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Solomon Ball

Brewster Academy (NH)

Team Melo (Nike EYBL)

Class

2023

Height

6'3"

Weight

~185 lbs

Position

CG

Wingspan

6'10"

Committed

UConn

May 2022

Statistical Sample for the 2021-22 Season (6 Games)

Solo Ball SJ Stats.jpg

Statistics from the 1st & 2nd EYBL Sessions (8 Games)

Solo Ball EYBL Stats.jpg
 
Physical/Athleticism
  • Top-tier athlete with tremendous fluidity

  • Explosive leaper. Max vert: 45” (per his Twitter bio page)

    • Bounce off of one or two feet

    • Can get up on the run, off the standstill vert, and a one-step vert

  • Wingspan: +7”

  • Excellent speed with or without the ball

    • Long strides; accelerates nicely

  • Although his strides are long, he possesses some quick-twitch qualities as well

    • Covers a lot of ground

  • Above average positional strength with visible muscle definition. Strength lies in his upper and lower body.

    • Understands how to use it in various situations, which will be discussed in detail throughout the various sections below

  • Handles physicality well

    • Attacks the basket without fear of contact

  • Smooth and agile

  • Has a great change of direction on both ends

  • Plus hand-eye coordination

  • Good timing and anticipation skills

  • Effective first step

  • Altogether, he has adequate burst

  • High-quality body control

  • Very good second jump

  • Strong endurance

 
Offensive Qualities
  • A smooth, gifted lead guard with a steadily rising floor to go along with a significant ceiling

  • Has experienced a lot of growth as a player over the last year, as his first-class athleticism has meshed with a mix of ever-growing ball skills and scoring ability. It's all coming together for him. Just a ton of a talent...

  • Scoring efficiency is driven by an elite ability to get to the rim and finish or draw contact

    • 43.5% free throw rate over the 14 games charted

      • Shot 80% on nearly 6.5 attempts per game in those 14 games

    • Averaging 18.9 points per game on 64.3% true shooting in the first two EYBL sessions

    • Numbers during the high school season point toward similar efficiency; and were bound to be lower due to his heavy offensive burden.

  • Plays from a triple threat position

  • Extremely effective off the bounce. Difficult to keep out of the painted area with his physical gifts with ball skills, including an effective handle at the point of attack:

    • Single dribble moves to change direction, supporting north-south movement

  • Double/combo dribble moves that mix defenders and create space for a menu of options

  • Change of pace that will often be coupled together with a change of direction and burst

  • Very effective change of direction, thanks to an advanced ability to drive off his planted foot from one move to the other, while maintaining control of the ball

  • Employs skilled footwork through the lane to create advantages

  • Likes to attack the middle from the left of the lane, create contact, then come back with the outstretched left hand off the board on the left side. Takes full advantage of his outstanding length and athleticism this way.

  • Capable of shifting gears and combining it with sharp changes of direction

  • Dynamic when pushing the pace in transition or running the break in the open court

    • Uses a terrific change of direction dribble, once or multiple times, together with skilled footwork to weave through traffic at high speeds

      • Changes of direction can be sharp or fluid

  • Tends to just glide through the traffic

    • Uses smooth, long strides

    • Footwork is skilled and polished

  • Terrific finishing package in transition (see more below)

  • A threat to board and push, placing pressure on the defense to get back and stop ball

  • Dribble drive ability is strengthened by his ground coverage, speed, and strength

  • Will drive right or left

  • Finishing

    • Strength to take the contact and finish through it

    • Length to extend away from the body of the defender

      • Can contort his body and still get shots up on the glass from bad angles

      • Able to use his body to create contact and stretch for the finish

  • Excellent body control

  • Bounce to finish above the rim

  • More on his finishing package

    • Dunker with either hand or both

      • Protects the ball well and is capable of finishing with power

  • Can go up and around the defender, using his athleticism, length, touch, and focus

  • Soft touch off the glass, even with contact

    • Understands how to use his body, not just in mid-air, but before he lifts off

  • Maintains concentration despite rim protection

  • Skilled off-hand

  • Finishes off of one or two feet accordingly, whether off the “right” or “wrong” leg

  • Despite high speed attacks, he is still able to explode vertically on the finish, as opposed to allowing his momentum to carry him forward

  • Displays a floater-type of pull-up in the lane, when necessary

  • A quickly rising shot maker

  • Effective from the midrange, where he’s able to get to his spots in a variety of ways

    • Moves hard to the spot, using dribbles with a purpose. Uses the dribble(s) well to cover ground and can create space by beating the defender to the spot and getting nice elevation on the jumper.

