BJ.jpg

Bronny James

Sierra Canyon School (CA)

Strive for Greatness (Nike EYBL)

Class

2023

Height

6'3"

Weight

~180 lbs

Position

CG

Strong Hand

Right

Level

High-Major

September 2022

Statistical Sample for the 2021-22 

Bronny James Stats.jpg

Full Nike EYBL Statistics (23 Games)

Bronny James EYBL Stats.jpg

*see the “Shooting” section below for in-depth shooting analysis

 
Physical/Athleticism
  • Birth date: 10/6/2004

  • Excellent athlete with explosive qualities

    • Bouncy; springy leaper off of one or two feet. Likes to take off of one foot as a finisher.

    • Able to explode vertically at full speed without having to decelerate

    • Possesses strong burst when he turns it on

    • High-quality speed and acceleration with and without the ball

  • Smooth, agile movements mixed with some quick-twitch fibers

    • Capable of sharp changes of direction or transitions that are smoother in nature

  • Outstanding body control

  • Gets off the ground quickly

  • Plays the game in short bursts

  • Owns solid functional strength in his upper and lower body

    • Translates to both ends of the court

  • Great ankle strength and flexibility

  • Superb balance

  • High-level deceleration abilities

  • Good hand-eye coordination

  • Fluid hips that open up well on defensive turns and drop-step movements

  • Calculated in his use of energy, but not in a way that affects his energy/motor

  • Conditioning is adequate with opportunities for small improvements

  • Naturally anticipatory

  • Above average lateral quickness, but plays the game more in a north-south mode

  • Finesse player who is capable of playing through some contact

  • Great reaction time

  • Effective first step

 
Offensive Qualities
  • Entering an upward swing in his development as a player, with a rock solid foundational floor being built upon

  • Largely a secondary playmaker up until most his most recent showings over the spring/summer, when he displayed an expanded primary skillset while taking advantage of a big jump in usage, primarily during EYBL play. The increased usage had its ups and downs, such as extended flashes of self-creation and shot making during Peach Jam, tempered by low scoring efficiency and perimeter shooting struggles in other EYBL sessions. Overall, he displayed intriguing potential for the future as a lead guard, with the existing knowledge of his efficacy as a combo guard.

  • Strikes a balanced approach of allowing the game to come to him, while being selectively aggressive with his touches

    • Naturally inclined toward a team-oriented style of play

      • Consistently makes the right play

    • Is at his best when he balances making plays for others with pursuing his own shot

    • Was as aggressive as ever during the spring/summer

  • The game has started to slow down for him, and it’s visible in his pace with the ball in his hands. He’s quickly advancing at reading the floor.

    • Taking strides towards playing with pace more consistently

  • Owns a well-rounded floor game that allows him to impact the offense without scoring

  • Capable 3-level scorer who’s working towards consistency from the 2nd and 3rd levels. Will attack from each level in multiple situations.

  • Exerts quality rim pressure off the bounce and as a cutter off the ball

  • Makes timely, short burst back door cuts from various areas on the floor. Can do so within tight quarters or in space away from the basket, and will set them up with a savvy change of pace that precedes the burst.

  • Cuts hard to the rim in semi-transition/transition opportunities, using UCLA-type cuts and 45-degree cuts

  • Intelligently identifies driving lanes off the bounce or creates them himself

    • Accelerates to get his head and shoulder(s) by, then seals well with his hip/leg to keep the defender at bay

      • Possesses the strength to absorb the contact from this action while on the floor and continue forward

  • Prefers to use single, direct dribble moves

    • Likes the hard dribble in one direction into a quick change of direction using the behind-the-back dribble

    • Also owns a very fruitful inside-out that he will pair together with a change of pace

  • Can utilize double moves when necessary

    • Counters defenders after having his initial move cut off

    • Will simply look to go to work by putting together multiple moves in an effort to generate space/separation and gain the advantage

  • Will benefit from continuing to develop his counters. His current go-to, a quick change of hands/direction behind-the-back, can be used predictably.

