With the Holiday Season and the fact that the NCAA season is well under way, we wanted to begin digging into some prospects that we highly feel have relevance with the way the game is being played today.
E.J. Liddell’s journey so far as a Junior at Ohio State has been nothing the less of a solid player development in our perspective. We wanted to highlight a few points as well as share 2 key areas of improvements (AOIs) as we are dubbing the term from here on out.
Check out this short 5 min. Highlight on Liddell:
HeatMap of his last 5 games played:
Player Comparisons to keep in mind:
Some key statistical insights across the last 10 games played and averaged:
A key note we want to share with Liddell’s game play is that while he does fall under a low USG% player as a skilled forward (dubbed by Eric Stang in the 3rd edition of his book titled Scouting Techniques) a point that does stick out is that defensively he is a very active player. Averaging 3,7 blocks across the level of opponents that Ohio so far has faced is no easy feat!
Opponent Shot Defense (Contested Shots forced to miss)
Key to His Game – PostUp Versatility:
AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT (AOIs):
An area that Liddell can for certain can do much better in is making sure he covers this style of play whenever he is on court.
Pick and Roll (Ball Handler) Defense:
Like the level of foot work and dedication to reading the screens defensively knowing when to sag and when to hedge are important to figure out early on. As a distinctive insight for a skilled forward on defense being able to navigate how to persistently make sure that a shooter or ball handler can be steered towards what the team or defensive player is going to allow in college and transitioning to the pro game is vital.
We overall like Liddell as one of the top juniors playing forward, Measured 6’5.5” barefoot, 6’7.0” in shoes 8’10.0” standing reach, 242.8 lbs, and 6’11.75” wingspan at the 2021 NBA Draft Combine.
Physically in the NBA he reminds us of an early active Blake Griffin (fresh out of college LA Clippers) with a pinch of the 90s Larry Johnson mixed in.
With two key AOIs to resolve we strongly feel Liddell stands a solid chance to make a jump to the NBA but further than that, given the punch he has, potential Euroleague, as well as German BBL or Turkish BSL type leagues could be solid options for him to consider if it comes to that.