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NBA Comparison: Jared Wilson-Frame

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Today, I am continuing my series on incumbent Pittsburgh Panthers Men’s Basketball players and the past/present NBA players they remind me of. If you missed the article on Terrell Brown, you can find it here. It’s worth repeating here: I am not saying that these Pitt players will one day play in the NBA. They may not reach the same heights as the player that I am comparing them to, but they can follow a similar path to success.

Now unlike Brown, senior guard/forward Jared Wilson-Frame is much closer to a finished collegiate product. While they don’t have the same game, Wilson-Frame would have fit in with the 06-07 and 07-08 Panthers teams much like Mike Cook, in my opinion. He has a very well-rounded game, but isn’t elite in any one area.

That doesn’t mean he can’t be a vital piece on a winning team, quite the opposite. Wilson-Frame is a “glue guy” that does a lot of the little things coaches ask for, at least offensively. Former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket B.J. Elder played a similar role on a very successful team under Paul Hewitt. Elder was the steady scorer and secondary decision maker for Georgia Tech. He wasn’t their best player, that was Jarrett Jack, and he wasn’t their most athletic, that distinction belonged to Ishma’ll Muhammad.

While their role is really the icing on the cake for this comparison, in my opinion, there’s a lot more substance to it. For starters, their physical builds are very similar which allows them to play multiple wing positions at the collegiate level. They both are good athletes that often need to build momentum to show it off.

Neither is going to grab a rebound and then immediately finish with a two-handed flush through contact off both feet. But if you give them a little bit of a runway, they can finish one-handed off one foot from the mid-post with relative ease. You can see a lot of that when Wilson-Frame drives baseline and looks to finish on the other side of the hoop, using the rim as protection.

Both understand how to setup secondary offense for themselves. While Wilson-Frame attempted a little over seven triples per game last season, Elder also liked to bomb away from the outside, taking over five attempts per game in each of his final three seasons as a Yellow Jacket. Elder mixed in a nice stop-and-pop game to go along with crafty drives to the basket, while Wilson-Frame is pretty adept at attacking closeouts where he looks to attack the basket off two powerful dribbles.

Wilson-Frame has shown the ability to pull up in transition for a three-pointer, so hopefully he can add a little bit to his mid-range game this season. I know long two-pointers are a no-no in 2018, but when only 9.2% of your attempts are two-pointers, it makes you a little bit predictable.

Elder was never asked to run as much of the offense in college as Wilson-Frame did last season. To me, neither is really a natural playmaker for others, but they are good decision makers. Wilson-Frame understood the importance of moving the ball from side-to-side (something you’ll hear nonstop from coaches if you ever sit close to the bench). He often looked for options before putting the ball on the floor, a really underrated quality of smart players.

Of course Elder played with Jack starting with his sophomore season, which helped a lot. Still, he was the kind of player who knew how to move without the ball and also made the right decisions with the ball. For how vital each player was to their respective offenses, neither coughed the ball up at a rate you might expect given their usage.

Look, Wilson-Frame is a good player and he would really shine on a team where he didn’t have to carry a bulk of the offense load for a big chunks of the game. Ideally, he has worked on adding some creativity when trying to finish around the basket. A floater and the ability and finish on the front side of the rim, instead of always going under, would add the kind of variety that might keep the defense guessing.

I think his three-point percentage will rise with a few less contested attempts, and a better offensive game plan (that wasn’t on him last year). Midrange action comes from really good off-ball screens and off-ball movement, and Pitt just wasn’t very good at that last season. We’ll see if that’s in his repertoire this season, as I expect the Panthers to be more cohesive on both ends of the floor this year.

- Stats courtesy of Hoop-Math.

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