Player Analysis – Jaylen Adams

Player Analysis – Jaylen Adams by Amit Tailor

This article was originally featured on BasketballOutliers.Blogspot.com. Make sure to follow @bballoutliers on twitter!!!

Today we’ll focus on a little guard from a little university. I guess it’s not so little because Adrian Wojnarowski does a great job of making Saint Bonaventure a national commodity. Jaylen Adams, a rising junior guard from St. Bonaventure, had himself a strong campaign in 15-16. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until an A10 coach mentioned his name to me that I was aware of who this guy is, but after watching Adams it’s easy to fall in love with him.

So let’s start with the obvious measurable stuff. Adams took a major leap in scoring from his debut campaign in 2014-15, from 10 points per game to almost 18. Not only did we see a jump in scoring, but also a jump in shooting percentages. Overall, we saw an increase in FG%age from 39% to 45% and a huge jump in 3FG% from 32% to 43%. What was impressive to me, especially with his increase in 3FG%age was how many off dribble 3’s he took and made. As we know, off dribble 3’s are way harder than catch and shoot 3’s (unless you’re Steph Curry).

For all the scoring Adams is responsible for, he also rebounds well for a point guard at 4 per game. Not to mention his creating ability at 5 assists per game and an assist rate of nearly 25%! The other major measurable that bodes well for Adams and the Bonnies next year is that he gets to the free throw line a ton. His individual FTRate was over 50%, and he shot 175 FT’s on the season to go along with his shooting prowess.

I think another overlooked point with Adams is that he may have been the third option on a pretty good Bonnies team this season. Per kenpom.com, he played 90% of available minutes and a 22.9% possession usage. Combine this with the fact that he didn’t take the most shots on his team (he was third behind Marcus Posley and Dion Wright), he still managed to post the highest individual offensive rating on a really good Bonnies team (122.2 points per 100 possessions). The Bonnies will be a little different next year with the departures of Posley and Wright. This could be a great chance for Jaylen Adams to jump into the limelight as one of the top scorers in the country.

There is a lot being made of the incoming 2016 freshman class with the likes of Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson, Harry Giles, and Terrance Ferguson, but let’s not forget about the little engines that make teams go. The A10 has become a great league to watch and it’s unfortunate that their games aren’t always on ESPN networks. For those of us who have Synergy accounts and access to CBS Sports Network, it’s easy for us to follow the teams and identify players like Adams.

I’ll quickly highlight strengths and then please enjoy the film and shot chart!
1) Scoring prowess – Adams is a scorer. He does it in a variety of ways, with PNR, both shooting out of coverage and getting downhill to the rim and FT line. He has deep range and no shortage of confidence to let it fly. 12 games of scoring 20+ points and 3 30+ point games in 15-16.
2) Athleticism – don’t let the size fool you. He is a good athlete for his position. As you’ll see in the film, he will get up and dunk it comfortably and make some really athletic finishes at the rim when not dunking.
3) Big shot maker – Adams is not afraid to take the big shots in big moments. He’s made some shots late in games at Dayton (really hard place to play) and a buzzer beater at Saint Louis. This guy is a competitor and will never back down from the magnitude of the moment or game.

Looking at his shot chart, it looks like he plays favorites with the right side of the floor with more attempts and a higher shooting percentage. Also finishes reasonably well around the rim, but not quite as well as Jared Brownridge and DJ Balentine (the other 2 college guards that have made this blog so far).

Strengths:
– 3 point shooter with deep range and a ton of confidence – both off dribble and catch and shoot
– Sneaky athlete
– Can finish with both hands at the rim
– Big shot maker
– Can play both on and off the ball

Weaknesses:
– Size – depending on where you look, listed at 6’1″ or 6’2″ – athleticism will make up for this
– How good is he defensively? Anyone can chime in here, I haven’t seen enough film of him defensively.

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