Jeremy Sochan Could Transform Wizarding Defense – NBC4 Washington

Jeremy Sochan could transform Wizards defense originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Wizards have the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Here’s the latest in our series on draft prospects that could fall where the Wizards select…

2022 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Profile: Jeremy Sochan

Team: Baylor

Position: PF/C

Age: 19

Height: 6-9

Mass: 230

Wingspan: 7-0

2021/22 statistics: 30G, 9.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.7 bpg, 47.4 FG% (3.3/7.0), 29.6 3PT% (0.8/ 2.7), 58.9FT% (1.8/3.0)

Player comparison: Scottie Barnes, Draymond Green, Aaron Gordon

Screenings: NBC Sports Washington 13th, Sports Illustrated 11th, Ringer 10th, Athletic 7th, ESPN 18th, 17th, Bleacher Report 12th

5 things to know:

– Sochan is one of the best and most versatile defenders in his class. At 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds, he can keep all five positions high, especially when forced to change perimeter and hold guards off the dribble. At a time when Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum are four of the best individual players in the league and play is moving more to the perimeter, teams need players like Sochan to give their defense a fighting chance. to slow down these explosive attacks. .

– Jump shooting is a major concern in Sochan’s game. It has a slow release and fires a flat bullet. He shot less than 30% on three in his only season at Baylor and his mark of 58.9% from the free throw line doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence that his shot will improve over time. Sochan has a nice turnaround jumper he tends to use in half court, but more than likely he’ll have to revise his mechanics in the NBA to open up the rest of his game. Scottie Barnes had a similar shooting profile as a rookie at Florida State and showed improvement during his rookie season, so hope is not lost for Sochan.

– Although his jump shot isn’t quite there yet and he lacks skill in creating perimeter shots, Sochan is still a viable offensive weapon thanks to his ability to attack the paint and make plays for his teammates. His long strides and tight grip for a player his size allow him to blow through bigger defenders and muscle up smaller wings on his way to the rim. If Sochan can hold his own as a small-ball center in defense, it would open up his team’s offense in a major way as opposing big players will struggle to contain his dribbling penetration. If the jumper starts to fall, then you have an elite two-way talent in your hands.

– Sochan is the son of two former college basketball players. His mother, Aneta, was a Polish basketball star who went to college in Oklahoma and eventually met his father, Ryan. They both played for the Sooners’ respective men’s and women’s basketball programs.

– Sochan played for the Polish U16 national team in 2019 and led his team to a FIBA ​​Europe U16 Championship Division B championship. He also won the tournament MVP award. Sochan also played for the Polish national team in the EuroBasket 2022 qualifiers, becoming the youngest player to ever play for Poland at this level.

Compatibility with assistants:

You can’t win in the NBA without good defense, and the Wizards haven’t had one in a while. Despite bringing in a defensive-minded head coach in Wes Unseld Jr., the Wizards have taken a step back defensively from where they were during Scott Brooks’ final season as a head coach. They went from 16th defensively (113.2) under Brooks to 25th (114.7) in 2021-22.

Sochan is the kind of player who could change everything defensively. There just aren’t many players in the league who can keep all five spots high, and Sochan projects himself as one of those guys. With an ultra-versatile ground stopper, Unseld Jr. would have a much easier time building an effective defense night after night.

Need a dedicated defender to throw at Tatum or Durant? Sochan is your man. What if Trae Young or LaMelo Ball feasted on Wizards headlines in pick and roll? Simply move Sochan onto the sieve and pass him to the ball handler to contain the player. He will also effectively smash the glass for you and push the ball on the break to generate easy looks for your offense.

Sure, players like Kyle Kuzma, Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura, Daniel Gafford and Kristaps Porzingis would technically be ahead of Sochan on the depth chart on Day 1, but his positional versatility would allow him to play with any combination of teammates on the ground and fill in if necessary. Depending on the type of point guard the team acquires, imagine a Beal-Caldwell-Pope-Avdija-Kuzma-Sochan group. Beal would arguably be the weakest link defensively in this formation, and if he’s your weakest link, you’re probably in good shape.

There is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution to fixing a struggling defense. Sochan, however, provides a coaching staff with several different responses to the various challenges NBA offenses present. Then, if he develops a consistent jumper, watch out.

2022 NBA Draft Profiles:

Jabari Smith Jr., Auburn

Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

Jaden Ivey, Purdue

Paolo Banchero, Duke

Keegan Murray, Iowa

Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky

Johnny Davis, Wis.

Jalen Duren, Memphis

Dyson Daniels, Ignite

Benoit Mathurin, Arizona

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