|Position:||SG/SF||Team/Class:||Oklahoma State (Sr.)|
|Dom Hand:||Right||Stats:||Click here|
As a junior in 2016-17, Jeffrey Carroll had a stellar season, ranking third in the Big 12 in scoring (17.5), eighth in rebounding (6.6) and third in 3-point percentage (44.4), becoming just the fourth player in league history to finish in the top 10 in each of those categories. He also shot 54% from the floor and 81% from the free-throw line, and he finished the season with an outstanding PER of 25. As a result, he began his senior season as a serious NBA Draft prospect.
What a difference a year can make. Carroll started the 2017-18 season in street clothes due to the FBI scandal – former Oklahoma State coach Lamont Evans was one of four assistant coaches across the country indicted in the federal investigation of college basketball recruiting practices. Carroll was eventually cleared and missed only three games, but it was a sign of things to come. His shooting numbers dropped significantly in his senior year – he shot just 41% from the field and 33% from the 3-point line. The rest of his numbers were fairly close to the prior season, some up and some down, but his overall productivity was clearly down (PER of 17.9).
Carroll is mainly a spot-up shooter. This past season, more than 56 percent of his half-court shots were jumpers, and only 13% of those shots came off the dribble. And more than 49% of all of his shots were 3s. He has a fairly quick release, but his shot mechanics seem to be a bit inconsistent. He is a two-motion shooter, bringing the ball back over his head.
Besides spotting up, Carroll gets most of his half-court touches by moving without the ball and using screens to set up his shots. He moves well off the ball, cutting hard and fast. However, this past season, he made less than 33 percent of those types of shots, be it shooting off screens, handoffs, or cuts to the basket. He occasionally handles the ball in the pick and roll, with limited success, and he is rarely used in isolation. Using his size to his advantage and having the ability to knock down tough fadeaway jumpers, he is very effective when posting up (1.2 points per possession), but post-up touches accounted for less than five percent of his possessions this past season.
In the half court, Carroll is selective about putting the ball on the floor. He is not overly adept at creating his own shots. His handle is shaky at times, and he is not dynamic off the bounce – he is mainly a straight-line driver. Despite that, he is far more likely to drive to the basket than he is to pull up for a midrange jumper. This past season, he was not efficient as driver in the half court, making just 41% of his shots around the basket, including runners.
On the move and operating with space is when Carroll is at his best. On the break, he is a threat to either pull up for a 3-pointer or go all the way to the basket. In transition this past season, he averaged 1.2 points per possession (71st percentile), making 53% of his shots. And overall (full and half court), he was effective at the rim (58%), where his length and strength helped him to extend and finish.
While Carroll takes a lot of shots (12.5 per game), he is not a selfish player, and he will make the extra pass. As a senior, he improved his assist numbers (1.8 per game) and his assist-turnover ratio (.92), and he averaged a solid 1.1 points-plus-assists per possession.
Though I have seen him lose focus at times, Carroll generally gives a good effort on defense, and I would say that he is an adequate defender. His .83 points allowed per possession this past season was better than average. He moves well laterally, but can struggle when dealing with picks. He doesn’t block a lot of shots (.3 per game this season), but his length is bothersome to opposing shooters. He has good recovery speed, but sometimes he ventures too far away when helping and looses track of his man. He doesn’t come up with many steals (.8 per game this season), but he does excel as a defensive rebounder (4.6 per game) for a wing. He doesn’t typically wrestle underneath the boards, but he snags a bunch of longer rebounds – he does a great job of tracking the ball in the air, and has a keen sense where to position his body beyond the fray under the basket.
In the final evaluation of Carroll, you have to ask, “Why did he perform so differently as junior and senior?” Looking inside the numbers, you see that he took more 3s and fewer shots around the basket as a senior, and in both categories, his shooting percentage was down 10-11 percent. We also can’t underestimate the loss of PG Jawun Evans (now a Clipper), who not only took the scoring pressure off Carroll, but also set him up for some easy baskets. For example, on cuts to the basket as a junior, Carroll shot better than 70%, but as a senior without Evans, he made just 40%. As one source told me: “Carroll and Evans had great chemistry, so having an NBA-caliber point guard setting him up certainly did him a lot of good. Not to say that Kendall Smith wasn’t capable, but he’s not Jawun Evans. So Carroll rose up teams’ scouting reports, and there weren’t many other offensive threats on OSU’s roster.” And with that said, I think that it is fairly safe to say that Carroll is best suited to be a role player, even at the college level.
Carroll is a solid spot-up shooter, a decent defender, and a very good rebounding wing. However, his offensive game is somewhat limited, and he had just one season at OSU when he shot better than 33% from beyond the arc. Perhaps most importantly, he will soon be 24 years old, so his ceiling is not very high compared to other prospects. With good workouts, he might slip into the second round, but that seems unlikely.
Sources, Credits, and Acknowledgements: Stats used in our scouting reports mainly come from Synergy Sports and RealGM, and occasionally from Hoop-Math.com. The photos were courtesy of the Oklahoma State Athletic Department.