2018 - Wing - Ignas Brazdeikis (Commit)


He isn’t very quick laterally and certainly isn’t the sort of above the rim player that Bridges is. Basically the biggest question that Brazdeikis is: who can he guard? I’m in the ‘wait and see’ camp that it can be anyone other than combo forwards.

OTOH, he’s a legit scorer and he’ll be able to get buckets from day one. Hit on a lot of this in the Iggy story I wrote the other day.

What makes you think that he’s a + athlete? Certainly what would make you say that in comparison to Bridges?


He a big, strong, coordinated, strapping young man. It’s self evident. Watch him on the court. I’m shaking my head that people don’t think Brazdeikis is a + athlete. Whatever. Time is the friend of truth. We will know soon enough.

I don’t think Brazdeikis will be a defensive stalwart from the jump but he will be fine, ok, sufficient. He will certainly be better than say… Nik Stauskas.

This may be sacrilege but I didn’t think Bridges moved laterally all that well and was not a great defender. But we tend to criticize our own players and throw less scrutiny on the opposition.


I really don’t see anything similar between Iggy and Bridges besides the fact that they’re both lefty combo forwards. They’re miles apart athletically and Iggy seems more adept at getting to the rim, “high school/prep school film” caveat obviously. I think Dylan said it perfectly with the “one plays above the rim and one below it” thing. Two players like that can only be so similar…


I find Zack Novak to Miles Bridges to be a similar quality comparison as Iggy to Bridges.


It isn’t that I’m trying to knock Ignas, if that’s what you are implying. Just would be doing you guys a disservice in terms of what to expect from the kid when he gets to a2. Also, not being a Miles Bridges athlete doesn’t mean that you are a terrible athlete. That is just the area of Iggy’s game that will likely determine his ceiling one way or another.

I just think the comparison thought process should be tweener bucket-getter who isn’t the best defender but fills up the stat sheet. That’s why I like the Brooks/Thomas names that people threw out for similar reasons.

You can say X and Cassius are very different players who are basically nothing alike – other than being similar heights – but they are both good players in their own way.


I don’t think you are trying to knock Brazdeikis.
I appreciate the back and forth.


He’s no Bridges but he’s also not some limited below the rim athlete.

These are highlight reels for a reason but he’s got bounce to go with his size. Just watch the first 30 seconds…he can go strong to the rim and get up there with defenders nearby

This is my favorite Iggy reel in which he scored 50 in a game against Prolific Prep. His whole scoring package is on display. Ball screen primary handler, getting to the rim at will, lethal off the catch and shoot, creative crafty finishes in traffic, and athletic finishes off drop offs.


Thought it showed the opposite. His dunks all came without someone contesting his shot. When someone met him at the rim, he used his body to get his shot off. He’s crafty, which is how he will get it done at the college level and beyond. He’s not going to outjump or out quick too many opponents.


Yeah, like I said. I would say that Iggy probably has a more mature offensive game than Bridges in a lot of ways. He’s a scorer, that’s what he does.

He doesn’t move side to side or vertically at any level that compares to Bridges. I’m not saying he can’t dunk or anything like that, but he’s not an above the rim player who changes games with his length and bounce.

His scoring ability is predicated on his feel around the basket and his ability to use his body to shield the ball and score.

I’m pretty surprised that this take comes off as controversial. How many scouting reports of Iggy have you read that are high on his athleticism?


Not many and I’m not saying that “good athlete” should be a top 3 thing on his scouting report. I’m with you on what Iggy’s strengths are and how he is going to score next year. It won’t be dunking on everyone.

I might be nit-picking but I just also wouldn’t use “below the rim” to describe his athleticism. Crafty scorer, more skilled than he is quick twitch jumper for sure. But I’m LOLing that he’s either Miles Bridges as an athlete or Zack Novak.

Off-topic but this reminds me of there being a bunch of questions about Poole as an athlete (and maybe there still are)…but then he dunked on a dude’s face in the Penn State game (linking it here just for fun)

I guess what I’m saying is I wouldn’t be surprised to see Iggy have a moment or two like this next year based on the tape I’ve seen.

Won’t be every game and it’s not his biggest strength but he’s a capable athlete for his size and position and it definitely won’t be any sort of liability for him IMO.


Saying he’s a below the rim player isn’t an indictment on his athleticism. That phrase is used for play style. Just because he can dunk, or even dunk well doesn’t mean he’s not a below the rim guy. Two guys with similar athleticism could be opposites regarding below/above the rim style. Zach Randolph, Dirk, and Paul Millsap are all examples of below the rim players. Joe Johnson, Joe Ingles, and Khris Middleton are former/current wings who I’d personally put in that category. Iggy is a crafty, get to the rim and find a way to throw it in type guy. As @bacon141 pointed out, all those dunks in the video were uncontested. Even a guy like Brandon Roy who could posterize a guy is someone who I’d label as below the rim. I haven’t seen anything from Iggy’s film that indicates he’s even close to Bridges regarding this.

Obviously that comment wasn’t comparing Zack Novak and Iggy’s athleticism with any sincerity. It’s just to point out how absurd some comparisons are when the players have very little in common regarding play style.


I think an aggressive, seeking out contact style of play can be successful at the college level even without great athleticism. Tyler Hansbrough would be a prime example.

I’d also argue a guy like Luke Kennard is not much of an athlete, certainly a below the rim player, but got to the rim pretty effectively at Duke.

I see Iggy as a slightly taller, more physical version of Kennard with a worse outside shot, though not significantly worse. I think he’ll be quite good for us, and has the potential to be a two and done guy. I’d agree defense will be his biggest challenge.


and UNdone


It’s interesting; you look up and down the roster and you don’t see a team that’s going to be bullied by anyone. I think that’s why Iggy’s going to be pretty successful next year. I also think that while he’s not flashy, he’s really good at using his body to get the ball in the hoop. Is that athleticism? Maybe more skill, but he’s already a pretty accomplished player.


I kind of like the Chris Mullin comparison.


Yeah, except Mullin was a truly elite shooter. Stranger things have happened but I don’t see Iggy as an NBA all star, do you? I mean, Mullin was an elite player for several years.


Let’s not go overboard. It’s just a style comparison.


Iggy goes hard to the hoop, absorbs contact and is very creative finishing. One thing that will help him is the block/charge arc. I’ve seen some clips of him turning the corner on high ball screens. He is a good passer when he does pass, and his height will help him hit bigs rolling to the hoop. He also passes well out-letting on the fast break. Key offensively will be consistency from three point range.


I like the Mullin comparison for the finesse finishing around the rim and the mid range shots Iggy appears to be more than capable of…

Iggy seems like a better leaper and perhaps trending toward being the physically stronger player.


Fair enough - I have compared Castleton to Laettner, style-wise, and I certainly didn’t mean to suggest I think he’ll win National Player of the Year. I like Iggy a lot, I think he’ll thrive in our offense.