DW.jpg

DJ Wagner

Camden High School (NJ)

NJ Scholars (17U)

Class

2023

Height

6'3"

Weight

~170 lbs

Position

CG

Strong Hand

Right

Level

High-Major

October 2021

Full Nike EYBL Peach Jam 2021 Stats (12 Games)*

DJ Wagner Peach Jam Stats.jpg
*Played up in the 17U division
 
Physical/Athleticism
  • Nearly a full year young for his grade

  • Strong motor

    • He’s got that bounce to him, literally.  Just jumping up and down in place from the adrenaline, except he does so for entire games sometimes.  Juices are really flowing.

  • Developing strength overall as he matures physically

    • Plays with strength on the offensive end

    • Plenty of room left to grow/develop

  • Long arms; rangy

  • Speedy with the ball

  • High-quality first step

  • Possesses blow-by capability off the bounce

  • Owns fast-twitch fibers

  • Plays below the rim

    • Should see a boost in his vertical explosiveness as he continues to mature

  • Good agility and lateral movement with fluid hips

  • Great hand-eye coordination

  • Outstanding body control

  • Seemingly always on balance, which is a big part of his skillful footwork

  • Strong endurance/stamina

 
Offensive Qualities
  • Ultra-aggressive but controlled combo-guard with advanced scoring instincts

  • Owns a special way of playing at his own paces, which change according to an innate feel for the game

  • Decisive with the ball and uses wonderful angles

    • Reminds me of a tailback who hits the hole without hesitation

  • Interchangeable between either traditional guard position

    • His approach to the game as a scorer largely remains the same regardless of role

  • A skilled potent 3-level scorer who shows flashes of an extra level during winning time

    • Love the way he gets to the rim.  He can slink, slide, and glide through the defense or cut through it with urgency.  He uses practiced footwork and wastes very little movement.  Nearly everything is off the bounce in self-creation situations.

  • Small tendency to over penetrate and get himself into trouble

  • Terrific short mid-range game

    • Refined pull-up game

      • Does a nice job of feeling the defender on his side/hip and then elevating

    • Gets to his spots on his terms, going right or left

      • On balance and under control, but moving with purpose and urgency

    • Creates adequate separation off the bounce for quality looks

  • Dangerous from 3-point land, though still developing consistency from longer distances, where he shoots the majority of his threes.  Despite the low percentages, overall, he can fill it up. 

    • Shoots it off the dribble or on the catch

    • See more below in the “Shooting” section

  • Looks to get to the rim first, then the mid-range during winning time

  • Scoring efficiency is a work-in-progress, but shows flashes of what he is capable of

    • A relatively volume shooter

      • Averaged 16.8 ppg on 16.8 shot attempts per game in the 12 games at the Peach Jam.  Other games evaluated mirrored this production.

  • A self-creator who attacks off the bounce with urgency and purpose.  He goes straight after the defender with intentions of accomplishing his goal.

    • Has just the right amount of east-west to him, but is naturally north-south

      • Looking to get his shoulders by the defender

      • Utilizes direct angles to the rim with little wasted movement

        • No flash, just buckets

  • Also exhibits the right level of wiggle, using his shoulders and his feet to sell the move

  • Drives/penetrates going left or right with equal effectiveness

  • Possesses quite the bag of offensive moves, starting with a nice hesitation hang dribble into a quick burst

    • Utilizes a very productive change of pace in various situations

  • Mature iso game that starts with a refined jab-step series

    • Capable of putting the defender on an island

  • Strong and effective dribble moves at the point of attack.  

  • Utilizes a stutter step as a main foundation to his dribble moves that adds to his misdirection and deception

    • Likes to throw the ball out in front of him and stutter before deciding to cross or push hard right

  • Crisp crossover from left-to-right

    • Has different variations of the crossover

  • Owns a terrific change of direction that he likes to use when driving hard right or left and bringing it back the opposite way

    • Exemplifies his advanced feel for the defender by using their momentum against them

  • Will occasionally use a step back to the left to create space to get his jumper off

  • While effective as a self-creator, he can improve in creating separation, and should continue to do so as he matures and progresses

  • Pick-and-Roll

    • Patiently waits on the screen to take the most advantageous angle

    • Attacks the edges, looking to turn the corner to get to the rim or set up his mid-range with a counter

