21 - Onyeka Okongwu

6-9, 235 Power Forward/Center
USC Freshman
12/11/00 (23 yrs)
Chino Hills, CA
High School
Chino Hills
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Post Skills

Player Comparison: John Collins/Montrezl Harrell

Strengths: Exceptional rim protector who can block shots in one-on-one match ups or erase looks in well-timed help defense … Relatively undersized NBA big man with great length to make up for his lack of height …Physical player in the post who uses his strength to get and keep good positioning down in the paint … Finishes with both hands in the paint and is comfortable moving to either side … Tremendous athleticism with spin moves down low or quick first step in the paint … Always seems to get to the rim without settling for jumpers … Just like Harrell, Okongwu is elite in the pick and roll game as he moves extremely effectively without the ball … Length and vertical set him apart as a great rebounder, particularly on the offensive glass … Gets to the line often and shoots efficiently at 74%, a promising sign for his offensive development  … Excellent FG shooting percentage at 61% … Stays out of foul trouble for the most part … Reads passes well with over a steal per game … All-around elite defender both inside and outside the paint … Off ball movement is what sets him apart from other big men in the conference … One of the highest potential players in the entire 2020 NBA Draft due to his elite play on both sides of the ball and great rebounding ability

Weaknesses: Must polish his offensive game as he can at times be too reliant upon his physical gifts in order to overpower and outclass opponents at the college level … Often relies on second chance opportunities after missing his first shot … Seems to be a little out of control at times in the paint … Underdeveloped outside shooting acumen will make him easier to stop at the next level initially … Loses track of fundamentals at points and releases hook shots too low … It’s questionable how effective he will be playing as a stretch four due to poor outside shooting making him a one-dimensional offensive player … While it is uncommon, he sometimes gets blown by but makes up for it with blocks from behind; something that may not work with faster, more physical/explosive NBA players … Poor ball-handling impacts limits his ability to create offense as a jump shooter …

Outlook: Projects as a lottery selection in 2020 NBA Draft … Has the ability to step into a starter role immediately because of his elite defense … If he fails to develop into more of a jump shooter, he will peak as an average starter in his career … Defensive ability should keep him in the league for a good amount of time … His best qualities would be brought out on a team with a great defensive center … A possible pairing with DeAndre Ayton in Phoenix would allow him time to develop offensively and create a suffocating defensive style with Ayton as a suffocating defensive partner. Booker’s offensive ability would also take pressure off of Okongwu as he develops his offensive game … Shot blocking prowess doesn’t always translate for smaller centers from NCAA to NBA …

Notes: True freshman at USC … 6’9, 245 pounds Power Forward with a reported 7’2 wingspan … Averages 16.4 PPG, 8.9 RPG, and 1.1 APG … 3 blocks and 1 steal per game defensively … Attended the same school as the Ball brothers (Chino Hills High School) …

Derek Bast 3/17/20

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