Taking Out the Trash
The trash gets taken out on Thursdays at No Ceilings with Garbage Time Ghim. This week we breakdown some of the best snipers in College Basketball.
If you somehow got tricked into clicking on this piece, you’re a fool because this is the weirdest place to be on the internet.
I’m hoping to post here every other Thursday until I’m fired by my colleagues or I’m blindsided by a Nikola Jokic forearm shiver. Whichever comes first I’m cool with, both feel like a glorious way to go. Until that day comes, I’ll be hitting you with invaluable wisdom, a flood of The Office GIFs and really bold basketball takes that’ll make you question if we’re even watching the same sport. Please enjoy my trash takes because this is a lot of fun for me.
Beyond the nonsense, I’m really excited to talk about some hoops and share how I break down draft prospects. I’m going to try to be as objective as possible and I really don’t want to speak in definitive terms because we’re generally talking about teenagers who have a long way to go before they reach their final forms. Shouts to Chris Duarte who was older than some of the dudes that drafted him last year and is killing it in his first season.
For my first installment of nonsense, I wanted to talk about the most glorious human beings on planet earth. It’s time for us to talk about some of the best shooters in this upcoming draft class, because who in their right mind doesn’t like shooters?
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
I have to preface this by saying this isn’t some ranking of the best shooters in the class. I know people love lists and being told how players need to be ranked but I’m just here to talk and if you don’t agree please come attack me on Twitter, I’m ready for it all.
Last year, when I was breaking down Corey Kispert on The Draftdaq NBA Podcast (look at this shameless plug), I described him as being a beautiful player. I loved everything about him as a shooter and what he did for that Gonzaga team in a supporting role. PBJ is the super-sized version of that for me this year. PBJ is another beautiful player and truly one of the most intriguing players to watch this season. Unlike Kispert though, he will definitely be more than just a supporting player, at least in college.
Let’s start with the shot, it’s beautiful. He can do it off the dribble, off the catch, off movement, the dude is incredible. He has supreme confidence in his shot and he knows that he has an absolute killer weapon in his arsenal. One advantage that he has above most of the other guys on this list is his size. The dude is gigantic. He’s currently listed at 6’9” but there’s a chance that he’s taller and could keep growing. With that kind of size, it’s so easy for him to get his shot off against pretty much everyone he plays against. Most of the competition he played against was tiny so it’s going to be interesting to see how he fares against taller, more athletic defenders in college and eventually in the NBA.
As Corey Tuluba of No Ceilings NBA has discussed, it’s going to be really interesting to see how he’s handled and used in his Freshman season at UW-Milwaukee. His dad is the coach, which sounds pretty cool but also terrifying at the same time. It’s going to be interesting to see how much his dad trusts him with the ball in his hands and to see how PBJ develops in that role if given the chance. He has a good handle, but it’s not great and it will be tested against stiffer competition. I think he’s a really good passer, but he’s not elite at that either.
Unlike Logan Roy from the hit HBO show Succession, PBJ’s dad doesn’t have a quartet of incompetent children to choose from. PBJ is the best of all the Roy children with the demeanor of Gerri and some of the gawky energy of cousin Greg (More Succession talk to come), I can’t wait to see PBJ spread his wings on a mid-major team and make good on the bet he made on himself.
Silk is good, it’s never a bad thing when something or someone is described as being silky. Caleb Houstan is silky. Caleb Houstan’s game is like Lewis Hamilton getting out of his car after 71 laps of intense Formula One racing. Every other racer looks like crap when they take their helmets off after a race. As much as Max Verstappen has owned the circuit this year, he looks terrible when he takes his helmet off. All is well when he puts his flat-brimmed hat on but that’s typically the case for most of these racers. The only exception is Lewis, the dude looks like he descended upon us from above and has arrived to judge us on our sins. He never looks flustered or disheveled, he just glistens with class.
Caleb Houstan has that kind of aura to him. Before I even get to the shooting, watch this guy move around the court, he just glides and slithers all around. If you know anything about me you’ll know how much I care about the torso to leg length ratio when studying prospects. I’ve always been a fan of prospects that have bodies that are proportional and Caleb Houstan just looks right to me.
