POSITION: Power Forward/Center
WEIGHT: 225 lbs
SCHOOL/ TEAM: USC
Length - 6'10' with a positive wingspan that he uses to alter shots around the rim (1.5 BPG in 2016-17)
Athleticism - Quick leaper that can finish plays above the rim
Agility - Very mobile, fluid big that moves well laterally at 6'10"
Soft touch - Shows a nice touch around the rim on floaters, non dunk finishes and post ups.
Face up game - Effective shooter from inside the college 3 point line that can also put the ball on the floor to attack close outs
Hands - Has good strong hands and catches passes in traffic
Footwork - Still a little raw, but has good feet and shows flashes of solid footwork in the post
Cutting - Instinctive cutter who finds holes in defenses for easy baskets. Majority of points from sophomore season came from cuts to rim
Shooting potential - Good form and shooting touch; he shouldn't have a problem extending his shooting range going foward
Scoring versatility - Can score in pick & pop, pick & roll, post ups, cutting, putting the ball on the floor, put backs and in transition
Age - Despite going into his junior season, still only 20 years old
Shot blocking - Has averaged over a block per game in both college seasons
Passing - Not a great passer by any means, but shows potential to become a solid playmaker
Raw- Still a raw prospect at this point, but the leap he made from freshman to sophomore year is very promising
Strength - Needs to get much stronger to be ready for the NBA
Defined role - Despite his versatility, lacks range to be a stretch 4, and not polished or strong enough on block for post touches
Finishing in traffic - This could be directly related to his lack of strength and finishing through contact
Running the floor - He has the ability but he doesn't maximize full potential as a rim runner
Catch & shoot game - Is a much better shooter facing up in isolation. Only shot 36% in catch & shoot opportunities is a sophomore
Foul prone - Improved a lot in this area as a sophomore, but his aggressiveness can lead to silly fouls
USC junior Chimezie Metu made great improvements from a freshman to sophomore, which has created big expectations around Los Angeles for this upcoming season. As a freshman he averaged 6 points per game, struggled with foul trouble and shot only 51% from the free throw line. Despite only playing 18 minutes per game, Metu showed a lot of upside as a rim protector by averaging 1.6 blocks per game.
As a sophomore his numbers jumped to nearly 15 points and 8 rebounds per game and 74% from foul line. His minutes increased from 18.5 to 31.3 and more importantly, he cut down on his fouls while his strangely, blocks per game were around the same. Metu's improvement lead to him being voted Pac-12 Most Improved Player Award and added his name on the radar of NBA Scouts.
I personally like Metu as an NBA prospect and am curious to see how much he improves his junior season. If he can make a similar jump from sophomore to junior year, I can see him as a possible lottery pick. He'll enter the season as a 20 year old junior which is pretty young for his class, considering he's younger than 2017 first round pick Josh Jackson.
Metu's skill set reminds me of a poor man's Chris Bosh but Noah Vonleh is probably the best comparison. One of the first things that you notice about Metu is his length, athleticism and fluidity. He's a very good fluid athlete that moves well laterally and is quick off his feet. His mobility and feet will allow him to defend pick and rolls while also serving as a rim protector.
Offensively he scored efficiently in a variety of ways and was most effective cutting, as a roll and and offensive put backs.
Here is a breakdown of how and where he Metu got his points last season:
Headed into his junior season, I would like to see Metu extend his range to past the 3 point line. I believe he has the ability to become a good shooter from 3 based off his soft shooting stoke and how well he shot from 17 feet < 3 point line last season. Extending his range and shooting around mid 30's from 3 could propel him to near the top of draft boards where he'd be the rare prospect that can space the floor on offense and protect the rim on defense.
RAFAEL BARLOWE - SEPTEMBER 21, 2017