An NBA scout’s take: Breakdowns on Ferrell, Bryant and Williams

  • 03/31/2016 10:35 am in

Earlier in the week, Inside the Hall had a chance to speak in-depth with an NBA scout regarding the three Hoosiers who could be involved in the 2016 draft: Yogi Ferrell, Thomas Bryant and Troy Williams.

Here’s a breakdown of each player from a scout’s perspective, who spoke with Inside the Hall on the condition of anonymity.

Thomas Bryant

General thoughts from an NBA scout

“Everybody really just loves his energy and competitiveness. He runs the floor a little bit better than you’d assume just because of the stiffness in his body, which is your main concern. I think that’s the one thing that there is some concern about out there and how much can you improve that as he grows and works with strength training and conditioning.

Obviously he can shoot it from outside. He isn’t the bounciest player, but he’s pretty crafty around the rim. His main asset is that he just plays really hard and that he’s got a jump shot. I think the concern is: Can he move laterally? Can he play pick and roll defense? And he’s not really a shot blocker in the NBA, so what are you going to do with him on the other end?”

 Can he improve his stock with another year in college?

“I think he improves his stock by improving his mobility. That’ll be first and foremost. Getting more touches or averaging more points, I’m not sure if that answers any questions unless he develops something else to add to his skill set.”

Yogi Ferrell

General thoughts from an NBA scout

“I don’t think there was really a whole lot he could have done to improve his stock this season, per se, but I think it was great to see a kid finish out his college career on such a high note.

I think most people see him as a guy who has a chance to get drafted maybe somewhere late in the second round. And if he’s undrafted, he’s going to get a call really quick as far as getting an opportunity to play in summer league. I think he’s somebody that you’re going to see in a training camp. There will be teams who will be interested in him for a D-League squad to see if he can develop and become a NBA player.

I don’t foresee his route being an easy one, but I think he’s competitive and works hard enough that he’s a guy that can do it. If you look at the improvement of his shooting, I think it’s a testament to his ability to work.”

On the size issue and how it will affect how teams view him

“He’s going to need to be able to create space and knock down shots. Those are the two most important things. Being able to make those reactions quickly as far as getting a pass off or getting a shot off before he gets swarmed by NBA size. That’s how shorter guys are able to make it and that’s what they excel at. Creating space and using their bodies.”

Troy Williams

General thoughts from an NBA scout

“Troy is a really polarizing player right now. I think if you talk to 10 scouts or 10 front office guys, I think you’ll get a 5-5 split or a 6-4 split on him.

I think there are some that, you’ll talk to them and think he really hasn’t improved much and some people that think he made huge strides this season.

If you take him away from the things that he doesn’t do well and put him in the position to do the things that he does do well, he probably has an opportunity to look a little better than he did at times at Indiana. He’s really going to need to improve his jump shot and decision making to be a wing player, transition or three-and-d type role player.”

On whether he could benefit from coming back to school

“With Yogi gone, that just means he’s going to be handling the ball more. And I think the more he handles the ball, the worse he looks. If I’m him, Yogi’s gone, so I have to go.”

On where each guy could potentially land in the draft

“Troy could go literally anywhere from the end of the first round to the end of the second round. It wouldn’t shock me, if you look at past drafts where guys are willing to take stabs at athletes, it wouldn’t shock me to see someone take a stab at him as early as the late first. I think he gets taken before the middle of the second.

Yogi, I think is undrafted.

Thomas, I could see him going anywhere from 20 to the 45 range. That’s pretty broad. Probably more towards the early 30s. A lot of teams seem to really like him.”

Filed to:

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Heidl, Dunn, Ulis, Yogi. Sorry for the delay in response.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    By the way Troy and Thomas are not done yet.

  • HoosierDom

    Even without the money is the NBA lifestyle somehow bad? Worse than college? It might be, I don’t know, but at worst it seems pretty good. You spend your days playing basketball with the best players/coaches in the world and you travel the country as you do it and 20,000 people come out to see you do it.

  • Crimson&CremeFraiche

    Must be a Cavs, Knicks, or Lakers scout. I don’t think Brad Stevens and the Celtics will let Yogi slip through the second round. Teams like the Spurs, Warriors and Celtics will swoop him up if he’s not drafted, also. He can clearly create his own shot. If teams don’t think a consistent step back 3 point shot is valuable shot-creation then the NBA will continue to be terrible entertainment.

