Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Name: Solomon Hill Age: 21 School: Arizona
Height: 6’7 Weight: 220 Projected Position: SF
2012-13 Stats (As of 2/15/13):
13.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.2 spg, 2.0 tpg (33.0 minutes per game)
46.2 FG%, 77.2 FT%, 39.3 3FG%, 59.1 TS%, 55.0 eFG%
21.1 USG%, 7.1 ORB%, 12.4 DREB%, 9.8 TRB%
SKILLS & ATHLETIC BREAKDOWN
Hill has continued to improve his jumper throughout his time in Arizona. He does a good job getting square to the basket, elevates quickly, and has a smooth, high release. Hill is capable of hitting his jumper off the dribble as well as coming off of screens, though he needs to work on coming off the screens tighter and ready to shoot. He has range out to the college 3-point line, and with some work, should be able to hit the NBA 3 with some consistency. Hill needs to work on making sure he stays square and doesn’t float when taking his jumper of the dribble. Hill also needs to work on creating space for his jumper with his dribble. Also he needs to watch a tendency to rush his shot when he doesn’t have a great look at the basket.
Hill’s time at the power forward position allowed him to develop a decent post offensive game, with the ability to make a move over either shoulder, with good footwork, and able to finish with either hand. He has the ability to face up and hit the short jumper or make a quick move to the basket against bigger defenders.
Hill is a capable penetrator, able to attack off the screen or in isolation with the right matchup. He does a good job catching the ball and getting into triple-threat position, and he uses ball-fakes and jab steps well to create space. He doesn’t have a great first step, but he uses his size and strength to force his way into the lane. He is able to finish with either hand and in a variety of ways, around the basket, can finish above the rim, and is capable of finishing through contact. He has good body control and he does a good job avoiding help defenders. He has shown that he can hit the mid-range jumper off the dribble once past the defender, though he has to watch a tendency to float on his shot. Hill uses screens well to get into the lane, and he has actually shown that he can make good passes off of his penetration, though not consistently.
Hill is an average ballhandler, able to use both hands, though he doesn’t look to go to his left often. He has good control, keeps the ball low and close to his body. Hill is not going to overdribble often, and likes to use his dribbles to make power moves to the rim, or short bursts to get open in the mid-range area. He needs to continue to work on developing dribbles that will allow him to create space on the perimeter, as well as getting a stronger left hand.
Hill has good court vision and awareness, and he uses his size well to make passes over the top of the defense. His passes are strong, but catchable, and he is a very good post-entry passer for a forward. He needs to work on keeping his head up when he penetrates and look for openings provided by the help defense.
Free Throw Shooting
Hill is an above-average free throw shooter, with a consistent routine, smooth shooting motion and follow-through. Where Hill needs to improve is looking to get to the line more often, averaging less than 4 attempts per game. He has been relying more on his jumper, and combined with the presence of Arizona’s freshman big men, Hill isn’t looking to get into the lane as much. When he does attack, he goes strong to the basket and has the body to absorb contact and finish his shot.
Perimeter Defense (On/Off Ball)
Hill is a good on-ball defender, positioning himself well between his man and the basket, staying relatively low and moving well laterally. He uses his body well and can play physical when needed. He is capable of guarding multiple positions. Hill pressures the ball surprisingly well for his size, and he does a good job being active with his arms without fouling. Hill needs to learn to work through screens better when his man has the ball, especially getting over the top of the screen when his man is a capable perimeter shooter. Off the ball, Hill positions himself well, putting himself in an area where he can get to his man and help around the lane if needed. He doesn’t look to jump or disrupt passing lanes often, but he can pressure off the ball for short spans of time. He anticipates his man’s movements well and he reacts well to cuts and fakes. He does a good job navigating through screens off the ball, not letting his man get a lot of room to get set for a shot. He picks his spots well when he looks to step into the lane and help or to double-team in certain instances. He has good defensive awareness, and does a good job tracking his man and the action away from him. He establishes position quickly as a help defender and is not afraid to take a charge against anyone. Hill can be seen directing the freshman big men during the action when there is a lot of offensive movement.
Hill is capable of being a strong rebounder, doing a good job tracking missed shots and getting into position. He uses his body well to establish position and he goes quickly after the ball. He boxes out well, getting wide and using his lower body to shield the offense from getting to the ball. He has strong hands and secures the ball well before looking to get the ball out to a teammate.
Hill runs the floor well in transition, capable of running the wings and spotting up for the jumper or taking the ball strong to the basket. Though not always pretty, Hill has also shown that he can push the ball himself on the break, usually looking to finish on his own. Hill is also a strong transition defender, directing teammates and looking to stop the ball out on the perimeter and forcing the ballhandler to make a play.
Hill is clearly a case of the sum being greater than the individual parts. He is not excellent in any one area, but he is capable of filling multiple roles and working in many diverse sets. With Arizona bringing in a group of young big men this season, Hill has been able to play more at his natural small forward position, though his experience at the power forward position has provided him with a skill set different than many of his wing counterparts. He has taken on a leadership role with his young team and has found ways to be productive while working within the Arizona offense. His ability to score in a variety of ways along with his ability to guard multiple positions well could provide him the opportunity he needs to show his value to more than a few NBA teams.
Draft Value: Middle 2nd – #42-50
There may not be much upside to Hill’s game at this stage, but he is one of the more versatile seniors in this year’s class. Taking on multiple roles and showing his leadership abilities only adds to his total package as a player. He is definitely worth a 2nd round selection and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a team’s opening day roster come the fall.
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