2018-19 Averages 16.0 points 8.1 rebounds 3.1 assists 42.0 FG% 33.3 3pt%
Lamar Peters, Guard, Mississippi State
Peters brings really good energy and extremely active hands defensively. He has the ability to close out on shooters very well. His footwork and angles on defense are very good and put him in a position to succeed. The overall activity makes Peters a really good defender, especially on the ball. He can get up and down in transition well and attacks the basket strong. The movement without the ball he brings is solid and the quickness to get through gaps is really good especially on ball screen action. He’s a pretty efficient scorer and his ability to hit spot-up threes is good. The overall energy and skill set Peters plays with makes him one of the most complete point guards in the country.
2018-19 Averages 11.9 points 2.0 rebounds 5.2 assists 39.8 FG% 38.6 3pt%
Mustapha Heron, Guard, St. John’s
Heron has the athletic tools to be really good and has a solid driving ability. The first step is something Heron needs improvement on so he can get by guards better. His skill set offensively must improve in order to take that next step. He’s solid all around, but there’s a desire for more from Heron with his physical tools. He lacks great activity off the ball defensively. His technique and positioning defensively are not great. There is a lack of toughness to Heron on defense that makes him a below average defender. Heron should look to lead St. John’s and reach the expectations he showed up a year ago with.
2018-19 Averages 14.6 points 4.6 rebounds 1.3 assists 44.0 FG% 40.3 3pt%
Jon Teske, Center, Michigan
Teske does a good job of keeping himself active at all times on offense. He has the ability to step away and hit perimeter jumpers. He does a very good job of releasing from screens to create space and get open. The ability to dive to the basket and finish on the move is good. He’s okay in ball screen defense. His feet don’t move well, but he gives solid effort to recover. Teske does a solid job around the basket with his interior defense. He is very limited in guarding bigs on switches away from the basket.
2018-19 Averages 9.5 points 7.0 rebounds 0.9 assists 52.1 FG% 29.9 3pt%
Martin Krampelj, Forward, Creighton
He’s an all-around big who moves really well on both ends. The ability to space out and be able to put the ball down and attack gives him great versatility. He’s a really good cutter and diver towards the basket. His three-point shot is really good as well and he has solid touch around the basket. Krampelj is a very tough matchup for post players. He crashes the board well and he’s consistently active. He can be caught out of position on defense and be unbalanced with his feet getting tight defensively. He lacks great strength to be a force guarding in the post.
2018-19 Averages 13.5 points 6.9 rebounds 0.8 assists 59.2 FG% 37.1 3pt%
Abdul Ado, Forward, Mississippi State
He has really good length and can protect the basket at a high level. He does not move his feet very well, but when in post-up defense he gets in a very good position to make up for lack of quickness. He’s very hard to score over the top of because his length is exceptional. While in ball screen action, he gets pulled away and he’s a liability as he can’t move his feet. He has a solid drop step, but he is not very smooth finishing around the basket. When he has two feet in the paint with his length he will finish with a high percentage.
2018-19 Averages 4.7 points 4.5 rebounds 0.4 assists 61.4 FG%
Xavier Sneed, Guard, Kansas State
Sneed has the ability to pull up and hit threes consistently. He’s very good with making shots the on the dribble and on the move. He shoots with consistent form. Sneed has a really good head fake that allows him to get a step on his defender and get dribble penetration. He has the ability to get shots in rhythm and moves without the ball pretty well. He brings good toughness and versatility defensively as he can guard in the post and on the perimeter. His length and footwork are really solid which makes it difficult to get by Sneed. He also brings active hands and ability to stick to his man, his lateral quickness could improve as quicker guards can get by. Sneed is a well rounded overall player who will be Kansas State’s go-to player next season.
2018-19 Averages 10.6 points 5.5 rebounds 1.9 assists 39.6 FG% 34.6 3pt%
Kamar Baldwin, Guard, Butler
Baldwin is not the quickest defender and can struggle to take away space from his man. The overall positioning of Baldwin’s defense must improve starting with him being more engaged to hide some of his weaknesses. He’s a pretty well-rounded scorer with his ability to get to the basket and hit perimeter jumpers. His ability to hit step in threes is good. When attacking, he finishes with good touch and control. He also pulls up well in the mid-range. Baldwin will look to lead Butler to a successful season next year.
