• Sudeep Tumma

Scouting Report: Blake Wesley Could Be a Steal If He's Developed Properly

The potential is too appealing.

Unlike most one-and-dones, Blake Wesley didn’t enter college with a 5-star pedigree. Still, he held a 4-star rating and was slotted in as the 121st-ranked recruit on 247Sports.

But when Wesley arrived on campus, his talent gleamed and he went from a spark plug off the bench to a coveted starter by the seventh game of the season.

He quickly garnished prominence and was tabbed as a projected first-round pick in the 2022 draft.

Wesley looks to be a mid-to-late first-round pick, but he’s far from a finished product. Still, his talent and upside are exhilarating.

The 6-5, 185-pound combo guard still needs to get stronger to reach his full potential, but he’s already an impressive athlete with quick-twitch athleticism and a 6-11 wingspan. His length is noteworthy along with his leaping ability.

The percentages are a bit eerie at 40.4 FG% and 30.3 3PT%, which speaks to his unfinished game.

Still, he’s got some ability from deep. He’s a streaky shooter who doesn’t show much range yet, but he has the ability to pull up off the dribble or in catch-and-shoot opportunities from beyond the arc. His mechanics appear pretty solid even with a low dip on his shot attempts.

But his mid-range prowess is a true asset. He elevates over defenders, in space and in rhythm with a high release point on his shot. Whether off a dribble drive or pick-and-roll sets, Wesley’s pull-up in the mid-range is sound. And he has a sweet stepback in his arsenal.

However, his ability as a driver is a bit more head-scratching.

On one hand, he presents an aggressive mentality coupled with a propensity to seek contact. When he gets going downhill with a head of steam, it’s a difficult proposition to stop him.

With crafty handles, he utilizes an explosive first step to get in the paint with ease. He’ll hit defenders with spin moves, hop steps and floaters or just lower his shoulder and finish through contact.

And if he gets to the rim and doesn’t finish, his motor allows him to grab the offensive board and put the layup back up.

You love to see the contact-seeking mentality, but his finishing ability is a bit inconsistent, which leads to some of the lackluster percentages.

Adding strength should aid him tremendously in his development as a finisher, but seeing the physicality when he drives is already a great sign.

The other concern is his decision-making. Wesley takes some ill-timed shots, particularly difficult pull-up jumpers that result in porous possessions, sometimes missing open teammates. Time and maturity are necessary to eliminate that from his game.

Still, there are many positives. His speed in transition makes him a threat. The ability to change speeds makes him dangerous. His capability to create off the dribble can’t be understated. To be able to penetrate and collapse defenses is always a plus.

With that, he’s able to make plays for others. He’s a capable playmaker who can hits some drive-and-kicks, dump-offs, hit the roller in pick-and-roll sets, etc.

He’s certainly an unselfish player who tries to get others involved with solid passing vision. He could stand to improve his ball location on his passes though, as some of them are a few inches too far. Wesley finished the season with 2.4 assists per game.

His rebounding average slotted in at 3.7. He does show a surprising amount of effort crashing the boards, but he’s inconsistent with his effort boxing out and really digging in on the boards.

But Wesley’s rebounding upside is pretty high considering his length and vertical.

Those physical tools assist his fruitful defensive efforts. Along with his lateral quickness, Wesley slides and sticks in man-to-man defense.

He stays pretty locked in off-ball, following his man and/or fighting through screens to stick. Even as a help defender, he slides so well from the weak side and has incredible instincts to rip steals and attack passing lanes.

Wesley’s two-way ability is another aspect stacking on his first-round draft projection.

As he polishes his jumper and matures as a decision-maker, Wesley could really evolve into a special player. That is if a team is willing to be patient.

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