Scouting Report: Reggie Bullock

Inside Carolina's Eric Bossi reviews his notes from the road and compiles an in-depth scouting report on 2010 Tar Heel commitment Reggie Bullock ...

    Reggie Bullock
    6-6, 190
    HS: Kinston (N.C.)
    AAU: CP3 All-Stars
    Class of 2010

    Background:
    Much like fellow Tar Heel-to-be Kendall Marshall, it feels as if Bullock verbally committed to play at North Carolina eons ago. A Tar Heel pledge since January of his sophomore year in high school, Bullock has managed to stay visible as a prospect without total saturation. In other words, he's been out enough to be seen but isn't one of those guys who seems to show up at each and every event.

    Like so many young players, I was able to get my first look at Bullock at Nike's Hoop Jamboree. Even back in June of 2007 it was clear to see that the then 15-year-old was a gifted prospect and I rated him as an elite high major prospect writing; "A smooth wing operator with a pretty jumper, Bullock was perhaps one of the top five wing performers/prospects in the entire camp. With a well proportioned basketball frame (long arms, wiry strong), nice feel for things on the offensive end and a live set of legs, he pretty much scored at will once he got comfortable."

    Strengths:
    Just as his ability to put the ball in the hoop stood out when I first observed him two years ago, it does now. Lots of guys are labeled "scorers," but Bullock is a guy who gets buckets without being a pig in the way he goes about things. If anything, there are times where he would be quite justified in taking a few more risks with his shot selection. But, it's that efficiency that makes him so dangerous.

    Because of his compact stroke and high release point, Bullock is able to unload his jumper in a hurry and actually appears to be bigger than he really is because of his ability to shoot over zones. More importantly, he appears to be equally comfortable shooting off the catch -- say after curling off of a screen -- or shooting after a dribble or two to generate rhythm or move into the pull-up jumpers from mid-range that he so heavily favors.

    While not a flashy ball handler, he is a very effective one capable of going to his right or left. He rarely takes more than two or three dribbles at a time when looking to generate offense. Bullock puts the ball on the deck with a clear purpose in mind and when he can't get where he wants to go, his willingness to pick the ball up, turn and find an open teammate or back things out helps to cut down on ball handling mistakes.

    Where Bullock has been tremendously underrated, though, is on the defensive end and as a rebounder on either end of the court. Instead of supreme athletic ability, Bullock uses intelligence, spacing and a natural feel for knowing where the ball is going to end up to excel in those other less celebrated aspects of the game.

    Weaknesses:
    Because he is pretty complete as a player, you really have to pick at Bullock's game in order to identify the areas where he most needs improvement. He has been a bit too unselfish in his play at times. Although it's becoming less and less of a "weakness," he's been known to pass up some open looks or defer at times. In fairness, he's also been known to step up and make plays late in big games.

    While he does a good job of taking care of the ball, Bullock could always improve his ball handling. Many are projecting him as a shooting guard, but until he becomes quicker off the dribble and relies a little less on his length and general size advantage, he's much more of a natural small forward.

    Finally, Bullock has gotten stronger over the years but he definitely needs to add more bulk to his wiry frame. Also, it wouldn't hurt for him to become a little more explosive with both his first step off the dribble and ability to get off the floor and finish around the hoop.

    College Projection:
    Having watched him play for a couple of years now, Bullock would seem to project as the prototypical college small forward. While any NBA future he has is undoubtedly at the shooting guard position -- and while he'll likely play plenty at the two in college, his game is more that of a three than a two at this juncture. In today's college game, wing forwards are heavily relied upon to be a "jack of all trades" player. He'll be expected to defend, rebound and spot up to knock down baseline three pointers. Actually, looking at his strengths, he would appear to compare nicely to recent Kansas standout Brandon Rush, who played the three in college before moving on to play the two in the NBA.

    Final Thoughts:
    Provided that he not have anything more than the usual freshman struggles with transitioning to the college game, Bullock looks like a guy capable of making an immediate impact in Chapel Hill. He's quietly gone about his business without a bunch of online hype or constant chest thumping from his people about how good he is. If anything, he deserves a little more credit and has to be one of the least talked elite prospects in a while. Of course much of that has to do with his early commitment and relatively low profile on the national circuit. But, some of it could also be attributed to his business-like approach to the game and the ease with which the game comes to him.

    Don't be fooled, though, he's not doing so much damage because he's taking it easy. The game might look like it comes without much effort, but it's clear that Bullock is a guy who has spent significant time honing his craft and because of that it's easy to believe that he's got a chance to do very good things in college and potentially well beyond.


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