Trent Forrest Scouting Report

Trent Forrest
Trent Forrest (#3) ranked in the top 10 of the ACC for free-throw percentage, assist percentage, and steal percentage this season. (Photo by Mike Olivella | FSU Athletics)

Pro teams in need of a team-oriented leader and a proven winner should take a long look at Trent Forrest, Florida State’s career leader for wins with 104.  A scrappy and hustling point guard, Forrest is known mostly for his defensive play, but he was a highly productive all-around performer at FSU.  He finished his career with 1,143 points (33rd in FSU history), 562 rebounds (20th in school history), 455 assists (fifth in school history), and 224 steals (third in school history).  Forrest and Bob Sura, a 12-year NBA veteran, are the only players in Seminole history with at least 1,100 career points, at least 500 career rebounds, at least 400 career assists and at least 200 career steals.

As a senior this season, Forrest earned an All-ACC selection (2nd team) and All-Defense honors.  He averaged 11.6 points, 4.4 boards, 4.0 assists, and 1.9 steals per game, with shooting splits of .459/.281/.822.  He ranked in the top 10 of the ACC for free-throw percentage, assist percentage (24.1), and steal percentage (3.5).

Forrest has very good size and strength for a point guard, and he is above average athletically.  As noted above, his main strength is his ability to defend.  He plays with great awareness, and has an amazing nose for the ball.  He produces a high number of steals and deflections, is quick to loose balls, and even gets his share of rip-away steals from bigger players.  The 22-year-old is very effective on and off the ball as a defender, and has switch-ability.  He applies solid pressure on the ball, and thanks to fantastic lateral speed, he is tough to beat off the dribble.  And despite his energetic and aggressive style, he defends without fouling (averaged just 1.5 personal fouls per game this season).  Over the past two seasons, Forrest ranked no worse than the 79th percentile for points per possession (PPP) allowed, and in every season of his four-year college career, he ranked in the top 20 of the ACC for standard defensive rating. 

On offense, Forrest struggles with efficiency as a scorer.  This season, he ranked at the 45th percentile for overall PPP.  Handling in the pick and roll (PNR), transition, and spot-ups accounted for 76 percent of his possessions, and he ranked above the 50th percentile in only one of those areas (spot-ups, 58th). 

Forrest’s offensive inefficiency is mainly due to not being a consistent jump shooter and committing too many turnovers.  He set a career mark for 3-point percentage this season, but 28 percent is far from ideal, and in the half-court, he ranked at the 27th percentile for PPP on jumpers (39th on catch-and-shoot attempts and 22nd on off-dribble attempts).  As for turnovers, he had an extremely high rate in transition (29.5 percent) this season, and as a result, he ranked at the 38th percentile for PPP.  As a junior, he had a reasonable turnover percentage in transition (11.8 percent), and his PPP productivity was at the 67th percentile.  Last season, on the other hand, he struggled with turnovers as a PNR handler, and his efficiency was at the 40th percentile, compared to the 50th percentile as a senior.  At least in part, Forrest’s troubles with turnovers are due to his handle, which is not elite for a point guard.  He can effectively go right and left, but at times, he can’t control the ball at high speeds and in tight spaces. 

At Florida State, Forrest’s main form of attack was driving into the paint as both a distributor and scorer, and when including assists into the PPP calculation, he ranked at the 81st percentile this season.  Also, his PPP efficiency significantly increased when including derived offense with his PNR (64th percentile) and isolation (72nd) possessions.  The senior’s assist-turnover ratio was not great (1.35) due to a high number of turnovers (3.0 per game), but his career A/T ratio of 1.75 is more than reasonable for a lead guard.  Overall, Forrest is a solid facilitator, but he is not particularly creative or dynamic; he does, however, show very nice touch on lob passes. 

As a scorer via drives, Forrest has excellent touch around the rim with runners, floaters, and layups.  He took 52 floaters/runners in the half court this season, and ranked at the 88th percentile in terms of PPP.  However, the downside of not going all the way to the rim is that he doesn’t draw a lot of fouls (3.3 free-throw attempts per game this season).  For his entire senior season, he took only 16 shot attempts within seven feet via drives, making 10 (62.5 percent).  That’s a nice percentage, and Forrest has the size and strength to be a consistent scorer at the rim, though he must learn to use his left hand more often when finishing. 

In sum, Forrest is unlikely to be drafted, but he has the potential to be a poor man’s Lu Dort.  He’s not as big or strong as Dort, but he has a comparable skill set.  Forrest doesn’t have the same defensive potential, but he still could be very valuable to a team on that end of the court.  The FSU product would certainly increase his odds for success by expanding his offensive game and cutting down on his turnovers.  Specifically, he could greatly increase his value by developing a consistent jump shot.  There is nothing glaringly wrong with Forrest’s shot mechanics, and he was solid from the free-throw line during his college career (75 percent).  Given that he has always been a low-volume jump shooter (jumpers accounted for just 43 percent of his half-court attempts this season), and he improved from both the 3-point and free-throw lines as his career progressed, there are reasons to be encouraged.

Position: Point GuardTeam/Class:Florida State (Senior)
Birthday: 06/12/98Nationality:United States
Height: 6-4Weight:210
Wingspan:6-8Vertical:32.5 inches (standing), 37 (max)
Shot Hand:RightStats:Click here

Strengths

  • Good combination of size, strength, and athleticism for the point guard position
  • Excellent all-around defender; ranked in the top 20 of the ACC for defensive rating for four straight seasons
  • Always around the ball; as a senior, averaged 1.9 steals and 4.4 rebounds per game, and 3.3 combined steals and blocks per 40 minutes
  • Solid facilitator; ranked at the 81st percentile this season for point-plus-assists per possession, and had a career A/T ratio of 1.75
  • Good penetrator; ranked at the 88th percentile for PPP this season with runners and floaters
  • Positive intangibles: high energy and effort, smart, and team-oriented

Weaknesses

  • Poor jump shooter; had a career 3-point percentage of 24.8, and this season, ranked at the 27th percentile for PPP on half-court jumpers
  • Not elite in terms of dynamic ball handling and playmaking
  • Relies on floater and runners too much when going to the basket
  • Struggled with turnovers as a senior

Sources, Credits, and Acknowledgements:  Stats used in our scouting reports come from Synergy Sports Technology, RealGM.com, and Sports-Reference.com.  Some background information and the photo were courtesy of FSU Athletics.  Other outside sources are noted with links to the source. 

About R. C. Harris 62 Articles
Richard has worked as a sports writer/editor/analyst since 1998. He is the former CEO of FantasyFootballExperts.com and a former member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA). He has contributed to various magazines, radio shows, and a number of other sites, including ESPN.com, SI.com, and USAToday.com. Follow on Twitter @HoopsProspects.