Author Archives: Benjamin Shoop

2023 NBA Draft Player Profile: G Amen Thompson

City Reapers G Amen Thompson
Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Shooting Percentages & Measurements

56.6%25.0%65.6%6’7″209 lbs.6’9″
2022-23 Stats (Overtime Elite): 16.4 PPG/5.9 RPG/5.9 APG/0.9 BPG/2.3 SPG

Amen Thompson Overview

Amen Thompson and his brother, Ausar, are entering the NBA Draft, and they could be the highest drafted brothers ever, in the same class. Amen and his brother moved to Florida with their family in eighth grade to play varsity basketball and it paid off. Amen was named Co-Player of the Year with his brother after winning the Florida State Championship where he scored 40 points. He trained with his older and twin brothers, leading to the decision to join Overtime Elite.

In his first season with Overtime Elite, Amen made it known that he was one of the best in the league. Per 40 minutes, he averaged 20.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 3.1 steals, and 2.0 blocks per game. This past season, Amen Thompson led the City Reapers to an OTE Championship. He averaged 16.4 points 5.9 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game in 27.5 minutes per game. The championship and statistics helped him earn All-OTE First Team honors. He made his mark in the Overtime Elite league, and is now on his way to the NBA.


  • Elite athleticism includes a quick first step and makes him dangerous in transition finishing at the rim.
  • Solid one-on-one defender with quick hands; can be inconsistent at times.
  • If you’re open, he’ll find you. Terrific passer.


  • Will have to improve jump shot to become an elite scorer at the NBA level.
  • Has the tools to be a great defender but can get lazy at times.
  • Tries to play too fast and fancy; needs to be smarter.

Amen Thompson Draft Projection

One half of the Thompson brothers, Amen has turned heads this season. His physical stature stands out, as he should be able to play positions 1-3 at the NBA level. He looks like he can become a franchise point guard, but will need to improve his jump shot.

I project Amen to go in the top-five, before his brother Ausar. He’s the number four prospect on my big board. If he can start to shoot with some consistency, he’ll be a superstar in the NBA.

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2023 NBA Draft Player Profile: F Brandon Miller

Alabama F Brandon Miller
Photo Credit: David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Shooting Percentages & Measurements

43.0%38.4%85.9%6’9″200 lbs.6’11”
2022-23 Stats (Alabama): 18.8 PPG/8.2 RPG/2.1 APG/0.9 BPG/0.9 SPG


Brandon Miller committed to the University of Alabama as a five-star prospect and the 13th overall player in his class. He ranked fourth among small forwards in that class and became one of the highest ranked players to ever commit to the Crimson Tide. He was the 2021 and 20221 Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year, averaging over 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals per game both years.

At Alabama, Miller became the first SEC player to win SEC Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and Tournament MVP in the same season. On February 22nd, he became the first player to score 40 points in a game since 2017 when he had 41 points against South Carolina. He was named one of ten finalists for the Wooden award. It was much deserved after his impressive rookie season.


  • Bucket-getter; can shoot the lights out.
  • Can be the primary ball-handler.
  • Showed playmaking potential.


  • Inside scoring; needs to add muscle to power through contact.
  • Basketball IQ; had a negative assist/turnover ratio.
  • Gets beat off the dribble defensively.

Player Comparison: Jayson Tatum

Draft Projection

Brandon Miller was one of the top college basketball players in the country this past season, and it’s earned him top-three consideration. He was a huge reason why Alabama was ranked so high throughout the college basketball season. While he had a very poor showing in the NCAA tournament, Miller still has the skillset to be a star in the NBA.

Miller should be a top-three draft pick, but at worst will be a top-five selection in the 2023 NBA Draft. He’s my number three prospect, and has proven he can take over games. The Alabama product could find himself becoming the face of a franchise very soon.

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2023 NBA Draft Player Profile: G Scoot Henderson

Guard Scoot Henderson starts his drive to the basket in a game for the G-League Ignite.
Photo Credit: Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Shooting Percentages & Measurements

42.9%27.5%76.4%6’2″195 lbs.6’9″
2022-23 Stats (G-League Ignite): 16.5 PPG/5.3 RPG/6.8 APG/0.6 BPG/1.1 SPG


At 17-years old, Scoot Henderson opted to finish his high school courses over a year and a half early to join G-League. Prior to his decision, Henderson was a five-star recruit and the top point guard in ESPN’s top 100 for the class of 2022. He was the seventh overall prospect at the time, but thought joining the Ignite would benefit his career more. This decision made him the youngest player in G-League history.

