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Derik Queen

Montverde Academy

Team Thrill








Point Forward

Strong Hand


Potential Level

High Major

January 2021
  • A highly skilled point forward who is gifted with elite versatility that allows him to impact the game from virtually every spot within the offense.  High floor, very high ceiling.  Oozing with potential.  Seemingly improves game-over-game with a fast-tracked progression.

  • A developing 3-level scorer with an exceptional feel for the game.  Already an effective playmaker who makes the game easier for others.  Notable passer with good court vision and ability to read defenses.

  • Capable of functioning at the point guard position to handle full court pressure and serve as a primary playmaker.  Effective when posting on the block or away from the basket.  Shows ambidexterity around the rim.

  • An improving shooter with a diverse shot selection and a nice bag of self-creation moves.  Has a ton of room to improve through the use of proper techniques in most facets of the game.  Will benefit greatly from playing the game in a basketball position.

  • Impressive ballhandler with direct movements to the basket.  Relaxed and free-flowing.  Though a decent rim protector, he needs work on the defensive end.  Good rebounder on both ends.  A natural basketball player.

  • Great size – every bit of 6’8” with excellent length to go along with it

  • Big bodied with a ton of natural strength

    • Will have a lot of work to do on developing his body, which is to be expected at his age.  He is also going through the experience of learning how to use his strength on both ends of the court.

      • Uses his upper body strength more than his lower body, as he tends to play upright

        • Still exhibits power in the paint

  • Comfortable playing with and through contact, and occasionally seeks it out when it will give him an advantage

    • An intelligently physical player​

  • Although he lacks explosiveness, fast-twitch fibers, and lateral quickness, he still moves very well with fluid basketball movements and his coordination at his size and age is terrific

    • Deceptively shifty

    • Lacks fluidity in his hips, which is most evident on the defensive end

    • Lacks speed, but moves with a ton of force

  • Good agility and potential to improve 

  • Excellent hand-eye coordination

Here's a good look at his movement and explosion up to the rim 

Video credit: Hoop Haven TV

Offensive Qualities
Other Offensive Qualities
  • Possesses a near-complete skillset with a ton of upside and is, importantly, highly impactful.  His elite versatility allows him to function in essentially every spot within the offense, including PG.  It’s crucial to mention is that his feel for the game is exceptional at this stage.  Already holds an impressive bag of offensive moves.  He is a natural basketball player.

  • In the point guard function of his point forward description:

    • Capable of effectively neutralizing zone full-court pressure with his ballhandling, court vision, and size, which often allows him to see overtop of the front of the zone pressure.  A huge luxury to have to help relieve pressure.

      • For ex., with their starting PG injured and facing a zone press for most of the game, he handled the press nearly the entire game without issue

A small sample of how his ability to handle a zone press

Video credit: Hoop Haven TV

  • Impressive playmaker who understands how to set his teammates up

    • Capable of making plays for himself and setting up others in the half court and in transition/semi-transition opportunities

Video credit: Hoop Haven TV

Running the break and making the simple play

Video credit: Black Cager TV

  • When on the perimeter/wing, he shows potential to shoot off the catch and, with more consistency, off of self-creation with the dribble

    • Impressive self-creation ability to get himself the looks he is comfortable with

      • Keeps his offensive moves compact when he is looking to score; direct movements with little waste

    • Has a solid jab-step series in a small sample size, and can follow the initial move with a 2nd reactive dribble move

    • Boasts an assortment of dribble moves that allow him to penetrate and kick, get to the basket or to a mid-range spot for a pull-up

      • The dribble moves are based on feel, and are not pre-determined

    • His half-spin is so effective.  He uses his body really well to protect the ball, sells the spin, and includes a nice change of pace along with it

      • Secures and maintains the defender on the side of his body using his hip/shoulder to draw and kick or convert at the rim

      • Full spins, half spins, replacement of self with the dribble, etc. (see more below in the "Dribbling" section)

Video credit: Black Cager TV

Has a really nice pull-up when he goes hard to the right and pushes the defender backwards

Video credit: Black Cager TV

  • Functioning as a big:

    • Another impressive thing about Queen is that his versatility on the perimeter does not take away from his play in the paint.  He is a load on the block, with superb feel around the basket.

    • Has shown a tremendous ability to be effective from the mid-post

    • Love his face-up game​, which is just another area that highlights his immense potential

Here is a great example of his mid-post face-up game

Video credit: Hoop Haven TV

  • More on his big man attributes on the offensive end

    • Does a nice job of getting and keeping his man on his back in the post

      • Is able to do so without using consistent proper technique.  This is largely because he is standing up instead of being in a basketball position.

