NBA Draft Media Day Interviews: Turner, Udoh, Aminu, Monroe, Henry,etc June 24, 2010
[Read Full Article] Situational Statistics: This Year’s Small Forward Crop June 12, 2010 Luke Babbitt’s touch made him a highly capable scorer in almost every situation last season and speaks to his high skill level.
The highest usage player in our ranks at 20.6 possessions per-game, Babbitt’s 0.97 overall PPP isn’t terribly impressive. His lack of great overall efficiency stems from the fact that he ranks last in transition points per-possession at a dismal 0.90. His lack of great leaping ability is clear in that metric, but his 0.98 PPP in 18.1 half court touches per-game is highly impressive, as are his low 12.2 turnover percentage and his 8.4% shots fouled mark.
The distribution of Babbitt’s shots is very intriguing at first glance, with nearly 30% of his touches coming in isolation situations. No player spent more time than Babbitt going one-on-one (5.9 Pos/G), and only two players shot better than his 45.4% from the field using those possessions. His 1 PPP in 3.1 post-up possessions per-game is also pretty impressive for a finesse player that isn’t creating typical high-percentage shots.
Despite his lack of tremendous athleticism, Babbitt proves to be a capable scorer from the inside and out, posting a PPP of 1.26 in finishing situations (4th), largely thanks to his craftiness off the dribble. Interestingly, Babbitt only ranks as an average unguarded catch and shoot player at 1.16 PPP, but is the most prolific pull up shooter at 4.6 shots per-game (42%, 4th). Based on a situational analysis, it is clear that Babbitt will need to make some changes as he transitions into a spot-up shooting role as a stretch-four next season, but the fact that his craftiness allowed him to score in so many ways as a collegiate player certainly bodes well for him. [Read Full Article]
NBA Combine Interviews: Henry, Anderson, Babbitt, Jones, Robinson May 24, 2010
One of the highest impact freshman in the country last season, Luke Babbitt has picked up right where he left off as a sophomore, upping his numbers across the board and just playing outstanding basketball for the Wolf Pack.
On the offensive end, Babbitt possesses an extremely high skill level to go along with an outstanding feel for the game, assets which allow him to score easily and efficiently from all over the floor. The smooth left-handed shooter is hitting with deadeye accuracy from the free-throw (89%) and three-point lines (41%), while also showing strong ability off the dribble, namely with his mid-range jumper.
Using a combination of ball fakes and jab steps along with rangy strides with the ball and excellent footwork, Babbitt does a very good job getting separation for his jumper in spite of his limited athletic ability. Getting open inside the arc, he shows very good ability to hit jumpers on the move, going left and right, with a hand in his face, and fading away from the basket.
Babbitt’s shot has consistent mechanics and a high release point, while he also has NBA three-point range. His ability to hit shots in a variety of situations if very impressive for a player his age, though there are concerns about how his off-the-dribble shots will translate to the next level against longer, more athletic defenders.
Attacking off the dribble, Babbitt has an underwhelming first step and not much of a second gear, but he makes up for it at this level with craftiness, long strides, and a good understanding of angles and floor spacing, knowing when to pick his spots. His handle is more than adequate in space and isolation situations, but he definitely struggles a bit in crowds, not really having the low-to-the-ground, tight handle needed for those instances.
In the lane, Babbitt does a good job recognizing openings, knowing when to go all the way to the rim and when to pull up for the floater, both of which he is capable of doing. At the rim he is aggressive in finishing while doing a good job using his body to create space and angles, allowing him to finish at a high rate in spite of his physical limitations. He definitely shows trouble when matched head to head with a weakside shot blocker, which will make his floater more important projecting to the next level.
Babbitt also has somewhat of a unique mid-post and high-post game, not playing like a conventional power forward but more so relying on finesse from the 10-15 foot range, where he is very accurate with turnaround jumpers off either shoulder. This aspect of his game is not a given to translate to the next level, however, as it’s questionable whether he’ll have the size and athleticism to consistently separate against high level athletes.
On the defensive end, Babbitt works hard and shows excellent focus, running out to contest shots and doing all he can to stay with his man, but his lateral quickness on the perimeter just isn’t up to par and it doesn’t help that he just looks uncomfortable in his perimeter stance, not getting his center of gravity down and looking awkward moving his feet.
In the post, he actually shows very good fundamentals and a good understanding of how to use his length to bother shots, but he is severely lacking in lower body strength, allowing him to be backed down at will. Babbitt’s real redeeming quality on defense is his ability to attack the boards, a real testament to his hustle and high motor, as he pulls in an impressive (for his size) 10 boards per game, most of which come on the defensive end.
Looking forward, Babbitt is a tough player to project to the next level, as there are many aspects of his game that have question marks in terms of how they’ll translate, while there also isn’t an ideal position for him to defend. That said, with his incredibly high skill level, excellent feel for the game, and considering the way he keeps improving, it’d be foolish to count him out, as many other small forwards with similar physical profiles have achieved success in the NBA. [Read Full Article]
Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Non-BCS Conferences, Part Two November 4, 2009 Matt Kamalsky
A left-handed forward holding the rare distinction of being a former McDonald’s All-American opting to play in a small conference, Luke Babbitt didn’t disappoint in his first season at Nevada. Averaging almost 17 points per-game, Babbitt showed the savvy of a much older player. Not sharing the upside that the other comparably hyped players from his class enjoy, Babbitt solidified himself as a top player in the WAC, and has three more years if needed to legitimize his NBA draft stock.