In Henderson’s first G-League season, he averaged 14.7 PPG on 46% from the field and 25% from three. It was a solid season for the young guard, but created higher expectations in year two — and he certainly improved. In a bigger role he improved his points, rebounds, and assists while leading his team to an exhibition victory versus expected #1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama and the Metropolitan 92. Now, he’s on his way to the NBA.


  • Excels in the pick-and-roll; hits roller in stride.
  • Elite athleticism that helps finishing with explosiveness.
  • Very good passer for his age; finds shooters on drive.


  • Defense needs improvement; specifically defensive IQ.
  • Some concern with his size, but wingspan helps make up for it.
  • Shooting will need to improve.

Player Comparison: Ja Morant

Draft Projection

An explosive and exciting guard, Scoot Henderson would be in discussion for the first overall pick in any other draft class. He has tools you can’t teach and is still only 19-years old. If he can improve his jump shot, he could become one of the best guards in the NBA.

I have him projected to be a top-three selection in the NBA Draft, and is my number two overall prospect. While he still needs to improve in certain areas, he has too many standout skills that I believe will translate nicely at the NBA level.

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2023 NBA Draft Player Profile: C Victor Wembanyama

Victor Wembanyama of Metropolitan 92 reacts during the Betclic Elite match on November 20, 2022, in Levallois-Perret, France.

Shooting Percentages & Measurements

47.0%27.5%82.8%7’5″230 lbs.8’0″
2022-23 Stats (Metropolitan 92): 21.6 PPG/10.4 RPG/2.4 APG/3.0 BPG/0.7 SPG


Some are calling Victor Wembanyama the greatest draft prospect the NBA has ever seen. He started his career at 15-years old playing for the Nanterre 92 for two seasons. This helped him gain the opportunity to play against NBA players Rudy Gobert and Vincent Poirier in a two-on-two pick-up game in 2020. The videos went viral of the game. This caused him to gain popularity, and it’s continued to grow from that day.

This past season Wembanyama joined the Metropolitan 92 with Vincent Collet at the helm leading their reputation for developing players. He would end up playing in two exhibition games versus the NBA G-League Ignite, putting up 37 points, five blocks, and four rebounds in the first game. In the second game, Victor put up 36 points and 11 rebounds. Those two games were highly anticipated as another top-three prospect, Scoot Henderson, was playing for the Ignite. They split the two games, but Wembanyama was still the best player out there.


  • Size and athleticism creates versatility on both ends.
  • Can score from anywhere and anytime against anyone in any way.
  • Elite defender with a guard skillset on the offensive side.


  • Future injury concerns due to size; have seen players that height struggle to stay healthy and play long.
  • Three point shooting consistency.
  • Has to improve decision-making; more turnovers than assists.

Player Comparison: A taller, faster, and more skilled Mo Bamba

Victor Wembanyama NBA Draft Projection

The world has never seen an NBA draft prospect like Victor Wembanyama. The combination of his size and speed with the shooting and defensive skills has never been witnessed. The expectations for the French basketball player are the highest we’ve seen since LeBron James. If he’s not an MVP and champion by the end of his career, he could be considered a bust.

He’s the consensus #1 selection in the NBA Draft and I’d be shocked if the result is different. He’s my number one prospect and should be an unbelievable player to watch. Wembanyama is a true generational talent.

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Charge Down: Why The NBA Shouldn’t Get Rid Of Charges

Photo Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Last weekend was the start of the NBA playoffs, and it began with a bang. Two great games took place with the Knicks narrowly beating the Cavaliers, and the Kings defeating the Warriors in a nailbiter. The weekend wasn’t all good though as charges took over as the big headline of the NBA playoffs so far.

Sunday started with an injury in the Lakers vs Grizzlies game as Ja Morant went down. A few hours later, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Tyler Herro went down. Giannis’ and Ja’s injuries caused some controversy, as both happened while a defender attempted to draw a charge.

