Isaiah Wong has had a decorative college career being a three time All-ACC member and the 2022-23 ACC Player of the Year. As a junior Isaiah Wong led Miami to their first ever Elite 8, and as a senior he led them to Miami’s first ever Final 4. As a senior, Wong averaged 16.2 PPG, 3.2 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.4 SPG, and 2.1 TOPG on splits of 44.5/38.4/84.5. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Isaiah Wong
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’7/8’5.5
Hand size: 9.5
Pre-draft team: Miami (FL)
Tools: Athleticism, space creation, instincts
- Quick first step
- Plus athlete
- Strong instincts
- Great motor and plays hard on defense
- Tight, quick handle
- Elite space creator with dynamic handles
- Comfortable drawing contact
- Quality mid-range game; high release allows him to shoot over defenders and draw and-1s
- Reliable floater
- Excellent in P&R
- Lethal driving off of pump fakes
- Good team defender, especially with traps
- Good rebounder
- Can go coast to coast off rebounds quickly; thrives in transition
Areas for Improvement:
- Needs to continue speeding up jumper to consistently shoot over length
- Needs to continue getting stronger
- Struggles vs zone defense at times
- Must prove playmaking abilities to NBA teams and improve assists numbers
- Mild frame
- Needs to expand scoring variability from 3; mostly sticks to corner spotting up or top of the key
- Will need to prove consistent scoring past bigs in the paint
Isaiah Wong is an explosive, athletic combo guard with playmaking and slashing ability, with room to reasonably improve as a defender as he gets stronger.
Defensively, Wong has projectable traits despite an underwhelming length/strength combination. His recovery ability combined with basketball IQ make him tough to take out of plays, and he plays well within both man and zone defenses. His ability to rotate properly and quickly will help him as an off-ball and team defender at the next level, while not being in risk of becoming a liability as a 1-on-1 defender.
Offensively, Wong has the ability to score at all 3 levels. While he needs to speed up his jumper and improve his 3 point percentage, there’s optimism around the percentages inching towards average as he continues to improve his shot speed. The positives around Wong’s slow shot are that he can use it to his advantage in drawing defenders in the air, and that he creates enough space with his elite ball-handling ability to negate the defenders having time to recover defensively against the shot. Additionally, Wong’s shot is normal speed off the dribble, and with a high release, he is difficult to block.
With Wong’s dynamic space creation, almost no college defender has been able to stay in front of him on the perimeter, which is a tool that can be expected to translate to the NBA. With great body control and the ability to go low without losing speed on deep stepbacks, he can consistently create space and collapse defenses with his ball-handling ability and quick first step. His ability to shoot off the dribble opens up his mid range game, which in turn should open up his scoring at the rim and eventually 3 point shooting, to create an unpredictable play-style for defenders to guard. The major adjustment NBA teams want to see from Wong is being able to pass more willingly and to create in less time, opposed to how long he would often take to get going with a slower college tempo.
Beyond perimeter scoring, Wong thrives at getting to the rim. With a quick first step, incredible body control around defenders, and a strong ability to drive off of fakes, his slashing ability should scale up to the NBA. Additionally, his fearlessness going to the rim allows him to live at the free throw line, indicated by the deep NCAA Tournament runs this year and last. The one area of concern teams may have that could stem from the Final Four loss to Connecticut is how well Wong can finish around length and shoot over length in an NBA that is filled with long-armed players. He struggled to get going near Donovan Clingan, granted there is no defensive three in the key in college. Teams may poke into this, and with only having played one other dominant big in the season (Dereck Lively), this may be something he works on in year one in the G League some.
With a strong work ethic, high feel for the game, and a great motor, the intangibles and skill-level combination make Isaiah Wong worth gambling on. Even if Wong returns to school for his final year of eligibility, he is worth investing in as a future NBA player.
Similar to: Cole Anthony, Tre Mann
Projected draft range: 40-Undrafted
Expected role: Combo guard that can mesh into any lineup while not being a liability defensively, and is able to expose switches and poor perimeter defenders.
Unplayable if: Lack of playmaking makes him a scoring guard; if he doesn’t become a better finisher his upside is limited as a guard.
Exceeds expectations if: Jump shooting translates, and he becomes a consistent playmaker while being able to successfully score past length, making him a three level scoring combo guard.
Miscellaneous Synergy Stats:
Catch & shoot 3s: 30/75 (40%)
Off the dribble 3s: 31/85 (36.5%)
Transition: 87th percentile
P&R Ball Handler: 80th percentile
Isolation: 84th percentile