Throughout his one year on Duke’s campus, Justise Winslow showcased extreme positional versatility. In fact, he scored double figures in 19 of his final 20 games as a Duke Blue Devil. We went inside the Grizzlies small forward’s game five years ago in our video spotlight leading up to the 2015 NBA Draft .
What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Winston plays the game at his own pace and doesn’t have a clear comparison in today’s NBA. His ability to weave in and out of traffic, command the game in transition and keep his dribble is remenicist of former NBA MVP, Steve Nash.
Coach Speak: “Quite honestly, there are not a lot of players in the country that play (with) that high level of basketball IQ,” Miami head coach Jim Larranaga said before MSU played the Hurricanes in the NCAA Tournament during Winston’s freshman season. “So we used an old NBA player, now retired, named Steve Nash, because he could find the open man with brilliance. And we find Cassius Winston to be that kind of point guard.”
Worth noting, his shooting splits also compare favorably to Nash when he starred at Santa Clara University. Winston is a gifted passer, who had a 6.4 assist to 2.7 turnover ratio. In his latter years in East Lansing, he showed he could bail the offense out of bad sets with creativity off the dribble as well as pull up from three in transition (43% from the three point line).
Weaknesses: Has the point guard position evolved too much athletically for Winston to find a role in today’s NBA? Conditioning was a problem early on in his junior season when the MSU point guard was asked to shoulder heavy minutes as the Spartans looked for scoring punch (Florida ‘18). Winston is also 22 years old, does he have any upside?
- Attended University of Detroit Jesuit High School (Mi.) and was named the state’s Mr. Basketball.
- All time assists leader in Big Ten history (890 total) and named Big Ten Player of the Year (2019).
- 2016-2017 (35 games, 5 sts): 6.7 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 5.2 AST, 42% FG, 38% FG3, 77% FT
- 2017-2018 (35 games, 34 sts): 12.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 6.9 AST, 50% FG, 49% FG3, 90% FT
- 2018-2019 (39 games, 30 sts): 18.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 7.5 AST, 46% FG, 40% FG3, 84% FT
- 2019-2020 (30 games, 30 sts): 18.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 5.9 AST, 45% FG, 43% FG3, 85% FT
- Career: 14.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 6.4 AST, 46% FG, 43% FG3, 84% FT
Time to get NASTY (Our Summary):
Winston has potential as a second round draft pick if he finds a coach that believes in his skill sets. In recent memory, former undersized Spartans like Draymond Green (35th overall pick ) and Bryn Forbes (undrafted) have been able to latch on in the league despite their low draft position. Winston, who is more decorated than the previously named Spartans, has the intangibles to serve as a quality backup point guard to start his career if he can overcome his physical limitations.
What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Okoro is a defensive specialist on the wing with an NBA-ready frame. The intelligence defensively stands out on tape. The Auburn freshman does a good job of playing a corner shooter while also contesting a drive to the rim (NC State ‘19). He also nearly averaged a steal and a block per game while playing just 31 minutes a contest. Offensively, his game is less developed however, Okoro shows the ability to finish with both hands and serve as a slasher to the rim. Possess body control to avoid charges and make shots at the rim (Davidson ‘19).
Weaknesses: The free throw shooting percentage could be better (67%), especially as much as the freshman drove to the rim, he can expect to be fouled at the next level (4.7 attempts per game). He doesn’t have a niche currently offensively and can get lost in the half court game, averaged two assists and two turnovers per game. Three point shooting percentage is low (29%). Had nine games with at least four fouls, if he fouled less could he have earned more minutes?
- Attended McEachern High School (Ga.) and was rated as a four star prospect by ESPN and 247Sports. Was rated a five star prospect by Rivals.
- Played for USA at the FIBA Under 17 Basketball World Cup in 2018 and averaged 4.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game, en route to a gold medal. Also participated in the Nike Hoop Summit.
- Named Second-Team All-SEC, SEC All-Defensive Team and SEC All-Freshman Team.
- Missed three games with a pulled hamstring.
- 2019-2020 (28 games, 28 sts): 12.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.0 AST, 51% FG, 29% FG3 , 67% FT
Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Okoro will help a team immediately with his intelligence defensively as well as his physicality on the wing. His frame and defense will remind scouts of Jimmy Butler but will he be able to improve his offensive game year over year like Butler? The answer to this question will determine Okoro’s long term NBA prospects.
