• James Bouknight is an effortless scoring guard with the ball on a string who emerged as one of the most dynamic scoring guards in the country as a sophomore while leading Connecticut to an NCAA Tournament berth. Widely regarded as a top-60 prospect in the high school class of 2019 after his senior year at The MacDuffie School (MA), Bouknight emerged as a key contributor for Head Coach Dan Hurley as a true freshman averaging 13 points per game. Fighting through injuries as a sophomore, Bouknight nonetheless had a breakout year averaging 18.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game to earn All-Big East 1st Team honors and lift the Huskies to their first postseason appearance since 2016.
• Listed at 6’5 with a wiry 190-pound frame to go along with good length and tremendous explosiveness, Bouknight has terrific physical tools for a shooting guard.
• A prolific shot creator who scored in a variety of ways as the Huskies’ clear-cut first-option last season, Bouknight’s ability to create separation changing speeds, rise into his pull-up jumper, and finish emphatically around the rim allowed him to score in bunches when his shot was falling. Looking more confident from beyond the arc as the year wore on, he had some ups and downs in terms of consistency but ranked among the most dynamic guards in the college game last season.
• A capable defender who was more aggressive sometimes than others as a sophomore, Bouknight is not the most physical stopper, but did a nice job using his quickness and length to contain the ball and get a hand up on shooters when he was dialed in last season.
• Creating nearly a third of his possessions out of ball screens or isolations but finding another quarter via hand offs and off screens, Bouknight not only had the freedom to create his own shot but was also the target of many of the Huskies’ designed actions on the perimeter last season.
• Despite that, he did his best work around the rim averaging 1.37 points per shot around the rim in the half court [86th percentile]. Showing the ability to change speeds, get downhill, and finish creatively at the rim, Bouknight was exceptionally efficient around the rim last season. Some of that can be traced to his ability to finish designed lobs and instincts hunting put back dunks, but he did a nice job picking and choose his spots attacking the rim as well.
• Scoring 0.83 points per pull-up jump shot in the half court [59th percentile], Bouknight showed the ability to get to his jump shot in a variety of ways covering a lot of ground with his step back in particular. Using the threat of his first step to keep defenders off balance, he scored in bunches when he found his range on the perimeter but ran hot and cold from the perimeter for extended stretches as a sophomore.
• Averaging 0.62 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [11th percentile], Bouknight has room to grow as a floor spacer as he found very mixed results in limited attempts operating off the ball. He also has room to evolve as a passer. As well as he can manipulate defenders to create his own shot, he is still learning how to make plays for others—particularly out ball screens.
• Ranked 1st in the Big East in isolation scoring (1.9 points per game)
• Ranked 2nd in the Big East in hand off scoring (1.7 points per game)
•Ranked 5th in the Big East in transition scoring (3.7 points per game)
• Ranked 5th in the Big East in off screen scoring (1.5 points per game)
• Bouknight is a capable defensive player whose length and quickness helped him hold his own on the perimeter for stretches last season. He allowed 0.69 points per Isolation possession [56th percentile] as a sophomore, holding up pretty well at the point of attack.
• Rotating with a more of a sense of urgency sometimes than others, Bouknight had some encouraging defensive efforts late in the year as the Huskies clawed their way off the NCAA Tournament bubble.
— Profile by Synergy Sports