Jarrett Culver: Off-Ball Offense
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.
Movement & positioning
Culver has spent significantly less time off the ball in his sophomore season. He can be a smart slasher and relocator, however he is very often relocating as a result of a diagrammed offense. Texas Tech spends a lot of time running set plays and many of them put the ball in his hands to make a play, or relocate him to make a play from another position on the court. His best role at an NBA level, however, is probably as a secondary creator who attacks off-balance defenses, meaning he will have to readjust to an off-ball role more similar to what he had his freshman season when he got 32 percent of his points out of spot up situations. When he is off-ball he is crafty while on the move, using screens and changing his path to take advantage of what he is given.
In two seasons, Culver has five pick-and-roll possessions where he served as the screener. He has a smaller frame and doesn’t make great contact when he does set screens. While he might develop this skill later on, currently there isn’t much to assess.
Shooting off the catch
An interesting theory we have talked about is the 18-19 version of Jarrett Culver (the primary ball handler who can run pick and rolls and create for himself and for teammates) is what got him noticed, but the 17-18 model might be a better indicator of his best role at the next level. Last season, he was most efficient in catch-and-shoot situations, despite having herky-jerky mechanics. This season, he seems to have worked through many of the hitches and is displaying a much smoother release. He is still very rigid with his release and holds the ball a bit too long, but his marked improvement as a shooter paired with his ability to relocate intelligently is a solid base to build on.
Shooting off movement
Culver is a solid shooter off movement and can set his feet quickly and swing his body into position without allowing his momentum to effect his shot. One major reason he has been able to look so controlled in these situations is because he slows down significantly when going into situations where he would shoot on the move, in essence turning them into catch-and-shoot opportunities. A major concern he will have at the next level is finding the air space to shoot after reducing his momentum so much. When he has come up against high-level defenders, he has found it more difficult to get off attempts while on the move.
Finishing off movement
Culver recognizes advantages well and he usually is put in good spots by the offensive play calls. He is a good cutter with soft hands who is strong enough to power through flat-footed defenders. He still has trouble in traffic against big men because he isn’t an explosive leaper, but when he is in space, he makes the most of his physical tools.