The Big 10 Rookie of the Year, Jalen Hood-Schifino had a strong freshman season at Indiana, living up to his top 20 recruit status. As a member of the third team All-Big Ten, Hood-Schifino averaged 13.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.7 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.3 BPG, and 2.8 TOPG on splits of 42/33/78. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Jalen Hood-Schifino
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’10 ¼/8’4 ½
Hand size: 9 ¾
Pre-Draft team: Indiana
Tools: P&R, feel for the game, defense, length
- Good defensive footwork & footspeed to stay with ball-handlers 1-on-1
- Plays with his head up
- Good floater and feel for drawing fouls on floaters; able to already use both hands on floaters
- Strong feel for the game and good fundamentals
- Plays with high hands on the perimeter; generates deflections on entry passes
- Solid quickness with good burst
- Comfortable with both hands as a passer, ball-handler, and finisher
- Quick processor as a passer; identifies and executes passes quickly, especially from the perimeter
- Possesses good handles and a strong ability to keep his dribble alive
- High release and good lift on jumper allows him to shoot over defenders
- Long arms and ideal frame for a guard
- Needs a more consistent three point shot
- Jumps a bit too much on the perimeter
- Subpar finisher at the rim
- Can lack vertical pop, particularly as a slasher
As a defender, while he has inconsistent discipline on the perimeter, Hood-Schifino’s combination of size/length, quickness, strong fundamentals, and a good recovery ability help him stay in front of ball-handlers. With high hands, he can also get deflections and intercept passes. At his size, he should be able to comfortably guard both backcourt positions and some wings, making him a likely positive defender, with a possibility to be one of the rare positive statistical defenders as a rookie if he ends up in the right spot.
Offensively, Jalen Hood-Schifino has some refinement and polishing to do, but the upside and current capabilities are obvious. Hood-Schifino is likely the best pick & roll ball-handler of all collegiate prospects this year, already snaking around screens at a high level, finding cutters, shooters, and roll-men off of screens, in addition to being able to manipulate defenders through and around screens to create for himself. Once he beats his defender out of the screen, he has true three level scoring upside: he can quickly get into his shot with his defender trapped going under a screen for a three pointer, he can get to an open spot on the court to hit a pull-up mid range jumper, or he can find his floater with either hand, which could also open up some more finishing directly at the rim in the NBA.
While Hood-Schifino’s finishing at the rim leaves a lot to be desired, partially because a lack of explosiveness getting to the rim (only one half-court dunk this year), he has a great opportunity to make up for the holes at the rim with his runner + floater game within 5-10 feet of the rim. His floater & runner are advanced, being able to time and make shots over defenders, as well as flashes of using both hands, which is incredibly rare for a freshman.
While he does need to improve his turnovers and ball security, a lot of that can be attributed to youth. He can rush decisions at times, but they generally come few and far between, in terms of erratic passing. This is something some teams will believe can be fixed with simple maturity, since a lot of times he is not making bad reads, but just needs the game to slow down for him as he gets more reps.
Overall, Jalen Hood-Schifino offers a good combination of NBA-ready point guard skills with good size, with upside as a three level scorer that can impact the game defensively for a long time. Hood-Schifino might be a player that makes an All-Rookie team early on because of efficiency and an early impact to winning, making him a desirable target for teams at the end of the lottery. Players with his pick & roll ability and polish don’t come around often, which is why his stock seems to have taken off in recent weeks leading up to the draft.
Similar to: Dejounte Murray, Immanuel Quickley, Malcolm Brogdon
Projected draft range: 9-16
Expected role: Ideal modern combo guard that can play both on-ball and off-ball with good size, while being able to be a solid defender.
Unplayable if: Unlikely to ever be unplayable, but a worst case scenario happens if his jumper doesn’t take the next step from 3, and his finishing doesn’t improve with NBA spacing.
Exceeds expectations if: Either his jump shooting takes a jump and he becomes an above average three point shooter, or his finishing (including floaters) becomes near league average.