Scouting: Jordan Geist

Name: Jordan Geist
Date of Birth: 10th of January 1997
Nationality: USA
Height: 1.88m
Weight: 82 kg
Pro Since: 2019
Club: RÖMERSTROM Gladiators Trier
Role: Scoring Guard
Key Skills: Shot creation, Shooting, Pick & Roll


Background

Jordan Geist came straight out of Missouri where he averaged 14.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his senior season. The way he ended up with German ProA-club Gladiators Trier is kind of strange as the club already signed an US-guard but this player never made the flight to Europe. So Trier had to find a replacement in a short amount of time and came up with rookie Jordan Geist who had a good first season overseas. The 23-year-old finished the 2019-20 campaign as the league’s second best scorer (18.6 PPG). He shot 40% from three, added 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in roughly 26 minutes per game.


Strengths

Scoring Mentality. Was just a true scorer on this level and really transferred this mentality. Was super tough to stop when he was locked in offensively. Scored in double-digits in 24 of his 26 games, eleven games with 20 points or more. Immediately looked to score when he had the ball in his hands and saw an opening. Didn’t shy away from taking responsibility in big moments, was one of their go-to-guys in crunchtime.

Creating own shot. He had a very ball-dominant role during his time with Trier as he was used on both guard-positions and expected to create for him and others. Excelled when having to create his own shot, using nice change of directions to get open. Really likes to spin around or away from his defender into an open jumpshot or layup.

Three-point shooting. Was one of the best shooters in the entire league. Could pull up from anywhere and make even tough shots look pretty easy. Shot a great 40.9% from three on 132 attemps (5.2 3PA per game). Doesn’t hesitate and shoots with a lot of confidence, even early in the possession. Mainly created those threes for himself as he handled the ball a lot but could also come around screens and knock it down.

Pick & Roll Game. Lived up to the expectations when it comes to his pick & roll game. Is pretty quick with the ball and a good ballscreen gives him all the space he needs to get open for a shot. He can still work on his decision-making to find a better balance between scoring and passing. Geist is actually a pretty good passer with a nice vision, however he mainly relied on his own scoring and only averaged 1.7 assists in 26 minutes per game.

Drawing fouls. Geist did a nice job of getting to the foul line on a regular basis (5.9 FTA per game). He knows how to initiate and sell the contact, although he didn’t get every call which resulted in these wild shots you can see in the video “Finishing & Shot selection”. With 73.2 percent on 153 attempts from the charity stripe, he wasn’t the best free-throw shooter but it ranked right where he left off in college and should be something he can improve over the course of his career.


Weaknesses

Shot selection/Finishing. Only shot 43% on 231 attempts from two-point range which is a result of two factors. On the one hand, his shot selection is questionable at times. Geist is a player that likes to rack up points in bunches, not afraid of tough shots or “heatchecks”. This looks good as long as it works but there were too many rushed/early shots where he could’ve rather passed the ball to create a better look. He definitely was the best scorer on the team, still he could’ve helped them at times if he would have been a little bit more passive here and there.
On the other hand, Geist is not the best finisher around the hoop yet. He is not super athletic and has problems going up and finishing against contact which led to some wild shots as you can see in the video below. He needs more patience here and there, waiting for the best look he gets, instead of forcing low-percentage shots.

Defenive Effort. To be an impactful player on a higher level, Geist needs to keep up his defensive intensity for longer periods. Due to his physical limitations, he’ll never be the greatest defender but he can still increase his effort. There were times where he was super engaged and active, even overhelping and in other sequences he’s just jogging around, not picking up his man at all and losing him subsequently. Just trying to score on the other end again won’t work for long in European Basketball.

Controlling Emotions. One aspect that stands out when looking at Geist’s season is the fact that he was suspended two times by the league. In both cases he got into a confrontation with another player and was not able to hold back. It was nothing crazy and you could clearly see him apologizing immediately in at least one case but he still had to pay a fine and was suspended for one game after the latest altercation. Should be something that gets fixed with more experience on pro level.


Outlook

Jordan Geist definitely lived up to the expectations in his first season in Europe. Trier got a guy that proved to be one of the best offensive players in the league and lifted them to a playoff seed. His ability to create out of the pick & roll, create his own shot every time down and shoot the ball from anywhere will make him an intriguing guard for a lot of teams in Europe. But to make the impact in a higher league, he really needs to work on his overall decision making and shot selection and make the best out of his tools and energy on the defensive end.

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