The limiting factor on Babbitt’s NBA potential will always be his physical profile. Not enjoying great size or strength at the power forward position, Babbitt isn’t an imposing physical specimen, and his lack of great quickness and explosiveness only compound concerns about his ability to translate his game to the next level. While both of those concerns will hurt him moving forward, Babbitt was arguably the most polished freshman in the NCAA last season, and possesses the skill-level and smarts to play in the NBA.
A smooth offensive player with an outstanding feel for putting the ball in the basket, and though he doesn't make his teammates better, Babbitt has a number of very promising tools, the most polished of which proved to be his jump shot last season. Displaying a high release point, and a fluid release with his feet set, Babbitt is an exceptional catch and shoot option. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Babbitt makes 70% of his open catch and shoot looks, making teams pay for giving his space. However, Babbitt’s percentages plummet when he’s defended to under 25%. Compare those two numbers with Babbitt’s outstanding 42.9% shooting from beyond the arc, and it seems entirely plausible that Babbitt could improve on his efficiency from deep if he can step away from the block and find more space on the perimeter –quite a feat for a player already ranked in the top-10 in our database in terms of three point percentage.
Though Babbitt’s struggles shooting over defenders translates into his midrange game to an extent, he proves capable of scoring from almost anywhere on the floor, though he's prone to forcing some fadeaway jumpers from inside the arc. Able to put the ball on the floor to get into the lane, Babbitt is a smart player who moves well without the ball, picking and choosing his spots inside the arc, using his body well, and turning the ball over at an extremely low rate for a young first option. Preferring to drive left when facing up from the midrange and tending to turn over his left shoulder in the post, Babbitt can score with a turnaround jumper over either shoulder and flashes a hook shot when he can spin into the middle of the lane. A threat to score whenever he receives the ball, Babbitt gets to the line at a good rate, and isn’t afraid to take the ball aggressively to the rim off the bounce. An excellent free throw shooter, if Babbitt can improve his pull up jumper and add some counter moves to his post repertoire, he’ll be a nightmare to defend in the WAC next season.
A versatile threat that could possibly play either forward position on the next level offensively, Babbitt doesn’t enjoy the same potential defensively. Possessing average lateral quickness and leaping ability at the college level, Babbitt likely lacks the physical tools to defend NBA small forwards. Though his length affords him some success defending the post and rebounding the ball on the college level, Babbitt’s lack of physicality and athleticism are definitely a concern, and a characteristic that limits his ability to accumulate blocks, steals, and rebounds. He doesn't appear very quick to react when his man makes a move, nor does he appear to have the type of intensity that would help him be a solid defender.
At this juncture, Babbitt reminds us of Austin Croshere, and has the potential to be a Steve Novak type shooter down the road. Potentially a four year player, Babbitt’s lack of physical tools will always limit him defensively, but if he can diversify his offensive game, he could propel himself into the draft conversation. Improved polish in some aspects of the game and improved productivity will no doubt afford him a shot at the NBA whenever he declares. [Read Full Article] adidas Nations Basketball Experience: 2008 High School Prospects August 14, 2007 The most consistent player at the camp seemed to be 6-8 power forward Luke Babbitt, who is headed to Nevada next year. While certainly not the best prospect around as far as his NBA potential goes, Babbitt has already “figured it out” as a basketball player and is sure to have a great impact at the collegiate level for the Wolf Pack.
A smooth lefty who likes to face the basket, Babbitt can put the ball on the floor and either beat his man off the dribble or pull-up for a mid-range jumper. He has nice touch, good hands and range out to the 3-point line, and knows how to use his body to create space in the post for a left-handed jump-hook shot. He can score a little with his back to the basket, and has really nice touch on his turnaround jumper. Babbitt is a smart player who plays hard and understands how to operate within half-court sets. He's not an explosive forward by any means, and probably lacks size for the four spot and lateral quickness to move out to the 3. That means he will most likely have to earn himself a spot in the NBA through his production, rather than through his upside. The coaching staff at Nevada probably won't mind that even one bit. [Read Full Article]
adidas Nations Basketball Experience Notebook (Day One+Two) August 5, 2007 This might be a surprise considering the quality of players on the 2008 high school squad (top 10 prospects B.J. Mullens, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, many more) but the best player on the floor in the US vs. Team Africa game (in our estimation at least) was Nevada commit (and one-time Ohio State signee) Luke Babbitt. Babbitt showed off a very developed skill level for a player his age, knocking down 3-pointers, pulling up off the dribble, converting hook shots around the basket, and putting the ball on the floor. Babbitt isn't a very explosive player compared to some of the prospects here, but he's smart, tough, has great hands, uses his body extremely well, and just knows how to play. There is no question that he is going to be an outstanding college player. [Read Full Article]