Scouting: Andrew Andrews

Name: Andrew Andrews
Date of Birth: 25th of May 1995
Nationality: USA
Height: 1.88m
Weight: 89 kg
Pro Since: 2016
Club: Büyükcekmece Basketbol / Maccabi Haifa
Role: Scoring Guard
Key Skills: Scoring, Shooting, Drawing fouls


Background

Andrew Andrews is a powerful combo guard that played for Büyükcekmece in Turkey this season before he recently signed with Maccabi Haifa in Israel. Andrews played four years at Washington and turned pro in 2016. After one season in Turkey and only four games in the G League in 2017 he underwent a back surgery at the start of 2018 and had to recover for quite some time. He used the 2018/19 season in Riga to get back into his rhythm and while that didn’t go without the usual ups and downs, this season showed, that Andrews is fully back and maybe even more dangerous as a scorer than before. He averaged 20.8 points (42.2% FG, 38.8% 3FG and 89.7% FT), 3.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.1 turnovers and was one of the biggest surprises of the Turkish BSL.


Strengths

Scoring. Andrews is a really aggressive scorer and likes to take his fair amount of shots no matter the time or situation. He is really dangerous in transition or in early shot clock situations and puts pressure on the defense right away. He might not be the guy with the deadliest first step, but posesses good quickness in open court and is feisting when he’s already going downhill and doesn’t need to speed up from a standstill. He draws a lot of fouls with his aggressive style of play and puts points on the board from the free throw line. He can drive to either side and finish at the rim with both hands and if he’s not able to drive all the way to the basket, he’s more than happy to pull up for the jump shot in the blink of an eye. He can shoot it from basically everywhere on the floor and it doesn’t matter if there are one or three guys in front of him. If he moves around the screen in the pick and roll it’s very likely that he’s gonna take the pull-up jumper and his success proves him right. He’s also a big threat as a spot-up shooter and surely isn’t missing confidence. In general there’s not much slowing down or letting the game come to him and he stays aggressive over the course of the game. He lacks some IQ, elite quickness and playmaking at times, but he has the right mentality and scoring punch to be a really dangerous weapon offensively.

Shooting. A big part of his scoring goes hand in hand with his shooting. After somewhat struggling from deep the first two seasons in Europe, he showed his full potential this year and connected on 38.8% of his three-point attempts. He’s versatile enough to get buckets either as a pull-up or spot-up shooter and has become really deadly with both. He pulls the trigger whenever he sees the slightest of daylight and has to be guarded closely almost everywhere on the court. He draws a lot of shooting fouls with his way of aggressively pulling up and his jumper is one of the main reasons he can score in bunches. He’s got good core strength and good shooting mechanics, enabling him to shoot the same jump-shot every time and even from way beyond the three-point line. He can step back to create separation and has been consistent as a long-range sniper in the pick and roll all season long. His enormous potential as a shooter is especially visible when he spaces the floor, hitting shot after shot. When he gets the ball in his shooting pocket there’s a high chance that he will hit it and he had enough games where he punished the defense with his outside scoring. He’s best either from the top or from the corners and you can count on him to hit at least a couple of threes each game.

Upside as a defender and passer. While he’s not necessarily a great defender or passer, he’s shown that he can be a solid defender when he’s locked in and throw pinpoint wraparound passes with either hand on the other end. He might not be the quickest around screens and surely lacks awareness and effort at times, but he has the potential to guard both guard spots and be at least decent for his team. He had some games where he really defended well over more than one quarter and needs to work on being more consistent.

And although he’s mostly a scorer at this stage of his career, he has some upside as a playmaker. He showed last year that he’s more of a passer than people might think and dished out some pretty assists. He isn’t particularly good at finding the open guy in the pick and roll, but has some moments every game where you can see he’s more than just a one-trick pony. He lacks size and sometimes unselfishness to be great in that area, but some of his reads will surprise you. He averaged 4.5 assists this season and while a couple of those dimes weren’t the result of high-level playmaking, there is some passing ability to work with.


Weaknesses

Defensive effort and overall consistency. While his upside is definitely there in terms of defense, you have to mention that his actual output on the court isn’t good and consistent enough to call him an above average defender. He’s really inconsistent as an on-ball defender, quite bad as an off-ball defender and maybe even worse in transition, where his lack of effort to fully sprint back and do the dirty work is concerning at times.

