Jarrett Culver: Defense
Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite. Our composite scouting notes help provide context for our grades.
Texas Tech is a great defensive team and Culver has a lot to do with why. He is a competitor who likes to work hard defending his man. He has good balance and uses his strength well while in a stance. His length makes him a menace when defending smaller guards and he occasionally gets a hand on passes as he defends on-ball. He does tend to be a little high when he defends and can occasionally get blown away on a close out as a result.
Culver does not make a lot of mistakes as a team defender, generally a good sign he can be an early defensive contributor. He has a solid understanding of high-level concepts like when to help and how to rotate. He has shown a nice grasp on how to help one pass away, including a perfect ‘x-out’ versus Baylor where he helped off his man to guard a corner three. He reads passing lanes and is willing to hustle to try and disrupt the offense. He is successful by doing his work early, understanding where the ball is and what his help responsibilities are. Good team defender.
Culver commits to help and rotates with a purpose, using active hands and applying his good understanding of help side fundamentals. He has good enough length to nearly always be always be a hindrance when rotating. Though he can be a bit too quick on the trigger when doubling down, he is still effective and rarely gambles so much that he is completely out of the play.
Culver has good length and strength and a great understanding of how to apply his advantages. He can guard up a position well, using his strength to prevent forwards and bigs from gaining too much ground on him. He is slightly worse when switching down to smaller guards, especially when they are on the move. If he catches them at a standstill, he can use his frame to his advantage, but speedy moving targets often put him on his back foot. He is a very willing and engaged switcher who works hard, something which shouldn’t be undersold.
High impact plays
Culver is a quality team defender who doesn’t get in foul trouble. He doesn’t generate a lot of blocks, but he alters shots. He isn’t leading the nation in steals, but he gets his hands on a lot of passes, even if they make it to their destination. He is a disruptive defender who will be able to create extra possessions within the flow of the defense.