Jalen Hood-Schifino is slated to go in the mid lottery, but with his size, ability to run pick and roll at a high level, and defensive ability, it’s looking like Hood-Schifino could be one of the biggest steals of this draft.
Hood-Schifino averages 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists while shooting 41.7% from the field and 33% from three. The numbers don’t jump off the page, but the eye test shows a player with great potential.
It’s likely that those numbers are the reason JHS isn’t getting more looks in the top ten, but a lot of teams may be kicking themselves in 6 months because JHS looks every bit the modern NBA guard with his incredible ability to score and pass in the pick and roll.
At 6’6” with a 6’10” wingspan, Hood-Schifino brings size at the guard position and should continue to impress scouts as they give him a closer look. It’s hard to find guards with those measurements doing the things that JHS does.
Already mentioned is Hood-Schifino’s size, but it’s his skill in the pick and roll that really jumps off the screen. Whether it’s pulling up in the mid-range or from three later in the season, Hood-Schifino will punish teams who go under the screen. But because JHS is a gifted passer in the PnR, he’ll also find the open man and make the right pass. It’s very hard to see this aspect of his game not transferring to the NBA. And the fact he’s doing it at 6’6”, it shouldn’t be long for JHS to be an impact NBA player.
On the defensive end, JHS is a good on-ball defender. He’s not at the elite level like Cason Wallace or Anthony Black, but his defense isn’t a negative, which makes him a very complete player coming into the league.
JHS isn’t an explosive athlete, and he isn’t going to blow by people to get to the rim. That lack of explosion likely keeps him from becoming an all-NBA player, but there’s also a world where his ability to run the PnR at such a high level might make it irrelevant. Regardless, because there’s a lack of explosion, it does limit the star power to some extent and likely contributes to him being a late-lottery prospect.
If JHS is still on the board when the Utah Jazz pick at 16, this is an easy one. JHS is a steal at 16, and it’s easy to see him being the point guard of the future the Jazz are looking for. If the Jazz get lucky and have someone like Cam Whitmore or Ausar Thompson fall to 9, if they could get JHS at 16, they’ll be coming out of the draft with two great prospects.