KSR’s Kentucky Basketball Open Scrimmage Scouting Report

The Kentucky males’s basketball crew is about to go to the Bahamas for a four-game exhibition tour beginning subsequent week. There, the Wildcats are set to tackle two nationwide groups (Dominican Republic U22 and Bahamas), a highly-regarded Canadian school crew (Carleton University) and an expert crew from Mexico (Monterey Tech).

Before then, although, the crew participated in an intrasquad open scrimmage at Rupp Arena on Tuesday as a part of the Kentucky Flood Relief Telethon.

It was a 20-minute full-contact five-on-five scrimmage, one which featured the complete 2022-23 roster excluding Lance Ware (injured) and Ugonna Kingsley Onyenso (arriving on campus August 20).

How did the Wildcats look? KSR was on-site for the open follow, after which acquired just a few additional viewings in watching the occasion replay, courtesy of the official KSR YouTube web page. Check out the player-by-player breakdown beneath:

Jacob Toppin

After backing up Keion Brooks Jr. for 2 seasons, Jacob Toppin is enjoying with confidence and freedom for the primary time in his profession, a model new participant. The anticipated starter on the 4 spot, the senior ahead placed on a present offensively, ending robust across the rim, flattening 3-point jumpers — 4 to be precise — and exhibiting off contact within the mid-range. He was in assault mode on each contact, driving with function and seeking to rating. As a shooter, he confirmed off a assured stroke as a path man and on catch-and-shoot seems to be from the nook, firing with zero hesitation. The spotlight performs have been additionally there, together with his greatest being a ferocious windmill dunk in transition.

Standing 6-foot-10, Toppin brings a singular mixture of measurement, size and athleticism to the desk. The talent, although, hadn’t caught up with the bodily instruments, leaving him as a long-term potential piece.

Now, it seems he is prepared to show that potential into actual manufacturing.

Individual highlights:

  • Ripped via from the left wing, drove at Oscar Tshiebwe within the center for a tender end on the rim
  • Catch-and-shoot 3-pointer because the path man from the highest of the important thing
  • Beat his man off the dribble on the wing, straight line drive to the basket for a robust end on the rim
  • Windmill dunk in transition off a CJ Fredrick cross-court move
  • Helpside block resembling a volleyball spike on a robust take to the basket from Adou Thiero
  • Tough floater via contact on a right-side drive
  • Face-up on the left baseline, fadeaway with a hand in his face from Chris Livingston. Drilled it. Next possession down, catch-and-shoot look from the left nook
  • Catch-and-shoot three from the left nook with a hand in his face from Antonio Reeves
  • Catch-and-shoot three in transition from the left nook
  • Defense collapses on a drive to the basket, crisp move out to the perimeter for a clear look from three

Antonio Reeves

The Illinois State switch may be very comfy in isolation as an on-ball initiator, seeking to break down defenders to arrange clear seems to be in any respect three ranges. He’ll use mixture dribble strikes to get the protection off-balance earlier than attacking with both hand, utilizing his excessive basketball IQ and really feel to create straightforward ending alternatives across the basket. He’s a score-first guard able to getting you a bucket when vital, an incredible luxurious to have.

Any considerations concerning Reeves’ lack of ability to regulate from the Missouri Valley to the SEC have been put to relaxation on Tuesday.

Individual highlights:

  • Went coast-to-coast off a rebound, hitting a hesitation crossover transfer in transition to arrange a clean end on the basket
  • Guarded by Sahvir Wheeler in an isolation alternative, Reeves danced forwards and backwards on the suitable wing earlier than ripping via on a crossover to the left, establishing an and-one end on the rim. His greatest spotlight of the evening
  • Attacked off the dribble from the suitable nook, reduce via the lane for a tender left-handed end on the rim
  • Strong block on Sahvir Wheeler on the rim earlier than going coast-to-coast for a drop-off to Oscar Tshiebwe for a dunk

CJ Fredrick

Coming off a season-ending hamstring harm in 2021-22, Fredrick moved properly within the five-on-five scrimmage, comfy going baseline to baseline, coming off screens and operating the dribble drive. He’s a quick-trigger catch-and-shoot specialist who wasn’t afraid to let it fly, hitting his justifiable share. Of the pictures he missed, they rimmed out. Kentucky will proceed to take issues sluggish with Fredrick, however his function on this crew is obvious: make pictures.

Individual highlights:

  • Guarding out on the perimeter, he denied a clear look from Adou Thiero. Solid defensive cease
  • Smooth floater within the paint on a drive from the left wing
  • Stepback three from the left nook with Jacob Toppin’s hand in his face. Immediately adopted it up with a deflection out of bounds on the opposite finish

Cason Wallace

The five-star freshman confirmed he was comfy initiating the offense, enjoying with unbelievable persistence and understanding tempo. He’s hardly ever rushed with the ball in his fingers. Wallace appeared to all the time discover himself in the suitable place on the proper time for scoring alternatives each within the half-court and in transition. Smooth jumper that fell each in capturing drills and within the scrimmage.

