Texas A&M beat SMU 79-66, maintaining their status as a top 15 team in the country. My NBA Draft & scouting notes:
Vs SMU notes
- Wade Taylor struggled with his first 2 shots, putting up a rushed contested stepback and a wild layup
- 15:55 1H Zhuric Phelps explosive crossover into leaner
- 15:32 Phelps pokes away the board for SLOB
- 14:59 Phelps forced a shot; whole possession was only him touching the ball
- 13:20 Chuck Harris pull-up jumper off crossover
- 12:49 Solomon Washington ridiculous stepback jumper then pokes ball loose for SLOB at 12:39
- 12:24 Solomon Washington block
- 11:10 Phelps full-speed fastbreak assist
- 8:29 Phelps drive and finish through charge attempt (no call)
- 7:31 Chuck Harris stepback 3
- 6:22 Tyrece Radford stepback 3; airballed his next one 5:56. Mechanics don’t look fluid. Left hand almost gets in the way. The airball was forced and hunted behind a screen, minimally punishing the defense despite a well-spaced floor. 5:23 Radford hits a 3. Follow-through is deep and elbow isn’t a concern, but he had clear separation from his guide hand on the open shot. 3 straight shots for him that perfectly embody his questionable shooting stats throughout college.
- 4:27-22 Wade Taylor steal and layup
- 2:57 Phelps tried a half-spin stepback jumper; created space but missed the shot. Promising advanced move to be able to pull off in traffic
- 2:13 Tyrece Radford dragstep 3
- 30.9 Wade Taylor airballed a very deep curling 3. Needs to be able to prove consistent range under pressure.
- Tyrece Radford buzzer-beater to end the half
- 1st play of the 2nd half Phelps gets a steal and draws a shooting foul
- 19:16 Wade Taylor and-1 drive
- 18:30 Radford drives to the rim, gets minimal elevation and misses short in light traffic
- 17:00 Wade Taylor forced a wild shot and puts himself into the defense’s bodies for an easy stop.
- 14:29 Chuck Harris with a great isolation jumper. Tight handle in traffic and kept the defense guessing
- 13:51 Solomon Washington block at the rim
- 11:33 Phelps forces his way to the rim by positioning himself properly against the defense at the rim. *no video
- 10:27 Phelps high contest
- 8:02 Radford sees the left drive open and makes the defense pay with a quick lefty drive
- 3:15 Taylor struggled again to create space on his isolation jumper * no video
- Zhuric Phelps needs to improve overall efficiency; he can still often play like he is a one-man show like he was last year. He can still force shots without passing the ball throughout a possession, and can be late to involve his teammates. Additionally, his turnover struggles are alarming for scouts this early in the season.
- It was still good to see Phelps get to the line so much. He took 8 free throws and made 7. His fearlessness in traffic and at the rim are selling points to his game. Lots of processes to his game are proper, but just need fine-tuning to turn processes into results.
- One area Phelps has done well in is finding his open teammates through traps. He often faces double teams, and does a good job of keeping his dribble alive while keeping his head up and using his frame & athleticism to see above the defense.
- Tyrece Radford’s shot will determine his upside. From shot to shot, you never know the spin or outcome on the shot, which needs to improve. If he can consistently punish defenders for going under screens his game opens up drastically, especially given his awkward size.
- One thing I did like about Radford’s shot was multiple uses of the drag-step 3, a la Luka Doncic. He has that move to combine with his quickness to keep 1-on-1 defenders guessing.
- Wade Taylor has great defensive instincts and shooting touch, but still too much offensive inconsistencies in his game, which are likely to be amplified negatively in the NBA family.
- Solomon Washington was the best defensive prospect in the game, and the most hidden one with long-term value. Despite limited offensive touches, Washington’s intelligence and passing from high school film jump off the tape. He can thrive in the dunker spot, which may not translate up at 6’7 though. However, with elite defensive feel, great athleticism, and ideal size, Washington profiles as a high-end defender that creates chaos in his minutes, both off-ball and on-ball. However, Washington fouled out in 12 minutes which is something he needs to control.
- Chuck Harris did a great job of shooting over contests and creating in tight spaces. Given the volume of jump shots, his efficiency was commendable and something to monitor going forward. A senior, Harris has never shot above 40% from the field in a season, and is only 6’2. Both factors are current limiters to his draft stock.
Videos (in order, except Solomon Washington will be one video at the end):