What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): The ACC Player of the Year put together a solid sophomore campaign that was spearheaded by his defense. Big game player. Jones took it to fellow 2020 NBA Draft point guard prospects: Devon Dotson (Kansas), Cassius Winston (MSU),Cole Anthony (UNC) as he led his team to a 4-0 record vs. the trio. Against the three, Jones averaged 21 points and had a near 3:1 assist-to- turnover ratio. Jones offensively does his best work out of the Blue Devils “horns” set, where he operates with two players up top and two in the corner. He is capable of making the right read in the pick and roll as well as pulling up in the midrange (UCF ‘19, 1st Half ). Defensively, his length bothers opposing guards (averaged just under two steals per game for his career). Jones’ feet and arms are always in motion, which leads to deflections.
Weaknesses: Jones saw his three-point shooting percentage improve from 26% to 36%, was his sophomore numbers indicative of his outside shooting long term or a fluke? Jones is best when setting others up, look at his work a season ago with three lottery picks. If he joins a team with subpar talent does he have the ability to make other players around him better? Jones has good length for the position but it remains to be seen how he handles the more physical NBA point guards with his lean frame.
Attended Apple Valley High School (Mn.) and was a consensus five-star recruit. He was also named Minnesota’ Mr. Basketball
He has two older brothers that played college basketball: Tyus and Jadee. Tyus also attended Duke, and now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies. Jadee played at Furman University.
2020 ACC Player of the Year recipient as well as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year
Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Jones played a lot of basketball during his two years at Duke. Despite being just a sophomore, he is one of the more experienced players in the draft. DraftNasty projects Jones being most successful with a team where he can create for others that has talented wings and big men. Look for an organization like the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat or Los Angeles Lakers to target the former Duke point guard at the bottom of the first round.
Cassius Stanley is one of the best leapers in this year’s draft and could be a future NBA Dunk Contest participant. The athleticism shows on tape when he shoots the passing gap for steals and runs on the wing (Central Arkansas, ‘19). When he gets a chance to set his feet on three-point attempts, he is almost automatic (36% from the three-point arc). Another subtle strength in his game is the ability to make the entry passes into the post and make hard cuts to the basket afterwards for finishes in the lane. Quick healer. Stanley was expected to miss a month in December with a leg injury but missed just one game.
What is Stanley’s go to offensive move? Tre Jones was the table-setter at Duke, which meant the Duke shooting guard rarely had a chance to showcase his skills with the ball. Stanley could struggle in the lane if he is met against true seven-foot shot blockers (Georgetown, ‘19). He could aid his game with a consistent floater to complement his high-wire acts. The California native has a smooth shooting stroke but his free throw shooting percentage did not reflect that on a consistent basis (73%).
Attended Harvard-Westlake School and Sierra Canyon School (Calif.). Participated in the Jordan Brand Classic and was a consensus four star recruit.
Registered a 46” vertical jump, breaking former No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson’s Duke vertical jump record of 45”
Stanley could carve out a long NBA career if he can channel his athleticism into becoming a premier lockdown defender. The foot speed is there, but can he play defense consistently with his feet rather than his hands? Offensively, Stanley would be best served with a point guard that can get steals, push the ball and find him on the wing. The Pelicans have three total draft picks and Stanley would fit well with the often underrated Jrue Holiday, who also happened to be in the Top 10 in steals per game this past season. Worth noting, Lonzo Ball is an excellent passer and also finished in the Top 20 in steals per game. Stanley and Zion Willamson would be a nightmare for opposing teams’ transition defenses.
Duke’s Tre Jones stood out in all of his big tests in 2020, so it is no surprise that he earned 2020 ACC Player of the Year honors. The sophomore guard has a multi-faceted game that features variety on the offensive end and scrappiness as a defender. His NBA lineage is represented by his older brother, Tyus (Memphis Grizzlies). Will the former Apple Valley (Minn.) star be a first-rounder in the 2020 NBA Draft? We go inside his game during his two-year run (2016-2017) with his AAU squad, Howard Pulley, in the Nike EBYL.
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
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
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.