We continue with our review of the best projects in the NBA Draft 2021 and in this case it is the turn of Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, power forward who comes from playing two seasons with Villanova: he averaged 10.5 points and 9.4 rebounds in 2019-2020, while increased his production to 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds in 2020-2021, being chosen as the Player of the Year in the Big East, consolidating himself as a possible 1st Round pick.
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In physical-athletic terms, Robinson-Earl’s profile is not the best. He is not the tallest player (2.06 meters), he has somewhat short arms for his size and he is not an explosive athlete by any means, something that was reflected in his different measurements in the recent Draft Combine. However, we are talking about a complete player in technical terms, fundamentals and reading. An intelligent interior, emerged from a university like Villanova that is characterized by this type of project.
The best of Robinson-Earl in attack comes from the variants he offers as a pick and roll or pick and pop player. Without being a specialist in any aspect, he is capable of hurting in different ways at the exit of those direct curtains, standing out for his reading of the spaces offered by the defense. One of those options offered is to attack the mismatch if the opponent changes brands, being able to dominate smaller players at the low post. Good use of the hook – he threw a very effective 11-19 on those types of shots in 2020-2021.
In fact, about a quarter of Robinson-Earl’s possessions last season came playing in the low post. He doesn’t project himself as a dominant player in that situation due to his lack of height and explosion, but you can get some good results with your patience, touch and good footwork. He rarely forces a pitch.
The Kansas native knows what to do with the ball when he receives it and would benefit from playing with a guard who attracts attention on the pick and roll, and then can find open partners after receiving on the short roll. He’s not a brilliant assist, but he always seems to make the right play and is easygoing when looking for teammates. Good assists ratio (55) vs. losses (40) for an interior.
Robinson-Earl’s other recourse behind the curtain is open for the outside shot. In this sense, it is clear that he must improve and it is one of the clearest deficits of his game: took about 3 triples for every 40 minutes at Villanova, but only 30% effective. In his favor: very good efficiency in long doubles (45% in 2020-2021) and a solid 76% in free practice during his NCAA period. It would be key to consolidate this part of your game, but you have the conditions to do so.
Good ball handling, which you can occasionally use to attack heavier opponents from the dribble. We’ve also seen him drop defensive rebounds and raise the ball on his own. Excellent finishing percentages (66%) in the restricted area, despite not being an explosive player and not being a threat in transition.
Defensively Robinson-Earl is a dedicated, intense and versatile player. Even without being a great athlete, he has good mobility and basics for marking on the perimeter, even when paired with perimeter. Excellent rebounder, both in attack and defense.
Robinson-Earl’s limitations on this side are linked to his physical-athletic profile. He maximizes his conditions, but does not project himself as a dominant defender, but rather solid. Without the length to stand out as a rim protector: just 0.7 blocks per 40 minutes at Villanova.
The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its organizations.