Dear APB followers, we present you with an exclusive report by none other than Ian Riaf. Ian has graced us with his skills and insight with many pieces as a contributor to Fansided and now will enlighten our followers with what he sees on our values and player requests that we get as well as sharing insight on his thoughts concerning the basketball community.
Without further delay:
Saddiq Bey – Exclusive NBA Draft Scouting report
Team: Villanova Wildcats
Position: F, with potential of playing the NBA shooting guard spot
Date of birth: 04/9/1999
Wingspan: NA (some sources have between 6’10”, 6’11” but no official measurement)
Draft Age: 21.5
Video Breakdown of Bey’s game:
His mother, Dr. Drewana Bey, played college basketball at North Carolina-Charlotte. She was her team’s MVP during the 1997-89 season.
Saddiq Bey was widely known as one of the best college shooters during the 2019-20 season but profiles as more than just a spot-up shooter. In high school, Bey played the point guard spot. He hit his growth spurt throughout high school starting at as 5’8″ as a freshman, and finished high school at 6’6”. A late-bloomer in high school, he helped lead Sidwell Friends School to a championship during his junior year. Bey ranked between a three and four-star recruit and received many offers from Big East and ACC programs.
Despite a heavy defensive load that emphasized picking up shifty Big East point guards, Bey remained completely healthy, not missing a single game during his freshman and sophomore seasons at Villanova. Going back to his high school years, Bey experienced some ankle issues causing him to miss a series of games during his senior year. No other reported injuries are known.
Bey completely bought into Villanova’s system as he was always on the hunt for the optimal shot. While he looked for his shot, Bey is a very unselfish player, a high IQ wing who plays within the offense and understands when to make the extra pass. While at times described as too complacent on offense, his willingness to guard primary ball handlers demonstrates a desire to achieve a two-way status. At times Bey could look to attack rather than settle for the quick three-pointer but clearly improved his confidence from his freshman to sophomore season, especially in transition. Coach Jay Wright commended his improved levels of confidence this season, especially with his shooting. Bey is a high character, high IQ, team player.
Bey is athletic, but not projected as an elite athlete. He lacks an explosive ability when it comes to getting off the ground, and his footwork is cumbersome in the post. At times he is indecisive with his moves in the paint and struggles to finish with contact. On drives, he prefers to take advantage of height mismatches rather than utilize finesse moves. He slows the game down when he decides to isolate. Bey has fast north-south speed, especially in transition, but struggles when going east-west, especially with the ball in his hand.
Elite Floor Spacer | 3-and-D Wing | Three-point Specialist | Switchable Defender (1-3) spots | Tertiary Secondary Ball Handler
Projected Landing Spot
Mid-first round, potential late lottery pick. There is a strong belief that Bey will fall anywhere from the 14-19 range. A very safe pick from most teams despite limited upside, Bey is a low variance type of player that could fit into any system given his modern skillset. If injury issues arise with expected high lottery picks, look for Bey to climb into the mid-to-late-lottery conversation.
- High – Starting Wing Floor Spacer – If Bey can improve his lateral quickness on both sides of the floor, and continue to contain quick NBA-level guards, he could most certainly find his way onto a starting lineup. That’s a big if, but it’s certainly possible, given an increased usage rate, Bey has shown glimpses of secondary creation abilities. While this only accounted for 14.5% of his play types, Bey ranked in the 88th percentile as a pick and roll (P&R) ball handler and was able to take pressure off starting point guard Collin Gillespie. While NBA teams likely won’t use him as a secondary or even tertiary creator, he demonstrated the ability to create for himself when needed. A lot of whether or not Bey can stay on the floor depends on his ability to guard elite quickness at the NBA level.
- Medium – Elite Role Player/ High Level, Low Usage, 3-D Wing– A plausible scenario for Bey initially would be a lower usage, 3-and-D wing, similar to a Landry Shamet type role where he can provide spacing right away, in a seventh or eighth man spot. He has a translatable skillset, even if he can’t stay in front of the NBA point guards, Bey could morph into an initial jack-of-all-trades wing.
- Low – Three-Point Specialist – Given the scarcity of wing talent in the NBA, especially among floor spacing wings, at worst, Bey could be used solely as a stretch wing. He has already demonstrated the ability to shoot the NBA three. While Bey has shown slightly more shot creation ability off the dribble, one could see a world where he starts off in a similar role to Cameron Johnson or Justin Jackson. One of Bey’s main critiques comes on defense, where he struggled guarding the ball handler in the P&R action (17th percentile), a situation he found himself involved with 42% of the time.
