Spencer Pearlman continues our Knicks Film School Draft Watch with a breakdown of De’Andre Hunter’s game vs Coppin State.
I know this game was against Coppin State so there is not too much to read into, but I wanted to make a few quick notes on his game. When UVA’s schedule picks up a bit more, I plan on doing a more in depth report. For now, I’ll keep it short and sweet.
- Last year, Hunter’s shot was a major question mark. Even though it still is, we not only saw him hit 4 (!) catch and shoot threes, but also see him show more comfortability shooting off the dribble (1/3).
- He’s still not being used as an initiator, but he made some nice passes in tight places. I want to see more of UVA using him on ball, even if it is just for a play here and there, with Jerome off the ball. If Hunter is able to flash some passing throughout the season, with Jerome’s shooting, it could be another weapon.
- Continuing from the last bulletpoint, he also was not asked much to handle. He had two paint drives: one, leading to a foul; and the other, leading to an and-1 opportunity. Aside from that he was mainly just used in action setting up plays at the top of the key (DHOs, weaves, etc). His handle is pretty rudimentary at this point, and he doesn’t have great burst, so I’m not sure if this will be used much, if at all, this year. I will be keeping an eye out for flashes throughout the season, though.
- Hunter is very fundamentally sound. He gets in a pretty good stance and does not relax much, if at all, on the defensive end.
- He’s not super athletic, but he is still a plus athlete and moves well laterally.
- There should be a few clips above showing his closeouts, which I believe is something he does well. There might be a random slip up here and there, but he stays neutral in his stance, ready to contest, and ready to move either way.
- Knows how to position himself in help defense, helping from the weak side, cutting off passing lanes / driving lanes, and stunting to help throw a wrench in the PnR. In addition to his positioning, he also does a nice job getting back to his man. Again, he’s not a top tier athlete (although still a plus athlete) so he is not super quick getting out, but his length really helps him here.
- Hunter has a reported wingspan of 7’2, which could be longer. As I just mentioned, his length is a huge aid for him. Not in that it is a crutch, but he uses it really well on defense. Whether it’s cutting off lanes by keeping his hands out on a stunt or just playing the passing lanes here in an attempted DHO (you will see it in the clip), Hunter knows how to use his length.
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