In order for LVBR to grade any of our Lehigh Valley Basketball prospects', we must have seen the player in action, either on tape or in person. The following, along with team performance, is an overview of what basketball skills and abilities the LVBR looks for when evaluating prospects at each position:
LVBR will evaluate point guards on the following criteria:
1. Speed and quickness:Do they show the speed and quickness to push the ball in transition and be able to get the ball deep into the paint at will? Do they have the lateral quickness to defend quicker opposing point guards and keep them from penetrating to the rim?
2. Size:Although this position has some flexibility with size, it is extremely helpful to have point guards with size and length to go with their speed and quickness.
3. Ballhandling:The point guard must be the best ballhandler on the team and be ball tough. Does the prospect have the ballhandling skills to run a team, whether it be in the fast break, half court or against full-court pressure? Does he have the ability to advance the ball quickly with 2-3 dribbles or one quick advance pass?
4. Passing and court vision:Does the prospect get his teammates involved and make others around him better? Does he see the floor and have the vision to see the open man and deliver the ball at the correct time? Can he deliver the ball and set up his teammates for easy shots? Can he feed the post? Does he know who his scorers are and how they like to receive the ball?
5. Scoring/shooting:Can the player get to the rim, score or get fouled and get to the free-throw line? Can he shoot the ball well enough to keep the defense honest? It is hard to coach with a point guard who can't shoot, but point guards who can run the pick-and-roll, especially at the end of the shot clock, and stick the perimeter shot are hard to defend.
6. Decision making:What is the player's assist-to-turnover ratio? Does he have the ability to make split-second decisions in a fast-paced game? Does he know how to control tempo -- when to push the fast break or when to slow it down and run the half-court offense? What is the player's court awareness? Does he understand situational basketball, such as time and score, the shot clock, etc.?
7. Leadership: Does the point guard possess the ability to lead the team on the court? Can he be an extension of the coach? Will the players follow him? Does he have the ability and poise to lead the team when they are dealing with adversity?
LVBR will evaluate Wing players' on the following criteria:
1. Scoring:Does the player have scoring versatility? Can he score from the perimeter and also drive the ball to the rim? Can he penetrate and get to the foul line? Can he create his own shot when the offense breaks down or the shot clock is running down?
2. Shooting:How deep is the player's range? Can he shoot the 3-pointer? Can he shoot off the move (catch and shoot)? Can he take his man off the dribble and score with a mid-range game?
3. Size and strength:How tall is the prospect? What kind of length does he have? How strong and physical is he?
4. Defensive toughness:Does the player have the physical and mental toughness to defend some of the top scorers in the game? It is imperative to be able to defend at this position.
5. Ballhandling and passing:Can the prospect handle the ball and be a complementary ballhandler against pressure? Can he pass, finding the open man either on the break or on drives or double teams?
6. Athleticism:What type of athlete is the player? Can he only shoot the perimeter shot, or does he have the full complement of speed, lateral quickness, running ability and jumping ability needed to run the break, defend in the half court or full-court press?
7. Mental toughness: Does the player posses the mental toughness to take the big shot? If he misses five shots in a row, does it affect his game? Does he have the poise to step to the line late in the game and knock down free throws?
LVBR will evaluate Post players' on the following criteria:
1. Toughness:How tough is the prospect? Does he love physical contact? Is he willing to go to war on the low blocks and in the paint? Does he back down to anyone?
2. Scoring:Does he possess a low-post game? Does he know how to get deep low-post position and hold it? Does he have good hands, and can he catch the ball? Does he have a low-post repertoire with moves and counter moves? Can he handle a double-team, and how does he react?
3. Shooting range:Can he step out and shoot the 15-17 foot jumper? Does he have 3-point range? Can he run pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops and knock down the open shot?
4. Defending:Can he defend his position? Whether he is playing a tough inside player or a perimeter big man, does he understand how to defend? Is he willing to mix it up inside around the basket?
5. Rebounding:Does he love contact when the ball goes up, or does he shy away from it? Can you see this prospect being a high-volume rebounder?
6. Feet and hands:How good are his feet? Is he fast enough to get where he needs to be? Is he fast enough to run the court on the fast break? Does he have soft hands? Does he catch everything thrown at him, or does he struggle to catch the ball?
7. Versatility: Can he do more than your typical post player? Can he handle or pass the ball? Can he guard a center in a pinch? Can he step away from the basket and knock down the 3-point shot?