Height/Weight: 6’6, 194 lbs
Cassius Stanley, guard at Duke University who broke Zion Williamson’s vertical leap record, is a force to be reckoned with as he has shown basketball viewers spurts of his potential this season.
Coming into college, Stanley was widely known for his athleticism and was projected to be one of the best dunkers in college basketball. During his first game against Kansas, we were immediately treated to a show.
Duke is known for their up tempo pace as they love getting up and running the floor in transition.
The former Sierra Canyon Blazer plays with much intensity on both ends of the court and is constantly exhibiting his athleticism. Stanley has a knack for rebounding, especially on the offensive boards. He just knows where the ball is going to come off the rim to make it easier for him to get the put-back dunk.
His athleticism is what leads to many of his blocks and rebounding on the defensive end as well.
Cassius Stanley uses his speed wisely in the open court that helps him get some easy fast break points. The speed is also used in the half court when Cassius cuts backdoor and makes intelligent cuts to the basket.
What surprised me about Stanley’s game was his shot selection. For a freshman, he has a very smooth stroke and he does not force up shots and always looks for the easier basket. Stanley has a nice, consistent catch and shoot form from 3 point range. He hits deep 3’s with confidence, but it seems that he is most comfortable with the corner 3. Given that he is known for his high vertical and amazing jumping ability, it is also good to note that Stanley is well controlled when jumping and keeping his body straight to drain 3’s.
Cassius Stanley’s athleticism is elite, but it is also can be seen as a weakness. Watching his games, onlookers can see that he sometimes relies too much on it. He’s out jumping his opponents right now, however, at the next level he won’t be able to rely so much on his athleticism because most players will be able to jump right with him.
Stanley can be too aggressive on the defensive end and sometimes can get into foul trouble. When his team needs him out there, he’s not because of the foul trouble he sometimes get into. He is needed on the floor to get rebounds especially on the offensive side and he shouldn’t be a burden to his team. Cassius should be on the floor and has to learn how to not be overly aggressive on the defensive end.
Furthermore, another thing he should work on is his off the dribble shooting. If he can showcase it more it can help him offensively when he cannot body bigger defenders in the paint and rely on his strength. Also, if he develops off the dribble shooting, it will create more opportunities for Stanley to penetrate and kick it open to a teammate. I know he is more so a shooting guard, but I’d like to see him distribute the ball more. He has no problem getting to the basket, but he has tunnel vision when he does get into the lane on many occasions.
Cassius Stanley is an exciting player to watch because of his athleticism as mentioned and he also demonstrates leadership for the Blue Devils even though he is only a freshman. Stanley is an extremely gifted player and deservedly is going to get a ton of mentions for the 2020 NBA Draft if he chooses to stay in.
If he does decide to stay another year, Cassius can work more on his weaknesses such as off the dribble shooting as well as passing. Another year at Duke will not hurt his draft stock and I believe it could really help him. The sky is the limit for Stanley as long as he continues to work hard on his game. Even if he stays in the draft this year, there is a good chance that a team will take a 2nd round flyer on him and work him up from the G League.