  • Typically uses the right angles to get to the rim, especially when attacking closeouts on the catch

  • Prefers to drive going left

  • Might be the most aggressive in getting to the rack in semi-transition situations, which will be analyzed separately further down this section

  • Can improve his scoring efficiency by increasing his trips to the line

    • 21.6% FTr in 23 EYBL games

    • 20.6% FTr in all 29 games charted

  • See more analysis in the pick-and-roll notes further below in this section

  • Finishing – shot 56.5% on 62 total attempts at the rim in 23 EYBL games

    • Exhibits excellent body control

      • Able to contort and adjust his body in mid-air to react to the defense accordingly

        • Smooth and graceful in the air

        • Takes advantage of extended hang time

  • Combines deceleration with skilled footwork to put himself in advantageous positions to finish before leaving the ground

    • Exhibits an agile euro step that allows him to navigate through traffic in route to the rim

  • Explodes up (vertically), as opposed to allowing his momentum to carry him forward. This supports his ability to finish through contact, hang and adjust, and position his body to protect the ball.

    • Understands how to protect the ball with his body

  • Can be very crafty around the rim. Owns a soft touch and a good command of English off the board to convert at tough angles.​

  • Exhibits strong concentration with his eyes to finish in traffic and against rim protection

  • Possesses the strength and athleticism to absorb contact in the air, hang, and convert

  • Very skilled left-handed finisher

  • Goes to a runner/floater shot when needed

    • Will benefit from continuing to develop this shot type as he prepares for the next level

  • Understands when to use the rim for protection

  • Finishes well and at appropriate times with his inside hand

  • Capable of explosive finishes above the rim

  • Strong open court finisher

  • Emerging mid-range shot maker with a proven ability to get to his spots off the bounce

    • While his low percentages reflect his struggles, context is key to understanding the drivers behind them. See the “Shooting” section below for a complete breakdown.

    • Heavy preference to pull-up from mid-range going right. Likes to drive hard right and elevate quickly, sometimes squaring in mid-air.

      • Gets a lot of elevation on contested attempts that can often cause issues that will be looked at closely in the “Shooting” section below

      • Most jumpers moving right off the bounce are fallaways/fadeaways of various degrees

  • While the preference is to shoot going right, he’s demonstrated plenty of comfort off the bounce going left

  • Gets to his spots in a variety of ways, including traditional one, two, and three-dribble pull-ups when attacking closeouts or catching off of movement

  • In EYBL play especially, the majority of his mid-range attempts came off the live dribble (isolation dribble moves, pull-ups out of the pick-and-roll, pull-ups in semi-transition, etc.).

  • Pull-ups are quick and sudden. Elevates quickly and regularly moves against his own momentum, making for a more difficult attempt

  • Uses a stab dribble to create space and set up a pull-back jumper, faking either right or left with equal effectiveness

  • Likes to pull up out of the left-to-right crossover

  • Utilizes many of the same dribble moves to set up the jumper, including quick-twitch hesitation dribbles together with short, controlled bursts

  • Prone to move more east-west in the mid-range, in comparison to getting to the rim or playing in transition/semi-transition

  • While he consistently exhibited the ability to progress to his spots and get shots off against concentrated defenses, he also struggled, at times, to adequate create space/separation for clean, quality looks

    • Will benefit from continuing to develop and implement a step back jumper going in both directions to create additional space, particularly going left

    • Dribble moves can sometimes be premeditative and predictable

  • Not afraid to work out of the mid-post when he feels he has the advantage. Will shoot the turnaround jumper or the fader off one leg.

  • Again, pick-and-roll analysis to be done separately below

  • Improving 3-point shooter who excels on spot-up attempts, where he, by far, shoots his best percentage (see the “Shooting” section below for all percentages)

  • Off the dribble, the story is similar to his mid-range game. He is still developing a path to consistency, and the context behind the low percentages is important to understand where exactly he is on that path. Overall, there is work to be done.

  • Capable of knocking it down going right or left

  • Very comfortable shooting the dribble up 3 from deeper distances

  • Has a nice catch-and-face 3, where really takes his time and shoots a relaxed, confident shot

  • Shows a tough one dribble pull-up 3, particularly in ball screen situations

    • Pull-up 3-point shooting out of the pick-and-roll will be looked at in a separate pick-and-roll analysis further below

  • Excellent in semi-transition/transition with or without the ball, and is usually where he is most aggressive

    • Scans for weaknesses in retreating, unsettled defenses on made or missed baskets

    • Capable of pushing the pace with controlled speed or advancing with tempered patience. Either option is utilized deliberately according to what he sees.

