2011 Scouting Reports: Brandon Knight

As the play-by-play voice of the Utah Jazz and host of "Locked On Sports" on 1320 KFAN, David Locke is no stranger to the NBA. Join him as his scouts the top 2011 NBA Draft prospects. This is the place to find David's pure, unedited Jazz draft insight.

BRANDON KNIGHT
Specifics: 6’3” 177 lbs
Birthdate: December 2, 1991
Numbers:

17.3 ppg, 4.2 asg, 4 rpg

Game Scouted: Kentucky v. Washington, Kentucky v. Tennessee, Kentucky v. UConn

BACKGROUND

Knight played one year at Kentucky. To call that single year a transition is an understatement. Brandon went to a smaller, intensively academic school in Florida where he was “the man” and moved to Kentucky, which had lost 5 players to the NBA, and he was asked to play the point guard and lead the team. He struggled to start the year, averaging nearly 5 turnovers per game early on. Later, he hit his stride, ending the year on a high by taking Kentucky to the Final Four, hitting two game winners along and boasting a 30-point game along the way. Brandon saw it all in his first year as the season progressed, since teams keyed on him trying to take his game away.

OVERALL

Brandon Knight gets it – he knows how to play the game. He is above the curve in understanding his strengths and weaknesses. He has good size for a point guard, not insanely athletic but enough to make most of the plays in the game. He sees the floor well, but his shot will need to improve in the NBA. Brandon plays the game hard while exhibiting terrific leadership.

He has already developed a mid-range game and floater, in order to deal with his inability to get over the defense and on top of the rim. Brandon plays very well off baseline screens and into a side pick-and-roll. Questions remain about his point guard instincts, athleticism, and ball handling skills. His overall point guard skills are fine – his athleticism won’t wow you, but it also won’t impede his progress. He does need to tighten up his handling.

Brandon uses all the tricks to get himself free and avoid defenders, including hesitation, changing speeds, and the rush-and-stop. Once again, he won’t blow anyone away with unabashed athleticism.

On the whole, he has a terrific core and understanding of the game for a 19-year-old. If he develops as you would expect, he will have a tremendous NBA career. Put simply, the kid wins.

QUICK SYNOPSIS
Solid NBA starting point guard whose projection will depend on how his body evolves. Will he be a 6’3 200-pound point guard or a 6’3 177-pounder? Won’t wow you with power and athleticism like Westbrook nor does he possess speed like Rose, but Brandon should be able to hold his own every night in the NBA. He is still developing and is still a few years away from averaging 35 minutes a night. Teams can definitely win with him at the point.

OFFENSE
Overall:

Good pick-and-roll point guard especially from the wing. A decent shooter who gets his team into the offense. He has terrific control of his club.

Moving w/o the ball:

Fabulous understanding of how to use picks and get open. Kentucky used him a great deal coming off the baseline to initiate the offense from the wing, something the Jazz do as well. He understands angles and frees himself from defenders very well.

Isolation Game:

Not a “break you down and beat you 1-on-1” point guard. Finds the gaps to get his shot off, but he is not going to beat you and overpower you.

Handle: Needs to tighten, but is adequate.
Pick and Roll: Kentucky runs a lot of pick-and-roll. Does a nice job waiting for the pick and subsequently getting open. Passes well off-the-dribble but needs to develop passing deeper in the paint.
Shooting:

Base of his jump shot is very good. Brings the shot up from his waste in a delivery that looks like it takes too long. Shot has too much time for something to go wrong, however Brandon is able to get the shot off in tight windows. He has to be a craftsman in the paint with floaters, stop-and-pops and banks because he is not finishing at the rim.

Rebounding

Doesn’t do a lot but is willing to battle.

Passing:

Sees the floor but nothing exquisite. He does make the right play more often than not. Needs to become better off-the-dribble and deep in the paint. Off the pick-and-roll, he does a nice job with the pocket pass and he understands where to go based on defensive action. Brandon reacts based on the defense rather than by forcing the play himself.

Poise: Well beyond his years.
Understanding: Terrific. Uses picks nicely and can score. Plays the game with terrific leadership.
DEFENSE
Overall:

Moves his feet well and plays very long. He is not very strong so he gets buried on picks. Brandon does put out effort most of the time.

On-Floor Defense:

Slides his feet and doesn’t play with his hands. Not able to play with his body.

Help Defense: Is aware of surroundings and makes nice help plays.
Pick and Roll D:

Gets caught on picks due to lack of size.

Rebounding: Not very involved.
SKILLS
Hands: Nothing spectacular.
Balance:

Strength needs to improve so he can take hits when driving to the basket.

Plays Hard: Battles and plays the game with a level of smarts.
Feet: Good balance.
Pressure:

Willing to be in the spotlight for big moments, especially for a young player. He was the clear leader for Kentucky.

Attitude: Big game player. The bigger the game, the bigger the moment, he made the plays.
PROJECTIONS
Best Case Scenario: Chauncey Billups – if gains the weight.
Likely Scenario: Mike Conley – but a better shooter.
Worst Case Scenario: Eric Maynor
VIDEO
Breakdown of Brandon Knight courtesy of Locked on Jazz
Brandon Knight Game Breakdown courtesy of Locked on Jazz
Brandon Knight Video #1 courtesy of Locked on Jazz
Brandon Knight Scoring at Will courtesy of Hoopmixtape
Brandon Knight courtesy of GoogSports
MORE SCOUTING REPORTS
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