  • Makes the simple reads

    • Runs the pick-and-pop nicely

  • Defenses are forced to devote extra attention to him as he comes off

    • Not advisable to go under the screen as the on-ball defender

    • Generally demands a hard hedge or a temporary double team

    • Makes you pay for mistakes

  • Approaches drop coverage by driving the defender back and pulling up from mid-range

  • Accepts/takes on the hard hedge/double team nicely and buys himself more time and space

    • Waits for the pressure to dissipate, hits the roller, goes around the hedge, or takes on the switching/hedging defender

  • Terrific in transition/semi-transition with the ball in his hands.  Pushes the ball right up the back of the defense and assaults the paint with decisiveness.

    • Uses sharp changes of direction and polished footwork to get all the way to the rim

    • Pushes the pace as much as possible

    • His ability to finish with either hand adds greatly to his effectiveness in these situations

  • Capable of filling the lane as a finisher when he is not the ball handler

  • Is as equally successful going left as he is going right.  Most players at this age have a preference to pull-up going left and drive right (or vice versa).  He can pull-up or drive just the same in either direction.

    • Possesses an outstanding off hand around the rim, which is a main contributor of this ability

  • Moves well without the ball – uses proper footwork around/coming off of screens, cuts with purpose, and understands how to get himself open against the deny

    • Knows how to use misdirection off of screens, reads the screen relative to the positioning of the defenders, and utilizes his body to legally create separation

  • Will benefit from utilizing a change of pace more often

  • Has a tendency to stand.  However, this can depend on the overall offensive movement.

  • Skilled finisher with a growing package at the rim and around the paint

    • Again, he has excellent footwork

  • Decelerates nicely inside of the paint to adjust his approach accordingly

  • Superb left hand

  • Crafty with a very nice touch

  • Owns a variety of shot types, including a push/floater shot that he typically shoots off of two feet

  • Knows how to use his body and seldom takes his eye off the goal

  • His angles on the floor place him in position to successfully get the ball up on the board in difficult situations

  • Gets the ball out of his hand and on the board quickly

  • Progressing as a playmaker who excels as a distributor on the drive and kick

    • Sound decision-maker on the drive

  • Should excel in various offensive systems or in offenses that operate more off of concepts

  • Possesses excellent fundamentals

 
Shooting
  • Struggled from 3-point distance and from the field overall.  However, I do not believe that his low percentages are fully indicative of his shooting ability because he is a good shooter.

    • Shoots a clean, sometimes effortless ball with sound mechanics; he can really stroke it

    • The biggest driver of his low percentages, especially from 3, is his shot selection (see more on shot selection below)  

  • Can shoot it with real range and prefers to let it go from long distances

    • Capable of shooting off the dribble or on the catch

      • Can really shoot it well off the catch

  • Shoots a nice ball off a rhythm hang dribble

  • Still developing consistency

  • Sets his feet and shoots with confidence

  • Progressing in his overall shot making capabilities and shoots it well with a hand in his face

  • Possesses such a comfortable mid-range game off the dribble.  He shoots the shot with great concentration and tremendous body control once he elevates.

    • Pulls up going right or left

  • Keeps a short memory

  • Consistent foul shooter (79.1% on 3.6 attempts per game)

  • Shot Mechanics

    • Has a nice, quick shooter’s dip and his shot is without hitch

    • Fully extends on the shot

    • Tends to shoot more “out” than “up”

    • Clean release

    • Consistent follow through

    • Can sometimes have too much movement in the shot when he is transitioning the ball up to his release point

      • There is a correlation between the amount of movement in the shot and shooting percentage.  He struggles more when there is a greater amount of movement in the shot.

  • Shot selection

    • Doesn’t really seem to know what a high school 3-pointer is... The vast majority of his 3-point attempts are from 22+ feet.

    • Attempts are a mix of catch and shoot and off the dribble/pull-ups

    • Generally, he prefers to take the best available shot and is willing to put the work in for it

    • Tends to force shots in the paint/to the rim

    • Not willing to settle from the outside, especially when he is not shooting well from 3

    • Recognizes when he is struggling from the outside and adjusts his approach

    • As stated above, he looks to get to the rim first, then the mid-range during winning time

 
Dribbling
  • His feel and instincts permeate nearly every facet of the game, including ball handling.  His dribble moves, which are key to his self-creation, are very instinctive.  He sells each move, and is capable of making the move in a split-second reaction to the defender’s placement of body weight, positioning, and overall reaction to an initial move.

