Engel Evaluations

Patrick breaks down a trio of SMU hoops prospects in his Engel Evaluations.

Romello White

2016 PF, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)

Scoring: White doesn’t have that developed of an offensive game, but he still finds his way to the basket. He’s a big body, but isn’t a true low-post player who can go 1-on-1 on the block consistently and play with his back to the basket. However, he’s plenty athletic and moves very well for a big man. While most of his points come on tip-ins, open dunks, putbacks and a few freakish-athleticism dunks, he’ll occasionally put the ball on the floor and take it to the rim. The former Tennessee commit isn’t a big man who just sits in the paint and waits for the ball. He runs the floor very well and can score a little in transition, and he’ll occasionally hit a mid-range jumper, although the jumper isn’t quite good enough to be a strength. He will mostly just shoot it from the baseline. White is a strong and athletic forward who may not be a go-to offensive weapon, but still finds a way to score enough to be a satisfactory offensive player. He’s usually in the right place at the right time and never tries to do too much or get unnecessarily fancy.

Defense: Defense is White’s calling card. He’s tough, physical and confident on the defensive end of the floor. He’s a great shot-blocker who will get right in an opponent’s face, put his hands up and give him little room to get a shot off. He’s a smart shot-blocker and doesn’t lunge into the offensive player. Instead, he jumps straight up with his hands in the air to avoid getting called for a block. The three-star big man will get out from under the basket a bit as well so he can challenge an opponent and keep him out of the paint, but his best work is done in the low post. White’s tenacity carries over to rebounding, where he boxes out well and out-muscles and out-leaps opponents for rebounds.

Projection: White is an impact defender right from the start, and he has physical attributes, tenacity and athleticism to become a reliable offensive weapon at power forward for a high-major team. While he won’t play any other position but power forward, he’d be able to fit into most offensive and defensive schemes.

Offers: SMU, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Ole Miss, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Marquette, Kansas State, George Mason
HT: 6-foot-8
WT: 205 pounds

Romello White Highlights

Andrew Jones

2016 G, MacArthur High School (Irving, Texas)

Scoring and playmaking ability: Jones is a scorer first. He’s good in the half-court offense because he’s a strong scorer off the ball screen. Off the screen, he’ll both drive and shoot a three-pointer. He finishes above the rim with his great leaping ability and can beat defenders 1-on-1. He scores a lot of his points in transition, which is probably his strongest area. The three-star guard will shoot a lot of three-pointers too, although he’s not a lights-out shooter. He shot just 31 percent (33 of 107) on threes on the Nike circuit, but isn’t afraid to hoist it. He’s a shot-creator and will shoot off the dribble, in transition and in catch-and-shoot spots. However, he can get too trigger-happy. He’s a little streaky on three-point shooting, and sometimes is a streaky shooter overall. Jones isn’t afraid of contact and gets to the free throw line fairly frequently, where he’s a good but not great shooter. Jones has a playmaker’s mentality and wants to hit the big shot. Jones can be a lethal scorer when he’s on his game and has the potential to lead a team in scoring if he can be a little more consistent.

Defense: This is a kid who loves to run around on defense all day, shown by the impressive blocks he makes in transition. Jones is a great athlete, which helps him defend his position very well and come up with some blocked shots. At 6-foot-4, he has plus length for a point guard or off-guard, another weapon good defenders often have. Picking opponents’ pockets is a strong suit for him, and he’s a plus rebounder for his position too. He’ll come up with a clutch steal or block, just like he will make a clutch shot.

Projection: Jones primarily plays point guard for MacArthur, but he will probably move off the ball in college. While he has the awareness needed for a college point guard, he turns the ball over a bit too much and isn’t the impact passer a lot of teams want at the point guard spot. Furthermore, his offensive game is a better fit for a shooting guard. Off the ball, he will get more catch-and-shoot chances, which are when he’s at his best as a shooter. And he will still be able to score off the ball screen. He has the size and athleticism for the position too.

Offers: Arizona, Baylor, Texas, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Miami (Fla.), Kansas State, SMU, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, Rice, Western Kentucky
HT: 6-foot-4
WT: 175 pounds

Andrew Jones Highlights

Carsen Edwards

2016 PG, Atascocita High School (Humble, Texas)

Scoring and playmaking ability: A true point guard, Edwards is a premier scorer and shooter at the position. Three-point shooting is his best attribute, and that’s how he’ll score a good amount of his points. He can shoot it from any spot, off a screen, off a dribble and with a hand in his face, but he’s best in catch-and-shoot spots. Despite his three-point skills, he’s not a one-dimensional scorer. Edwards has a knack for getting to the foul line and taking the ball to the hoop, even though he could do a better job finishing above the rim. But he makes up for it with his touch, aggressiveness and ability to finish through contact. Edwards is a fine ball handler and passer with both his right and left hand, but he doesn’t show the ability to finish with his left hand. But that’s about the only knack on him, and it doesn’t affect his production. He possesses good court vision and is a good passer, especially in transition. To top it off, he has a tight handle and doesn’t turn the ball over very much. This is the player who should take the big shot late in games.

Defense: While offense is where Edwards shines, he’s solid on the defensive end too. He’s a sound defender who will come up with timely steals and then find his teammates for a basket with a clean pass. As a man-to-man defender, Edwards is solid but not elite. Just as he’s an aware passer, he’s an aware defender. He rarely gives up space and almost always has his hand in the air, blocking the view of the basket and also making up for his lack of height. Even though Edwards is a better offensive player, he said his offense is field by how he plays defensively.

Projection: Edwards is a true point guard who will make an immediate impact as a freshman because of his shooting and overall basketball smarts. He has a little Nic Moore to his game, but is also a little more aggressive attacking the rim than Moore. The similarities between Moore and Edwards are one reason why Edwards is high on SMU. He’d fit well in a fast-paced spread-em-and-run offense or a deliberate, structured offense.

Offers: SMU, Purdue, Baylor, Vanderbilt, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Houston, Tulsa
HT: 5-foot-11
WT: 175 pounds

Carsen Edwards Highlights

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