Height/Weight: 6’4″ 201 lbs.
Jaylen Nowell is a very aggressive guard that can do it all. When you watch the six foot four guard play, there aren’t too many instances where you won’t see him on the wing or at the top of the key with his hands open ready for the ball. He has the ability to knock down shots with his feet set or even off the dribble. When he is handling the ball, he is capable of creating his own offense with nice scoring instincts. He has a great change of speed that allows him to get defenders off balance and get to spots he wants to score.
Nowell is a player that doesn’t shy away from the rock which was on display in his 26 point game against Gonzaga when they were ranked first in the county. The Washington guard leads his team in points and assists, while snagging nearly 6 rebounds a game. He has been an uber efficient shooter from the floor and deep this season.
The most exciting part of his game is that the kid is physical and doesn’t settle for outside shots, he likes to get right under the foul line and shoot that soft floater off two feet.
If not the floater, then you will see a beautiful mid-range shot from Nowell. His scoring ability allows him to naturally draw 2 defenders as he uses mis-directions and good ball fakes to drop dimes off to his teammates specifically in the pick and roll.
His athleticism at the rim is a different story. The young man is a high flyer in the open court and someone who loves contact and finishes well when hit. In this 2018-19 season the sophomore guard has matured on and off the court and is looking like he can turn out to be a solid draft pick.
Nowell can be a bit turnover prone as he averages about three a game. The majority of his turnovers do not come from his decision making, but more so him being loose with the ball in the open court.
The big guard also tries to use his frame and muscle too much which sometimes leads to him extending that arm/lowering his shoulder leads to a few charges here and there particularly on smaller defenders when it isn’t needed.
There have been a few games where Jaylen has been feeling it and tends to take bad shots. His shot selection is never really a big issue, but it’s just that when he is in the zone you have to worry about him passing up an open man because he would rather get his.
It’s understood that he was recruited as a scoring guard, but this season he has been playing a little bit of back up point guard once he stays in with that second unit so that is still a bit of a transition he is struggling to make. In due time I believe those questionable shots will decrease the more he runs the PG position especially at the next level.
Nowell is a solid scorer that has a versatile game and has the potential to be a solid second round steal if he decides to declare. He has to become a better ball distributor and playmaker to survive in the NBA and show he can also be a better defender.