Jalen Hood-Schifino is a six-foot-six guard who has shown high-scoring flashes while being an exceptional on-ball defender. The Monteverde Academy product was named the Big Ten Rookie of the Year and made the lone All-Big Ten third-team honor in Indiana.
His off-the-dribble scoring and combination of playmaking and size make Hood-Schifino one of the most exciting prospects in the 2023 NBA Draft. While his defensive efforts and ability to create shots are encouraging, his lack of effectiveness from the three and beyond is something to note.
Jalen Hood-Schifino is an all-around guard with a high ceiling.
In 32 games for the Hoosiers, Jalen Hood-Schifino average 13.5 points with four rebounds and four assists per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field. However, what doesn’t show up on the stat sheet is his defensive prowess.
Defensive back Jalen Hood-Schifino was impressive in college. He can stay in front of the man and rarely gets caught ball-watching. The 213-pound guard does a good job fighting off screens, and while he averages 0.8 steals per game for the Hoosiers, JHS has the most active and quick hands.
He also has tremendous upside on the offensive end of the floor. The Indiana guard did a fantastic job finding the middle spots and making defenders pay. Hood-Schifino excelled as a pick-and-roll ball handler, biting off defenders’ passes before creating space for himself and knocking down an open mid-range jumper.
Jalen Hood-Schifino is very comfortable moving to the right, where his pull game is perfect. However, when moving to the left, he still has plenty in the bag, often using stepbacks to create open looks.
Although Hood-Schifino has made most of his money in the mid-range game, he hasn’t been there yet, and he’s shown to be a scorer at all three levels. As a three-point shooter, JHS is offensive.
From Indiana’s first regular-season game through Jan. 8, Hood-Schifino shot 47.7 percent from three. However, from Jan. 11 through Indiana’s NCAA Tournament finale, JHS shot 23.9 percent from beyond the arc. This brings up two of his greatest concerns: efficiency and inconsistency.
Hood-Schifino had just a 49.2 true shooting percentage this season, which isn’t ideal. Part of this is due to the lack of a strong brutal game. JHS has the size and smarts to be a good finisher around the rim, but he doesn’t attack often.
Hood-Schifino averaged 2.4 tackles per game at Indiana and hasn’t taken a trip to the charity stripe in 12 games this season. As a high-speed guard, he should drive more aggressively. Although he is not an athletic player, he has the tools to be a plus finisher.
Sometimes, Hood-Schifino settles for jumpers instead of attacking the paint. In the Hoosiers’ final game of the season, when Miami was eliminated in the NCAA tournament, Hood-Schifino shot 11 three-pointers, three of which he made. Miami defenders will go under screens, and JHS will shoot it immediately, which is not his game yet.
Passing is one of Hood-Schifino’s biggest strengths. In the pick-and-roll, he did a good job of making plays in his own time and finding shooters for open looks on the wing or in the corner. His one-handed jump passes are impressive, and he can use both hands when making them.
Hood-Schifino has struggled to land inbounds passes and hit interceptions, but he’s still a very skilled passer with plenty of room for improvement.
He works best on offense as a primary ball handler. Oftentimes, Indiana JHS would sit in the corner and make sets. Not only was he a poor corner three-point shooter and poor at catching and shooting, he was often invisible on offense and a non-factor.
Jalen Hood-Schifino is similar to 2021 prospect and fellow Thunder pre-draft pick James Bucknight, but JHS looks to have more success in the NBA.
As for the Thunder, Hood-Schifino can be found wherever you choose. OKC may be in the market for a backup point guard with Tre Mann’s regression last season and JHS could fill that role.
For Hood-Schifino, Oklahoma City is the perfect destination for a young team to develop and an All-NBA guard in SGA.
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