What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): The lightning quickness in the lane jumps out when watching video on Maxey. His slender frame and ball handling abilities allows him to get to places that other guards can’t get to on the floor. Uses screens to get open off the ball (1st half, Michigan State ‘18). Big game player. In games versus top-ranked Michigan State and the third-ranked Louisville Cardinals this past season, Maxey had his two best scoring games against those opponents (26 and 27 points respectively). Despite a subpar shooting percentage from beyond the arc during his freshman season, Maxey does show NBA range and strong shooting mechanics (83% free throw percentage). The Kentucky guard is listed at 6’3″ but isn’t incredibly long despite being a willing rebounder (4.3 per game).
Weaknesses: Size and position fit are the major question marks with Maxey. Can he guard opposing shooting guards at the next level? If he is asked to play point guard full time, he will have to improve his 3:2 turnover/assist ratio. Evidenced by his shooting numbers, Maxey settles from time-to-time and would be better served tweaking his shot selection.
- Attended South Garland High School (Tx.). He was rated as a top 15 recruit by ESPN, Rivals and 247 Sports.
- Father, Tyrone, played basketball at Washington State and previously served as the Director of Player Development at Southern Methodist University.
- Was named Texas Mr. Basketball in 2019 and played in the McDonald’s All-American game, Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit.
- 2019-2020 (31 gms, 28 sts): 14.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.2 AST, 43% FG, 29% 3FG, 83% FT
Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): When it was crunch time, Kentucky head coach John Calipari entrusted Maxey to make plays. Scouts will rave about his late game heroics but how will he hold up defensively at the next level? We believe Maxey would enjoy the most success if paired with a taller guard like Dallas’ Luka Doncic or Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons. Look for the Kentucky guard to start his career as a spark plug off the bench, who can get opposing guards in foul trouble. At 6-foot-3, can Maxey play the shooting guard position? Teams will question his ability to play the point guard spot, but he showed himself well at the position during his final regular season game against Florida (at that position). In that contest, Maxey finished with seven assists and just one turnover.
Stewart -the 2019 Naismith High School National Player of the Year at La Lumiere HS (N.Y.)- finished his freshman season at Washington as a first-team All-Pac-12 selection. Aside from averaging 17 points per game, the New York native also put up 8.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per outing. He posted 14 double-doubles during the year. During his time on the Nike EBYL circuit with City Rocks, Stewart cemented his standing as a two-way player. He already possesses an NBA-ready frame and could very well hear his name called in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft.
McDaniels -a former 2019 McDonald’s All-American- averaged 13 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in 2019-20 as a freshman at Washington. During his time as an AAU standout on the Nike EBYL circuit, he was a significant contributor for the Seattle Rotary. The Federal, Washington native and 2020 NBA Draft prospect is following in the footsteps of his brother, Jalen, a 2019 second-round draft pick by the Charlotte Hornets.
What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Anthony is a well- conditioned athlete. The Tar Heels point guard missed six weeks with a torn meniscus in his right knee but never skipped a beat with his conditioning and he rarely looks tired. He averaged 34.9 minutes per game and the NBA workload shouldn’t be a problem for him. A week after coming back from injury, he played 43 minutes against Duke. Offensively, Anthony is best when asked to make plays off the high screen and roll, where he can drive, shoot the elbow jumper or make the correct pass (Boston College; 1st Half). An accurate barometer for if Anthony is playing well is if he is driving to the basket, he shot at least six free throws in 12 of 22 games played. In those games where he shot more than six free throws, Anthony averaged 21 points compared to 15 points when he did not. He also enjoys using the step back jumper and fade away. When asked to finish at the bucket, Anthony will shoot the ball high off the glass or go to a baseline reverse rather than dunks.
Weaknesses: Not long and doesn’t possess a great wingspan. Duke point guard Tre Jones is also listed at 6’3” but his length was the difference as he overpowered Anthony to the rim on multiple occasions in their first matchup. Untimely turnovers are a problem as well (ACC Tournament: Virginia Tech; 1st Half). He averaged 3.5 turnovers per game. He was stripped with his team up two against Duke when he tried to split two defenders. Anthony also will need to tweak his shot selection, he is prone to settle for three pointers or fadeaways. The freshman has a fairly quick release but does start his shooting motion at his midsection, will this be effective at the next level?