    • Pushing the pace:

      • Looks to beat loafing defenses down the floor with the speed dribble using either hand, exerting rim pressure or stopping on a dime from mid-range

      • Accelerates past defenders straight to the rim or into the paint to draw and kick/dish to his teammates

        • Utilizes a controlled but swift speed dribble with either hand

        • Uses single change of direction moves that are direct and north-south in nature, so as not to disrupt his momentum. Will occasionally use multiple changes of direction when necessary.

  • Has proven to be a quality positional rebounder, and he uses that ability to take advantage of pushing the pace by boarding and advancing it on his own

  • Dimes teammates with pinpoint accuracy

  • Advancing with patience

    • Allows driving lanes to develop as the defense is still trying to settle

    • Probes for the mid-range pull-up with more of a snake-like rhythm

  • Pulls up from 3 when the defense retreats inside the arc

    • Typically, the pull-ups are controlled dribble-up attempts, but can also be stop-and-pops, although the latter is shot at a lower percentage

  • Examines the floor to identify areas ripe for the drive and kick

    • Skillfully attacks holes and gaps to collapse the defense

    • Consistently delivers to the shooter’s pocket off the live dribble

  • Likes to set the pull-up jumper going right, typically off an impromptu ball screen or a would-be screener simply running interference

  • Understands when nothing is there. Shows the maturity to pull the ball out and reset.

  • Very willing to advance the ball with the pass in order to give his team the advantage

  • Without the ball

    • Dangerous as a cutter who recognizes opportunities for easy baskets

    • Will spot up from 3 along the wings

    • Fills the lane nicely as the finisher

  • Blossoming pick-and-roll player who grew with increased experience as the primary ballhandler/playmaker over the spring/summer. Provides a lot of options with his ability to read, score in multiple ways, handle and distribute. Showed increased aggressiveness in the action.

    • Sets the screen up for advantageous angles by using misdirection leading into the screen

      • Will improve by using his body more often to create tighter angles coming off the screen

      • Adding in the snake dribble is the logical next step of progression

    • Routinely displays patience in allowing the screener to get set, but does have a small tendency to get started too early

    • Increasingly reads various coverages proficiently, then makes decisions accordingly as a scorer

      • Makes effective use of the hesitation dribble to buy more time to read the coverage

  • Can attack the hedger, turn the corner, and get to the rim. Will use a change of pace to allow the shift change in coverage to occur, then accelerate to the basket.

  • Will pull-up from mid-range after pushing the screener’s defender back on his heels, getting the step on his defender, or after putting the on-ball defender on his hip/shoulder

  • Has a quick trigger from deep off of as little as one dribble

  • Works left-to-right or right-to-left without clear preference, commonly showing his tendencies as a scorer after coming off the screen to drive left, pull up from mid-range going right, and pull up from 3 moving left

  • Understands the subtleties for time and space when executing the pick-and-pop by dribbling and dragging both defenders into space just long enough to create adequate space and time for the pass and shot

  • Delivers the ball nicely to the roller with various pass-types. At times, his deliveries appear effortless.

  • Tends to settle for long threes coming off the screen with space

    • Will flatten out unnecessarily, at times, when he’s given the space to do so

  • Very tough when he’s attacking off the bounce, getting two feet in the paint, and finding his perimeter shooters or finishers in the dunker’s spot

    • Can be difficult to keep in front when operating out of the pick-and-roll and when attacking closeouts

    • Dependable decision maker from the paint

      • Understands how to take advantage of the attention he draws

    • Displays excellent playmaking abilities, showing off his gifted passing and manipulation skills

  • Has a proclivity to predictably rely on the jumper in isolation situations

    • Also tends to settle for jumpers down the stretch of games when fatigue is most apparent

  • Still learning how to make the game easier for himself, but does own a firm grasp on how to move without the ball and get open

    • Displays the subtle act of lulling the defender into a momentary slumber with changes of pace, leading to burst-driven cuts and movements off screens

    • Uses proper angles and comes off screens giving a clear target

    • Shows practiced footwork when prepping for the shot off of movement

Shooting
 
  • Can fit into various offensive styles of play, thanks to his ability to impact the game in multiple ways, make the right play (regardless of circumstance), and score on or off the ball. Further, he knows how to play in the half court and excels in transition play. Finally, he can contribute from both the lead guard and off guard positions.

