Texas Basketball has its Future Team Leader in Matt Coleman
Scouting Report on Texas Basketball Prize Recruit Matt Coleman
Texas Basketball and Shaka Smart needed a Point Guard in this recruiting season. The Longhorns definitely got their man for 2017 in the form of Oak Hill Academy star Matt Coleman.
Coleman announced his commitment to Texas during the first game of ESPNU’s day-long coverage of the “Spalding Hoophall Classic.” Then, Coleman and his Oak Hill teammates put on a show in the second game.
Oak Hill lost by three points to Seattle’s undefeated Nathan Hale school coached by former Portland Trail Blazers star Brandon Roy. But, the nationally televised game was more about a showcase of talent on both sides.
Coleman stood out for what will make him a huge star for Texas Basketball next season. You could almost picture him in orange & white shooting, creating, and controlling the tempo of the game.
Scouting Report – Offense
– Matt Coleman can shoot the basketball, which is desperately needed from Texas’ guards. He has a dangerous lefty jump shot that he can get off from anywhere on the court. Coleman is not afraid to shoot, especially over taller defenders, and he has great skills to create space.
– Coleman is a great ballhandler. During the game against Nathan Hale, Coleman rarely mishandled the ball or let it get away from him. He has complete confidence in his ability to dribble the length of the court and either pass or shoot.
– Perhaps most impressive is Coleman’s decisiveness, knowing when to pass or shoot. If there’s room to create a shot for himself, he can make buckets. If there’s a better opportunity to set up a teammate for an open look, he’ll get the rest of his team involved.
– Coleman knows how to run the offense. If basketball recorded a hockey assist, then Coleman would have registered a double-double against Nathan Hale. Coleman oftentimes set up one teammate to pass to another teammate for an open look. He has great vision to see the offense unfold and make the right decision.
– Coleman needs to improve on his assertiveness. There’s a ton of Division I talent on Oak Hill’s roster, but only one basketball to share. There were times when Coleman deferred to other players to handle the ball, causing Oak Hill to turn the ball over. As a freshman at Texas next season, Coleman can’t worry about deferring to more experienced players, as the Longhorns need an assertive PG.
Scouting Report – Defense
– Matt Coleman is more proficient on offense, but he was solid on defense. Most impressive was a transition block without fouling. This led to points on the other end for Oak Hill.
In the halfcourt, Coleman was regularly in position to guard his opponent. But, at other times, he was late rotating to perimeter shooters. Coach Shaka Smart will look to work on Coleman’s defensive concentration.
– Coleman can steal the ball. Over the past few seasons, Texas has missed a perimeter defender who can consistently get steals, leading to easy offense for the Longhorns. Coleman will look to take chances against college opponents, which could be a huge difference-maker for the Horns next season.
– No problem crashing the boards. Coleman is not the biggest guy in the gym, but he will chase down rebounds. In this era of NBA PGs James Harden and Russell Westbrook grabbing a triple-double every other night, it’s nice to have a PG who can grab rebounds and quickly move the ball down the court.
– Coleman communicates effectively. He was one of the few players on the court calling out switches or defensive assignments, trying to get his teammates organized. The current Longhorns need a court general, both on offense and defense.
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Scouting Report – Intangibles
– Coleman has some showtime in him. Last season, we saw a lot of showtime out of Kerwin Roach from the off-guard role. But Roach has scaled that back in his sophomore season as the primary ballhandler.
Coleman has the ability to make a fancy play with ease because of his superior ballhandling skills. Looking ahead, though, when he faces larger, more experienced defenders, the windows will be tighter than at the high school level. But, he displays complete confidence in his game to navigate tougher competition.
– Coleman hustles. Shaka Smart would have loved seeing Coleman on the floor scrambling for a loose ball against Nathan Hale. He did not get the 50/50 ball, but he disrupted the opposing team’s offensive attack.
– Coleman is a leader. During dead balls, Coleman routinely looked toward the bench to check which offensive or defensive play they were running. Once he grasps Shaka Smart’s style of play, Coleman will be one of the primary leaders for the Longhorns in 2017-18.