Jennings sets Jordan Brand Classic assists record with 14
Brandon Jennings again displayed his impressive passing skills on his way to setting the Jordan Brand Classic assists record with 14 as the Blue Team beat the White Team 124-114 on Saturday.
Playing with a group of great scorers, Jennings did a good job of setting up teammates and putting them in position to score with his passing.
Jennings wreaks havoc in transition by keeping the defense on its heels. His ability to score as well as locate open teammates causes the defense to have to honor Jennings as both a passer and scorer in transition.
If the defender takes too long to commit, Jennings will either find the open man streaking to the basket or blow by the defender on his way for a layin. He processed quickly on the break and usually made the correct decision.
Jennings sometimes runs into problems on his jump shot and has a tendency to become streaky. He can improve his jump-shooting consistency by exercising better shot selection and not settling for a fall-away 3 when he does not successfully get into the paint. Jennings also can increase his perimeter accuracy by finishing his shot as opposed to shooting the ball and quickly dropping his hands, which prohibits him from following through properly on his jumper.
In the few half-court sets in this game, Jennings did a nice job of running the pick-and-roll, quickly and correctly processing his options off the pick. When the defense allowed him to turn the corner, he made his move swiftly and either made the correct pass or drove to the basket for the layup.
As he makes the transition to college and ultimately the NBA, Jennings will have to continue to improve his ability to master the pick-and-roll, a staple of the NBA. As he goes on to college, he will have to alleviate his tendency to over-dribble as his teammates will have just as much scoring ability and will demand the ball. Jennings will make an impact instantly at Arizona in the point-guard friendly offense Lute Olson employs.
Tyreke Evans had a number of moments during the game when he demonstrated his impressive scoring ability. He often penetrated exceptionally well to the basket with his quick first step. He spent a lot of time bringing the ball up for his team, but he did not look to distribute much, preferring to look for angles toward the bucket.
Evans frequently performs a veteran-like move of pushing off defenders to create space when he penetrates, often deceiving officials into thinking that the defender has committed a foul when Evans really initiates the contact. He still has to become more efficient with the dribble and not over-dribble.
Evans did not look confident in his jumper and still needs to work out the mechanics on his shot. Improved jump shooting, more passing and better dribbling skills would make him very extremely difficult for any defense to handle.
When he does pass the ball, he rarely gives teammates the ball in position to score. He ends up giving the ball up as a last resort, usually when he gets caught in the air without a good shooting option. If he continues to handle the ball as a facilitator, he will have to improve his ball-handling, decision-making, and passing skills.
Antonio Williams is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. He previously worked as an NBA scout for Marty Blake Associates.