  • Registered a 1.34-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in 29 total games charted

  • Developing shooter overall. An improving shot maker who puts it up with confidence.

  • Working his way towards consistency from mid-range and the 3-point line. Really struggled from those areas during EYBL play and during the Euro tour with Sierra Canyon. Nevertheless, he has plenty of upside as a shooter, especially if he is able to make some small adjustments to his jumper and shot selection.

    • Shot 34.0 FG% (119-for-350) in 29 total games charted, including 33.7% on 92-of-273 shooting during EYBL play

  • Progressing 3-point shooter who’s percentages should improve with a better shot selection and more attempts off the catch

    • In the 29 games charted, he shot 26.0 3P% (40-for-154), including 27.9% (34-for-122) in 23 EYBL games

  • Consistent spot-up 3-point shooter

    • Shot 36.8% (14-for-38) on spot-ups in 23 EYBL games

    • Expectedly, he tends to be much more consistent setting his feet and shooting on balance, even from deeper distance

  • Has difficulty with accuracy from 3-point distance off the bounce, which happens to be his most frequent type of shot from behind the arc

    • Shot 20.9% (14-for-67) in 23 EYBL games

  • Capable of knocking down the trey off of movement, but shot this type of 3 with far less frequency during EYBL play

    • Possesses sound footwork and prep work

  • Like the 3-point line, he also struggled shooting off the dribble from the mid-range area, too

    • Shot 24.4% (16-for-78) from the mid-range all-in-all during EYBL play

      • 74 of his 78 attempts came off the bounce (15/74 = 20.3%)

  • Inconsistent free throw shooter

    • Shot 66.7 FT% (48-for-72) in all 29 games charted

  • Surely, there will be concerns over his low shooting percentages. As always, it’s important to explore the context behind the numbers to fully understand why they are low and what contributes to them.

    • Increase in usage: assuming the main role/first option on offense during EYBL play, he was tasked to be the primary ballhandler/playmaker and scorer. This responsibility resulted in a greater number of forced shots. Some out of necessity, some not. These forced shots largely came from mid-range and behind the arc. He consistently had the ball in his hands in low shot clock situations, as well as other isolation situations, where it was a “get a bucket” situation. As discussed above, this role is relatively new to him, so it makes sense for their to be a period of figuring it out (especially when you’re trying to do so on the EYBL circuit and against high-level international opponents).

    • Shot difficulty/selection: building off the point above, he frequently attempted some of the most difficult shots in basketball, such as pull-up transition/semi-transition 3s, pull-up 3s off the live dribble from NBA+ range, and heavily contested attempts from both mid-range and 3-point range off the bounce.

    • Shot depth: shooting percentages were undoubtedly affected by the distance of the majority of his attempts

      • For instance, 37 out of 45 3-pointers attempted over a span of 7 games charted were from at least the NBA 3-point line

        • More than half of those 45 attempts were shot off the dribble

        • This smaller sample size is reflective of the 29-game sample size

      • Furthermore, he has a propensity to shoot long 2s off the dribble, as well. For evidence, in that same 7-game span mentioned above, 13 out of his 22 mid-range jumpers came from 17+ feet. The majority of those attempts came off the bounce, as well.

  • Comfortable shooting from very deep distances. It’s just a matter of developing consistency.

    • Realistically, he’s shows range back to the volleyball line off the catch, and similar range off the dribble

    • Requires no additional loading from these extended distances

  • Capable of shooting it using different footwork patterns, but prefers to shoot off the hop/jump stop

  • Flashes tough shot making abilities off the bounce from each level

  • Releases with adequate quickness

Passing
  • Impressive overall passing skillset

  • A willing, unselfish passer who possesses very good court vision

 
  • Mechanics

    • Compact stroke

    • Draws his power from his legs

      • Awesome energy transfer from the lower to the upper body

    • Elbow is tucked comfortably and is right at 90-degrees

      • At times, it can be just below 90

    • Release is just over top of the right side of his forehead

    • Smooth shooting movement altogether

    • As noted, he gets a ton of elevation on his jumper off the bounce from mid-range, which is where he’s struggled most shooting the ball. The elevation has shown to have some detrimental effects on his shot.

