PF – 6’10, 210lbs – Born 17th May 1995
In his first three years at Southern University – and by the way, the commitment shown by the naming committee back in the formative days of that establishment is something we could all learn from – Sam was a low-usage player, whose highest usage rate was the 18.4% mark of his junior season, on which he shot a .655% true shooting percentage. As a senior, Sam was given a much bigger offensive role, thus shooting the usage rate up to 25.9%. The true shooting percentage, however, plummeted down to .520% accordingly.
The offensive diet did not change much in that time. There was still no perimeter ball-handling involved, and only a small increase in the number of spot-up jumper attempts; Sam was still almost entirely employed in the paint, with a high volume of post-up possessions, put-backs and looks off of cuts and dump-off passes. Specifically, the post-up was always a big part of things. You would think that Sam, a wiry 6’9 with good speed and mobility but without much core strength, would be the kind of player best served catching the ball on the move as much as possible, rather than arbitrarily being given the post-up role purely because he was the biggest player on the team (and because an excessive focus on post-up play is a legal requirement of college basketball playbooks, or so it seems). Alas, old coaching habits die hard, and thus Sam was regularly found with his back to the basket. So if he looked a bit unfamiliar with the more face-up, on-the-move role that the Mad Ants try to put him in, that will be because of the four years of different usage that he had at the imaginatively named place. Old playing habits die hard, too.
Sam, then, requires a lot of work. He is built like Omari Johnson while trying to play like Travin Thibodeaux, ultimately making himself neither. Sam has a good free throw stroke which alludes to jump shooting potential, but if that is coming, it needs to come fast, and defensively, he needs to figure out who he is and where his future lies. It is not as a paint protector.
– 20th June, 2019
– View tons more player profiles like this from the Manifesto here.