    • The threat to drive puts defenders on their heels. It also allows him to use momentum to his advantage on the pull-up.

    • Owns a strong one-and-two-dribble pull-up game that can begin on the catch or start off the live dribble

  • Utilizes dribble moves and changes of paces that lead him to his pull-ups

  • Developing consistency as a 3-point shooter. Flashes of deep range; can hit off the dribble, out of pick-and-roll play, and in multiple catch-and-shoot capacities (see more analysis in the “Shooting” section below)

  • Has improved his pull-up 3-pointer, especially off of 1 and 2 dribbles

    • Proven to be very effective covering a lot of ground with his dribbles from out top, then rising quickly and on balance to elevate on the spot

    • Can come off of dribble hand-offs or off the bounce

  • A significant percentage of 3-point attempts are coming off the move, either as the initiator or coming out of some sort of action

  • Likes to gather momentum then pull up, either on the run without the ball or off his own dribble

  • Capable of setting up his 3 in isolation situations

  • Growing as a playmaker

    • Turns the corner with a scorer’s mentality, but is also capable of setting his teammates up for quality shots

  • Typically exhibits court awareness

  • Creates passing lanes off the dribble

  • Understands how to set his shooters up on the drive, but can sometimes show hesitance to kick it

    • Showing signs of defensive manipulation

  • Will make plays in the open court/transition for others (see the “Passing” section below for visuals)

  • Has a small tendency to turn to force the play in an attempt to make something out of nothing, which he is capable of doing

  • High-potential pick-and-roll player

    • Again, turns the corner aggressively

    • Good enough shooter that you cannot go under the screen

    • Received a ton of experience handling doubles off the screen during the season with St. James, and displayed growth against its coverage, among others

    • Reads the pick-and-pop well, and understands how to drag the 2nd defender with him to create space for the shooter

  • Shows willingness to move off the ball and will benefit from doing so with greater consistency

  • Improving as a decision-maker, as well as overall ball security

    • 1-to-1.25 assist-to-turnover in the 14 games charted

  • Fundamentally sound

  • Strong offensive rebounder who crashes the glass with calculated timing, athleticism, and anticipation

    • Prime candidate to catch it off the rim for a putback

    • Quick to the ball

    • Follows the flight of the ball well and knows where it’s coming off

Shooting
 
  • Advancing overall as a shooter. Can knock down contested jumpers from midrange or behind the arc. An upward trending shot maker with solid mechanical foundations and plenty of potential to improve his percentages.

  • Comfortable shooting off the bounce, which is how the majority of his shots come about

    • Capable shooter under pressure

    • Elevates well over the defense

    • Maintains concentration on the goal with a hand in his face

  • Has shown inconsistency from behind the arc, but is still quite dangerous and capable of stringing together good shooting performances. You definitely cannot just let him shoot. It’s just a matter of consistency.

    • Has improved around the board during spring play, where he shot 33.3% on just over 4 attempts per game. He’s setting his feet and jumping straight up-and-down more often on cleaner looks (more on this below).

  • Will sometimes shoot more of a set shot when he has the time but, more often than not, he is shooting a jump shot

  • Progressing as a catch and shooter, standstill and off of movement

  • When he gets his shooter’s dip and rhythm, he shoots it well

  • Most misses tend to be short, but he is capable of shooting it with range

  • Very good free throw shooter at 80% on almost 6.5 attempts per game in the 14 games charted, including going 38-42 in the 6 games charted during the high school season

  • Will shoot using the 1, 2 step or off of a jump stop, depending on the situation

  • Mechanics/form

    • Uses his lower body well, sometimes even an exaggerated use

    • Can be multiple motions in the shot, and will benefit from get as close to one motion as possible. Multiple motions usually take place from beyond the arc.

      • There is the motion bringing it up to his release, and then there is the release

        • Release is from eye level, just left of his head

      • Demonstrated improvements during the spring, showing a shot with less movement

    • Shoots up and has a consistent snap of the wrist

    • Gets great arc on the basketball

    • Has a small tendency to allow his momentum to move him backwards on the release so that he comes down from the shot behind the initial spot. This renders the shot short on most of the attempts.

