|Dom Hand:||Right||Stats:||Click here|
At 7-foot-2 and 290 pounds, Isaac Haas is the biggest prospect on our draft board this year. He is a huge man, with an NBA-ready body and an old-school game. This past season as a senior, Haas capped off a solid career at Purdue by averaging 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. He also shot 61.7 percent from the field, the 10th-best percentage in school history. He finished his career at Purdue ranked 20th in points (1,555), 20th in rebounds (643), seventh in blocked shots (124), and fourth in field-goal percentage (.589).
On March 16, Haas suffered a broken right elbow in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, and missed the final two games of the season. He underwent surgery in late March, and was not expected to be fully recovered until some time in June. The elbow most certainly played a part in Haas not receiving an invitation to the NBA Combine, though he was not a lock to be invited even before the injury.
Virtually on a nightly basis, Haas has a size advantage, but he is not as dominant as one might expect. His rebounding numbers are quite meager for a big man, and his shot blocking numbers are good, but not stellar. This past season, he didn’t lead the Boilermakers in either category. His struggles in these areas seem to be mainly due to a lack of athleticism. He is not explosive off the floor, lacks the speed and quickness to chase down loose balls, and doesn’t have the most reliable hands to secure rebounds.
Haas does do one thing extremely well – score around the basket, especially as a post-up player. Nearly 74% of Haas’ touches this season came in the post, where he averaged an excellent 1.12 points per possession (94th percentile). He is very tough to stop once he establishes deep position, which he does with regularity. He is strictly a back-the-basket player, who favors turning to the left and shooting over the left shoulder. He relies mostly on right-hand hook shots, drop steps, and simple drives to the basket. He can finish with either hand, and will occasionally mix in a left-hand hook.
Haas is not nearly as consistent when he catches the ball a few feet outside the restricted area. He lacks the skill and mobility to be effective off the bounce for more than a couple of dribbles, and he is reluctant to take turnaround and fadeaway jumpers, though he made 55% of his 22 jumpers in the post this season.
Statistically, Haas was extremely effective on cuts and rolls to the basket this season, averaging 1.44 points per possession. However, those types of plays accounted for just 12 percent of his possessions. If he were lighter on his feet and more explosive vertically, he likely would have received far more touches going to the basket, but as it is, he is slow on his cuts and rolls, and he rarely breaks free for easy dunks and layups. Also, he is not quick up the court, so he seldom scores in transition.
At Purdue, Haas was in a great situation – he was surrounded by excellent three-point shooters. As a result, opponents were often hesitant to double-team him in the post, which, in turn, helped Haas be highly efficient around the basket. That efficiency, however, was a double-edged sword, allowing him to succeed without expanding his game. His offense outside of 17 feet was literally non-existent this season, with more than 90 percent of his shots coming within 10 feet or so of the basket. He took no shots beyond 17 feet as a senior, and he never attempted a 3-point shot during his college career. On the plus side, his style of play led to a lot of free-throw attempts (5.4 per game this season), and he knocked down a high percentage at the charity stripe (76% this season). His success at the free-throw line, combined with the promise that he showed with his jumpers in post (albeit a small sample), bodes well for him to expand his game to at least 15 feet.
Though generally effective when passing, Haas was somewhat of a black hole when he touched the ball this season, assisting just 26 times out of 450 possessions. Despite his very limited role as a playmaker and a ball handler, Haas turned the ball over quite a bit (TO% of 13.1), mainly because of his shaky hands. He tends to fumble passes, and is prone to having the ball stripped away.
This past season, it was not uncommon in late-game situations for Purdue to use offense-defense substitutions, with 7-foot-3 freshman Matt Haarms replacing the less athletic Haas on the defensive end. Haas’ biggest issue is a lack of foot speed, which is especially a problem when he has to go out to the perimeter and defend the high screen and roll. Getting up and down the floor quickly can also be an issue. His defensive awareness could eventually improve, but currently, he often gets caught out of position on rotations and switches. He also has a tendency to bite on fakes and over commit when helping, and lacking the speed to quickly recover, the team’s defense breaks down. This is not to say that he is a total defensive liability because he is not. His length alone gives him the ability to hinder many shots around the basket, even when he is on the weakside. And he’s not easily pushed around, so he matches up very well with other low-post bangers like himself.
Things are not looking up for Haas at the moment. He is still recovering from the broken elbow, and he wasn’t invited to the combine. Also, an off-court legal issue recently came to light. While he was highly effective in the post at Purdue, Haas will have to expand his game at the pro level – the wider lanes alone will hinder his game. His lack of athleticism limits how much he can expand his game, but as noted above, there is a chance that he could become reliable as a shooter out to 15 feet. There are other issues, however, mainly his poor rebounding and perimeter defense, and I am not certain if he will ever be good in those areas. Less than 10 years ago, Haas probably would have been a second-round pick at worst, but in the current era, he is unlikely to be drafted. Even so, based on his size alone, teams will certainly take a long look at him during the NBA Summer League to gauge his potential.
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 Purdue Athletic Department.