Nassir Little: Hustle
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.
Little’s effort can be inconsistent. He occasionally makes hustle plays grabbing offensive rebounds, however the majority of the time he seems to be content with not making a mistake, lest he get the hook. It is clear that Little is frustrated by his role at UNC, which negatively affects his mental state and body language, leading to declining effort on the court. When he feels more involved his effort improves.
Little flashes the ability to crash the offensive glass, but hasn’t been overwhelming when trying to create extra possessions on the glass. While he is not the most instinctual rebounder, his athleticism give him a wider margin for error, and his strength allows him to jockey for position, even with bigs. He has good leaping ability which affords him the ability to high point the basketball. His offensive rebound rate is very good for a forward and might be something NBA teams look to emphasize as he finds his role.
Little’s offensive rebounding is ahead of his defensive rebounding at the moment. He boxes out irregularly, but his box outs are effective. He can high-point rebounds when he can load, but is less effective when trying to leap off one foot. His defensive rebounding is good for a wing but below average for a forward or big.
Little fills transition lanes correctly and is ferocious when attacking downhill. He lacks the perimeter shot to fill to the deep corner but has potential as a rim runner because of his core strength and leaping. Carolina pushes an up-tempo system which has given Little plenty of opportunities and he has shown steady improvement (including some nice touch in the lane).
Little gives solid effort getting back in transition. His effectiveness as a transition defender is limited by his awareness and anticipation; he is often caught ball-watching and makes questionable decisions rotating away from the rim. His anticipation needs improving and he does not put himself in positions to get steals or blocks. He also struggles securing defensive rebounds in traffic after misses.