  • Mark Wilson

    Im the biggest I.U. fan in South Carolina, i would luv to see the Hornets draft Yogi to work with and behind Kemba Walker, so much traits of the sane players!

  • Great points.

  • Bud Jenkins

    Whether these are *exactly* the top 20 players in the NBA is arguable, however this is a decent sample and most people would agree the majority of these guys belong somewhere in the list

    Dirk Nowitzki -> 4yr DJK Würzburg
    Derrick Favours -> 1yr Georgia Tech
    Tim Duncan ——— 4yr Wake Forest
    Eric Bledsoe 1yr Kentucky
    Al Horford 3yr Florida
    DeMarcus Cousins 1yr Kentucky
    Paul Millsap 3yr Lousiana Tech
    James Harden 2yr Arizona St
    Jimmy Butler 3yr Marquette
    Chris Paul 2yr Wake Forest
    Blake Griffin 2yr Oklahoma
    Draymond Green 4yr Michigan St
    Paul George 2yr Fresno St
    Kyle Lowry 2yr Villanova
    Kevin Durant 1yr Texas
    Kawhi Leonard 2yr San Diego St
    Anthony Davis 1 yr Kentucky
    LeBron James —
    Russell Westbrook 2yr UCLA
    Stephen Curry 3yr Davidson

    Aside from a couple unicorns, do you see a trend? Achieving success in sports (or anything) at an elite level is a mental game. It is all in the head. How to achieve a superior mental edge? Make a splash in year one, learn to dominate in year 2.

  • Bud Jenkins

    I am not sure Jesus would see eye to eye with you on the subject of money…

  • CreamandCrimson

    Name one player that’s been a player under 6’2″ that has been the leader of an NBA championship team? Well…our very own Isiah Thomas is listed at 6’1″, I think he qualifies.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Being the fourth guard off the board would be a truly shocking development. Beyond the three you mentioned here are some guys that (as of now) appear highly likely to be selected ahead of Yogi: Jamaal Murray, Dejounte Murray (Washington), Malik Beasley (FSU), Malachi Richardson (Syracuse), Furkan Korkmaz (Turkey), Anthony “Cat” Barber (NC State), Caris Levert (listed as a SG), Denzel Valentine (listed as a SG), Demetrious Jackson (ND), Wade Baldwin (Vanderbilt), Damion Lee (Louisville), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Malcolm Brogdon (UVA)…there are more.

    I love Yogi’s game and what he did at IU and I would certainly take him on my team but the general consensus is that way more than three guards are ahead of him.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    And Isaiah Thomas was drafted with the last pick in the draft. He took that chip on his shoulder and parlayed it to become an All-Star. I agree execs are hesitant to take a smaller pg in the first round – mostly because the odds of an IT are much lower than the odds of a Shane Larkin, etc.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I believe Isaiah Thomas (from IU) was under 6’2″, and while Allen Iverson didn’t win one, he took Philly to the brink essentially single handedly.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Given that he is graduating, I just don’t see TW staying, especially if he anticipates getting drafted.

  • BL

    Sure he would; it’s his money.

  • BL

    ROFL. Jeez, old man’s mind turning to mush.

  • BL

    Yeah, Iverson was special. Still, I’d rather have a great one that has length like the Big O, West, Jordan, Bryant even Curry.

  • Stew

    I hope Troy & Thomas both stay, but if I had to pick one it would be Thomas all day everyday. I can’t take too many more unforced turnovers, and Troy is a turnover waiting to happen.

  • BL

    Bud, I believe what you’ll find with your list is that virtually every player that was projected to be a lottery pick after their freshman season, left early. Same thing with the sophomores.

  • TomJameson

    Ole Man, not picking on you, or anyone else for that matter, just a good spot to put my comment.

    After reading comments about Ulis, Jones, Burke, etc… I’m reminded about how much “love” they got from all the sports world, and the officiating. I think they got away with a lot because of their “superstar” status in college, plus they always seemed to draw a lot of fouls that weren’t always justified, IMO. All this led to an inflation in their stats AND their reputations.

    Yogi, on the other hand, didn’t seem to get that respect. I have never understood why officials, for the most part, would let him take such a pounding around the basket without calling a foul. Can you imagine Yogi’s stats if he could have added 6 to 10 points per game from free throws? I think the “love” would be there if that were the case. Of course, he would still be “just” 6 foot.

    I think Yogi will play in the NBA and do well. Some team will end up getting a very good deal!

