J.J. Redick NBA Draft Scouting Report
Mar 03, 2006, 02:36 am
One of the most dangerous offensive threats the college game has seen in quite some time, J.J. Redick has mastered the art of putting the ball in the basket and has been rewarded by shattering countless team, conference and NCAA records in his four years of college.
Redick became known on the national scene first and foremost for his perimeter stroke, despite the fact that there is now more to his game than just that. He is legitimately one of the best shooters the college game has ever seen. Redicks mechanics are perfect, and absolutely identical every time; starting with his outstanding footwork, the way he squares his shoulders and balances himself instantaneously, the lift he gets on his jump shot, the incredible quickness of his release, and the beautiful follow through he puts on his shot every single time. There is absolutely no way to become the type of shooter he has developed into without putting countless hours of hard work based on pure repetition and understanding the physics of what effective 3-point shooting is based on. This will translate into well over 450 3-pointers made by the time Redick is done at Duke, tops in NCAA history. Redick is not only a volume shooter, hes also deadly accurate, shooting around 41% from behind the arc for his career at Duke despite being one of the most closely guarded players in the country for much of that time. His range extends well beyond the 3-point line without losing much of its accuracy, showing the ability to nail some incredibly contested shots from 28 feet or more without changing his mechanics one bit.
Its not just his mechanics and range that make him so dangerous, but also the effort he puts in to utilize them that has made him so prolific in his NCAA career. Redicks off the ball movement is a thing of beauty. He is one of the tougher players to guard in the NCAA not just because of his outstanding skill level, but also because of how hard he makes his defenders work to defend him. Hes constantly in motion moving off the ball, working the entire 25 foot radius around his basket from sideline to sideline which constitutes the shooting range in which he is virtually automatic with his feet set and an inch of space. He has worked extremely hard on his conditioning level, and is now able to run endlessly around the floor for 37 minutes per game on average without tiring. He uses screens incredibly well (much like Reggie Miller or Rip Hamilton) and understands the right angles to take, the sharp cuts he needs to make and having the perfect timing to execute the plays run for him to perfection to free himself up. His specialty is coming off a screen on the baseline, catching the ball from behind the left part of the 3-point line, leaping in the air and turning towards the basket simultaneously while releasing and swishing his shot in one fluid motion. Redick is just an extremely intelligent player who understands the game and has figured out how to maximize his time within it.
Beyond just being a threat from behind the 3-point line, Redick has also mastered the art of the mid-range shot which compliments his outside shooting proficiency so well. Because it takes him such little space and time to get his deadly shot off, hes guarded about as closely as anyone in the NCAA, usually being the focal point of the opposing teams defense. What Redick will do to counter that is use an impressive arsenal of head, shot and body fakes (which obviously have a ton of credibility) to get his man off-balance and drive right by him. He then is able to stop on a dime, elevate quickly while fading away left, right, backwards, forwards or straight up to knock down the mid-range jumper from anywhere inside the arc. This part of his game has become a deadly part of his arsenal in his senior year, to the point that he has to rely on his outside shot only for about half of his field goal attempts, as opposed to nearly 2/3rds of the time as a freshman or sophomore. His ball-handling has improved enough he can make his way to the basket effectively without much trouble, either to finish himself with a nifty layup off the glass or find the open man on the drive and dish if the paint is too crowded for his liking. In his senior year Redick is shooting an outstanding 50% from the field and 43.4% of his outside shots at the time of this report.
To back up just how much more versatile Redicks offense has become, he gets to the free throw line almost 8 times per game, compared with just 3.3 times as a freshman and 4.0 as a sophomore. For comparisons sake, uber-athlete Rodney Carney goes to the line 3.5 times per game, Brandon Rush is there 2.25 times, and similarly sized Randy Foye is there 5 times per.
Once he gets to the free throw line, Redick is about as close to automatic as you can get. He will likely finish as the all-time best free throw shooter in NCAA history if he continues at his current pace. At the time of this report (March 1) he was still on track to break Gary Buchanans record of 91.3%, with Redick sporting a 92% average himself. His effectiveness from the line has dropped a bit this season as the minutes and attempts have piled up, but at 88% hes still world-class.
Redick is a pretty good passer, generally being an unselfish player who knows his limitations and understands his teammates strengths enough to not abuse his offense. He doesnt make many mistakes and has shown the willingness and ability to make the extra pass and coexist within a highly structured offense. You will rarely see him take a bad shot, or at least one that he is not capable of making more often than not.
In terms of intangibles, you know what you are going to get every night with Redick, and that is maximum effort and consistency. Hes scored 18 or more points a game in all but two games this season so far, and has put up 30 or more in half of his games, hitting 40+ three times on the way. He has an outstanding work ethic and by all accounts appears to be an excellent teammate both on and off the floor. His leadership skills look very strong, leading by example with the impressive way he carries himself, but also not being afraid to get on his younger teammates when they dont execute. Redick is a clutch player who wants the ball in his hands at the end of games, and his shown absolutely no fear of taking the last shot with the clock running down.
He shows some veteran savvy that will work well for him once his credibility is established with NBA refs, already using the Reggie Miller trademarked scissor kick leg action to draw fouls when hes being heavily contested. He is usually the most intense player on the floor, playing the game with a ton of passion, but not letting this allow him to get out of control and lose his focus for getting the win. No player in the NCAA has been more abused in his career both by opposing fans and players who try to get under his skin with insults and cheap shots, but Redick has the mental toughness to not let any of this phase him.
He plays for who many consider to be the best coach in the NCAA in Mike Krzyzewski, at one of the top programs in the country at Duke. During his four years in college hes garnered as much experience winning games and playing in pressure situations as a player conceivably can in an NCAA career.