        • Will benefit greatly from utilizing his lower body and elbows

    • He can already be a bully on the block, especially when taking advantage of mismatches

      • Good drop steps to the left and right base lines, which he prefers to do over turning into the middle

      • Exhibits patience in post-up situations and takes his time to work

    • Finishing

      • Finishes very well with either hand; love his ambidexterity around the rim

        • Employs off arm for ball protection

      • Does not play above the rim, but will flush it when he is able to gather and go up.  He should continue to improve in this area as he matures.

        • Defending bigs are able to get pieces of the ball, at times

        • Learning how to use his body to draw the foul

        • Does not shy away from contact at all, and is capable of finishing through contact

        • Seeks it out to get to the foul line, where he shoots a good percentage

      • Converts around the rim with a mixture of strength, finesse, and touch

      • Learning when to use the rim as protection

        • Knows how to use backspin English on Mikan finishes

    • Needs to improve as a ball screener overall and become more adept at reading the defense

    • As a roller in pick-and-roll action, he is a dual threat to score and make plays for others.  See Exhibit A below:

Video credit: Hoop Haven TV

  • Promising potential to be the shooter in pick-and-pop action

  • Strong, but soft hands

  • Good offensive rebounder

    • Keeps the ball alive to give his team 2nd chance opportunities

    • Does not bring the ball down on his put backs

  • Possesses polished footwork as the foundation not only for his ​play around the basket, but also for his play on the perimeter

  • Largely plays the game upright, and will benefit from playing in a basketball position

  • Confident and aggressively looks to make plays

  • Has a tendency to a bit turnover prone, at times

  • Will go left or right with ease

  • Fully capable of being the primary ballhandler in transition/semi-transition opportunities

    • Shows vision, sound decision-making, and ballhandling skills

    • Is a real threat to board and push it himself

Grab n' Go

Video credit: Hoop Haven TV

  • Has not shot a good percentage from the perimeter at this stage, but continues to improve that percentage as the season goes on.  Has potential in multiple facets.

    • For examples, in the 2nd half of a closely-contested game, he extended his team’s lead by making three consecutive 3s off the catch; and has had at least 3 games with 3 three-pointers made

      • Shows a lot of comfort from behind the arc and shoots it with a lot of confidence

  • Exhibits the ability to convert off the dribble, especially going right

  • Converts tough pull-ups off the dribble.  Remains under control and maintains his focus under pressure.

3-Point Shooting

Video credits: Hoop Haven TV and Dye Sports Network

  • Shoots with confidence, whether it’s off the catch, off of self-creation, or a pull-up 3

  • His perimeter percentages are low, partly due to shot selection, which can be questionable, at times

    • Has demonstrated a lot of improvement in his judgement as the season has gone on

    • Mixes his selection up so that he is not predictable

      • Usually allows the game to dictate his selection

  • A very nice touch from inside the arc, no better exhibited than with a Dirk Nowitzki-like fadeaway off one foot out of the post position.  Side note: the feel on the move and into the shot is pretty ridiculous for a freshman.

Video credit: Dye Sports Network

This pull-up is another example of his touch from the mid-range

Video credit: Hoop Haven TV

  • Shoots a good percentage from the free throw line

  • Around the basket

    • Converts at a high percentage

    • Has a soft touch off the board

      • Gets it up on the board quickly without wasted movement

    • Great focus on the goal

    • Possesses ambidexterity

  • Shot mechanics need work

    • Release is just above his right shoulder and a bit out in front of his body, but it can elevate when shooting off the dribble

    • Elbow is low, but can also elevate when shooting off the dribble

    • Does not fully extend on the shot

    • Lacks a consistent follow-through.  Instead, it is more of a push shot, ending with a feel off the fingers.

