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Darren Buchanan, Jr.

Wilson High School (DC)

Team Durant

Class

2022

Height

6'5"

Weight

~195 lbs

Position

F

Strong Hand

Right

Potential Level

Mid-Major+

Summary
May 2020
  • A versatile point-forward with impressive playmaking abilities.  Terrific rebounder who excels in grabbing the board and pushing it up the floor to create easy shots for shooters.

  • Physically gifted, using his strength and athleticism together with his size and skill to attack the basket.  Plays with tremendous basketball IQ; patient and fundamentally sound.  

  • An accurate passer off the dribble who makes the right reads and is starting to see the play develop before it happens.  Struggles as a shooter; must make improvements in all facets of this area of the game.

  • Displays excellent defensive potential, using sound techniques on and off the ball.  Capable of guarding 4 positions on the prep level and 3-4 on the next, depending on the level.

  • Patient and deliberate; plays with a lot of confidence and enthusiasm.  Shows natural leadership qualities and is a stabilizing force for his team while on the floor. 

Darrent Buchanan Stats.JPG

Stats Sample from the 2019-2020 Season

 
Physical/Athleticism
  • Young for his class

  • Smooth, powerful; good athlete

  • Strong, and knows how to use it

    • Not afraid of contact, often seeks it

  • The right body type for a wing

  • Nice length

  • Good standing vertical jump

  • Jumps with strength off of two feet and is springy off of one

    • Shows flashes of real explosiveness

  • Great hand/eye coordination and ball skills

  • Very good anticipation

  • Slightly above average speed

    • Can see him gaining explosiveness with the proper work in plyometrics, quickness drills, etc.

  • Good body control and a very good 2nd jump (great timing on the jump)

  • Excellent balance

 
Offensive Qualities
  • Thrives when he is getting to the basket.  His ability to score the ball is completely dependent upon doing so at this stage in his offensive game. 

  • Although his scoring ability is currently one-dimensional, his overall offensive game is not

  • Impressive playmaking skills that are led by his ability to read the defense, deliver the pass, and understand space and time

    • Adept at getting to the basket and creating quality shots for himself and teammates

      • His ability to get to the basket and finish forces the defense to focus on help side, drawing them in and creating open shooters on the perimeter.   He has the vision and feel to locate those shooters, and the skill to deliver the pass directly into the shooter’s pocket.

      • Will drive right and will drive left.  No clear preference.

        • Direct driver – overpowers defenders he has size on

        • Nothing extra/fancy – North/South

        • Not a blow-by player

        • Will benefit from working on better angles to the basket

    • Makes the right reads off the dribble

      • Can sometimes get into trouble by forcing it to the rim, but this is usually when there are no open shooters

        • Developing a pull up jumper from 13-15 feet will be huge for his game and, as he progresses, farther out

    • Shows flashes of seeing the D and bending it to his plan with the ball   

  • A very good rebounder; excellent ability to board and push it up himself, leading into easy baskets and quality shots

  • Talented in the open floor

  • Plays a little bit of every position for his team.  *Very effective running the point forward position. 

    • Will bring the ball up the court for quarters at a time

  • Has notable versatility; plays a solid floor game

    • He is impacting the game on the offensive end in more ways than simply scoring the ball

    • Has a great mixture of skill, strength, and vision

  • Must add more to his scoring repertoire to open his game up.  Again, right now, he is over-reliant on the drive.

    • Good potential to be a scorer, especially as a guy that can get to the line

      • Would like to see him get to the line more and shooting a better percentage

    • Will benefit from running the floor as a finisher

  • Very patient and likes to let the game develop; but is also capable of an aggressive attack

  • Unselfish, team player who is looking to make the right play

    • Gets off the ball.  He is not a guy that needs the ball in his hands all the time.

  • Overall, he will work well in a system with a lot of organized movement (system sets that continuously move).  He should also thrive in transition, especially if he isn’t forced to be the primary rebounder.  He is very comfortable in the open court.

    • Moves nicely off of down screens and curls tightly flashing a nice target that is ready to receive the pass

      • Really like his potential as a cutter, but he is a little inconsistent in technique and cutting with purpose

    • His IQ should allow him run sets from multiple positions and understand the subtleties of each, including the initiator of the set

  • Most of his game is fundamentally sound

  • Needs to make better contact as a screener

  • Talented offensive rebounder, but would like to see him crash more on his teammates’ shots

  • Has a tendency to fade out for extended periods of time and the impact he has on the game becomes minimal, although he still functions as a stabilizing presence

Shooting
 
  • Poor outside shooter.  How much he improves as a shooter will have a lot of weight in determining the level he will play at in college. 

    • Lacks range

  • Although he shoots a bad percentage, his foul shot is a different shot in that it is a smoother motion with a better, more confident shot.  It also has a better finish and follow through.  Elbow is also up a little more.  Softer in touch.