  • TomJameson

    Money doesn’t make the world go around, money is the grease on the wheels that DO make the world go around.

  • TomJameson

    Hahahaha … American obsession with money. Forever, anytime you feel that your obsession with money is getting out of control, let me know. You can always donate it to the “Tom Jameson Retirement Fund”. LOL

  • TomJameson

    I agree Marcus. Newkirk is going to be more of a “true” point guard than Yogi was. I think he’ll be handling the ball more exclusively than Yogi did and not look for his own shot as much. But, by all accounts, Josh can drive the ball really well. We’ll see.

    Troy initiating the offense at the top of the key wasn’t the problem, it was the decision making about when, or whether, to give the ball up instead of just bulling his way through. Sounds like that’s what the scout was saying as well. With better decision making, Troy would be fantastic! I really would like to see Troy come back because I think we would see a LOT more of that side of him. But I think it’s a moot point because he’ll go if he gets drafted at all. Just my opinion.

    With Yogi leaving, Troy would still start the offense at times, just not as much. I think it would work out well for Troy to come back, but like I said, a moot point.

  • mckillio

    If you don’t make it in the NBA, there are plenty of places around the world willing to pay six figures for years to come.

  • JetpackJunky

    Part of it is they may not have seen all of the heart and will yet. NBA scouts have to follow a lot of players loosely while we follow fewer than 20 with a lot of depth. Preliminary impressions from scouts are very important to narrow down the field, but once you’re in the field and they start really examining your tape impressions will likely change.

    So, while I have no doubt the scouts have watched Yogi, I do doubt they’ve WATCHED him like we have (especially people on this site who care enough about IUBB to read about it and watch film breakdowns and stuff). Once he is in the mix, then all it takes is one team to see how special he is.

  • Indiana_Banners

    lol what a shifting argument. First, you said players got more personal development in college which is outrageously false. Now, you’re trying to prove that Tim Duncan’s 3rd year at Wake Forest has ANYTHING to do with what he is as a fully developed player in the twilight of his career. Give the credit to Wake Forest and not the 15+ years of coaching under Poppavich, I guess is your argument. I think that’s bunk.

    But it’s a non-sequitur besides, if your argument is that spending more time in college helps you acclimate better and get a better second deal, the proof would be that the top 20 players on rookie guaranteed deals is more heavily slanted towards guys that spent more than one year in college. But of course if you pull that list you’ll see the opposite. The best young players in the NBA are the most talented ones, who overwhelmingly only spent one year in college. College preparing kids for the NBA is a weak argument.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    No.Jackson, maybe. But the rest on your list will not be picked before Yogi.

  • Ole Man

    Excellent thoughts, Tom.

  • CreamandCrimson

    There’s no point in arguing with you over this because I don’t think this is being seen rationally but if you think that Yogi is getting drafted ahead of guys like Jamaal Murray, Dejounte Murray, Malik Beasley, Korkmaz or Richardson well…basically every piece of information you can find online or anywhere else disagrees with you. Guess we’ll find out definitively when it’s draft time, have a good one.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Take care.

  • Bud Jenkins

    huh? ?

  • Bud Jenkins

    I am sure that is true, but the data speaks for itself, very few guys that leave after one year reach the top of the league. Now there is an argument whether or not guys care or if they just want the cash. I think you’ll find most people with money, aren’t driven or defined by it (outside the sociopaths). Once needs are covered, and it really doesn’t take that much, money doesn’t bring more to the table, personal achievement, life satisfaction, etc take a front seat and one stops thinking about the money. What is it that they say, you know your wealthy when you stop thinking about money.

  • RDD#76

    I feel Troy won’t be back never said anything about Thomas I think he does come back to improve draft status and he sure seems to like the college game a really good kid. The Thon think just doesn’t feel right for some reason just a hunch AZ or Kansas.

  • BL

    Disregarding whether your list is complete or accurate, for me, the data simply confirms that a small percentage of freshman have the opportunity to be high first round picks. For example, Paul George wasn’t even on the board until after his sophomore season. Like most, as soon as he hit top 20, he jumped. I think a better list would be to look at the last 25 freshman lottery picks and determine how they’re doing now.

  • Hoosier89

    You have to be able to hit threes in today’s NBA to be truly valuable.

  • Indiana_Banners

    I’m SHOCKED that you have trouble with logic, shocked

  • Hoosier89

    Dribbles too high and far away from his body

  • Bud Jenkins

    wow

  • Bud Jenkins

    So all this to say… stay TB !!

