JALEN BRUNSON

BIRTHDATE: 8/31/96

POSITION: Point Guard

HEIGHT: 6'3"

WEIGHT: 190 lbs

SCHOOL/ TEAM: Villanova

CLASS: Junior

STRENGTHS

Scoring -  Averaged 14.7 ppg on an efficient 54% shooting; Excellent in transition and in the halfcourt

Attacking the rim - Aggressively  attacks the rim and is one of the best finishers in the country despite his size; Uses his strength to initiate contact and create space

Transition - Ranked in top 96 percentile in country in transition; 71% FG

Creativity - He uses a variety of crossovers, hesitations, spins, and euro steps to get to the rim.

Shooting - Doesn't need much space to get his efficient pull up jumper off.;Effective on contested jumpers. 

Crafty - very crafty with the ball and plays with great poise and decisiveness

Pick & Roll - Very comfortable creating out of the PNR, particularly high PNR and is patient once in the paint looking for his shot. 

WEAKNESSES

Size - A bit undersized  with a relatively short wingspan.

Athleticism - Average athlete. He's not exceptionally quick and isn't an explosive player. 

Catch and shoot - Doesn't get much lift with his legs when catching and shooting. Tendency to drift left , shot falls short often when spotting up

KHAIRI AKILI  - OCTOBER 5, 2017

 

Jalen Brunson, the son of NBA, has had a a lot of success in his two years at Villanova. You can tell his father, NBA journey man Rick Brunson, gave him a lot of game. The biggest take away is the reliance of the mid range jumper Jalen uses. His father played in the era when everyone had a 2 dribble pull up, which happens to be the staple of Jalen’s game.

Jalen Brunson has a knack getting into the 15 foot range and pulling up just before the bigs can contest. He uses his 190 lb frame to bully defenders to get to his sweet spots and he prefers to go to his left hand. He’s a good athlete and can finish near the rim with a head of steam. The majority of his threes come as spot up opportunities where he’s a career 38% shooter. In PNR he’s a three level scorer going to his left; going right he’s almost always shooting a 2 dribble pull up. Brunson also excels in transition where he either over powers defenders or uses his euro step. Brunson reminds me a lot of Derek Fisher both physically and in terms of his playing style.

It’s hard to argue with Brunson’s level of efficiency and success thus far into his career at Villanova but there are concerns to what will translate for him at the NBA level. He’s not breaking his man off the dribble and doesn’t have a blazing fast first step. He’s very left hand dominant but not in the case where you can’t stop him from going left a la Harden or Ginobili. Brunson relies mostly on strength to get by physically weaker defenders; the guys he can’t overpower force him into picking up his dribble. The rare occasions he goes right off the dribble, he almost always spins back to his left hand. His game isn’t as ugly as Nigel Williams - Goss but they’re very similar in styles. I also question Brunson’s ability to keep quicker guys in front of him. Again, he’s a good not great defender and will certainly have to hang his hat on being a heady defensive guy.

 

POSITIVES:

Rock solid frame, lefty
Good athlete, can finish at the rim or near the rim
Really good in PNR, utilizes mid range jumper when the defense sags
Very good shooter off the dribble, gets to his mid range spots
Aggressive in transition, uses euro step to avoid defenders
Good spot up shooter from 38% from 3

 

AREAS OF CONCERN:


Not really creative off the dribble, isn’t a break you down kind of guard
Struggles to turn the corner at times, often forced to pick up his dribble
Almost always shoots a pull up jumper going right off middle PNR
Very left hand dominant, he’s almost always picking up his dribble going right
Plays a lot of bully ball and tries to over power guys when he can’t turn the corner
I don’t think he has the foot speed to defend at a high level, he’s going to have to be a physical effort guy

 

JAMES BARLOWE - OCTOBER 3, 2017

SUMMARY

Here is a breakdown of Brunson's possessions over the 2016-17 season

KHAIRI'S NOTES

Notes

Undersized with a relatively short wingspan

Strong frame which he uses well

Below average athlete

Very crafty with the ball and uses change of pace and direction to cover for his lack of size/athleticism

Uses his strength to initiate contact and create space and is good at using his body to shield the ball

Excellent in transition as the ballhandler or when he's out on the wings filling the lanes

Mostly hunting down his own shot on the break but shows solid vision/decision making as a creator as well

Finishes very well in traffic despite his size

Left hand dominant

Will try to finish on the right side with his left hand

Very comfortable creating out of the PNR, particularly high PNR 

Has great poise and plays decisively 

Sets his man up to hit the screen

Doesn't need much space to get his pull up jumper off and is efficient when doing so

Patient when getting into the paint to get a good look and is a great finisher

Mostly passing to PNP wings in Villanova's system but more effective hitting the roll man when going to his right. He's mostly a left hand passer and doesn't have to pass across his body when he's moving right

Able to see and hit crosscourt shooters when getting into the paint 

Always ready to catch the ball when off ball on the perimeter 

Generally maintains good spacing but can encroach upon the ballhandler looking for the ball when he's one pass away 

Has a smooth shooting motion with a nice release point and quick trigger but doesn't get much lift with his legs when catching and shooting

Also tends to drift left a little on catch and shoots. This and his legs might be why his shot falls short more often when spotting up

Gets better lift when shooting off the dribble and squares his body/jump more 

Shoots better vs a contest than when wide open

Has been incredibly effective in limited isolation possessions

Looks to attack the rim 

Uses a variety of moves(first step, crossover, spins, euro step) to get to the basket and finishes very well

Good at drawing fouls in iso situations 

Cuts sparingly but is effective on basket cuts when he does so

Rarely used in off ball screens, mostly off in bounds plays, but his issues in spot up are slightly more pronounced and the majority of his shots fall short 

 

Defense

Good motor

Doesn't have great lateral quickness but anticipates well and doesn't get beat often in space

Uses his strength to slow down and redirect guards

Good timing on his contests but larger players can shoot over him

Fights hard through screens but occasionally gets caught up on them

stays on the ballhandler's hip on the drive

Maintains good off ball positioning 

Provides help then recovers to closeout out under control

Transitions from closeout to defending the dribble smoothly

Works hard to navigate off ball action but struggles when run through multiple screens

Bigger guards and wings will try to post him up but he holds his ground well with his strength and low center of gravity