Scouting Report: Buddy Hield

Mar 5, 2016; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Buddy Hield (24) dribbles during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2016; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Buddy Hield (24) dribbles during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Name:  Buddy Hield        DOB: 12/17/1993 (22)   School: Oklahoma

Height: 6’4          Weight: 214   Projected Position:  SG

2015-16 Stats (as of 3/9/16, 30 games):

25.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg, 2.9 tpg, (34.9 mpg)

49.5 FG%, 89.3 FT%, 47.3 3FG%, 66.3 TS%, 62.1 eFG%

30.6 USG%, 12.8 DREB%, 8.4 REB%, 13.4 AST%, 13.4 TOV%, 2.0 STL%



Perimeter Shooting

Hield worked hard this past summer to become one of college basketball’s best shooters, showing the ability to hit from mid- and long-range consistently, as well as off the catch or dribble. Hield has a quick, smooth, compact motion and release, and he rarely seems bothered by being closely guarded as he goes to shoot. He is also a consistent shooter out to NBA three-point range. Hield uses his dribble and screen well to create space, especially as a pick-and-roll ballhandler, and his quick release helps him get good looks before defenders can recover, often using a quick step-back jumper before defenders can recover; however, he can be very inconsistent off the dribble, especially when not able to go through his full motion.  He is also very good at finding open space by acting as a screener first and popping back out for the pass and open shot. While Hield’s shot selection is generally good from the perimeter, he can force some shots, and he can have difficulty sensing whether he has truly cleared from a defender, especially off of screens. He is somewhat consistent with his mid-range jumper off the dribble, showing the ability to clear space in either direction to knock down shots, but he has the same issue with not sensing defenders around him. Hield moves very well off the ball, coming off screens in position to shoot the ball or using multiple moves to free himself, with his quick release making it tough for defenders to get out to him quick enough.


Hield is a very good ballhandler, with the ability to use both hands well, and able to attack the basket, or create space for his shot, in either direction. He can be a bit sloppy with the ball, leaving the ball exposed for defenders to get a hand on, and isn’t always aware of what’s going on around him, as he is focused on getting his shot. He has a quick, smooth first step, but he also does a good job mixing up speeds, so he can be a handful to keep in front of you as a defender, and his crossover dribble has continued to improve, leaving defenders off-balance. Still, he will often settle for pull-up jumpers instead of looking to get to the rim as often as he could. Hield shows decent control as he gets into the defense, though his speed can also work against him by leaving him stranded against help defenders. He is capable of finishing around the basket with either hand, and though he has some trouble scoring over rim protectors, he can be very creative to avoid them.

Hield has some ability as a pick-and-roll ballhandler, with ability to find, or create, his own shots or set up his teammates, usually finding them spotting up on the perimeter. His speed draws help defenders quickly, and while not always patient, he has gotten better at making reads once the defense rotates. Hield’s court vision is average, usually because his focus is on looking to score, but he will surprise at times with his ability to get into the defense and hit teammates with strong passes in good spots.

Free Throw Shooting

Hield had been a good free throw shooter through his first three seasons, but, like his perimeter shooting, he raised his free throw shooting to a new level this season, hitting just short of 90 percent so far this season. He has a consistent routine, smooth motion, and good release. With more than half of his field goal attempts being jumpers, Hield still does a good job getting to the line at a decent clip, with a free throw rate over 30 percent. He keeps defenders off-balance and reaching due to his ability to shoot from anywhere, but he is also aggressive when he looks to get to the basket, drawing a good deal of contact.

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Perimeter Defense (On/Off Ball)

Hield has developed in an above-average defender, but he isn’t always consistent, and often seems more focused on the offensive end. On the ball, Hield positions himself well between his man and the basket, and shows good lateral movement over short distances, but he is quick to give up a corner to an offensive player driving, and often takes himself out of plays by just letting help defenders worry about it. Hield has quick feet, and he reacts well to his man’s movements, but he can be slow to recognize changes in direction. When engaged, he is very active and has the ability to pressure the ball. Hield has a good defensive stance, making himself low and wide, which allows him to try and contain on the perimeter, but he will take the occasional chance on the ball, hoping his quick hands can force a turnover. Hield needs to work on getting over screens, especially recognizing when he is guarding a good shooter, and he has a bad tendency to make going under screens his first choice, or looking for a switch.