- Attended Archbishop Molloy High School (NY) for three seasons before transferring to Oak Hill Academy (Va.) for his senior season. He was named the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game MVP after totaling 14 points, five rebounds and seven assists
- Father, Greg, played 11 seasons in the NBA and won a championship in college at UNLV
- Member of the U18 USA National Team and led team USA in scoring at the 2019 Nike Hoops Summit
- Missed six weeks during his lone season at UNC with a torn meniscus in his right knee
- 2019-2020 (22 games, 20 sts): 18.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 4 APG, 38% FG, 34.8% FG3, 75% FT
Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Cole Anthony plays with a competitiveness that many freshmen don’t possess. However, turnovers and shot selection will be a question mark for scouts. Can Anthony be trusted to make the smart play? He would be best served playing for a team that has a veteran point guard who can show him the ropes. Look for him to be drafted around pick No. 7 like a Tar Heel point guard who came before him, Coby White. A pairing with the Detroit Pistons and Derrick Rose would be ideal.
What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Oturu projects best defensively as a weak-side rim protector. The Minnesota sophomore has the basketball IQ to know when to shade over from the weak-side to protect the rim (1st half, Arkansas State ’18). Oturu averaged 1.3 blocks per game in his freshman season and 2.5 blocks in his sophomore campaign. Offensively, he possesses a bag of moves that belies his age. The drop step over the right shoulder is his signature move (1st half, North Carolina A&T ’18). He also has a rip through move that he will use at the top of the key and a baseline spin that he can use at either side of the basket. Scouts will be intrigued by his raw shooting talent (37% from the three-point line).
Weaknesses: Oturu struggled finding teammates out of the post and cashing in on assists (0.8 assists per game through his career). Worth noting, he wasn’t surrounded by sharpshooters. When forced to play against shorter, sturdier based opponents, Oturu has the tendency to lose his balance and shoot off-kilter (vs. Xavier Tillman, Michigan State ’19, 2nd Half). Scouts would like to see Oturu play more vertical and use his height rather than reach down and get into foul trouble. Can the Golden Gopher sophomore play against non-traditional centers like Nikola Jokic and Al Horford in space defensively?
- Attended Cretin-Derham Hall HS (Minn.) and helped the team win the Class 4A state championship during his senior season with a game- winning dunk against Apple Valley HS , which was led by fellow 2020 NBA Draft prospect, Tre Jones (Duke)
- Was a consensus four-star prospect coming out of high school and received scholarship offers from Kansas and Baylor
- Father, Francis, who stands 5’5″, played table tennis for the Nigerian national team and moved the family to the United States to pursue his career in the sport
- 2018-2019 (31 sts): 10.8 PPG, 7 RPG, 0.5 APG, 55% FG, 50% 3-PT, 61% FT
- 2019-2020 (31 sts): 20.1 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 1.1 AST, 56% FG, 36% FG3, 70% FT
- Career Stats: 15.2 PPG, 9 RPG, 0.8 APG, 55% FG, 37% 3-PT, 67% FT
Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Oturu was overshadowed in the Big Ten by National Player of the Year candidate, Luka Garza from Iowa. Oturu’s drop step will remind Minnesota fans of former Golden Gopher, Kevin McHale. However, his lack of ability to pass from the post and play defense with his feet rather than his hands will concern scouts. His body frame is reminiscent of former NBA journeyman Nazr Mohammed, but Oturu possesses a more polished offensive game and has more “spring” off the floor. The sophomore big man will flourish in a system where he is surrounded by shooters and can use his myriad of moves on the low block and the pinch post. Look for Oturu to be selected in the Top 15 range of this year’s draft.
During his time at the prep level for South Garland HS (Tex.), Maxey filled up the stat sheet. The consensus five-star recruit finally ended up signing with the Wildcats and earned second-team All-SEC honors in 2019-20. Maxey averaged 14 points per game and shot an impressive 83.3-percent from the free throw line. Known for his clutch play during his brief stay in Lexington, Maxey has a solid chance to hear his name called in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft. We caught our first glimpse of Maxey’s diverse game during his days on the Nike EBYL circuit with the Houston Hoops AAU squad.
As Oturu has continued to grow, his game has also taken the necessary steps. The All-Big Ten defender averaged 2.5 blocks per game in 2019-20, while also averaging 20.1 points per game and 11.3 rebounds. Oturu ranked second in the Big Ten with 18 double-doubles and has firmly put himself in a position to hear his name called relatively early in the 2020 NBA Draft.