Tyler Hagedorn, from the University of South Dakota, is a front-court player with pro potential, largely due to his three-point shooting and his overall efficiency on the offensive end. This past season for the Coyotes, he made the All-Summit League first team, earned National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 12 first-team honors, and became the third Coyote in the Division I era to average over 18 points per game. Additionally, in his final year as a prep player, the Nebraska-native won Gatorade Player of the Year for his state, averaging 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
Speaking of stats, Hagedorn’s per-game averages in his final year at South Dakota were 18.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.7 turnovers. His rise is interesting since he is a fifth-year senior, who redshirted in his true senior year in the 2018-2019 season because of a high-grade medial plantar fascia tear. Although his teammate Stanley Umude was voted preseason Summit League Player of the Year, Hagedorn ended up exceeding expectations — voted preseason second team All-Summit League — to become his team’s primary scoring option and one of the best players in the conference.
In August, Hagedorn signed with Buducnost, the premier team in the Montenegrin Basketball League, which also competes in the Adriatic League and EuroCup. This season’s squad features former NBA players Willie Reed and Rashad Vaughn, former Iowa State star Melvin Ejim, and second-year pro Fletcher McGee, the NCAA’s all-time leader for three-pointers made. So far this season, Buducnost is a combined 4-1 in Adriatic and EuroCup play, but Hagedorn has yet to see any action.
|Position:||Power Forward||Team/Class:||South Dakota (R-Sr.)|
|Shot Hand:||Right||Stats:||Click here|
- Incredibly efficient shooter and scorer from all three levels; he finished this past season at the 99th percentile on overall half-court offense in terms of points per possession (PPP), and ranked first in true shooting in the Summit League and ninth in country (68.1%)
- Highly consistent deep shooter; among players with at least 140 three-point attempts this season, he led the nation with a percentage of 51.4
- Has shooting range out to the NBA 3-point line
- He was at the 100th percentile for overall catch-and-shoot situations (61 for 112) this season
- Can pump fake, one-dribble and side-step shot when a defender is closing out
- On spot-ups, was at the 98th percentile (1.325 PPP) this season
- Deadly as a pick-and-pop man, ranking at the 99th percentile (1.867 PPP)
- When coming off screens, ranked at the 88th percentile (1.207 PPP)
- Does a nice job finding position in the post, and ranked at the 94th percentile on post-ups (1.128 PPP) this season; when single covered on the left block, ranked at the 75th percentile (21 of 43), when on the right block, 96th percentile (12 for 19) and when flashing in the middle of the paint 97th percentile (8 for 11)
- An intelligent and unselfish player, with some untapped potential as a passer
- Ranked at the 71st percentile for PPP allowed in the post
- On defense, maintains verticality without fouling, and has potential charge-taking abilities
- Solid rebounder despite lacking great length and athleticism; ranked third in the conference with a defensive-rebounding percentage of 23.1 as a senior
- An older prospect at 24 years old
- Below average physically and athletically, especially when considering the average NBA athlete — his 6-foot-6 teammate Umude was used for “jump balls”
- A little too unselfish and not aggressive taking three-pointers, especially given his superior ability to shoot from deep; attempted only 4.4 threes per game (a career high this season)
- Post-up strengths unlikely to translate to the NBA level, though should be a plus in physical international leagues
- Not an overly skilled ball handler, relying mainly on simple straight-line drives; limited ability to make plays for himself or others off the dribble
- Not a creative finisher in the paint
- Favors shooting on the left side a bit too much when shooting threes (left wing) and posting up (left block), though he was equally effective going right or left as a driver this season
- Not a rim protector or very mobile when coming to help from the weak-side; career high of 0.82 blocks per game came in his junior season
What piques evaluators’ interest, in terms of NBA viability, is Hagedorn’s shooting talent. This season, he shot 54.4 percent from the field, 82.3 percent from the free-throw line and, the crown jewel, 51.4 percent from the three-point line. In short, the Nebraska-native was one of the most consistent shooters in the country. He was dangerous out of flare screens and was an elite pick-and-pop threat at the college-level, able to make defenders pay for not keeping a body on him. He is the prototypical stretch-four, who has the ability to shoot open and contested shots from deep. However, the natural skepticism that instantly arises when unpacking his three-point shooting numbers is the lack of volume.
Hagedorn didn’t lead his own team in three-pointers attempted — was three shy of shooting the same number of threes as his teammate Cody Kelley (143). In the Summit League, Hagedorn was third in total threes made (72) but was only 16th in total threes attempted (140). For greater context, the front-court player with the most three-pointers attempted in the conference was Kienan Walter from the University of North Dakota. Walter was sixth in the Summit League, attempting 178 but made 4 fewer threes than Hagedorn. Attempting a lot less than your Summit League competitors does not bolster his case as a sharpshooter. However, there is a silver lining that should be encouraging to those wondering if Hagedorn’s three-point shooting consistency would have sustained this past season with increased usage.
Hagerdon shot at least five three-pointers in 14 games, which amounted to 90 attempts; he impressively converted 53.3 percent of those attempts during that period. He did have a contest in which he went an outstanding 8-for-8 from three-point range. Even when that outlier is not included, his percentage would only decline to 48.7 percent — a still respectable percentage for a 13-game sample size that he averaged 6.3 three-point attempts per game.