    • Prefers to use single moves, but has no issue using doubles

    • Employs excellent counters, often as a result of allowing his body to simply take over and react

  • Accepts ball pressure like a challenge and looks to make you pay for pressing up.  He handles it with confidence and effectiveness

  • Good handle and ball control in the half court from the point of attack

    • Quick, sharp dribble moves

    • Gets to where he wants to go

  • No issues handling full court pressure.  Handles it with poise, strength, and confidence.

  • Excellent ball handler in the open court/transition

  • Replaces himself well with the dribble

    • Uses his dribbles purposefully; little wasted movement.

    • Seldom does he pick up his dribble and put himself in a bad spot

  • Small tendency to overdribble in the half court

  • Pound dribble technique and is strong with the ball

    • Small tendency to allow the ball to get too high​

  • Gets his shoulders low off the dribble

  • Very good speed with the ball and great ball and body control with the speed dribble

 
Passing
  • Sound decision-maker and a very effective drive-and-kicker

  • Crisp passer

  • Developing broader vision to see the whole floor

    • Can stand to distribute more frequently off his self-creation

    • Possesses the court awareness; working on the court vision, especially when advancing with the speed dribble

  • Sometimes shows slight tunnel vision on the break as the ball handler

  • Already possesses the feel of the defense to guide his decision-making

    • Example: driving right off a ball screen, he feels the defense shift and sees the back defender drop, leading to an immediate read to make the cross court delivery to the shooter

  • Capable of passing on the perimeter with either hand

    • Uses left-handed passes appropriately

 
Defense
  • Good on-ball defender

  • Frequently applies ball pressure

    • Applies occasional ¾ court or full-court pressure

    • Usually meets his man right before or at half court

  • Plays with desire and intensity

  • Moves well laterally, pushing off cleanly and opens up with fluid hips

  • Quickly recovers following the initial move

    • A bit subject to the initial move, but recovers really well

    • Doesn’t give up on the dribble drive

  • Anticipates and, at times, dictates the offensive player’s movement

  • Guards with urgency

  • Tends to worry about the ball screen too much in pick-and-roll action

  • Will benefit from having more active arms/hands

  • Does not block out consistently.  Usually turns and looks, becoming susceptible to giving up extra possessions as a result.

  • Lacks some activity off the ball and tends to stand and watch.  However, he is ready to pounce on an opportunity when it presents itself.

    • Rarely steps in with his body on the help side

 
Basketball IQ
  • High IQ player with natural instincts on the court.  Comes from the best of basketball pedigrees.

  • A progressing decision-maker overall

    • Decisive with the ball

  • Possesses an excellent feel for the defense as well as the game overall

  • Understands how to score when he is not shooting well

  • Naturally takes the proper angles, often taking the most direct route to the goal

  • Comprehends time and score

  • Knows how to attack the defense in transition/semi-transition when it’s at its weakest

  • There’s a maturity to his game; recognizes what is taking place on the court

    • For example, off the pick and roll, he gets Jalen Duren on a switch.  He recognizes what he has, backs it out, takes him directly off the dribble and finishes between Duren and Dereck Lively.

  • Plays the game the right way

 
Disposition/Presence
  • A dog!

    • Nearly everything he does and every move he makes is done with 100% effort. 

    • Plays with a killer instinct, purpose, and determination

  • Commands respect

  • Extremely confident in his abilities

  • Tremendously competitive

  • All business on the court

  • Aggressive mindset

  • Mentally tough and plays straight through struggles and adversity

  • A very encouraging teammate.  Celebrates their successes, appears to genuinely care for them, and vice versa.

  • No fear; not afraid of the moment

    • When it’s winning time, he goes and gets the ball

  • Owns a rugged, workman like approach to the game; but yet, it is balanced by a refined skillset

  • Loves the game.  Loves the process.

    • “He loves to play, loves to work, so he’s an easy one.” (Head Coach and former NBA player Rick Brunson)