NBA Draft Spotlight: Kezie Okpala

When Reid Travis transferred, Kezie Okpala became the go-to option for the Cardinal. In his first full season, he put scouts on notice with a skill set that won’t let him fall out of the first round of the NBA Draft.

Position: SF From: Stanford Class/YOB: Sophomore
Height: 6’9 Weight: 215 Wingspan: N/A

Strengths:

  • Long, lanky athlete that moves effortlessly around the court. Really has a guard’s mobility in the body of a four
  • Skilled ball-handler that has point-forward potential. Given the freedom to push on the break this season where he caused problems with his size and change of pace. Maneuvers fairly well in pick-and-rolls. Has some of the best vision of any wing in the 2019 draft class
  • Very crafty getting into the paint and scoring over size. He possesses tremendous length that makes his floaters difficult to contest. Has added some strength to allow him to finish and-ones
  • Nice scoring upside from the mid-post and off pull-ups. Moves fluidly will the ball, which allows his pull-up to catch defenders off guard. Middle game is where he can be dangerous. When matched up with smaller guards, he doesn’t hesitate to go to the post, where he can face-up and attack
  • Has versatility defensively to guard at least three spots. Stanford was able to switch him on pretty much every position throughout the season. He’s not the quickest defender against guards, but he has all the physical tools and defensive instincts to hold his own
  • Potential is immense. In the right system, his perimeter skills, size, and defense could be a significant weapon in the NBA. His shooting form is smooth, so he should eventually be able to space the floor as well

Weaknesses:

  • Doesn’t always play with effort and aggression. Looks like he’s just going through the motions on both ends during periods
  • As good as he has the potential to be on defense, the focus is not always there. Sometimes it’s like he is trying to conserve energy for the other end, which may have been necessary on an offensively-challenged team
  • Shot a good percentage from three, but not on a high volume. His shot is nice, even though it takes a while to get off. Only a high-60 percent foul shooter. I will be interested to see if he starts to put up more shots from outside
  • Victim to committing turnovers from being sped up or playing nonchalantly. He has to find a way to hone in his playmaking gifts

Stats:

PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% 3PT% FT%
16.9 5.7 2.0 1.0 0.5 2.9 46.5% 37.5% 67.1%

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