      • Frequently hangs in the air a fraction of a second too long

      • Often enough, this causes the release to come just as he begins his descent, which then causes him to attempt to “feel it” into the basket, as opposed to relying on muscle memory

      • Will benefit from releasing the shot a split second earlier at the top of his jump, or even on the way up

    • Remaining on the subject of shooting off the dribble. As noted, he prefers to shoot from the mid-range going right. Also noted, many of his pull-up jumpers are fallaways/fadeaways. On the majority of these shots, as he goes to pull-up, his feet aren’t set and his momentum is already moving away from the basket before he even begins to elevate, adding greatly to the difficulty of the attempts. As he elevates, he continues to fade. It’s a major reason why a lot of his mid-range attempts going right miss short.

  • Makes the extra pass; makes the right basketball play

  • Has excellent placement as a distributor

    • Consistently hits shooters in their pockets, whether they’re on the move or spotting up; whether he’s stationary or on the move with the dribble

    • Delivers on-point dump-offs after breaking down the defense

  • Advances the ball with the pass up the sideline to generate quick offense, or will deliver the ball to rim-to-rim runners and wings filling the lanes for easy finishes

    • Understands how much air or zip to put on the pass, as well as the right touch, depending on the recipient

    • Leads his runners in a way that minimizes disruption in their momentum

  • Placement maximizes the recipient’s likelihood of catching in an advantageous situation

  • Skilled left-handed passer

    • Regularly uses his left hand on the perimeter to enter the ball into the offense or deliver to shooters

      • Throws these passes with one hand

    • Puts the appropriate zip on the ball

    • Capable of making the pass with placement off the live dribble

    • This ambidexterity really adds to his overall effectiveness as a passer

  • Consistently displays sound judgment

  • Terrific drive and kicker who understands how to draw the defense before delivering the pass

  • Shows an understanding of how to manipulate the defense with his eyes

  • Generally stays composed and passes well out of double teams

  • Skilled passer in pick-and-roll action

  • Puts a soft touch with accurate placement on post-entry passes and lobs

  • Has a small tendency to feed the post at improper angles

  • Largely accurate off the bounce

    • Can be a little inaccurate in transition while passing off a full-tilt speed dribble amidst bodies

  • Owns a versatile repertoire of passes and can get creative when combining his vision and skill together

 
Dribbling
  • Good ball control with room to continue tightening up his handle

  • Comfortable with the ball in his hands

  • Dribbles from a triple threat position

  • Skilled open court ball handler who keeps it simple with single change of direction moves

    • Changes of direction are direct and commonly quick as he looks to prevent killing his acceleration

  • Has nice speed with the ball

    • Utilizes a forceful, controlled speed dribble with either hand

    • Covers ground quickly with extended ¾ court bursts

    • Has a bit of a tendency lose control of his speed dribble when a defender is on his hip

  • Strong with the ball

    • Doesn’t get knocked off the ball

    • Can absorb contact on the floor and continue moving through it

  • Keeps his eyes up to survey the floor

  • Handles full-court pressure adequately

    • Occasionally can become a little lax with the handle as he proceeds

  • Very functional handling it in pick-and-roll action

  • Flashes of shiftiness

  • Effectively uses the behind-the-back dribble in various situations. It’s his go-to change of direction move, along with the crossover. Loses defenders, protects the ball, and sharply changes directions in the open court with the move.

    • Frequently precedes it from the point of attack in the half court with a hard dribble going one way, followed by the quick change to the other hand (in the other direction)

    • Can improve upon it by wrapping it more fully on the run or changing hands with greater crispness in situations that don’t call for the wraparound

    • Tends to drop it behind his back, which leaves him waiting on the ball to come to his hand. This requires him to search for it and retrieve it from behind his body.