Off the ball, Hield positions himself well, shows better movement, and has the ability to deny passing lanes effectively. He can be active off the ball, though with his on-ball defense, his effort varies.  Hield has good awareness, and his speed can allow him to make up ground lost due to getting out of position. His speed also allows him to jump passing lanes, especially on cross-court passes, allowing him to get an easy bucket in transition.  Hield can be a good help defender, whether it’s trapping on the sideline or double-teaming the post, and his quick hands allow him to make a play on the ball if the defender is even a bit reckless. He does a good job chasing his man off the ball, though he could do a better job getting through off-ball screens, especially learning how to play angles effectively. Hield does a good job closing on shooters on the perimeter, though the effort isn’t always there, he has a bad habit of being drawn in the air by a shot fake consistently.


Hield can be a good rebounder for his size and position, tracking shots well, and using his speed well to beat others to the missed shot. He doesn’t look to get physical and put a body on someone often, but he will surprise with his ability to worm his way through bigger bodies to grab the ball, especially on the defensive boards, where he can then start the team in transition. With so many of his shot attempts being jumpers, he doesn’t get involved on the offensive boards much, but he can be very good at following his own shot, so defenders do need to keep an eye on him after he shoots.


Hield can be very good in transition, but it also where he can show his worst tendencies.  He is capable of pushing the ball quickly up court as the ballhandler, or running one of the wings and spotting up from behind the arc, or attacking the basket off the dribble. Hield’s speed with the ball is an advantage, but as in the halfcourt, he can get a bit ahead of himself, and end up in situations where he is forced to make a tough pass or take a poor shot. Also, his shot selection can be a bit spotty, pulling up for jumpers when he is guarded and teammates are open. Still, he has shown the ability to draw defenders to him to open up teammates, but he is usually focused on getting his own shot first. Hield can have some issues with control when he looks to get to the basket on his own, but, generally, he is a good finisher.


Hield’s season has been nothing short of spectacular, helping lead Oklahoma to the top 10 in the rankings all season long. It starts with his shooting ability, where he already shows consistency from NBA range, and the ability to get open not often seen at the college level. He is effective off the catch or the dribble, and his confidence when he goes into his motion is as good as I’ve seen the last few seasons. A simple hand in the face doesn’t deter him from getting a good look, and if a team closes hard or tries to run him off the three-point line, he is a capable enough ballhandler to put the ball on the ground and get to the rim or knock down the mid- or long-range jumper. Though primarily a scorer, Hield has shown some capabilities as a distributor in the pick-and-roll or off of isolation drives. Extremely quick, Hield can be dangerous in transition, though in both transition and the halfcourt, his speed can work against him, as he can lose control or end up in some tough predicaments when stuck in the defense. On the defensive end, Hield’s effort doesn’t always match his capabilities, as he can be a good defender on and off the ball, but he needs to find some consistency. When engaged, he has the ability to pressure the ball, on and off, and he has the speed, awareness, and footwork to cause some turnovers.  Hield has made a name over the years as a great teammate and extraordinarily hard worker, and that has been evident all season long. He is extremely coachable and finds ways to make an impact in a variety of ways.                        

Draft Value:  Late Lottery – Mid 1st Round – #12-20

Hield’s shooting ability can’t be knocked, and his size for the shooting guard position shouldn’t be a huge issue with his ability to create his own shots. Where he could have problems is on the defensive end, as inconsistency can be an issue, and dealing with bigger and stronger 2’s might cause him some issues, though his quickness will offset that bit. Still, he’s a natural scorer, coachable, and by all accounts, a great teammate, and he should have a long career in the NBA ahead of him as a role player/spot starter.

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