It’s time to take a look at the injuries, explain why the charge rule is not a problem, and what they could do to help the rule instead of getting rid of it.

A Look At The Injuries

With 5:50 remaining in the fourth quarter, Ja Morant drove to the basket. He took off towards the hoop while Lakers forward Anthony Davis stepped up to take a charge. On the way down, Ja Morant landed on his wrist, immediately grimacing in pain. After it was called a charge, Morant checked out of the game and didn’t come back.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s injury came with just over four minutes to play in the first quarter versus the Miami Heat. Kevin Love stepped over to take a charge and on Giannis’s way down, he fell hard on his back. Right away you could see he was in pain. He would end up getting up and taking his free throws, as it was called a block, but would leave the game a little bit later.

Giannis returned at the beginning of the second quarter and tried to play, but the pain would prove to be too much. He would exit the game a minute later and not return.

Both of these injuries are unfortunate, that’s evident. Two players landing awkwardly and not being able to catch themselves is a tough thing to watch. With that said, injuries are a part of sports and there’s only so much that can be done to prevent them.

Why Getting Rid Of Charges Doesn’t Make Sense for the NBA

It’s a rule that players have known for a long time, and has only recently become controversial. Now, it’s being called a “dangerous rule”. However, I believe what we’re seeing a case of recency bias. The charge rule was introduced in 1928-29 and is defined as:

An on-ball, block-charge situation occurs when contact is made between an offensive player (who is moving in a particular direction or trying to change directions) and defensive player. The defender is permitted to establish his legal guarding position in the path of the dribbler regardless of his speed and distance. To get into a legal position, the defender needs to establish himself in the path of the offensive player before contact is made, thus “beating him to the spot,” and before he starts his upward shooting motion.

The NBA Rule Authority

When looking at each play, you can see that the defender was set prior to the offensive player taking off and was outside the restricted area; neither player was undercut.

Doc Rivers described the plays perfectly.

“I think both of those plays, I think were people taking charges. I think the only thing there is some of the charges people take can be viewed as reckless and so they can view that. They can’t take that away, but they can call it what it is. If it’s a reckless play, they can call it a flagrant, but none of those I think were reckless. Ja Morant can jump over a human being and he tried to do it and that’s part of it.”

Doc Rivers

Both plays involved the offensive player attempting to go over, or through, the defender who is in defensive position. I’m curious to see what the reaction would be if the defender was in the same spot but put their arms straight up. I believe we would see different reactions.

I’ve heard many arguments saying how the rule should be gone due to “the athleticism today”. It’s awesome to see big dunks and posterizations, but at what point do we stop making scoring easier? Hand checking is no longer allowed and that makes it tougher to stop someone from getting to the basket. Charges are a counter to that, and should cause the offensive player to use more brain than brawn.

One of the most commonly taught plays in basketball is the pull-up jumper. It’s a play that is supposed to be used when charges are attempted to be drawn. A floater, euro-step, and so many other moves can be used instead of trying to create a poster or draw an and-one.

How To Change The Rule To Make It Safer

Charges are game changing plays that have been crucial to the NBA for a long time. Up until now, there was not much talk about getting rid of them. Kevin Love has drawn 33 charges this season — second-most in the NBA. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been called for 148 charges in the past five seasons. Why was there no issue during those charges?

This tells me that charges aren’t the issue. I believe there is a way to keep charges in the game, but also make them safer. Here’s two ideas to make them safer:

  1. Move the restricted area further away from the basket. This would cause defenders to have to be in position earlier to defend a player’s drive to the basket, since players are taking off farther away from the basket than ever before.
  2. Make it a rule that if a defender undercuts a player in the air or flops to the ground before being touched, the defender gets a technical foul and the offense gets two free throws. This provides a punishment for poor charge attempts.
  3. Bring back hand-checking. This would serve to help counteract the amazing athleticism of today. It would increase a defender’s ability to stop offensive players prior to them getting into the lane.

While those rules won’t get rid of injuries entirely, they will minimize them. A small amount of injuries come from charge attempts, so getting rid of charges would cause offenses to score even easier than they already do. It would ruin the game.