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College Basketball

College Basketball Sophomore Evaluations: Part 1

Isaiah Mobley USC

Mobley had a very good season becoming more of an offensive threat and really being a factor on the boards. Furthermore, his growth in his game with the ability to stretch defenses with his improved three-point shooting at 43.6%. Next, he was really good in the dunker spot for cuts and high low opportunities being efficient around the basket. Also, he is good in the post getting to his right hand either with a drop step or a jump hook. Continued, he is really good on the catch from the perimeter and can be a major factor as the trail in transition. Additionally, he plays with a great amount of confidence and has the ability to take it from the perimeter into post-ups and to the rim. Mobley is effective in ball screens being able to short roll from jumpers and being able to dive all the way to the basket. Now defensively, he has the size and toughness to defend the post well and brings mobility to guard out on the perimeter. He has the length as well to alter shots around the basket and rebounds consistently. Isaiah Mobley will be one of the best bigs in college basketball if he returns after testing NBA draft waters.

Drew Timme Gonzaga

Timme had a sensational season being one of the most effective and efficient players in the country. Furthermore, Timme was extremely effective in ball screen action being elite in diving to the basket and the touch around the basket to finish. Next, he can be utilized in handoff scenarios where he can fake the handoff and take it all the way to the basket well. Continued, he is really good in transition with getting early post positioning and being getting rim run opportunities. Also, his footwork on post-ups is as good as anyone in the country with the ability to operate quickly and effectively in the post. Now, the area in which he could get better is handling length and athleticism in the post with constant pressure. Therefore, his improvement in being more comfortable with basketball will be a key factor for Timme. As for defensively, he needs to improve his ability to be out on the perimeter in ball screen actions especially. His improvement with mobility and positioning is necessary for Timme to improve defensively. Drew Timme will be one of the best players in college basketball looking to lead Gonzaga to a National Championship.
Gonzaga's Drew Timme breaks the Internet with his incredible facial hair | RSN

Johnny Juzang UCLA

Juzang had a historic run in the NCAA tournament being an elite shot-maker leading UCLA to the Final 4. Now, he does a good job moving without the basketball getting in a great position to score the basketball. Continued, his size is really good allowing him to shoot over the top of defenders, and with the pace, he plays with not getting sped up. Next, he has the ability to attack 1v1 very effectively and being great off the dribble to get the shot he wants from the midrange and three. Furthermore, he is really good off the catch as a shooter in the half-court and transition. Additionally, the confidence he continued to play throughout the NCAA tournament was impressive and delivered in big moments. Also, he can utilize his size by posting up smaller guards and has the footwork to make shots in the post with his back to the basket. The versatility of Juzang on and off the basketball makes him difficult to slow down and the shot making is elite. As for defensively, he’s solid with having the size and brings good activity. He could bring more of an edge defensively especially on the basketball to be more effective. Johnny Juzang is testing NBA draft waters if he returns he will be one of the best players in college basketball next season and looking to lead UCLA to a National Championship.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. UCLA

Jaquez Jr. had a very good sophomore season for UCLA being a large part of their run to the Final 4. Now, Jaquez Jr. does a very good job of getting in the lane and utilizing his footwork to navigate to get great looks at the basket. Continued, he is really good off the dribble attacking the rim strong, and being efficient as a finisher at the basket. Next, he is very effective as a catch and shoots player from the perimeter at 39.4% from three. Also, he plays with really good toughness being able to play through contact consistently. Additionally, he plays well off the basketball getting set as a shooter, and cuts well to the basket. Jaquez Jr. has the ability to be a three-level scorer and the size to make tough contested shots. Now defensively, he plays with good effort and has the size to guard multiple positions. He could improve his lateral movement to be a stronger perimeter defender. Jaime Jaquez Jr. will be one of the best wings in college basketball and be a part of a really good UCLA team going after a National Championship.

Tyger Campbell UCLA

Campbell had an inconsistent season for UCLA but played his best basketball towards the end of the season. Furthermore, Campbell is undersized having good quickness with the basketball being able to get to the basketball effectively. Next, Campbell does a really good job of getting others involved and in a position to score the basketball. Additionally, he needs to improve his shooting to be more effective and would be able to open up the UCLA offense even more. Continued, he is good in ball screen action being able to get into the lane and feeding others of it. Campbell’s efficiency on the offensive end would go a long way in his development as a player. As for the defensive end, he gets after on the basketball with really good activity and can draw charges. Further, he is very active off the basketball constantly getting in a position to help defensively. Tyger Campbell is going to be the key for UCLA to reach its potential in chasing a National Championship next season.