  • Bud Jenkins

    amen !

  • 4EVERIU

    NBA scouts must have seen Yogi shoot 3’s last night at NCAA 3-point contest. He was runner-up and shot lights out!

  • BL

    Bingo! Rofl!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Take care. I didn’t mean to strike a nerve with my comments. I hated the Scouts statement about Yogi not proving anything by coming back.

  • RDD#76

    No I agree with you I feel Yogi’s game really improved this year got even stronger plus I never remember him in 4 years not playing because of injuries very impressive. The big thing is he got better as a leader and made his teammates better this year. Don’t think he will be 4th guard drafted but I do think he can make a roster not a Bulls fan but there bench guards are garbage.

  • ManovSteelo

    I think the eval on Bryant is spot-on; the ones on Yogi and Troy notsomuch. For both players, it’s all a mental thing — and for different reasons. Crean’s offense is not particularly NBA-friendly, because it mainly requires players to share the ball, look for 3s off good ball movement, and run. That’s fine for a few games, but to really win in the league, you have to play half-court basketball, with pick-and-rolls, dribble penetration, and feeds to the post. Not that Crean’s sets don’t do this, but it’s secondary in the system. Yogi should have been the second coming of Isiah, and instead wound up being a Mark Price-style jump shooter. He has more than enough speed and quickness to go one-on-one vs any defender and get to the rim, but I saw too many games of lots of threes, and twos, and the occasional lay up off a mismatch (if he happened to recognize it). Should have led the BIG in assists, but finishes fourth instead? Part of the problem was that he played off the ball too much, with others handling and getting the offense started. Will need to unlearn everything from IU and apprentice someone at the NBA level in order to have a chance as a backup, maybe. The Clippers would a good spot (if they somehow get a second-rounder; I know their pick situation is a mess). I think Yogi has borderline All-Star talent, but nowhere near the mentality to take advantage of it all. No problem at all with his size; his strength and speed/quickness offset his height. But his lack of understanding from the PG spot will kill him, in the long run. His ceiling is the Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas, another small guard with similar skills, and his floor is Earl Boykins, as an off-the bench sparkplug scorer. Up to Yogi who he wants to be like; so far he’s more the latter than the former.

    Which leads me to Troy: Lottery talent, D-League game. Is in LeBron’s class as an athlete (minus the strength), but is too undisciplined and selfish for his or the team’s good. No reason he should be handling the ball at all, save for a slash to the basket, and MAYBE in transition, but too many times I saw him bring the ball up and then go one-on-one for a terrible shot or drive. I don’t think he will figure it out as a senior, so maybe he should go. He would need to have a Denzel Valentine-type year to get some draft cred, and that’s not going to happen. Will likely kick around the league for a few before going overseas. Not a bad way to continue a career, but he should come back and graduate and THEN try his luck at the NBA — with a degree in hand.

  • ManovSteelo

    Um, CP3 is 6′, and he’s started since his ROOKIE YEAR. And you’re conflating / confusing lack of height directly with lack of NBA success. Tyus is too slow to be an NBA starter; if he had Yogi’s speed and quickness, he’d have been a Top-5 pick last year. Burke has gotten a raw deal in UTA, after having averaged over 12 ppg for his first two seasons (his is probably your best argument for height discrimination). Larkin just sucks, period, despite being a phenomenal athlete for his size. He just can’t play the NBA game. Ulis is more advanced as a PG than Yogi — which is what scouts like to see. His height and size is a detriment, but he can score and dish — both at the rim and from the field — which makes him very attractive to scouts. Yogi would have had to have gotten to the Final Four averaging the 20 and 10 he put up in the first round vs Chattanooga in order to have the draft shot that Ulis has (Ulis will be a first-rounder if he stays in the Draft). If Yogi can somehow change his game from what he did at IU, then, yes, he’s a steal — however he gains entrée to the league. But if he doesn’t, then that scout is probably right.

  • ForeverIU

    If you can do it without killing yourself, yes. But the kind of insane physicality and bodily abuse a short guy has to go through to get there is just insane. Plus, it’s not like basketball players, especially the quality players we get, will be jobless after they retire from the NBA. At the very least they’ll a decent job or some other income flow.

  • ForeverIU

    It’s not like basketball players, especially the all-around quality players we get, will be jobless after they retire from the NBA. At the very least they’ll have a decent job or some other income flow post-NBA.