He can be solid as an on-ball defender, but really lacks consistency and tends to fall off a cliff when he has to get around multiple screens. He’s more of a powerful than a feisty guard and therefore has problems to quickly accelerate and decelerate. He’s either extremely bad the whole game or really gives his all and has only a few minor lapses here and there. If you look at his pick and roll defense in some of his bad games, it’s rather obvious that he’s completely out of position and not attached to his opponent at all. He’s way too low in those cases, sometimes even three or four steps away from his man and regularly gets stuck in opposing screens. He doesn’t put enough pressure on his guy and therefore fails to make an impact defensively.

Off the ball he isn’t good in terms of overall awareness and regularly fails to recognize where his man is heading behind bis back. Often times he is out of the race from the beginning and needs to recover lost ground before he even moves. And in situations where he is in fact aware of what’s going on, there’s a pretty good chance that he gets stuck in screens and has to call for the switch to prevent an open shot. There are times where he just picks up the guy next to him instead of guarding his original match up, causing unnecessary trouble.

While his lackluster effort alone gives you headaches at times, you have to mention that he’s capable of so much more. When he’s locked in, he has the potential to get around screens and follow his man almost wherever he wants to with his mix of size and strength, but he simply isn’t able to consistently defend over the course of a game. He has enough moments where you can see his raw physical potential, but his lack of commitment to that side of the ball can be worrisome. He defended better as the season went on, but it became obvious that he puts more emphasis on his offensive game than on his defensive one.

Shot selection and shot creation. His defense isn’t his only weakness though, as his shot selection and shot creation tend to be other parts of his game, where he can certainly improve. He forces shots early in the shot clock and tends to shoot it even with a hand in his face. Some of it comes with the territory of being a scorer, but he has to find a better balance between jacking the shot up and organizing the offense. He likes to play at full speed and attacks going downhill, but a couple of his attempts end up in offensive fouls or wild shots. He’s not only overaggressive at times, but also not quick and explosive enough to create a good shot every trip down the floor.

What his game is really lacking though is a good portion of setting the defense up before trying to make a play. He’s got moves to beat his man one on one, but he would be more well-rounded and simply in control of the game if he would use head fakes, decoy moves or other little actions more often when a screen is involved. He’s not good at getting both the guard and the big out of position first and – as a result – runs straight into screens sometimes. Opposing bigs know where he’s going and he’s giving them an easy time with his style of play. He could be much more more effective as a ballhandler in those situations with a bit more savvy and basketball IQ. Right now too many of his pick and roll possessions end up with him forcing the shot up or simply passing the ball back out. That again leads us to another reason for his rather bad shot selection: his playmaking.

Playmaking and passing. Speaking of playmaking, it has always been kind of an up-and down rollercoaster ride his whole career. This year it was obvious that when he got guys open, it was mostly because he’s a scoring threat and not because he saw the game evolving before everyone else. He usually doesn’t find guys in tight spaces and misses most of the tiny windows that all the great playmakers create and use. He distributes the ball somewhat solid with both hands and has some good moments as a passer even with his left, but his accuracy is all over the place at times. He’s not an expert in determining how fast or slow he has to pass the ball in certain situations and three turnovers per game this year didn’t come as a surprise. He’s not a guy that plays with his head up and really has to improve in terms of dissecting the defense. He doesn’t spend much time in the game on manipulating the defense and rather looks for a way to create his own shot.

In general he’s not really great in terms of pick and roll playmaking and rarely assists the big. A huge reason for that was his unwillingness to get deep inside the paint in order to drive and dish this season. He lacks quick change of direction moves to get there and just isn’t an expert at penetrating right into the heart of the defense. He also misses opportunities to throw short roll bounce passes against the hedge defense and isn’t shifty and quick enough to split or reject the screen on a consistent basis. While his lethal pull-up game is evident when the defense drops back, it’s noticeable that finding creative solutions against aggressive coverages isn’t what he likes the most. It was really obvious this season that he’s becoming more and more a powerful scoring guard and less a true fascilitator.


Outlook

Andrews is clearly more of a scorer than a playmaker right now and his best fit at the next level might be playing alongside a good or at least decent playmaker to share some of the team’s offensive burden. He’s not only a really good pull-up shooter, but also deadly as a spot-up option and – in this role – could save some much-needed energy to be more of a force on the defensive end than this year. While his offensive output is certainly great and his shooting is really valuable, there are some concerns about his defense and his playmaking. He hasn’t been able to consistently contribute on both ends and that alone will rub certain coaches the wrong way. If he plays good with Maccabi Haifa he might get a nice deal next season with a team like Enisey in Russia or in a league where scoring is the main focus for imports, but it might be hard for high-level teams to give him the keys as the first option or second option. This really could change though as he’s in a perfect situation in Israel right now with floor general and defender Speedy Smith next to him and the potential to take the league by storm…

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