      • Has exhibited less of this tendency so far this spring, signaling improvement

  • Shot selection

    • Steady mix from each level

    • 34.3% of attempts came from 3 over the course of the 14 games charted

    • Shows determination to assert himself with points in the paint

      • Gets to the line regularly (6.5 attempts per game)

    • Goes through periods where he will settle for difficult 3-point attempts, but then others where he does not settle at all

Dribbling
 
  • A confident ball handler who has developed his ball skills and added creativity

  • Owns a superb change of direction, smoothly transitioning from one hand to the other, whether on the run or from the point of attack in the half court

    • The change from hand-to-hand is often quick and sharp

    • Allows him to create space, weave through traffic, position his body to his advantage, and get into the seams of the defense

  • Great speed dribble – has very good speed with the ball

    • Maintains ball and body control

    • Able to push the ball far out in front and catch up, even when weaving through some traffic

  • Handles the rock against pressure, whether zone or man

    • Showcases his change of direction and ball control

    • Really utilizes the wrap around behind the back to shift and gain a step on the defender who is intent on turning him

  • Occasionally renders the defense helpless and treat them like dribbling cones

  • Uses fingertips properly for ball control. He has tightened his handle overall and should continue to do so as he grows more and more comfortable with the ball in his hands.

    • Tendency to lose possession when trying to do too much with the dribble

  • Has rhythm dribbles as part of his overall cadence that he will use to re-group, replace himself, and re-establish his attack. Will also use it when he takes on bodies or is looking to create some time and space.

    • His go-to rhythm dribbles are a double behind the back or between the legs

  • Increasingly effective dribble moves coupled with his physical gifts to create space and separation

  • Stays low with the ball at almost all times, which aids his ability to accelerate, change directions, or pull-up

  • Shows strength with the ball and is capable of taking contact on the floor and moving through it on his way to the basket/paint

 
Passing
  • Can get into the lane off his own self-creation efforts, collapse the defense, and open up opportunities for teammates along the perimeter

    • Effective driver-and-kick passer, and creates angles for open passing lanes

    • Learning when to pass and when to keep it. He is a scorer, after all.

    • A skilled jump passer that usually has a plan when he does it

  • Progressing passer off the live dribble who delivers a nice ball, especially on lobs

    • Exhibits adequate vision in the open court when running the break or pushing the pace in transition/semi-transition

  • Puts nice touch on the lob pass and exhibits accuracy 

  • Locates and delivers to the open shooter off the live dribble from above the break

  • Reads oncoming doubles from overloaded sides or off of ball screens

  • Displays flashes of manipulating the defense with his eyes to open up shooters

  • As touched on above in the “Offensive Qualities” section, he is a growing passer out of pick-and-roll play

  • Puts good zip on the pass when necessary

  • Will look to advance the ball with the pass

  • See more on his playmaking above in the “Offensive Qualities” section

 
Defense
  • Possesses tremendous potential, but tends to lack energy and activity

  • Energy does not match offensive effort

  • On-ball defense

    • Typically passive, looking to keep his man in front; reactionary

      • Does not exert much ball pressure

    • Susceptible to getting beat on the dribble drive

    • Has advanced recovery after the initial move

    • Owns all the tools to be a menace on the ball (length, hand-eye coordination, agility and ground coverage)

  • Excellent passing lane capabilities, but does tend to stand and relax off the ball

  • Can be inconsistent on closeouts

  • Solid post defender with the strength to contend with bigger guards and wings

  • Although he is a highly capable defensive rebounder and turns in productive performances, he has a tendency to leave possessions unfinished, turning and looking or staying perimeter-bound instead of blocking out

 
Basketball IQ
  • Growing in the ability to manipulate defenses upon penetration into the lane

  • Understands angles and typically takes the shortest route to the basket

  • Consistently shows awareness of time and score

  • Has a progressing court awareness, as well as an advancing feel for the on-ball defender

  • Possesses instincts that allow him to make decisions purely off of feel

  • Progressing ability to read defenses and make decisions accordingly

    • Quickening processor

  • Advanced understanding of how to get to the line

 
Disposition/Presence
  • Exudes the right amount of confidence and aggression as a lead guard

  • Plays through adversity

    • Plays through mistakes and does not allow them to affect the next play

  • Easy-going but focused temperament with occasional shows of emotion after successful plays

  • Competitive

  • Goes through stretches of the game where his impact is limited to his time with the ball in  his hands

  • Takes contact one play and will come back for more the next time down the floor