The other aspect of Hagedorn’s offense that inspires some fascination is his post-game. Part of the reason that he shot less from outside the three-point line is because of his tendency to post-up. The half-court play type that accounted for most of his offense this season was post-ups at 22.9 percent — while spot-ups were second at 17.5 percent. He is very comfortable with his back to the basket, especially on non-big men. Oftentimes, he would set an on-ball screen that caused smaller defenders to switch on to him. Some opposing teams preferred to have anybody on him to take away the open perimeter look. This would be the time that the South Dakota product would go to his spots and seal his man in order to punish the opponent in paint. The fear of having the assigned big-man defender struggle to close-out on Hagedorn beyond the arc was a reality a number of conference opponents thought was not worth living. Regardless of if he had a mismatch, Hagedorn used his understanding of angles to find opportunities to use hook shots with either hand, spin moves and face-up shots. Out of the post, he is a solid playmaker, who can find cutters when double teams go after him.
The final things worth mentioning from a skill and athletic perspective is that Hagedorn doesn’t have much potential to do things off the dribble. He doesn’t have the ball handling or the burst to get by defenders unless it is after a pump fake that the opponent severely bites on. The senior doesn’t do much outside of straight line drives when attacking the basket; when he does get close enough to the hoop, he doesn’t have many notable finishing moves.
Hagedorn is not an above-average defender, mainly due to physical deficiencies. He is not noticeably strong or mobile. The two best things that the 24-year-old does is guard the post and maintain verticality, making good use of his height. His post defense is likely solid since he is so accustomed to being an offensive player in that position — he has a feel for what opponents will try to do — and post defense also requires less foot speed. However, Hagedorn can still get overpowered and elevated over. His verticality technique on drivers is solid, with his arms straight up, which helps him not pick up many pointless fouls.
In terms of overall rim protection, however, Hagedorn does not deter or meet players at the rim. He doesn’t leap high enough or have the length to give slashers something to fear when going to the basket. Coming from the weak-side, he doesn’t do well at contesting shots because he is not agile enough to get to the proper position most times. He does not provide much support as a last line of defense if teammates can’t contain a scorer attacking the rim. It should be acknowledged that Hagedorn is more built to be a power forward instead of a center — the position that he was forced to play since he was four inches taller than the next tallest player in the Coyotes’ starting lineup. However, as a power forward, he will be tested even more to guard on the perimeter, and his lack of lateral quickness will make that an issue.
Hagedorn’s wingspan doesn’t look to be much longer than his height, and he isn’t long or physical enough to deny post entry passes. He seems to have some potential as a charge threat, willing to accept that type of contact. On switches, he can’t avert opposing guards from getting by him to score at the basket since his foot speed is slow. Although he lacks some of the physical traits of a good defender, he does communicate well on the defensive end by being vocal and pointing out help-defense responsibilities. Lastly, another positive is Hagedorn’s solid rebounding; in the Summit, he ranked third for defensive-rebounding percentage (23.1) and seventh for overall-rebounding percentage (14.3).
Intangibles and Miscellaneous
Hageodrn is clearly an intelligent and unselfish player, who adhered to his coach’s system. With his shooting talent, he could have probably gotten away with taking a few bad three-pointers and not expect to be yanked out of the game for it, since he was such a productive player. His value was not just as a scorer but also for positional size. He was almost always the tallest guy on the court for his squad, who played with guards that were all under 6-foot-6. Hagedorn’s propensity to post-up more than light it up from three-point range could be due to the pressure that he had to be a paint presence as the tallest guy in almost every lineup that he played in. This leads to the next point about how he likely is better suited as a four rather than a five at the next level.
Hagedorn’s skillset is perfectly suited for being a three-point specialist at power forward, who helps with spacing outside the arc. As a defender, he also is not suited to be a rim protector — the most impactful defensive position on the court. Since the team that he played on was below average height-wise, Hagedorn wasn’t able to fare as well as he could, fulfilling a role he was not naturally meant to fill.
The final thing worth mentioning is that Hagedorn did play in a conference that is a couple tiers lower athletically speaking than the bigger basketball programs in Division I. The Coyotes only played two high-major teams outside its conference: Arkansas and Washington. In those games, Hagedorn scored 15 and 10 points, respectively, and was a combined 0 for 7 from beyond the arc. These poor outings are not the full picture of his ability to play a level up, but these performances do reveal that the large jump in athleticism and skill level does negatively affect his performance.
Hagedorn should lean more on his shooting strengths. His proverbial bread-and-butter will be his sharpshooting. He has to be a standstill sniper who can also make shots off one or two dribbles if he wants a chance at the NBA. It also would help significantly if he can improve his all-around athleticism.
At South Dakota, Hagedorn had the post-game to rely upon, but on the NBA level, post players are not catered towards, especially those who are not high-usage scorers. In overseas professional leagues, his post-up game will be more valued.
As of now, it is likely that Hagedorn will go undrafted, but if he can prove himself in Europe, he may have a chance to be a NBA player due to the always in-demand need for a shooting specialist.
Sources, Credits, and Acknowledgements: Stats used in our scouting reports mainly come from Synergy Sports Technology, RealGM.com, and Sports-Reference.com. Some background information and the photo were courtesy of South Dakota Athletics. Other outside sources are noted with links to the source.