Scouting Ishmail Wainright

Four-star wing Ishmail Wainight is an impressive prospect and someone with a ton of natural athletic ability. Here is a look at the type of player that Baylor is getting next season.

Background: Ishmail Wainright is the centerpiece to a very solid Baylor recruiting class. The Kansas City native originally committed to Missouri, but he decided to de-commit shortly thereafter and then transferred to Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian. Now the powerfully built wing is one of the top players in the 2013 class.

On Offense: Offensively Wainright has a unique skill set that makes him tough to pin down to a specific position. First of all he checks in at about 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds with extremely long arms. Given that size, length, and strength he is one of the more difficult match ups in the class, and then add in that he is a very good ball handler, and Wainright is someone who has a lot of versatility on the offensive end.

During the high school season he actually plays a lot of point guard. While Wainright is capable of it during a high school setting, against higher level competition he would get exposed in that role. Wainright has a good handle, and can get by a wing, but he doesn't have that natural basketball acumen to get others involved and to get his team in the right spots, so being a point guard, or even a point forward probably won't be an option going forward.

However the spot where Wainright probably will be very difficult to deal with is in the high post. With his strength and long arms, Wainright can post up taller players and still be successful, and against shorter and weaker defenders he will absolutely abuse them. That sort of inside-out versatility is what seperates him from most wings and makes him such as tough player to guard

Also in a straight line Wainright is a very good driver of the basketball. He doesn't have much wiggle or ability to change direction, but because of his strength and explosiveness he can get defenders on his hip. Once a defender is on his hip there is nothing he can do because Wainright is so big and so strong, which means he is getting to the basket for a chance to finish around the rim.

With that said, Wainright has to improve his perimeter jumper to be a pure wing. Right now defenders can play off of him some and close out a little short which limits his ability to really take the ball off the dribble and use his strength to create.

Overall he is a talented offensive player, but someone with a few holes to his game. Wainright is a tough matchup, but still there are ways to defend him through scouting and film study.

On Defense: This is the end of the court where Wainright becomes such a weapon. While he can still stand to lose some weight, which should make him quicker laterally, his long arms, strength, and athleticism really play well on defense.

While Wainright would struggle with a quicker, smaller point guard, he can definitely guard any shooting guard, small forward, or even power forward on the floor. He just has so much versatility on the defensive end that he allows teams to switch ball screens and feel comfortable at almost any position when he is involved.

Also Wainright rebounds very well for a wing, and that allows him to guard taller opponents and allow for some more favorable matchups on the defensive end as well as offense.

Given that he rebounds, is very strong, and extremely athletic, Wainright has the potential to be an all-league type of defender. Now he will need to learn more technique and understanding, but that comes in time with experience as right now he gets everything done with raw strength and athleticism.

If you are looking for a place where Wainright should be able to make his mark from day one in college basketball it is definitely as a defender and someone who can come in and impact a game.

Overall Impression: In general Wainright is an excellent prospect. Because he can be somewhat limited on the offensive end that has a ceiling on how good he is as a prospect overall, but the tools are there for him to be a very good college player.

He is definitely at his best in an up and down setting where his natural athletic gifts can come out a little bit more and where he doesn't get tied down with having to think and create for himself against a set defense.

Still this is a player who should be very good for Baylor, and someone who is having a very good conclusion to his high school career.


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