Name: Bol Bol
Date of birth: 11/16/1999
Weight: 234 lbs
Team: Oregon Ducks
+ Shot blocking
+ Shot potential
– Willingness to play physical
– Basketball IQ
Scouting – Log book
Note – 1/3/2019
Bol Bol’s season with the Oregon Ducks most likely is over. According to Matt Brehm, he currently has a stress fracture in his left foot.
Basic information – 12/27/2018
+ huge standing reach; his length is intimidating and can completely change the defensive game
+ huge wingspan, takes up a lot of space in the zone
* his jump is OK; his quickness and reactions are rather weak (slow second jump)
– an absolute lightweight for his height (and center of gravity) and therefore is easy to move; narrow shoulders, absolutely not NBA-ready
– low basketball IQ, often does not anticipate well what will happen next on the floor
+ good free throw shooter (currently 76%FT)
+ soft hands and is good at catching passes; converts them efficiently when near to the basket
* he certainly has a good shooting touch; his shooting technique is not yet perfect (slow, movement starts very low), but it can definitely be developed due to his good hand-ball coordination; his range extends to the (college) three-point line; Bol loves to shoot, even from difficult positions; shooting could become Bol’s go-to-move if he puts the work in
* has decent ball handling skills and sometimes leads the fast break; however, dribbling from the perimeter is not an option in the half court
* his high post game still is very immature but could eventually become an interesting option for him; he has the talent for shooting directly or taking a one dribble pullup
* passes into the post or lob passes are difficult since his positioning is immature; however, passing to him for alley-oops seems possible thanks to his size
* his footwork is rather below average: during scouting, he showed a few indications of a dropstep, and even a spin move on occasion; it will be important to improve his foot positioning for making good throws
* eager offensive rebounder; however, this will not be an exceptional skill at the NBA level due to his lack of physical attributes
– catastrophic screener: does not meet his man, does not set his feet, tends to pull back from contact, moves to the pick too slowly; he tends to pop to the outside when he (very rarely) is used as a block setter
– due to his lack of physical play, he looks bad in post-up situations; the long-term solution can only be his shot
– weak passing game since he reads game situations very slowly; produces twice the number of turnovers than assists; unable to create for others
+ when positioned well, Bol delivers elite-level rim protection; his height and wingspan cover so much space that he prevents his opponents from driving in the first place
+ he is good at lateral “straight up jumps” and blocks many shots in so doing
* solid on-ball defender as long as his opponent does not play physical; usually keeps a good distance to his opponent at the perimeter; blocks even midrange and threepoint shots
* when he reads the situation correctly, he is able to block any shot as a helper; unfortunately, his anticipation skills are totally underdeveloped
* only defends the block setter in the pick-and-roll using ice defense, which he still needs to improve at (truly good shooters are rare at the college level)
* Oregon plays a lot of zone defense with him, which does not really help him get practice as the main defender in a man-to-man scheme
* due to his size, he gets a lot of defensive rebounds; he does not work for them at all and avoids contact instead; he often does not anticipate rebounds well, low effort
* lateral movement is solid for his size, but he often recognizes situations in which he would have to move too late
– the main points of criticism in Bol’s scouting profile: he avoids physical contact overall; allows cuts and post-ups without contesting and lets himself get pushed around; usually stands no chance against bigs that play physical
– he offers no switchability
– not always active as a help defender; has mental lapses (or thinks slowly) and misses penetrations and cuts
– too often still falls for (pump) fakes and leaves the floor with both feet
At the moment, it is impossible to predict Bol Bol’s career; his game is too immature and his skills are underdeveloped. His physical characteristics in terms of size and wingspan make him appear dominant offensively during most college games, but he will likely struggle to get any of these kinds of finishes in the NBA. Bol is a highly-talented big man that has all the attributes of a unicorn five – a center with good shot potential while also being a rim protector. His limiting factors so far appear to be his lack of willingness to play physical, an apparent lack of interest on defense and his low basketball IQ.
Of course, a player with this length and shooting touch – which Bol certainly has – must certainly be considered an exciting talent. For this reason, many NBA teams will therefore be willing to invest in an early draft pick for him. However, big men who have such serious deficits on defense often have a rather sobering NBA career. This certainly is a risk for Bol.
The team that drafts Bol Bol will have to accept a long development time similar to the Orlando Magic with Mohamed Bamba. He will not be able to help out right away since Bol’s lack of defensive skills will have too much of a negative impact at the NBA level. Bamba dominated defensively in college but he still has difficulties keeping up physically in the NBA. How difficult will it be for Bol since he already often looks very bad with his Oregon Ducks?
Since Bol has lots of room for improvement defensively, he will have to define his game via his offense. We could use Kristaps Porzingis as a role model. With his extremely long and slender build, his biggest weapon is his shot. However, the Latvian’s footwork is much better than Bol’s and was already much better when Porzingis came into the league. This underscores the long path Bol Bol still has ahead of him.
Bol Bol is the son of the late NBA player Manute Bol. He was born in Sudan but has been living in the US since he was 2 and is an American citizen.