This 19-year-old frenshman phenom has been doing solid work this season at USC for the Trojan; not just scoring 17 points per game (ppg) but doing it with efficiency at a rate of 61.7% shooting.
A major reason we wanted to place focus on this player was that while it still is early to predict how his draft stock will follow through into the NBA draft or not he is one of the new kinds of bigs that we have been seeing pop up not just in the NBA with the likes of “Moreyball” or analytics taking rotations to smaller sizes but even with international basketball, the likes of Kyle Hines. A more current comparison we see is how Okongwu very much as a similar build to Bam Adebayo.
Hines has already been a dominant force in international basketball for the past 11 seasons at the highest level and with each game, we have scouted of Okongwu we saw similarities of how great he potentially can be if he is well placed in the course of the NBA draft.
Let us also give you insight on the fact that Okongwu is actually 6’9 and he has a wing-span of 7’1 which makes him a very huge defensive asset. Other parts of his game that are major assets are his energy and athleticism. He is a good specimen to play small ball or even optional run & gun. Finally surprisingly enough while his turnover figure is actually pretty good at 1.9 turnovers across 19 games we have watched him play in. Across 25 games his AST/TO rate is just about 55% and his STL/TO rate is around 61% so with a hands-on bucket (HOB) situation he is involved in his 29.4% rate becomes that much more equivalent to solid level basketball IQ.
Points of improvement:
Okongwu undoubtedly needs a midrange game that can take his offensive game to a new level. He already plays well under the rim for the intensity and level of energy a big man such as he is provides but the added option of having a mid-range shot will get him alternating looks and will get him much more to the free-throw line. Currently this big man shoots an okay 68% across 19 games that he has played at Div.1 basketball this season but this too would drastically improve given work done on a solid mid-range shot.
Video Breakdown of Okongwu’s game:
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