2016 Hoops Inq. Scouting Report: Buddy Hield (G)

2016 Hoops Inq. Scouting Report: Buddy Hield (G)
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2015-16 Season Stats:

Points: 25.4 (including a monster 46-point game against No. 1 ranked Kansas)

Rebounds: 5.7

Assists: 2.0

Steals: 1.1

50.4% from the field

46.5% from three

88% from the free-throw line

Measurements:

Weight: 209 pounds. Height: 6'4". Wingspan: 6'8.5". Max Vertical: N/A

Ceiling:

Damian Lillard

Floor:

Jodie Meeks

Current Comparison:

 C.J. McCollum

Analysis:

One year ago today, this scouting report would look vastly different than it does today. Sure, Buddy Hield was a star his junior year in college, being named the Big 12 player of the year and headlined the All-Big 12 team and garnered national attention for his ability to sway a game in the matter of moments, but if he was that good last year, then I will struggle to find words to describe how great he is this year, but let me attempt to find some. Terrific. Fantastic. Phenomenal. He has seen a statistical increase in almost every notable category possible. Points, assists, rebounds, field goal percentage, blocks, three pointers made & attempted, free throws made & attempted... you get it.

You know who else gets it? Hield. The collegiate superstar currently leading the University of Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament to a berth in the Final Four with 37 points in their Elite Eight matchup, and is raising his stock in each and every game he plays in. Hield will definitely be gone on the draft board by the time whichever team picks 11th comes around, as he is clearly a top-10 prospect. While it's highly unlikely he cracks the top-2, as it seems Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram have the top-2 spots on lockdown, Hield should not go far behind them.

Hield is a lethal shooter, as he has proved multiple times throughout the season. He has improved his consistency with scoring off-the-dribble, to the point where you have to stick with him and stick on him. The reason you have to stick on him and not lay off of him is because his mid-range and three-point shots are pretty lethal when given the time. His shooting motion is tightly compact and quick, leaving very little leeway for defenders to lax on him. His off-the-ball movement is potentially the most underrated part of his offensive arsenal, as he uses screens very well to garner a lot of room between himself and his primary defender.

As you can tell from his stat line this season, Hield shoots quite a high number of times per game, as you would expect a volume shooter/scorer to do so. His shot selection at times can be poor as he seemingly isn't always able to tell how much room there is between himself and a defender. When he's in an isolation set, he is occasionally sloppy with the ball, not protecting it as well as he should. However, more often than not, he is excellent when putting the ball on the floor, showing off ability to drive with efficiency left and right. His vision is probably average for what you would expect from a shooting guard, but he has shown flashes of great passing potential this season.

Offensive Grade: A-

Hield's made a name for himself with his offensive repertoire, including offensive scoring outbursts you hardly ever see at the collegiate level. Hield is respectable on the other side of the ball, too. He put a lot of work in to improving his game on the defensive end, and while he still has lapses, he is generally reliable. In short spurts, his speed in defensive slides is really well, which will benefit him ten-fold when he has to guard shooting guards in the NBA, the position with some of the quickest players. If it's not a short spurt, however, he is very susceptible to giving his opponents a driving lane. More often than not, however, Hield is good at staying between his opponent and the basket.

Hield is a much better off-ball defender than on-ball defender, however. Hield is an average (or maybe just slightly above average) on-ball defender, but a great off-ball defender. One can argue and say his off-ball defensive awareness and intelligence is higher than his offensive intelligence and awareness. His positioning is excellent, which also leads to him grabbing a decent amount of rebounds for an athlete his size. He knows how to deny passing lanes and avoid screens pretty well, and when he is fully engaged, he can close in on his defender quick enough to jump the lane and get a steal, or force a clog in the offense. The issue is him being fully engaged, as he can occasionally full into a trance on defense and make lazy and half-hearted plays.

Defensive Grade: B-

PREDICTION: Hield goes fifth overall.