Justin Moore Villanova

Moore is one of the best two guards in the country with his consistency as a scorer and being a playmaker. Furthermore, he uses his size very well being able to get to the basket and posting up very effectively. Continued, he is effective from the perimeter off the catch shooting 31.0 from three, and could elevate that further. Additionally, his footwork in the lane is very good and can finish through contact consistently. Also, he needs to improve his shot off the dribble to be more consistent as a shooter and his efficiency. Next, his improvement off being a playmaker without turning over the ball is an area he can become better at, especially Collin Gillespie. Moore adds to the offensive glass as well providing 2nd chance opportunities. Now defensively, he brings really good activity on the basketball and toughness. Also, his ability to contain the basketball is really good and makes a him very good perimeter defender. Justin Moore will be a part of a tough Villanova backcourt with Collin Gillespie looking to make a deep NCAA tournament run.

Josiah Jordan-James Tennessee

Jordan-James will look for an elevated role in the backcourt for Tennessee next season. First off, he has the size to get to the basket well primarily looking to attack the left side. Additionally, he needs to continue to work on his control around the basket to be very efficient around the basket. Continued, his three-point shot is solid at 30.4% from three, but could become more fluid from the perimeter. Next, he brings good effort on the offensive glass providing second chance opportunities. His development of skill with basketball is necessary for Jordan-James to be a consistent offensive threat. As for defensively, he brings really good size and physicality being a very solid perimeter defender as well as defending the post. Also, he is a constant factor on the boards limiting teams to one possession. Josiah Jordan-James has an opportunity to prove he’s one of the best players in the SEC next season if he shows development offensively.

Trayce Jackson-Davis Indiana

Jackson-Davis returning to Indiana is a major win for the start of the Mike Woodson era as he will be one of the best players in the country. Next, his skill set is very good with his touch and feel around the basket. Continued, he gets very good post positioning with the ability to get to either side of the rim finishing with ease. Furthermore, he is very good in ball screens with his mobility and playmaking above the rim with his athleticism. Also, his activity on the offensive glass is greatly contributing to 2nd chance opportunities with his second jump ability. Additionally, he runs the floor hard in transition being a major factor as an outlet option. The skill level of Jackson-Davis is great and if he can further develop a jump shot he will be very difficult to slow down for defenses. Now defensively, his mobility is good and has the ability to alter shots at the rim. Further, his activity on the defensive glass is really good and impactful. Trayce Jackson-Davis will look to help Indiana return to the NCAA tournament and potentially be the best player in the Big Ten.

E.J. Liddell Ohio State

Liddell had a very good sophomore season for Ohio State becoming one of the best bigs in the country. Next, Liddell can be really good in high-low situations having post positioning and finishes with great touch. Also, he extended his ability to shoot the three by stretching out bigs and being a threat as the trail shooting 33.8% from three. Additionally, he’s effective on the offensive boards with his activity providing 2nd chance opportunities. Continued, he gets really good positioning in the post and attacks with a good feel finishing through contact as well. His mobility offensively makes Liddell a tough matchup defensively for opposing bigs and he can match their size. The improvement for Liddell would be continuing his shooting ability and being able to attack off the dribble. As for defensively, he brings the physicality in the post and can alter shots around the rim. The continued improvement of his mobility and ability to get out on the perimeter is the next for Liddell. E.J. Liddell will be one of the best players in college basketball and looking to lead Ohio State towards a National Championship.
How E.J. Liddell showed a glimpse of his future as an Ohio State basketball player against No. 23 Illinois -

Kofi Cockburn Illinois

Cockburn was a dominant force this past season with his imposing physicality in the post making him a matchup problem. First off, his ability to establish post positioning is great, especially in high-low situations. Additionally, the efficiency around the basket is great at 65.4% from the field being a dependable threat. Also, he plays with a good motor and makes a major impact on the boards on both ends of the floors. Continued, he is solid in ball screen with being able to finish well on dives or lobs to the basket. Furthermore, he can draw a lot of contacts, therefore he must shoot a higher percentage than 55.3%. The ability to go to his drop step or jump hook is really difficult to stop when he gets two feet in the paint. Also, being able to pass effectively out of double teams would go a long way to Illinois’ overall production offensively. Now defensively, he brings physicality in the post and does a good job altering shots. The growth for him defensively would be his mobility being able to get out on the perimeter way more than he currently does. Kofi Cockburn is testing NBA draft waters if he returns he will be one of the best players in college basketball.