    • This is encouraging, and shows the capacity for improvement

  • Finishing

    • Needs to work on his touch and concentration

      • Shows moments of both

    • Finishes with strength

    • Must work on finishing with his off hand in and around traffic

    • There are times when he almost seems to intentionally miss the initial shot just so he can go right back up for the put back.  It is like a pass to himself; he will do it to get the defender out of the way.  With his anticipation and ball tracking skills, he follows up for second and third shots to finish.  Magnifies his IQ he plays with out there.

  • Shooting numbers breakdown

    • 83% (69/83) of his shots were from within 9-10 feet

      • Converted 50.7% (35/69) of the attempts

    • 34/65 (52.3%) attempts within roughly 5-6 feet

    • The distribution of shots from the left, right, and middle of the basket was even

    • Attempted 0 mid-range jumpers

      • 1 shot from 13 feet

    • 15.7% (13/83) of his shot attempts were from 3-point land, where he was unable to convert

Darren Buchanan Shot Chart.JPG
  • Takes times to get the shot off, so he will need to continue developing his ability to create space; but will also need to work on his release

  • Sets his feet well, but needs to utilize his legs for power

  • Form/mechanics

    • Elbow is below 90 degrees, probably closer to 80 degrees

      • Must get his elbow up

    • Release is from the temple/eye level; slightly to the side of his head.

    • Average air on the shot trajectory

    • Aims his shot instead of just shooting it/letting it go

      • Tends to lead with his shooting hand and let it float through the shot

Dribbling
 
  • Really developing well as a ballhandler, overall

  • Dribble is usually waist high, sometimes higher

    • Would like to see him get lower with the ball overall

  • Maintains good posture with the ball in his hands

  • Keeps his eyes/head up in transition

  • Shows the ability to handle it against man and zone trapping pressure

  • Improving ball control

  • Protects the ball well with his body

  • Lacks wiggle in his dribble moves and struggles to create space off the bounce.  However, because he does a good job of protecting the ball with his body and utilizing his strength, he is able to get into the paint where he is most comfortable and effective.

    • Uses the defender’s momentum to his advantage

      • Go-to dribble move consists of a simple left-to-right or right-to-left crossover where he gets the defender leaning and his shoulder on them

      • Another go-to move is driving hard with a quick change of direction

    • His moves with the ball are simple and direct, moving north-south

      • Will benefit from adding hesitations/changes of pace and simple studder steps

  • Fundamental ballhandler, which is consistent with the rest of his game

  • Overall, his handle is solid

    • Can sometimes struggle with his left hand

 
Passing
  • Impressive passer

  • Good vision/ability to see the floor

    • Sees the whole floor in transition

    • Identifies shooters on both sides of the floor and in the corners

      • Sees the opposite side of the floor very well while on the attack

  • Accurate passer off the dribble

    • Again, makes the right reads off the dribble, especially in transition

    • Puts the pass in the shooter’s pocket consistently

    • Effective drive and kick passer

    • Throws a nice shovel pass to the blocks

    • Has a bounce pass in his repertoire

  • Puts the right touch on the ball

  • Leads his teammates well with the pass

  • Very effective passer from the middle of the zone (foul line)

 
Defense
  • So much potential – can guard positions 1-4

  • Good defensive stance – gets low, keeps back straight and arms wide

  • Plays on the ball with his feet; slides them with the proper technique

    • Gives man a lot of space to operate; would like to see him apply greater ball pressure.  He is certainly capable.

    • Has a tendency to quit if his man drives all the way to the basket

  • Prefers to play position defense and take calculated chances

  • Off the ball

    • Has a tendency to be slow to the ball, but has good recovery

      • Sometimes reluctant to help on the ballhandler on help side

    • Often stands straight up and down off ball

    • Generally attentive to ball and man

  • Takes on screens by getting low and dipping his shoulder to get around them

  • Terrific defensive rebounder

    • Tracks the flight of the ball extremely well

    • Good hands and is strong

    • Does a great job of being in the right position

    • Able to take advantage of his strength, length, and athletic ability to win contests

    • Extends arms up and keeps ball secure

  • Tends to be a bit slow getting out to shooters on the close out

  • Stays vertical when defending at the rim

 
Basketball IQ
  • This is the area of his game that I may be the most impressed with

  • Has a tremendous sense of pace.  Knows when to slow it down, when to push, when to attack, and when to let it come to him.

  • For the most part, he knows when to keep it and when to give it up

  • Shows great patience

  • Good understanding of space and time, as well as time and score

  • Has moments where he sees the play developing ahead of time

  • Understands his limitations and therefore focuses greatly on his strengths

  • Sound decision maker in the half court and in transition with the ball in his hands

  • Always looking to make the right pay for the team

  • Knows how to take advantage of size mismatches

  • Attentive to detail

  • Has a good feel for the game and knows how to play

 
Disposition/Presence
  • Extremely confident

  • Calm demeanor

  • Brings his team great balance and confidence while on the floor

  • Natural leadership qualities

  • Good body language

  • Very enthusiastic

  • Especially celebratory on behalf of his teammates’ success; very supportive

  • Shows emotion when he makes big plays, tough buckets, etc.

  • There are points in the game where he will loaf a bit, possibly using periods of rest to stay on the floor the entire game