Elite Floor Spacer – Shot 42.6% from beyond 24 feet on 115 attempts last season, meaning he can hit the NBA three-pointer. Shot even better (42.9%) on contested NBA three-pointers (49 attempts). Bey shoots the lights out of the ball, but he also understands the importance of spacing. He knows when to relocate to an open spot, even in transition. His low and forward release point may be of slight concern, but his ability to elevate makes it difficult for opponents to alter his shot. Close two a 1/4 of all his offense came on catch and shoot opportunities where he ranked in the 98th percentile. He’s showcased his ability to make on the run three-pointers, given a limited amount of space. His shot chart shows an even distribution both above the break and in the corners.
Basketball IQ – Elite understanding of space and when to make the right cut. Runs to open areas of the court when he notices defensive lapses—trusted as both a freshmen and even more as a sophomore on a competitive Villanova team. As a secondary ball-handler, he has a very efficient assist chart with lots of his half-court assists coming from either beyond the arc or right at the basket.
Play in Transition – Villanova played very slowly in terms of overall pace. They had the 18th slowest pace among all NCAA teams, but Bey ranked in the 93rd percentile for finishing in transition. Could benefit from playing in a more run and gun, higher pace system. While his east-west movements may appear slow-footed, Bey is fast with an open floor ahead of him and understands where and when to fill the lane.
Secondary Playmaking Abilities – While he doesn’t have the Khris Middleton, midrange creation game, there are signs of a developing isolation game, especially when hunting the height mismatch. His numbers in isolation were average, but his willingness to put more pressure on the defender with the dribble took a big step forward this season. As a secondary ball-handler, Bey could bring the ball up and initiate the offense when needed. As the ball handler in the P&R action, Bey ranked in the 88th percentile on 66 possessions this year, showing his ability to be more than just a spot-up shooter. Bey is an underrated passer despite his low assist numbers.
Improvement Areas Offense
Lack of Burst/ Aggression – The biggest knock on offense for Bey is his lack of athleticism paired with his lack of aggression. The two seem to go hand-in-hand. While he has a modern shot chart, sometimes he settles for a no man’s land midrange look. He slows the game down, which isn’t necessarily bad, but at times, he fails to attack the rim to completion. Shies away from contact rather than going straight up. Uses angles rather than finishing through contact.
Clunky Footwork – Looks lost at times when he puts his head down with his spin move. Despite natural tendencies as a former guard, his handle on spin move isn’t fully perfected, and sometimes he finds himself spinning a bit too much, resulting in an off-balance shot around the rim. Fails to gain much ground off the catch due to lack of burst.
Early Clock Contested Three-Pointers – While Bey is usually calculated and plays within himself, he occasionally takes the heat-check, contested, three-pointer in transition.
Defensive Versatility – Despite his lack of explosion, Bey does a good job guarding quick guards as he ranked in the 76th percentile in isolation. Smart closeouts, good at not fouling or biting on up fakes as he ranks 86th percentile defending spot-ups. He played the majority of his time as a stretch four but usually guarded the 1-3 spots. His rebounding numbers fell a bit this year, but a lot of that has to do with his defensive assignment, which primarily matches the lead guard. Bey fails to collect a large volume of stocks (steals + blocks), but he’s the type of defender who usually forces turnovers, given his heavy defensive load.
Defensive IQ – Understands when to tag the role man and appears to be a clear communicator on the perimeter. As a one-on-one defender, when he keeps his man in front of him, he forces many low-percentage, long contested two-pointers. He ranked in the 85th percentile when guarding off the dribble jump shots as a large percentage of these shots were long two’s. Despite his lack of stocks, he is an analytically efficient defender.
Improvement Areas Defense
Playing Catchup/ Lateral Movement – Similar to his issues on offense, Bey has issues with his lateral quickness. Notably, he struggled when guarding the ball handler in the pick & roll action where he ranked in the 17th percentile, as teams took advantage of this deficit. His assignment is easily able to keep him on his hip when they turn the corner after the screen.
Defensive Athleticism – While he defended the post exceptionally well with limited possessions, his struggles with his strength guarding the college center are apparent. While his role wasn’t necessarily always guarding the four/five, he may be limited to defending just the NBA level two/three, given his lack of elite foot speed and interior strength. Bey also needs to work on anticipation skills as he is constantly behind when his opponent drives off a catch.
On paper, Saddiq Bey is one of the most decorated prospects in this draft class. He was the winner of the Julius Erving Award which included past players Rui Hachimura, Mikal Bridges, and Josh Hart, an award dedicated to college basketball’s best small forward, Bey may be considered the most NBA ready wing. He was one of three unanimous choices, and only non-senior named to the All-Big East First Team. Bey was also one of the 20 college players named a finalist for the John Wooden Award. During his sophomore season, Bey stepped into the primary offensive option on a successful Villanova Team. He increased both his volume and shooting efficiency from beyond the arc. Bey may be considered the most NBA ready wing in this draft given his height and ability to knock down contested NBA three-pointers. Dubbed as a low ceiling, extremely high floor player, Bey will most certainly provide an instant impact given his malleable skillset on both sides of the ball.