Height/Weight: 6’7, 215 lbs
Iggy Brazdeikis is one of the most polarizing players in all of college basketball this year. He’s supremely talented and a gifted scorer. Any time you’ll watch a game, you’ll here the announcers note that shooting a basketball is the only thing that Iggy does left-handed. You hear that quite often from people trying to hype up a prospect, but when you watch him it’s clear that they are not exaggerating.
How he’s able to finish with his right hand is quite remarkable. He’s got this smoothness about his game that draws you in. Yes, all skilled lefties do that in some way, but Iggy’s style of play is something else.
Brazdeikis is such an efficient ball player who doesn’t force anything. He’s not someone who will take 20 shots in a game, but he’ll definitely get his own. Whether it’s from slashing to the basket or spotting up for 3, Iggy can score with the best of them in college ball.
Iggy has an extremely quick first step to the point that it makes you think that he travels. (Which he does on occasion) It’s quick to the point that when you watch him, it seems as though he’s frozen for a minute before burning past you. And for Iggy, it’s always on the catch as he hops into it.
Watch how he’s mid-air as he is catching the ball. It’s not a travel since he hasn’t even set his pivot foot yet. Iggy has the intelligence and wherewithal to get by his defender with his techniques and we can confidently say that this is not common from freshman college ball players.
Not often do you say this about a basketball player, but we are actually a bit worried how good he is with his primary shooting hand! Almost every time you watch Iggy go for a dunk or lay-up, he’s dribbling and finishing with his right hand. It’s not too big of a worry given that he is left-handed and has shown a nice touch around the rim. It’s something to monitor though.
The greatest glaring weakness for Iggy is his defense. It’s not fundamentally broke, but there are many occasions where you can point to Brazdeikis falling asleep or completely losing his man. Michigan is a good defensive team and it enables Iggy’s mistakes to be covered for, but that won’t be something that NBA teams will allow. Sometimes he’ll get lucky, but it’s easy to tell where he lacks focus defensively.
Here he is able to get the steal and finish the dunk on the other end, but if you watch closely you can see how he was completely out of position when that screen came and if it weren’t for the player fumbling the ball, that’s a wide open three. At the next level, you won’t have guys making those kinds of mistakes to make up for those mishaps.
Even with Iggy’s lack of a defensive impact at this point, we can see him becoming more formidable on that end. He’s got incredibly quick feet for his size and that’ll do wonders for him as he continues to develop. Brazdeikis is such a fascinating prospect and deserves heavy consideration for a 1st round pick. He’s got the fundamental skills, size, intelligence, and shooting touch with both hands to become a very good player in the NBA. If he can continue to produce at the efficiently level he currently is, we can imagine him finding his way into that late lottery range.