North Texas Daily

North Texas basketball players compare their game to an NBA counterpart

North Texas basketball players compare their game to an NBA counterpart

February 07
18:01 2018

As the college basketball season enters its final month of regular season play, there is no better time to have some fun and also get into the minds of the players on the men’s basketball team. We asked the top eight players in minutes played to compare themselves to current and past NBA players based on who they model their game after. Senior sports writer Matthew Brune then adds his insight on their selection.

Here are the results:

Ryan Woolridge, sophomore point guard

NBA comparison: John Wall

Woolridge: “I play more of a John Wall style. At times [I can attack and at others I can facilitate].”

Matthew Brune: Woolridge is a quick, pass-first point guard, has decent size at the position and can defend really well. Another thing he and John Wall have in common is neither can really shoot consistently, but they make up for it by attacking the paint off of ball screens.

Roosevelt Smart, sophomore guard

NBA comparison: Eric Gordon

Smart: “Eric Gordon because threes are worth more than twos, and he shoots a lot of threes — and makes them.”

MB: Smart is pretty spot on here. Eric Gordon shoots 9.3 3-pointers per game and Smart shoots 9.2 per game. Neither one has seen a shot from behind the arch they did not like, and both are lethal from any range. Both Gordon and Smart can get to the hoop and draw fouls pretty well.

A.J. Lawson, sophomore guard

NBA comparison: Scottie Pippen

Lawson: “Scottie Pippen just because he was the glue guy on his team, and he helped the team offensively and defensively. He wasn’t afraid to put his body on the line.”

MB: This is a fun one. I see the comparisons because of the size and physicality of the two players. Neither is a great spot up shooter but both can create off the dribble. Lawson mentions putting his body on the line, and he does that a lot for loose balls while also playing this year with a nagging wrist injury. He just wants to win.

Allante Holston, junior guard

NBA comparison: Andrew Wiggins

Holston: “It would probably be Andrew Wiggins. We have similar games. [We’re both] versatile, athletic and long.”

MB: This is a good comparison because Holston is the best dunker on the team by far and both are versatile, lengthy players who can move in the lineup and switch onto different types of players. Wiggins shoots more 3-pointers but he is only shooting 32 percent, and Holston, at his level of competition, is probably a slightly better defender.

Shane Temara, senior forward

NBA comparison: Kevin Love

Temara: “Kevin Love because he picks and pops and can shoot. He also rebounds really well.”

MB: Both are stretch bigs who can rebound well, so Temara got it right here. The only real difference is Love has more of a post up game too while Temara really likes popping out for three, but they both stretch the floor so well. However, Temara clearly has the better hair in this comparison.

Zachary Simmons, freshman forward

NBA comparison: Tim Duncan

Simmons: “Tim Duncan. You know, he has a little bit of athleticism to him, but he’s more about the fundamentals, angles and just being a good teammate and winning.”

MB: I can see Simmons modeling his game after the great Tim Duncan’s. His defense has the potential to be that caliber of great at the collegiate level as he continues to develop. He has already shown a really impressive touch around the basket on offense. Now, all he needs is that patented bank shot.

DJ Draper, sophomore guard

NBA comparison: Patty Mills

Draper: “I think I’m most like Patty Mills honestly, because he comes in and works hard on defense then makes open shots.”

MB: This is the most accurate comparison yet. Both are good shooters. Both play hard, especially on the defensive end. Both can occasionally get to the basket. And both are really good teammates who had years of cheering on teammates from the bench when they weren’t playing. Also, Draper is basically the backup point guard right now, and he can play at shooting guard with Woolridge.

Tope Arikawe, junior forward

NBA comparison: Hakeem Olajuwon

Arikawe: “Hakeem Olajuwon, because he’s one of the best post players to ever play the game. He knows how to score around the basket and he’s got great post moves.”

MB: On the court, Tope is the best post player on the team with a nice post hook and a nice drop step, but this comparison and admiration goes beyond basketball. Both were born in Lagos, Nigeria. Arikawe started playing basketball at 14, while Olajuwon started playing at 17, and both played soccer only until then.

Featured Image: File

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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