PG/SG – 6’3, 190lbs – Born 1st May 1994
Hornbeak spent two years with Oklahoma, two years at Monmouth and now two years with the Mad Ants, which is pleasingly symmetrical. To have spent two full seasons with a G-League team, even if near to the end of the bench, is a decent achievement that not many manage in a league with such high roster turnover. And the fact that Hornbeak has done so speaks to the useful role that he plays, and his good contributions within it.
Whether he is playing the point guard or shooting guard spot is somewhat arbitrary, because offensively, his role is off the ball. Hornbeak may have the build of a lead guard, but not the handle; distinctly right-hand dominant, he lacks the ability to change direction or handle in traffic with any regularity. If asked to create with the bounce, Hornbeak struggles, as he can not create space, consistently get to the rim, or shoot off the dribble. Instead, Hornbeak’s offensive role is to spot up, leak out, keep the ball moving and be patient. It is a low-usage role many players can fill; nevertheless, with his 47.3% three-point shooting this season paired with two consecutive seasons above the 40% mark for Monmouth, it is one he fits well.
Hornbeak’s main value to the team comes defensively. He is a face-up, pressure defender in the backcourt, including on those bigger than himself. Hornbeak communicates, rotates, stays at home when he should and helps when he should. He is essentially a three-and-D undersized combo guard, then, and while he does not have the size, speed or skill to do so at the NBA level, he has made himself into a very solid G-League role player.
That said, Hornbeak also served a five-game suspension this season for violating the league’s Anti-Drug program. No one’s job security in the G-League is that good, so that can’t happen again.
– 20th June, 2019
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