Defensively, Wallace was engaged and seemed to provide you with deflections and steals. He swarmed ball handlers and located methods to poke balls unfastened.

He is probably not the flashiest participant on the ground, however the freshman guard merely produces on each ends.

Individual highlights:

  • Recovers a foul move, steps right into a clean 3-pointer from the suitable wing. Nothing however internet on a fast launch
  • Contested and blocked a robust end on the rim by Chris Livingston
  • Quick leap for a one-handed punch on a dump-off from Daimion Collins
  • Tipped one ball out of bounds, then acquired one other on an Oscar Tshiebwe catch within the paint, resulting in a transition bucket for Sahvir Wheeler on the different finish
  • Closed out the scrimmage with a stepback three off a dribble hand-off from Jacob Toppin, knocking it down in Oscar Tshiebwe’s face on the buzzer

Daimion Collins

Another high-potential participant for the Wildcats, Collins seemed higher on tape than I remembered seeing reside. The sophomore ahead seemed to point out off his face-up sport, taking (and making) a number of jumpers from the mid-range and three. At one level, he grabbed a rebound, introduced the ball up the ground and crossed over right into a free-throw line fadeaway jumper. The shot rolled out, however he was comfy and assured in his launch. The hesitation we noticed from Collins in 12 months one has slowly begun to fade.

Don’t neglect concerning the athleticism, both. He had one windmill dunk in transition and some different drive-and-slams, together with just a few robust blocks and contests on the rim on the opposite finish.

While his bodily development is obvious, Collins nonetheless acquired pushed round within the put up and struggled to complete via contact. He might want to proceed so as to add weight within the coming months main as much as the season.

Individual highlights:

  • Stepback jumper from the suitable elbow, high-arching shot with tender contact
  • Fake dribble hand-off units up a clear look from the left wing, clean launch and end for the 3-pointer
  • Windmill dunk in transition
  • Got Oscar Tshiebwe to chew on a pump-fake from the suitable elbow and drove for a head-above-rim slam.
  • Reached again to catch a lob from Sahvir Wheeler, nonetheless managed to complete with a tender contact on the rim.
  • Hit Chris Livingston with a pump pretend to get him off-balance, drove baseline for a robust dunk on the rim, then blocked the freshman’s layup try on the opposite finish

Chris Livingston

At 6-foot-7, 225 kilos, the freshman ahead confirmed off his versatility, splitting his time on the three and 4 — primarily as a fourth guard. He seemed to guide the cost off a rebound, comfy bringing the ball up the ground to provoke the offense. As a scorer, he knocked down one 3-pointer, however largely acquired his factors on straightforward seems to be across the rim. Known for getting downhill and utilizing his mixture of power and athleticism to attain, Livingston did not assault off the dribble as typically as you would like.

Individual highlights:

  • Hit a catch-and-shoot three from the left nook
  • Saw one drive from the left wing, beating Toppin off the dribble for a simple end on the rim.
  • Waiting within the dunker’s spot on a dump-off from Fredrick, completed on the double-clutch lay-in round Toppin
  • Finished on one other dunk on the rim on a glance forward from Tshiebwe
  • Hit Tshiebwe on a backdoor reduce for a left-handed end on the rim

Oscar Tshiebwe

It was a lot of the identical for the reigning National Player of the Year. Tshiebwe scored on a number of clean-up buckets across the rim whereas hitting the occasional mid-range jumper. He seemed to drive from the highest of the important thing for robust dunks and lay-ins, one thing we did not see a lot of final season. The 6-foot-9 middle additionally knocked down a 3-point jumper and wasn’t afraid to take just a few extra, incomes cheers from the gang.

Individual highlights:

  • Breakaway dunk off a steal in transition
  • Left shoulder leap hook over Livingston, no hesitation.
  • Right nook 3-pointer
  • Fake dribble hand-off, drive and dunk

Sahvir Wheeler

Like Tshiebwe, Wheeler did what he does greatest. Got paint touches and artful passes to arrange straightforward buckets for his teammates. Knocked down one 3-pointer from the highest of the important thing, but in addition missed on just a few open seems to be. Very spectacular finishes on the basket via contact and round size. Looked to push the tempo and create transition alternatives. Carved his method via defenders for spectacular finishes.

Individual highlights:

  • Double crossover and spin transfer on the baseline results in up-and-under reverse lay-in
  • 3-pointer off a set display from the highest of the important thing
  • Left-handed end via contact on the basket
  • Scoop shot on the rim in transition

Adou Thiero

The freshman guard was restricted for undisclosed causes, sitting out the second half of the scrimmage. During his time on the ground, although, Thiero was disruptive on the defensive finish of the ground, developing with just a few deflections and a monster block on the rim. He seemed to make use of his lengthy strides to get paint touches, however was unable to place any factors on the board.

The flashes have been there, particularly on protection. As he continues to develop and discover his id as a school basketball participant, the potential is there.

Individual highlights:

  • Strong block on a baseline lay-in try from Fredrick, ripped it cleanly from behind with drive

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