Name: Cory Jefferson Age: 23 School: Baylor
Height: 6’9 Weight: 220 Projected Position: PF
2013-14 Stats (as of 3/10/14):
13.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.4 bpg, 1.4 tpg (28.5 minutes per game)
50.9 FG%, 63.4 FT%, 56.0 TS%, 52.9 eFG%
23.7 USG%, 11.2 ORB%, 21.5 DREB%, 16.5 TRB%, 5.3 BLK%
Photo:Cooper Neill/Getty Images
SKILLS & ATHLETIC BREAKDOWN
Jefferson uses his body well to establish position in the post area, and does a good job using his lower body to create space. He sets a good target for passers and has good hands. Jefferson doesn’t have many post moves around the basket, but he has become very comfortable with the couple he has. Jefferson has improved his footwork in the post, and has shown that he can make moves over either shoulder, though he needs to work more on getting to the basket instead of settling for short jumpers or fall-away shots. His touch has improved around the basket, though shots can be a bit wild with his left hand at times. He also needs to work on facing up out of the post and knocking down the short jumper or using his dribble to get by his man to the basket. Jefferson needs to continue working on being able to sense help defenders and being able to locate and make a quick pass to teammates on the perimeter. Jefferson is a very good screener, and when he sets screens out on the perimeter, he has shown that he can be an option in the pick-and-roll. He opens up well to the ball, and with the ability to use long strides, he can get to the basket quick enough to beat the help defense, though he can put more work on making these movements more fluid. While not exactly “post offense”, Jefferson is very good at sensing gaps around the basket areas and getting to spots quickly where he can get a good look at the basket, or find space to go up high for a lob pass and a strong finish.
Jefferson has improved as a ballhandler over the past few seasons, and he is capable of using either hand well over short distances. Jefferson has shown that he can make a move to the basket when he gets the ball within 8-10 feet of the basket, though he is obviously more comfortable going to his right. When going to the basket, Jefferson uses his body well to shield defenders from the ball, and is capable of finishing in a variety of ways, including with either hand, around the basket. Jefferson needs to do a better job keeping his head up when heading to the basket and sensing where the help defenders are coming from. Also, he needs to work on keeping his dribble closer to his body, as he can let the ball get a little far away from him. This part of the game isn’t a strong area yet for Jefferson, so he needs to spend time getting more comfortable with it, because he has the body and athleticism to make some plays off the dribble.
Jefferson has improved as a perimeter shooter over his college career, but he still has a lot of work to put in to become a consistent threat. He does a good job getting square to the basket, has a high release and good follow-through. Jefferson is very good at getting into his motion off the catch, but if he hesitates, even for a second, his shooting rhythm is gone. Jefferson’s length allows him to get looks at the basket in the mid-range area, and he has shown at times the ability to knock down the college three-pointer when open. Jefferson also needs to work on his ability to be able to shot fake and take a dribble or two to get a better look at the basket. Jefferson is a very good perimeter screener, so if he can become a consistent mid-range threat, it opens up the possibility of using him in pick-and-pop situations.
Free Throw Shooting
Jefferson is a below-average free throw shooter, though most of the problems seem to come from his release. He has a consistent routine and good balance at the line, but his shooting motion can be more fluid as he hesitates as he gets near the point where he releases the ball. His follow-through is good, but the hesitation in his motion can cause some shots to come off flat. Jefferson does a very good job drawing, and getting shots off, through contact around the basket. He goes to the free throw line about 6 times for every 10 field goal attempts, and it could be even higher if he went at the basket more consistently.
Perimeter Defense (On/Off Ball)
Jefferson has shown the ability to be a good on-ball perimeter defender. He positions himself well between his man and the basket, gets low and tries to maintain a good defensive stance. His lateral movement can use some work as can his reaction time to his man’s movements. Much of Jefferson’s perimeter defending has been done as part of a zone defense and the set up allows him to use his length more than his movement to cause disruptions. Jefferson does a good job closing on perimeter shooters, though he is quick to fall for shot fakes and getting drawn in the air. Off the ball, Jefferson positions himself well to start, but as possessions lengthen, you can see Jefferson start to lose focus of where his man is and he spends more time following the ball and anticipating help. Even in a zone defense, Jefferson can lose his place over time and end up having to recover too quickly than necessary to get to his area. His length does allow him to give some room out on the perimeter and still be able to challenge shots well, but his positioning will be important.
Post Defense/Help Defense
Jefferson has developed into a sound post defender, creating a solid, balanced base with his legs and positioning himself well between his man and the basket. His footwork is average, but has improved, but his length and athleticism allow him some leeway when dealing with some post moves. Jefferson uses his length well to try and deny post-entry passes, and he has become much better at defending players who look to face up out of the post against him. Jefferson needs to work on building up his strength and using his lower body better to force his man away from the basket. Jefferson’s defensive awareness could improve but he is capable of being a good help defender around the basket. Jefferson has the potential to be a very good shot-blocker. He has good timing and does a good job extending straight up to go after shots. He just needs to work more on getting into help position quicker. In pick-and-roll situations, Jefferson needs to work on hedging out on the ballhandler, especially making sure not to give too much room to the ballhandler to make a move to the basket or get a shot off. Because he doesn’t hedge far out too often, Jefferson has little trouble staying with his man after the screen.
Jefferson does a very good job tracking missed shots and getting into position to grab the rebound. He does a good job looking to use his body to box out opponents and once he has position, he goes strong after the ball, extending well and keeping the ball high. Jefferson’s length also allows him to tip balls that he can’t get to on the first chance and keep them alive for himself or a teammate. On the offensive end, Jefferson could be more aggressive going after missed shots. He has developed a nice ability to tip balls in around the basket when he has the opportunity.
Jefferson runs the floor well for his size and he is a good option on the break streaking to the basket either as a trailer or running one of the wings. Jefferson does a good job catching passes around the basket and finishing strong, while also showing good body control.
Jefferson has shown consistent improvement over his college career, and having played alongside and backing up future NBA players hasn’t hurt his development. On offense, Jefferson uses his length and athletic ability well to make plays around the basket, while also expanding his game well to mid-range area over the past two seasons. That same length and athleticism serves him well on the defensive side of the ball, though putting him a zone defense doesn’t give him the chance to affect the game as much on defense. In many ways, Jefferson’s game is still a work-in-progress and he could use some strong post development skills to bring him to the next level. He plays hard and is always trying to make a play anyway he can when he is on the court, but his athletic ability is what separates him from many similarly skilled players.
Draft Value: Middle-Late 2nd Round – #45-52
Jefferson probably isn’t quite ready to make an NBA team’s rotation, but the physical tools are there for the right team to finish his development. He would be a good fit with a team that can exploit his athletic ability in the right ways, though he has the potential to help most teams on the defensive end. This value may end up being a bit low if he can move into the right situation for him at the pro level.
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