Height/Weight: 6-5, 180 lbs.
The 2019-2020 Florida Gators were regarded as one of the best teams heading into the college basketball season. The team received its highest rated recruiting class in the Mike White era and a star grad transfer in Kerry Blackshear Jr. That recruiting class featured a pair of five star guards in Tre Mann and Scottie Lewis. Lewis was a consensus Top-10 recruit, McDonald’s All-American, and has national team experience at the junior team level.
As you can tell, Scottie has been on the radar for quite some time and after seeing him live, following just a few minutes of action, his athleticism was already on display. To start, he has excellent body control and stands at 6-5 with a +5 wingspan (6-10). He definitely has plenty of length to use to his advantage. When you pair that length, explosive leaping ability (off one or both feet), and quickness you are looking at one of the most athletic players in the draft.
Scottie’s main draw will be his defensive prowess that has been on display time after time this season. When he is really zoned in on defense, he can be a lockdown defender on the perimeter whose quick feet and active hands allow him to recover/stop most attackers. Scottie normally is great about sitting down in a defensive stance on the ball and has great footwork getting around screens. You can really see the love he has for the defensive side of the ball. His point of attack defense isn’t the only draw as he has solid defensive awareness to help over for weak slide blocks or to jump into passing lanes.
The weak side blocks for Scottie Lewis come at the rim and are nothing short of spectacular. I think he would be one of the few players who could step onto an NBA floor and be capable of having an impact immediately. At the next level he will be able to guard either guard spots or smaller forwards effectively.
Scottie’s jumper has a nice form to it even though he has been inconsistent from beyond the arc even in his high school days. An indicator that some scouts use to determine the potential of a prospects three point shot is his FT% which has been above the 80% mark which shows there is a chance of growth that I would buy into. There is some touch that he has on turn around shots that is encouraging to see. He looks comfortable to take threes off standing C&S chances.
He definitely has some good indicators of his shot panning out, but it’s still something to monitor.
The defensive allure that Scottie has is appealing, but his ability to finish in transition is also appealing. He can easily throw down lobs or run the floor at a high speed finishing above the rim. In the half court, Florida runs sets designed to get players like him opportunities off cutting action. Scottie has solid offensive awareness to look to curl or go backdoor off these screens resulting in some easy buckets. He is also capable of finishing with either hand around the rim.
The leaping ability and length he possesses allows Scottie to really go up and grab rebounds effectively on the defensive end. His second jump is alarmingly impressive even after his own miss.
Earlier I talked about Scottie’s athleticism and his measurables, but I left out weight and I left it out for a reason. He is rail thin and based on his body type I think there are legit questions on if he’ll fill out if he does add on some pass. This is a real concern as when he drives, he gets pushed around easily and knocked off course and it alters his ability to finish in the lane.
When players really press up on him and play a more physical style of basketball, he is prone to turning the ball over. This can also be an issue on the defensive side of the ball as bigger guards will bully him into easy buckets.
A major concern for Scottie Lewis is his half court offense. He relies a lot on others to create and can get caught playing passively. He is very raw on the offensive end in general and needs to learn a couple go to moves that will get him a nice look. In the live game I saw of his, he looked to create his shot once and it was off a drive with a cross over and step back. The move looked very solid and his handles were on display, but he needs to look to do more if teams are going to believe he is more than a 3 and D player. He needs to look to show that he can do more than just come around screens and shoot open threes.
Another weakness comes from his shooting ability. I’ve already stated that there is reason to believe his shot comes around, but that was just from some indicators. His shooting has been a growing issue. If he can never turn it around and get to a point where he makes 32%-35% from outside the arc, then it is going to be hard to justify giving him a ton of minutes with other options on the bench.
The last con to his game is that since he plays passive, he also doesn’t create any looks for others. He doesn’t have to ever be good at it, but it would boost his stock a little if teams know he was actively trying to find others and be a playmaker on offense.
There will be a lot of varying opinions on where Scottie Lewis should be drafted or if he should even declare at all. I think Scottie projects to be a plus defender at the next level, but teams are not going to put him on the court for major minutes as of now because of the lack of offensive polish. However, Scottie is young and still has time to add to his game and if teams believe they can really work with him, then he could be worth a first round selection. I think going into next year he could give valuable minutes off the bench to an NBA team playing tough defense and always playing hard.
Don’t be surprised to see him go anywhere in the 20s or 30s if he decides to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft.