Nike Global Challenge Scouting Reports: Small Forwards

Nike Global Challenge Scouting Reports: Small Forwards
Jul 22, 2015, 08:20 pm
Scouting reports on the top small forward prospects who played at the Nike Global Challenge including V.J. King, Christian David, Maverick Rowan, Andrew Garcia, and Matar Gueye.
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V.J. King, 6-7, SF, Akron, Ohio, 2016 High School Class

King put together a solid camp from a production standpoint, averaging 20.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted, although he struggled to produce efficiently (44% from two, 11% from three).

From a physical standpoint, King is an elite wing prospect. At 6' 7” he possesses an outstanding, developed frame, long arms and tremendous fluidity and agility that allow him to change speeds and direction with ease.

King is more fluid than he is explosive, but he's a smooth ball handler for his position, which when combined with his fluidity, could help him develop into a big two-guard in the future. The Akron native does a handful of things well – he can handle, finish with either hand, distribute, rebound and defend.

But with that said, King is somewhat of a jack of all trades master of none type. He's best with the ball in his hands and has yet to show any consistency as an outside shooter, which limits his 3 and D, role-player potential.

King doesn't have terrible mechanics on his jumper, but he tends to settle for long, contested twos and off-balance threes, both habits that clearly hurt his percentages.

Despite his shooting struggles and inefficient play, there's a lot to like about King as a prospect both from a physical and skill set standpoint. If he's able to continue to fine-tune his shooting stroke and pick his spots a little better, King could end up being one of the best wing prospects to play at the 2015 Nike Global Challenge.

Christian David, 6-6, SF, Toronto, Canada, 2017 High School Class

Canadian wing Christian David didn't wow scouts, coaches or media with monster production, but at 17 years old (which he just turned on June 19) his size, frame, shooting mechanics, IQ and fluidity make him an interesting prospect to track moving forward.

At 6' 6” in shoes, David has solid height for a small forward prospect to along with wide shoulders, although he's still fairly thin in the chest and lower body. David is a fluid athlete who proved capable of getting out in transition and playing above the rim while attacking the rim in a straight line. Although David can straight line slash, he struggles finishing at the rim as he's fairly right-hand dominant at this stage and has a tendency to avoid contact in traffic. David should be able to improve as a finisher once he gains more experience and fills out his frame a bit.

While his physical profile is decent for a wing, it's David's smooth shooting stroke that will be his moneymaker as it continues to develop with a few minor tweaks. David made only 4-of-17 threes at Global Challenge, but it was clear the potential is there. The ball comes out nicely and David is very dangerous when he's able to step into it and stay on balance. He does have a tendency to kick his leg out or hold onto the ball a split second too long, but with more experience and repetitions David should be able to develop into a very reliable 3-point shooter.

In addition to his size, fluidity and shooting potential, the Bishop Reding High School prospect is also a very comfortable distributor. He shows very solid vision when on the move, kicking out to spot up shooters with relative ease. David forced a few tough passes during his three games at Nike Global Challenge but the court vision was evident.

David also plays with a solid motor, crashing the offensive glass and bringing good energy on the defensive end. The 6' 6” wing is an average defender at this stage, but his size, agility and solid competitiveness should allow him to develop into an adequate on ball defender.

David's size, fluidity, shooting stroke and IQ make him worth tracking as he continues to fill out and gain more experience.

Maverick Rowan, 6-7, SF, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, 2016 High School Class

Rowan didn't have the most efficient tournament, shooting 38.5% from two and 27.6% from three, but he certainly impressed with his basketball IQ and role player potential moving forward. Rowan was very streaky shooting the ball during the four game stretch, but his percentages aren't necessarily indicative of the type of shooter he is.

The 6' 7” wing possesses tremendous mechanics, very good balance and a quick trigger that doesn't leave much room for error. Rowan isn't all that adept at creating space off the bounce but he can make a one or two dribble pull up versus a closeout or drill a triple as the pick and roll ball handler if the defender goes under. Needless to say, Rowan is going to shoot the ball at a high level and do a lot of nice intangible things to boot.

Where Rowan really impressed was as a passer and decision maker. He rarely turns the ball over and possesses excellent vision and quick instincts both from a standstill and on the move. Although he's not a primary ball handler, when he receives the ball on the wing in the half court or transition he always plays with his head up and sees plays developing a step ahead of the defense. Some of this has to do with Rowan's age and experience level (he's already 19) but he without a doubt possesses some of the best passing instincts for his position at the tournament.

Rowan also impressed with his instincts on the defensive end. He does a nice job making plays in the passing lanes and is a very keen off ball defender. Rowan does struggle staying in front of quicker, more athletic wings, as he's fairly hunched in his upper body, but his size and solid frame helps him space defend and cover ground on closeouts.

Rowan isn't a poor athlete– he flew around and almost hammered home a handful of transition dunks and attacked an occasional closeout– but he struggled finishing around the rim and should be considered an average athlete once he gets to the college ranks.

Rowan is still fairly one-dimensional as a scorer, but his size, shooting ability and overall basketball IQ should help him fill a role instantly at the college level and continue to develop his game from there.

