Versatile forward with a strong frame, great feel, and increasingly reliable jump shot who ranked as perhaps the most pleasant surprise among up-transfers this season for Wake Forest.
About Jake LaRavia
Jake LaRavia is a strong, versatile forward whose improvement as a shooter and passer stood out as he transitioned from the mid-major level to the ACC with relative ease. A lightly regarded prospect with limited Division I interest following his senior year at Lawrence Central High School (IN), the Indianapolis native ultimately landed at Indiana State where he averaged 9.7 points and 6 rebounds per game as a true freshman. Carving out a larger role as a sophomore to earn All-Missouri Valley second team honors, LaRavia subsequently transferred to Wake Forest to play for Head Coach Steve Forbes. Emerging as one of the more productive all-around forwards in the ACC, the 20-year-old averaged 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1 block over 34.2 minutes per game to earn All-ACC second team honors while establishing himself as an NBA prospect.
• Measured standing 6’8 in shoes with a solid 227-pound frame and a 6’9.5 wingspan, LaRavia lacks great length but is a strong athlete who can finish well-placed lobs in space.
• Filling in a lot of blanks for Wake Forest, LaRavia contributed with his improved jump shot, ability to create for himself and others off the dribble exploiting mismatches, and knack for finishing opportunistically around the rim. Scoring in bunches and generating shots for teammates prolifically some nights but having some quiet games as well, the junior never forced much–part of the reason he ranked among the most efficient offensive players in the ACC. While he had an impressive year emerging from relative obscurity from an NBA perspective, LaRavia still has room to become a more prolific shooter and continue developing his floor game.
• LaRavia’s lack of length and great lateral quickness played against him in some matchups defensively, but he still made disruptive plays on instincts and often compensated against more athletic forwards with multiple efforts and physicality.
• Playing a somewhat unique role doing a little of absolutely everything at some point as a junior, LaRavia’s instincts, strength, unselfishness, and budding perimeter skill set made him a versatile weapon.
• Doing much of his damage on the interior, LaRavia showed the ability to put pressure on the rim driving closeouts, make smart plays off the ball to earn easy looks inside, and score with excellent touch attacking smaller forwards one-on-one on the block. Averaging 1.39 points per post up possession [98th percentile], LaRavia displayed deft touch on the mid-post push shots that he got to decisively last season. Scoring 1.39 points per finishing opportunity [89th percentile], he was more effective around scoring around the rim in transition than in the half court. Able to play above the rim with a head of steam and finished well placed lobs, LaRavia proved more adept at scoring cuts and put backs than getting all the way to the rim himself from the perimeter going one-on-one.
• Only just experimenting with the three-point line during his freshman year, LaRavia has made incremental strides as a jump shooter each of the last two seasons. Averaging 1.19 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [82nd percentile], he picks and chooses his spots on the perimeter well, but has very reliable mechanics with his feet set and a strong feel for relocating off the ball that leave room for optimism about his continued improvement as a floor spacer.
• Impressing with his instincts as both a scorer and a passer, LaRavia did a lot of little things offensively with his vision, unselfishness, and energetic movement off the ball at the collegiate level.
• Competing diligently on the defensive end, coming up with some steals and blocks on instincts and timing, and understanding where to be off the ball, LaRavia proved to be a very good team defender last season.
• Giving up size and length in some individual matchups on the block and quickness against more athletic forwards on the perimeter, he still showed some ability to hold his own on some switches and consistently made multiple efforts in his first season playing at the high major level.
— Profile by Synergy Sports