Keyonte George was a top recruit in 2022, and was Baylor’s highest ranked commit in school history. As a freshman that appeared on both All-Freshman and All-Big 12 while being the Big 12 Rookie of the Year, George averaged 15.3 PPG, 2.8 APG, 4.2 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 0.2 BPG, and 2.9 TOPG on splits of 38/34/79. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Keyonte George
Wingspan/ standing reach: N/A
Hand size: N/A
Pre-Draft team: Baylor
Tools: Shooting, defense
- Projectable shooter with a great release
- Good handle to break defenders down in quick offense
- Plus defender for his size on the perimeter
- Good closeouts and prevents jump shooting success
- Can play both guard slots; has good court vision
- Deep range on his jumper
- Comfortable with both hands
- Good shooter around screens
- Can square up with ease on jumpers
- Spreads legs out on many pull-up jumpers
- Must get stronger
- Turnovers need to be reduced; can rely on jump passes/bailouts
- Questionable shot selection at times; plays a bit surprised when he doesnt get to his spot with ease
- Lacks explosiveness; below the rim finisher
- Lacks positional versatility defensively
- Needs to get better at defending within the arc
Keyonte George had an up-and-down season for scouts, showcasing some high highs, with some questionable lows. While I felt Keyonte George had some of his best basketball in the early portion of the season, along with his brightest flashes, he still showcased some big games in-conference during the bloodbath Big 12 schedule. With Keyonte George, there is needed context to some of his inefficiencies, including shot selection, an unclear role, and still a raw overall consistent skillset.
Defensively, Keyonte George has many strengths on the perimeter: he tries hard every possession, he has quick feet, and can handle quick first steps. He will need to add strength to take a jump as a perimeter defender, but for now those skills should keep his defensive floor steady. However, he can lose defensive possessions as the ball-handler gets closer to the rim; his true perimeter defensive ability is strong, but he seems to have a unique trait of having hot and cold spots defensively. George does a good job defending three point shots and jumpers overall, but will have to improve against 2 point shots in the NBA.
The weaknesses defensively include a lack of positional versatility and struggling to guard two-point shots, especially drives. Having a good second line of defense and/or rim protector will be key for Keyonte George’s defensive impact, as he can set his teammates up well defensively, but is unlikely to close a defensive possession successfully early in his career. Again, his raw tools should give teams hope that as he physically matures he can become a top 25th percentile defender against guards.
Offensively, Keyonte George can break down defenders in isolation with a variety of moves, and is able to shoot over closeouts. He has quick handles, a quick turnaround jumper from ~15-20 feet, and a jumper that has good touch with a good lift on his jumpers. Early in his career, George is likely to be an off-ball threat, but can develop into a capable second or third option, especially with bench units to keep the offense hot. Away from scoring, George displayed strong passing in parts of the season, being able to see through defenses and making advanced reads. If George can put in the work to become a true combo guard, his upside could return top 10 results.
When I saw Keyonte George in person for the first time ahead of his senior year in 2021, I saw one of the most beautiful jump shots I have seen to this date (below). The evaluation for NBA teams is hard: efficiency was almost never a strength for George this season, but his flashes were constantly strong off the dribble shooting, as well as taking and making difficult spot-up shots. George also does a good job of scoring around screens, and has a tight handle to help him create space with tough shot-making. The work Keyonte puts in behind the scenes will determine how close he gets to reaching his high upside.
Similar to: Desmond Bane, Eric Gordon, Jordan Poole
Projected draft range: 11-25
Expected role: Two-way combo guard with a high jump-shooting ceiling
Unplayable if: Shooting efficiency woes never improve drastically, and a lack of explosiveness limits him scoring against above-average defenders.
Exceeds expectations if: Keyonte George exceeds expectations if he can improve his defense against drives, as well as becoming a full three level scorer with the ability to run a smooth pick & roll consistently. One other element that would unlock another level offensively is becoming great at stopping & popping over defenders off the dribble, particularly out of the P&R.