Andrew Garcia, 6-5, SF/PF, Harlem, New York, 2016 High School Class

A relative unknown entering the 2015 Nike Global Challenge, 6' 5” bowling ball Andrew Garcia made his presence felt with three monster performances in Chicago. Over the course of three games, Garcia averaged 30.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.7 steals, and 1.6 blocks per 40 minutes pace adjusted while shooting 49% from two, 0-for-2 from three, and 64.3% from the line.

The Harlem native was one of the most physically imposing perimeter players at the tournament, standing around 6' 5” with long arms, big hands and an extremely developed frame. Garcia combined his physical profile with a non-stop attacking mentality that led to a barrage of transition finishes, straight line slashes in the half court, and an outrageous 14.9 free throw attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted.

Garcia isn't the most gifted ball handler but he has tremendous body control and stays very low to the ground while showing an ability to attack going both left and right. His quickness, power combination was tough for opposing defenses to stop as it allowed the Dominican Republic to play him anywhere from the two to the four.

Garcia was a nightmare attacking from the elbows and did a nice job finishing through contact while also being a factor when his number wasn't called. The bruising combo forward has a nose for the ball and relentlessly attacks the offensive glass – to the tune of 3.7 offensive rebounds per 40.

Garcia's speed and power game combined with his workhorse mentality led to a 31.5 usage rate, second highest at the tournament. His attacking, tough style of play is something most coaches would love to have, but there are areas where Garcia still has significant room for improvement, starting with his jump shot.

Garcia has the agility and athleticism to be a two/three in time but he plays from 15 feet and in at this stage. He has a long, slightly cocked back release on his jumper, as he leans his head to the side and barely finishes his follow through. Garcia did make a mid-range jumper or two but he's far from being any type of a threat on the perimeter.

Garcia is also limited to mostly straight line drives and doesn't have a great feel for the game. He's prone to putting his head down, attacking, and barreling into help-side defenders. He can do a much better job of thinking the game, reacting to the defense and making the fundamental play – as evidenced by the small number of assists he dished out at the Global Challenge (four) compared with eight turnovers (which is not terrible) in 75 minutes.

Garcia can also improve his overall body language as he tends to get very emotional when things aren't going his well. He was plagued by foul trouble throughout portions of Pan-Africa's final game against Canada. Garcia let the calls get to his head but eventually put the team on his back and helped lead them to an 11-point victory.

On the defensive end, Garcia has the tools to be a multi-positional defender that should be able to defend at least three positions at the college level. He's strong, long, and quick laterally for a player with his strength. Garcia does have bouts of inconsistency on the defensive end, but the tools are there and given his ultra-aggressive mindset, it shouldn't be hard to get the best out of him on defense when he's challenged. He can fly all around the court off the ball and isn't immune to racking up a couple of chase-down blocks per game.

Garcia certainly isn't the most polished prospect as he's more of a combo forward right now (at least offensively), but his strength, length, quickness, explosiveness, body control and mentality should make him a nightmare matchup on both ends at the college ranks.

Mactar Gueye, 6-8, SF, Senegal, 2017 Seed Academy

Gueye (Matar on the roster sheet) stood out immediately due to his size, ball handling ability and fluidity. The 6' 8” playmaking wing has a long ways to go in terms of his offensive polish and strength, but he showed his worth as a perimeter defender, ball-handler and distributor in three up and down games for Pan-Africa.

From a physical standpoint, Gueye has very good size, but is super thin in his upper and lower body. He possesses good length, fairly narrow shoulders and pencil thin legs. How the 18-year-old is able to develop his body in the next few years will play a big part in determining his ceiling as a basketball player.

Skill-wise, Gueye is extremely raw, but somewhat intriguing as well. He loves to get out and push the break and shows pretty good vision for a player his size. The Senegal native does have a tendency to get very out of control, however, as he could benefit from slowing down and thinking the game a little more.

Gueye also has a long way to go in terms of touch both around the rim and from the perimeter. He doesn't have great hands inside and missed a handful of bunnies around the rim, a product of his average explosiveness and limited touch.

Gueye's shooting mechanics aren't completely pedestrian, but they're very inconsistent and could use some cleaning up.

As an offensive player, Gueye is exciting given his ability to handle at his size, yet has a long way to go before he can be trusted making plays with the ball, shooting from the perimeter and finishing around the rim.

On the defensive end is where Gueye made his mark. Although his fundamentals aren't perfect, he did a really nice job getting in a stance, pressuring the ball and defending the perimeter with consistency. He plays with a high motor on both ends of the floor and that energy showed up most on the defensive end. Gueye displays excellent lateral quickness and should only continue to improve as he adds more weight to his lower body, which should help his overall balance and ability to plant and push off either leg.

At this stage, Gueye is somewhat of an out of control prospect with questionable feel and limited touch, but it will be interesting to see how his offensive skill set develops as he gains experience and the game slows down for him. If he indeed goes the college route, Gueye could develop into an exciting playmaking forward at the mid-major level.

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