Anton Watson Gonzaga

Watson had a solid sophomore season for Gonzaga looking to take the next step in his game. Furthermore, he has the size and mobility to attack slower forwards off the dribble and driving to the basket off-ball screens. Continued, he was pretty efficient around the basket at 63.1% from the field. Therefore, if he improved his overall strength around the basket he could be even better at the basket. Next, he makes an impact on the offensive glass as well giving 2nd chance opportunities. Also, an area he can become a greater threat in is in transition as a rim runner or on the perimeter. Additionally, Watson will likely not start due to being behind two of the best players in the country in Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme but must have a significant impact off the bench. Watson needs to improve his ability to make jump shots at least from the mid-range if not extending to the three-point line. As for defensively, he has the size and versatility to guard multiple positions. He does a solid job on the basketball but could improve his lateral movement on the perimeter. Anton Watson should be a major contributor for Gonzaga off the bench next season.

Isaiah Wong Miami

Wong had a terrific sophomore season for Miami being their leading scoring and most dependable player. Furthermore, he is really effective off the dribble being able to get all the way to the rim and making pull-up jumpers. Next, he has the ability to make catch and shoot three’s at a high level shooting 34.7%. Continued, he has really good athleticism and is showcased on the open floor being able to attack in transition with ease. Additionally, the pace Wong plays with is good and contributes to his activity on the boards as well. The growth in Wong’s game would start with becoming even more efficient as a scorer from all three levels. Now defensively, he must continue to work on his positioning off the basketball and improve his motor overall. Continued, his ball pressure needs to get to another level to be a productive defender with the length he brings. Isaiah Wong will be one of the best players in the ACC next season.

Terrence Shannon Jr. Texas Tech

Shannon Jr. had major growth in his sophomore season especially on the offensive end with his shooting ability. First off, he has very good size with the driving ability to finish strong around the basket. Next, he has good skill around the basket with the ability to finish with either hand smoothly. Additionally, he showed growth from the perimeter at 35.7% from three of the catch and dribble. Next, he is a major threat in transition running the wing with his ability to get to the basket and make shots. Furthermore, his first step is really good allowing him to get to the rim quickly and pull up in the mid-range well. Also, he has the ability to contribute to the boards well with his size. Continued, his shot-making from all three levels and athleticism make Shannon Jr. a very difficult matchup for defenders. Now defensively, he has the length, athleticism, and activity to be a very good perimeter defender. Shannon Jr. has a great motor and positioning on the basketball to disrupt offensive players. Terrence Shannon Jr. will test NBA draft waters, if he returns he will be one of the best wings in college basketball next season.

Jaden Shackleford Alabama

Shackleford had another strong season for Alabama in his sophomore season being part of their dynamic offense. First off, Shackleford has the ability to play on and off the basketball. Next, his shot-making from the perimeter is really good with 34.2% from three especially off the catch. The improvement for Shackleford would be his consistency in making plays off the dribble with more control and limiting turnovers. Additionally, he is a major threat in transition as a spot shooter from the perimeter. Further, he is capable of getting downhill to the basket and when he gets there finishes well, his ball skills to get to the rim are the next step in his game. The best ability of Shackleford is playing off the basketball being able to get in the position to be the shot maker he is. As for defensively, he needs to improve his activity off the basketball by being a better help defender. Also, his activity on the basketball needs to take the next step forward to be a better perimeter defender. Jaden Shackleford will be one of the best scorers in college basketball next season.

Max Abmas Oral Roberts

Abmas had a very good sophomore season leading the country in scoring and being the focal point of Oral Roberts’s run to the Sweet 16. Furthermore, Abmas must be picked up immediately when he crosses half court with his shot-making from three off the bounce. Next, his ability to attack off of ball screens is elite being able to expose any missed step or mismatch. Continued, he is very good off the catch as well being a great spot-up shooter at 42.9% from the three-point line. Additionally, he can get to the basket with his speed and finishes well around the basket. The overall efficiency Abmas plays with is impressive being a player who can score from all three levels. Also, Abmas is a solid playmaker for others getting them in great positions to score the basketball. Abmas has the ability to take over games in the biggest moments with his star power with the basketball. Now defensively, he could improve his engagement on the basketball by applying more ball pressure. As well as, being more active off the ball to be a strong help defender. Abmas is an offensive juggernaut and will look to lead Oral Roberts back to the NCAA tournament.

Images Courtesy of,, NBC Sports, USC Athletics

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