Six Overtimes Podcast: Jeremy Lamb

Jeremy Lamb, SG 6-5,185,
Projection: Lottery

I hopped on the Six Overtimes Podcast this week to discuss UConn sophomore standout, Jeremy Lamb

Kemba Walker’s departure opened the door for Lamb to take on a larger leadership role for the defending national champs. His play at the U-19 USA National Team justified this role and proved to UConn nation that he had the game to grow out of Walker’s shadow. So far, he has not disappointed. Lamb is averaging 17.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 2.1 asts. He holds a team leading 24.2% usage rate and is fifth in the Big East in points per game. His true shooting percentage of 61.1 is 8th in the Big East. He is currently 9th in minutes per game, according to basketball-reference.com

Lamb is a hands down lottery pick in next year’s draft. He’s explosive in bursts but always seems to glide on the court — a natural scorer with three point range (39% from distance this season). His wingspan is that of a player four or five inches taller than he actually is which is why most scouts are projecting him to not only be a prolific scorer, but also a plus defender. He currently averages 1.7 steals a game and has the tools to be an all-defensive player if he chooses to be.

But UConn has the defensive pieces (Oriakhi and Drummond come to mind) to make them a dangerous out in the tournament. Still, the Huskies struggle on offense at times, requiring Lamb to focus on his scoring output on a nightly basis.

In a November column, ESPN.com’s Chad Ford quoted an NBA GM on the Jeremy Lamb vs Harrison Barnes debate: “I think if you matchup Lamb and Harrison Barnes, I think Lamb comes out ahead. He’s a better athlete and he’s just more aggressive.”

Draftexpress.com has him at 11 in their most recent Mock. I think he will fall within the top-10 with a strong tournament run.

The Knocks:
Demeanor: Jeremy Lamb is painfully non-chalant with controlled emotions. Because of his quiet attitude and slim frame, opponents tend to bully Lamb and play him physically. This strategy has proved to work at times, especially against Rutgers on the road. He must improve his body when he enters the NBA. He’s Tayshaun Prince slim right now. I would like to see Lamb  drive to the basket a little more. (He had a sick baseline dunk vs Columbia earlier this year). He only averages about three free throws a game, but he has the athletic ability to finish in and around the basket. He shoots 84% from the line, so if he was more aggressive, he can become a more efficient player because he’ll knock down the freebies.

What I like most:
Lamb’s ability to bounce back from losses or poor individual performances. Take the Rutgers game. 8 pts. 4-9 from the field, 0-4 from three, one rebound, one assist. Fouled out. He was pushed around all night by the Scarlet Knights. He got frustrated and it showed. The next game against West Virginia, the Mountaineers employed the same strategy. Lamb knew it was coming and wasn’t rattled. He finished with 25 pts, 8 rbs. and perhaps most importantly, he played all 40 minutes.

Similar players:
SF Tayshaun Prince, SG/SF Tracy McGrady, SF Rudy Gay, SF Andre Iguodala

Where he may land:
Lottery bound teams in need of offense will quickly identify Lamb as a must get. Charlotte is in desperate need of offense at every position. He would be a great fit for Michael Jordan. Milwaukee could use some explosiveness to pair with Brandon Jennings. The Phoenix Suns are suddenly in need of offense, he would be a great pickup for the Suns.


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