D.J. Hogg: Evaluation

With a stroke that's pure to 23 feet, D.J. Hogg has established himself as one of the best jumbo shooters in the Class of 2015.


Introduction

The Texas Titans rolled into the 2013 EYBL circuit with a pair of highly promising underclassman. Center Tyler Davis was one, and stretch forward D.J. Hogg was the other.

A 6-7 performer with the confidence to compete against his older peers, Hogg established a high-major reputation during that spring and summer. Then, after a strong junior season in 2013-14, he hit the road with the Titans during the 2014 spring and summer. His list included, among others, Baylor, SMU, Texas, Arizona and UCLA.

Hogg's progress from last year to this year became clear. He has developed into a more savvy, more efficient performer, and the results paid off handsomely for the Titans on the trail. His recruitment and ranking (No. 31 nationally) both have ascended to the blue-chip level, and he projects as one of the country's best freshman shooters for 2014-15.

He currently has lined up fall trips to Baylor, Texas A&M and UCLA.

Assets

Hogg's jump shot stands out most. He wields an effortless, on-balance release with a snappy follow through and backspin that should translate to elite competition, including college and beyond. Given that he also stands 6-7, his shot is that much more difficult for defenders to challenge.

He raised his accuracy by a substantial margin in 2014. Playing up an age division a year ago, Hogg shot a respectable but underwhelming 35 percent on threes. A year later, however, averaging roughly the same number of attempts, he hit 38 percent and raised his scoring average from 13 to 16 points per game. He improved most inside the line, however, as his overall shooting percentage vaulted from 38 percent to 45 percent.

Hogg's repertoire includes the occasional huge scoring night

He saved his best for last. At the Peach Jam this past July, Hogg went off for 20 points an outing in six total games. He knows what his role is and will continue to be: Knock in long-range shots and stretch defenses. He attempts lots of threes, as 60 of his 98 attempts at the Peach Jam originated from behind the line.

But his floor game is solid as well. Hogg is a talented passer who will surprise in particular as a bounce passer. If his goal is to remain a full-time wing, that passing ability looms significant. He averaged three assists per games against only one turnover, not bad for a player his size.

Deficits

By high-major standards, Hogg is just average athletically. He runs fine and has good coordination and body control, but he lacks burst as a leaper or on the perimeter in terms of a first step. For that reason he isn't effective as a slasher, making him less multi-dimensional than some other high-major wings.

Defensively, does he slot better as a power forward or a wing? Hogg clearly can play a jumbo wing role on offense, but the question remains whether he can defend opposing wings in a man to man defensive scheme. On the other hand, he isn't much of a rebounder and likely would fare no better versus power forwards. His goal must be to hone his technique and maximize his height to leverage against those who possess a quickness advantage.

Outlook

Wherever he chooses to play his college basketball, Hogg will bring a skill — shooting — that holds immediate value for the program. My expectation has been and remains that he'll play meaningful minutes as a freshman and perhaps even start, depending on how quickly he can add strength and depending on the roster situation when he arrives.

Assuming he spends two or three years in college, at minimum, he could become an all-league type player. He'll need to balance his game somewhat, but no one ever should overlook a 6-7 shooter who can handle and pass. Hogg also tested himself against elite national competition for two years, preparing him for the rigors of playing with and against other top players.

Thinking long-term, he projects as a specialist for the professional ranks. If he's able to accentuate his positive traits and convince NBA clubs that he's just athletic enough, he could enjoy a fine career at that level as well.


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