Now let’s get down to the shooting. Houstan makes shooting the ball look so easy. His form looks perfect to me, the balance he has when set and when moving is just awesome. When he catches it in the corner and lets it fly you know he’s going to knock it down. His release, follow-through, and the rotation he gets on his shot is just chef’s kiss.
Something I noticed about him that I loved was his work rate when the ball wasn’t in his hands. He’s really good about getting to open spots on the floor and running off screens to get open as well. The guy knows how to help himself. When he catches the ball he has a solid head fake and a smooth-looking shot off the dribble as well.
I’m excited to see if he can beef up a little bit. I thought he looked pretty good going to the rim but because he is a limited vertical athlete I think adding some mass could help him against NBA-level defenders. He shows good touch and savvy around the rim and showed off some nice off-hand finishes during the U-19 tournament, but I do feel some more strength and mass will help him long-term.
Last and certainly not least is Max Christie. I’ve tried to refrain from the comps so far but when it comes to Christie I just can’t shake the image of Malik Monk. Some people may read this as a slight but I loved and still love Monk. It seems like MSU is going to rely heavily on Christie being the floor spacer of the team and I’m going to be keeping an eye on whether or not he stretches his legs out a little and does more than just stand in a corner and shoot off the catch. I know Christie is taller but he’s got long arms and a slim physique like Monk and the shooting form looks pretty similar to me as well.
Like the snipers I broke down before him, Christie really has a beautiful looking shot. He has a nice high release point because of his long arms, and uses his handle well to get to his spots both from three and the mid-range. I enjoyed his mid-range game the most out of all the guys on this list and I think he’s going to really show that part of his game in college. I can imagine him taking advantage of a ton of college defenders doing too much to get out to him on the three point line. The dude should feast off of that this year. Like Houstan I think Christie does a great job of moving and re-locating when he’s off ball. He’s got a good sense of where his teammates are going with the ball and moves into spaces where he’s available as an outlet.
I know we’re mostly focused on the shooting but I am a little worried about him as a defender. I know he had some highlight-worthy blocks in high school using his length as a help defender, but I think he has a lot to work on. I thought his footwork was a little inconsistent on the ball and like most guys his age, he definitely needs to work on his focus off the ball as well. I thought his feet were a little heavy at times and I’m hoping he can keep working on that because he definitely has the height and length to guard multiple positions. I’m just worried about him getting burned by shifty and quicker guards. There’s an overall awkwardness with Christie on defense that I definitely believe will improve, but at this moment he’s just Cousin Greg awkwardly asking Logan for a Rum and coke first thing in the morning. This scene was so hilarious because Cousin Greg just perpetually has no idea what he’s doing and just lives life one awkward step at a time. Just look at Logan’s face in this clip, so damn good. I think coach Izzo might have this exact same look on his face a couple of times this season watching Christie on the defensive side of the ball.
Luckily for Max, he’s at MSU and you know coach Izzo is going to be barking at him all year long and doing everything he can to help Max become a more consistent defender. The hope is that he gets the proper defensive coaching he needs and combines that with his offensive arsenal and becomes a potential mid to late-lottery guy. Is that too crazy?
Hyun Jung Lee (Davidson): South Korean sniper who’s going to put up big numbers for a Davidson squad that lost Kellan Grady to Kentucky. Truly believe he can sneak into the end of the first round with a huge season for Davidson. Watch out for his play-making as well, because I’m praying he becomes the Korean Hedo Turkoglu.
Will Richardson (Oregon): I’m going to do a longer feature of him soon but look out for this dude. He has the weirdest looking shot, but it’s good and he’s going to be featured heavily at Oregon now that Duarte is gone.
Ty Ty Washington (Kentucky): I know he’s not considered by most as a pure sniper, but I love his shot and I think his ability to shoot is only going to help him compensate for his lack of burst. Another silky smooth operator.
Jaden Hardy (G-League Ignite): He obviously needs to be mentioned but I wanted to keep it to guys playing College Basketball. More to come on this dude in the coming weeks.
I know I’m missing a ton of guys but these are my favorites heading into the season. If you enjoy beautiful things and beautiful people you have to make sure to check these guys out.