    • His right leg leads and lands in front of the rest of his body

  • Impressive ballhandling skills; this kid can handle the rock

    • Keeps his head/eyes up

    • Exhibits good ball control in nearly every situation, whether he is bringing it up against zone/man pressure, functioning as the primary ballhandler in transition, or drawing-and-kicking in the half court

    • Uses body well to protect the ball, making it difficult for defenders to disrupt him

      • Has a tendency to get too close to the defender with the dribble and leave the ball unprotected

      • Strong with the ball

    • Although his ball control is solid, he could stand to tighten up the handle, as it gets too far away from his body sometimes

    • Nice posture, but will benefit from getting lower (again, playing from a basketball position) and keeping the ball lower

  • Displays no issues with being the primary ballhandler in the following situations:

    • Against the zone press

    • Against full-court man pressure

    • Transition and semi-transition opportunities

  • Employs effective single and double dribble moves to create space and driving lanes 

    • The same goes for handling the ball in the backcourt 

    • Owns a wicked spin move going back to his left, and uses it to set up a very effective half spin move

  • Maneuvers through traffic with the dribble, and is able to maintain awareness of his teammates’ whereabouts

  • Capable of going right or left, with a preference for keeping the ball in his right

  • Utilizes an effective change of pace at the appropriate times

This kid can handle the rock

Video credit: Hoop Haven TV/Black Cager TV

  • Notable passer who exhibits good court vision

Video credit: Hoop Haven TV/Black Cager TV

  • Loose, one-handed passer off the dribble from all over the court.  His ability to pass with both hands has proven to be a great skill, and will only improve as he progresses. 

    • Will benefit from an improved technique of using two-handed passes, as the one-handed passes have a tendency to end up as turnovers

Check out this left-handed 3/4 court pass

Video credit: Hoop Haven TV/Black Cager TV

  • Throws an absolutely perfect baseball pass 

    • Witnessed him go 7-for-7 on these passes throughout the games evaluated

One of more than a half-dozen of Queen's baseball passes.  This one was light work.

Video credit: Black Cager TV

  • Adept at drawing the defense for an easy pass to his teammates

    • Shovel passes in the lane

    • Making the defender commit in transition

    • Drive and kick

  • Makes the right pass and the simple play when it is there

  • Nice vision on outlet passes

    • Will benefit from using better technique to get more snap on the pass

  • Very good at advancing the ball with the pass

  • Accurate passer off the dribble, whether it is with one or two hands

    • Again, demonstrates the ability to see the court off the bounce

Basketball IQ
  • Superior feel for the game for his age; excellent natural instincts on the court

  • Terrific court awareness​

  • Outstanding processing speed at this stage

  • Naturally adapts to shifting situations without hesitation

  • Recognizes when to take advantage of mismatches, and knows just how to do it

  • Makes the right play

  • Knows when to attack and when not to

  • Shows the ability to read a defense and how to shift it based on what he does with the ball

  • Understands space and time

  • Still developing his judgment in various circumstances

  • Exhibits qualities you just cannot teach

  • Will need to put in work to improve on this end, but undoubtedly has the mind to be a strong defender.  Exhibits short stints throughout the game of sound defensive concepts.  There is plenty of potential here, but does not possess much defensive versatility at this time.

  • Predominantly plays on this end standing straight up.  His techniques will need to improve in all areas.

  • On-ball

    • Strategy is to give his man a cushion in order to keep him in front

    • With his size and current lack of hip fluidity/lateral quickness, he will benefit greatly by consistently defending in his stance

      • Only in a stance roughly half the time on the ball

      • Technique is more of a hop/gallop rather than sliding his feet, which leads to him crossing his feet, at times

      • Struggles to open up and change directions against the dribble drive

    • Shows flashes of his ability to keep his man in front

  • Will also benefit from playing from a basketball position in the post

  • Decent understanding of how to play within the overall defensive scheme

    • Expect him to grow greatly in this area

  • Weak on the help side dribble drive

    • Plays standing up off the ball

  • Stays vertical when contesting at the rim, and is a decent rim protector

  • Struggles on closeouts and covering the pick-and-pop

  • Rebounding

    • Good overall, with room for improvement, which is very encouraging given his current level of production (i.e. finished 3rd in rebounding (9.7) at The St. James National Invitational)

      • Will benefit from consistently using proper block-out technique

    • Utilizes his mind, strength, and length well, but can improve his positioning since he tends to know where the ball is coming off the rim

      • Wise judgment on the flight of the ball

    • Keeps the ball up after the rebound to avoid pesky guards

  • Relaxed demeanor; plays freely

    • Extremely relaxed with the ball in his hands

  • Possesses your desired overall aggression level

  • Celebrates his teammates’ success

  • Has some maturing to do, which is expected

  • Usually exhibits good focus, but has lapses in concentration, at times

  • Asserts a calming effect on his team when he is helping to alleviate pressure as a point forward

  • Seems to shake off mistakes and move on quickly, so as not to affect the next play

  • An East Baltimore native who enjoys competition

  • “Over the last year, he has realized how good he can be and has put more into his training” (Team Thrill staff, via Phenom Hoop Report)

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