Jarred Vanderbilt, USA, PF, Class of 2017, Kentucky, 18.0 Strengths
-Measured well for a modern four man at 6' 9 with a 7' 1 wingspan and an 8' 10 standing reach. Legs are twigs but his upper body has filled out really nicely.
-Fluid in the open floor. Can grab a rebound and ignite the break.
-Excellent instincts on the glass. Lifetime 14.5 rebounds per 40 minutes. Great timing. Crashes hard. Quick to the ball. Finished the Hoop Summit game with 10 rebounds in 19 minutes. Effective on both the offensive and defensive glass.
-Playmaking forward who's best in the open floor but also capable in the half court. Lifetime 4.0 assists per 40 minutes. High risk, high reward passer.
-Comfortable straight line slasher in the half court. Can attack a closeout.
-Instinctual defensively. Flashes of activity on and off the ball. 2.4 steals and 1.1 blocks per 40 minutes.
-Still a near non-shooter but has made a slight improvement to his shooting stroke.
-Swiss Army Knife type of forward who figures to impact the game in different ways in Lexington if he accepts his role. Thin lower body but can even play some small-ball five at the NCAA level if Coach Cal is willing to get creative.Weaknesses
-Very poor lower body. Focusing too much on his upper body and negating his lower body strength. Legs are twigs. Will have to really develop his base to guard fours, where he's best suited given some of his scoring limitations.
-Fluid athlete but not a freak leaper, largely due to his weak base.
-Very limited perimeter shooter. Lifetime 20.9% from three (67 attempts) and 43.8% from the free throw line (249 attempts). Big hitch at the top of his release. Ball doesn't come out smoothly. Doesn't have the best feel for who he is as a player. Will hoist up contested jumpers early in the clock after making one jumper.
-Sped up in closeout situations. Can be a bit wild putting it on the deck. Lack of consistency from the perimeter a primary culprit.
-Struggles making shots from the perimeter really handicap him as a scorer in the half court. Defenders are able to sag off. Not a threat to pull up off the bounce. Really best as a slashing, playmaking 4 at the college level, but likely to be asked to play quite a bit of 3 at Kentucky due to their existing personnel.
-Touch around the rim is quite limited. Very left handed.
-Sometimes a flash over substance passer. Can be a bit turnover prone.
-Defensive effort and motor come and go. Tends to let up when things aren't going his way. Doesn't always sprint back on defense.Outlook
Vanderbilt showed both his versatility and limitations all week in Portland, capped by a strong 19-point, 10-rebound, 3-assist, 2-steal, 2-block performance in 19 minutes in the Moda Center. Vanderbilt's shooting struggles still really cap his overall upside, and his lack of lower body strength ding his intrigue as a mismatch PF at the NBA level, but his rebounding instincts, flashes of defensive activity, playmaking, and straight line slashing at 6' 9 make him a very unique prospect to evaluate, especially should he figure out how to shoot. Vanderbilt's rebounding and activity will help him get on the floor early on at Kentucky, but he'll have to find some semblance of shooting and half court scoring to be considered a more serious NBA prospect.