      • Can disrupt his momentum and sometimes defeat the purpose for which he is using it

  • Equally skilled with his left and right hands

  • Similar to his handle in the open court, he will attack in semi-transition with north-south dribble moves, such as the crossover, inside-out, and behind the back

    • Again, these moves are designed to avert the defender(s) while continuing his path forward

  • Utilizes single moves in the half court at the point of attack, but will also hit the defender with combos from time-to-time

  • Will improve by continuing to add to his deceptiveness with the dribble during efforts to create space/separation. Shows the occasional use of it already.

 
Defense
  • A true 2-way guard

  • Stout on-ball defender who will guard with some physicality on the perimeter

  • Anticipates his man’s initial move and moves with urgency to cut it off

  • Capable of exerting ball pressure, but typically defends at an arm’s length of distance

    • Will benefit from more active hands on the ball, which are quick and reflexive. He’s adept at plucking the ball away from ball handlers.

  • Usually makes the effort to fight through, get over, or move under ball screens, as opposed to dying on the them

  • Occurrences of dying on the screen happen most frequently during latter parts of games when fatigue is most prevalent

  • Guards with his feet

  • Understands how to guide ball handlers into help

  • Has a tendency to caught back on his heels

  • Tends to open up too much on occasions when he loses a step or is beaten on the initial move

    • Can be susceptible to the straight-line drives due to this

  • Will benefit from staying lower in his stance more consistently

  • Off the ball

    • Always seems to be scheming on the next pass; ever-aware of what’s happening on the ball

  • Likes to goad the offense into making passes through his lane

  • Takes calculated risks and can quickly turn defense to offense

    • Anticipates the next pass

  • Has good hands on the help side, but is prone to rely on them too much. He usually reaches rather than stepping in with his body.

  • Consistently sustains a high level of alertness

  • Maintains a healthy balance of attention between ball and man

    • Habitually faces inward on the weak side, turning his back and losing sight of his man on the perimeter

  • Plays the angles to get through screens and makes the effort to fight through them

  • Holds a firm grasp on help side principles, resulting in sound positioning and rotational timing

  • Terrific reaction time

  • Transition defense

    • Consistently hustles back on defense

  • Defends in transition with great reflexes, high IQ, explosive leaping ability, and timing/anticipation

  • Will effectively picks up and stops ball

  • Proficient scrambler who moves with urgency and short bursts to close out on perimeter shooters

  • Functional strength permits him to hold up well against would-be perimeter post players

  • Good positional rebounder who consistently contributes on the glass

  • Displays his exceptional timing and bounciness as a shot blocker in various situations

    • Opposing players must be aware of where he is on the court

 
Basketball IQ
  • Exhibits advanced court awareness

  • Possesses natural basketball instincts, such as innate timing and anticipation, the ability to make quick, real-time adjustments, and a built-in inclination to make the right play

  • Mindful of time and score

  • Comprehends the subtleties of the microskills/details of the game and how they can provide small advantages

  • Combines a growing feel for the on-ball defender together with an advancing capacity to read the strong and weak sides of the defense

  • Understands time and space on and off the ball

  • Becoming better at manipulating defenses, particularly as a passer upon penetration into the lane

  • Fundamentally sound in practically all facets of the game

  • Knows offensive sets from multiple spots in the offense

  • Generally, he is a dependable decision maker with the ball

  • Feel for the game extends to the defensive end, where he plays with anticipation and timing, comprehends team defensive concepts, and utilizes angles to his advantage

  • Still evolving in his knowledge of who he is as a player

  • Comes from an obvious basketball pedigree

  • Flashes the ability to see the game in advance as it continues to slow down for him

  • Identifies mismatches on the floor and looks to take advantage

 
Intangibles/Disposition
  • Brings a mature approach to the game

  • Team-first player

  • Doesn’t allow mistakes to affect his energy, effort, or decision making on subsequent possessions

  • Small tendency to look to the referees for calls

  • Consistently celebrates his teammates’ successes

  • Accustomed to the big stage and playing against top-notch competition

    • Looking from the outside-in, he handles the fame and pressure as well as you could expect any 17 year-old

  • Generally maintains the same, relatively positive body language

  • Calm/composed demeanor

  • Let’s his play do the talking

  • One of the most noticeable differences in his game between now and 8-12 months ago is his confidence. He’s become much more confident on the floor to display his full range of abilities.