2018-19 Averages 17.0 points 4.9 rebounds 3.1 assists 44.7 FG% 31.1 3pt%
Jordan Bowden, Guard, Tennessee
Bowden does a really good job of hitting perimeter threes in transition. The ability to square up and get his shot up quickly and efficiently is really effective. His movement without the ball and getting his feet set is really solid. He is a good athlete as well, but he could develop into more of a driver as well with getting stronger and better ball handling. The quickness and length he brings as a defender are good. The ability to stay with shooters who can come off of screens gives him difficulty. Bowden is a very solid player who could develop into being a really good player.
2018-19 Averages 10.6 points 3.5 rebounds 1.9 assists 45.9 FG% 37.8 3pt%
Bryce Aiken, Guard, Harvard
Aiken is very quick with the ball which creates space for him to get shots off. He’s a big shot player with a great range. He is a high-level scorer and his ability to get downhill is really good. The attacking of the gaps is good, but he must be able to finish around the basket more effectively along with being a better distributor. He tends to get caught out of position on defense. He’s quick, however, his technique and footwork are choppy and not the best. He needs to improve with his on-ball defense to take the next step as a player. Aiken will look to lead Harvard to the Ivy League Title next season.
2018-19 Averages 22.2 points 2.9 rebounds 2.6 assists 43.4 FG% 39.8 3pt%
Lindy Waters, Guard, Oklahoma State
Waters is one of the best three-point shooters in the country. He’s got a quick release and is always shot ready. He also does a good job of getting good shots up off the dribble. His mid-range game is effective as he can pull and shoot over the top with great balance and footwork. He can improve his strength and driving ability to be able to score at all three levels very effectively. He brings good length defensively, but his lack of foot speed and balance is not good. This makes him vulnerable to giving up jumpers while closing out and giving up driving lanes. Off the ball, he can be solid as he’s in a good position to help and deny especially with his length. Waters will look to continue to be a very good shooter and become a more effective defender.
2018-19 Averages 12.2 points 4.2 rebounds 2.8 assists 43.7 FG% 44.8 3pt%
Tyrique Jones, Forward, Xavier
Jones is very physical with good athleticism and is extremely active on the boards. He has the ability to guard on the perimeter and has good hands and feet. He’s got the ability to alter shots well on drives by guards. The versatility of being able to guard on the interior and perimeter very well is a huge positive in his game. Jones does a good job of facing up and going to a quick post moves. He has a solid spin move in the post back to his right hand along with a jump hook. A difficult matchup with his size, physicality and explosion, Jones with further offense development could have a huge season.
2018-19 Averages 11.3 points 7.7 rebounds 0.8 assists 62.4 FG%
John Mooney, Forward, Notre Dame
Mooney has the ability to stretch the defense and step away with hitting perimeter jumpers. His mid-range jumper is very solid along with his pick and pop ability. He squares to the basket and can put the ball down to get to his spot. Mooney is extremely active on the boards and can be relentless at times. Also, he has a good jump hook with good touch. He’s an active defender. as he brings good size and technique. His foot quickness is not the best, but his positioning can make up for it. Mooney will look to lead Notre Dame back to relevance in the ACC.
2018-19 Averages 14.4 points 11.2 rebounds 1.3 assists 45.5 FG% 37.4 3pt%
Mitch Lightfoot, Forward, Kansas
Lightfoot gives good energy consistently with physicality. He moves his feet well defensively and he can help and recover smoothly. He does a solid job with interior defense as he gets a good position with his hands straight up. He’s active without the ball on the offense and runs the floor well. Lightfoot is a good screener who dives strong and finishes well around the basket. Lightfoot will look to carve out a bigger role in the rotation for Kansas this season.
2018-19 Averages 2.4 points 2.9 rebounds 0.4 assists 54.4 FG%
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