Film Review: OU Spoils TCU’s Senior Day

Film

The last time an Oklahoma player scored 40+ points in a game was Trae Young against TCU in 2018. History repeated itself and OU had another 40 pointer, this time from Wichita State transfer Austin Reaves, who led the Sooners to a historic upset win over the Horned Frogs. Oklahoma was down 18 at half, but they figured out a way to get Austin Reaves and Kristian Doolittle going to lead the successful comeback win.

While Reaves is not a prospect, this was still one of the top 3 performances of the season by any individual player in college basketball.

Kristian Doolittle is a deep prospect who provides shooting as a combo forward. Doolittle finished the game with a stat line of 15 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block on 5/12 shooting (3/5 from 3). This was just a below average game for Doolittle compared to the last month though. In the last 30 days, which spans 9 games including Saturday’s game, Doolittle is averaging: 19.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.8 SPG, and 1.8 BPG on 46.5/40/75 splits.

Doolittle also had 3 early turnovers, including one where he hurt his groin trying to do a behind the back dribble but slipped. All 3 of his turnovers occurred in the first 5 minutes of the game. Doolittle’s most notable impact in this game was shooting, which can be seen below:

This video highlights two areas of Doolittle’s shooting: pick & pop and shooting off the dribble. Doolittle ranks in the 64th percentile (as of March 8) in catch & shoot and 70th percentile scoring as the screener. The Sooners run lots of pick & pop action for Doolittle, and it is almost always effective. Between catch & shoot and pick & pop, Doolittle has had plenty of experience scoring off of routine NBA plays.

Another featured area is his shot off the dribble. Doolittle isn’t going to break his defender down off the dribble, but he can be effective off of pump fakes and one dribble pull-ups. His NBA role likely is as a small ball stretch 4.

The next player that stood out in this game was PJ Fuller. While the 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 turnover stat line in 13 minutes doesn’t jump out, Fuller continues to show flashes of upside offensively. In the two videos below, his shiftiness and quickness are on display in the fast break, as well as a successful catch & shoot opportunity.

Fuller is the likely next-in-line TCU prospect, being a 6’4 combo guard with plus athleticism, shooting upside, and high overall raw talent. Fuller still needs to refine his decision making, add strength, and continue to polish out his form to compliment his good shooting touch.

Lastly, Desmond Bane had a spectacular Senior Day performance, recording 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists on 10-18 shooting, including 4-6 from 3. Bane was heavily involved in the first half, finding creative ways to take open shots; Bane had 19 points on 8-11 shooting in the first half. Like he has seen for the whole season, Oklahoma began to face-guard him in the second half, causing him to go 2-7 for just 5 points. However, in the second half he deferred to being a playmaker, which led to 4 assists and just 1 turnover.

The above clip showcases Bane’s shooting ability – both off the dribble and as a spot up shooter. His footwork, touch, release, and shot IQ are all elite and should help his game easily translate to the NBA. At the next level, he is unlikely to see the same defenses he has seen in college, and he will not be playing the same role at the next level. Bane is projected to be a pure shooter with high IQ, which can help him remain a positive on the floor on both ends.

As I mentioned above, Bane can almost always remain a positive on the floor due to his IQ. Even in a role his game is not well-suited for as a primary option, he is still effective. His passing and ability to wisely choose when to attack the rim are unique for such a great shooter. Bane is an excellent decision maker in transition, which is an area I have rarely seen mistakes from him in the 3 years of watching him at TCU.

In what was my last game of the season at TCU, yet again the NBA talent in the Big 12 to come through Fort Worth impressed me. Kristian Doolittle has a good chance at being in the NBA or the NBA G-League as a shooter, Desmond Bane should be heavily considered to get drafted, and PJ Fuller has a chance to be the next-in-line star in Fort Worth if he develops well. Look for Oklahoma to be in the NCAA Tournament, where Doolittle’s performance will be key.

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