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2022 NBA Draft Scout Report: Jeremy Sochan

Our 2022 NBA Draft Scout Report Series continues to look at Jeremy Sochan, Baylor forward prospect.


Jeremy Sochan only averaged 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists on poor shooting in his poor season at Baylor. So why is he getting the lottery hype ahead of the 2022 NBA draft? Aside from his seemingly run-of-the-mill traditional statistic line, his positional fluidity and the defensive chaos he creates at a young age promise to become a full-fledged basketball player over time.

Strengths:

Jeremy Sochan (SOH-han) is a Polish American by birth but started playing basketball in the United Kingdom. Built with a huge 6ft 9in, 230lb body and a 7ft 0in wingspan, it has good measurable measurements and an NBA-ready body to compete against pro athletes.

Sochan came off the bench in 29 of 30 games in 2021/22 but was one of the best non-starters in the country. At the conclusion of the season, he was named the sixth Big 12 Player of the Year and also named to the 2021–22 Big 12 freshman team.

His calling card is his ability to defend in almost all five positions, as well as create deflection and transition opportunities when the ball is out of play. He keeps his arms active with arms and legs ready to pounce on any loose handle or lazy pass. Sochan’s fine motor skills and energy are immediately evident when we tap him last season. In the video below, he demonstrates the ability to go outside the perimeter, recover to fight in the paint, and wipe out a rim attempt with a single possession.

Sochan tended to act as a roaming four on the opponent’s weak side of offense in Baylor’s heavy zone formation. This allowed him to assist at the rim when needed or to enter the lane to prevent cross-court passes. However, he came out on guard and fenders when needed on the switches and more than held his own. He remains light on his feet even at his height and deftly changes direction defensively.

Even though he prematurely left his feet on this lower possession (more on that later), he can block the lane for the smaller ball carrier and make the hard turn jumper disappear.

Even with his positive switching ability, his best asset may be being used as an off-ball threat. He quickly helps or digs and returns to his original position. Sochan also knows how to hit passes off the ball and is looking forward to using errand passes and starting a fast break. He averaged 2.0 interceptions per 40 minutes and made countless slips.

Jeremy Sochan brings his relentlessness to the game as an active rebounder. He’s smart and knows how to find opponents to box and cut rebounds – 10.1 rebounds in 40 minutes in his first season. This, combined with his bouncy jump, makes him hard to neutralize on the board.

Despite being completely unpolished on the opposite end of the court, Sochan has a real ability to handle the ball in space. During the transition period, he looks up well and finds his teammates ahead. He could be the dribbling operator on short runs or even the pick-and-roll operator on half-court play. However, his best threat at this stage of development is attacking in closed matches and dribbling from the top of the key.

Although his shooting range is still very limited, Sochan finishes quite well at the ring. He can use his dribbling in limited face-up opportunities and has high release on short round jump shots.

There is no doubt that there is a lot of untapped potential in his offensive and defensive play. Sochan is also one of the youngest players in this draft, turning 19 at the end of May. With proper training and a professional program with weights and conditioning, his game could grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years.

Weaknesses and areas for improvement:

Even in the best of scripts, Jeremy Sochan notes that at this point in his career, he rarely uses the ball offensively. His point shots just don’t pay off with defense, and his shots and rim shots are way too infrequent for someone of his height and rim touch. If he can make himself useful as a cover and moving forward, some of these problems can be mitigated, but at the same time, teams can tuck a smaller defender into him if they think about it.

Simply put, its shooting periphery is very worrisome. Sochan finished the season with 29.6% shooting from three and 58.9% from the free throw line, despite good performance from three. He only averaged 0.97 points per possession (PPP) in catch and throw opportunities to Synergy and the defense will keep slipping away from him until things improve. It has a working shot motion with a slow but powerful release, but the results are not very good at the moment.

Despite having some juice on the ball and an electric first pitch to get past most players, Sochan can be reckless with the ball in his hands and sometimes finds himself running into defenders. The ratio of assists to turnover is barely over 1:1, but he still makes too many bad decisions in traffic and forces the situation from time to time.

While his perimeter defense is incredibly impressive for someone of his size and youth, Sochan could be the victim of a fake shot. He tends to bite fakes and leave his feet too often for blocking attempts, creating an opportunity for his match. And once he’s out of position, he’s not very effective at keeping up with opponents, which forces him to resort to fouls. Sochan recorded 3.7 personal fouls in 40 minutes in his only college season.

His lean build means he’s not strong enough to field the bigger big guys on offense. Likewise, he would not be able to play five defensively without being penalized, as his thinner build could cause him to be pushed out of position on the bottom.

Here David McCormick of Kansas gets the better of him, gaining a position in the post.

Below, Sochan cannot fight the vertical and never returns to the defensive.

Of course, there are tools, but they require some processing. Sochan’s return to school with an expanded roster as the Baylor Bears’ starting roster would help allay fears that the prospect might not be able to piece it all together, but no one can blame him if he’s presumably drafted within the first 20 picks in 2022. NBA Draft.

Possible landing on Atlanta Hawks:

It’s no secret that the Hawks’ defense was underwhelming last season, ranking 26th in defensive effectiveness according to the Basketball-Reference. At the 16th overall pick, Sochan could be an immediate boost to Atlanta’s perimeter defense either at 3rd or 4th and also with enticing offensive potential.

There are some doubts about the forward position for the Hawks with Danilo Gallinari on a partially guaranteed contract and trade rumors surrounding John Collins. Jeremy Sochan’s draft would no doubt be a long-term game, but it could pay off by betting on his rare and unique basketball ability.

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