Nassir Little: Intelligence
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 occasionally loses track of his assignment while defending away from the ball and at other times is unaware of his help responsibilities within UNC’s defense. He is slow to realize when a rotation has made him the primary rim protector and as a result can give up easy baskets.
Little’s situational awareness on defense is a mixed bag. He struggles to execute the scheme when guarding the screener in ball screen actions. As the weak side defender, he does not consistently execute his help responsibilities. However, he has a knack for when to help on post-ups and is a smart rebounder. His low-usage role in UNC’s offense has not given him opportunities to flash his situational awareness on the offensive end.
Uncomfortable handling the ball for extended stretches, Little has been making rushed decisions leading to turnovers all season long. He doesn’t have a firm grasp on the offense and you can often see him trying to think through the play instead of relying on his instincts. He has a tendency to hijack the offense (a fair sentiment for a score-first toward thrust into a complementary role) instead of playing within the flow. His poor decisions often result in driving into traffic and throwing up a tough layup.
Little does not consistently make quick decisions and often misses simple reads within the offense as a result. He is hesitant as a passer and does not make any advanced understand of where and when the openings will come. When he is decisive, he can be a force to be reckoned with, especially rolling downhill. But he will need to pick his spot judiciously to avoid costly turnovers.
Anticipation (A to C)
Little’s defensive anticipation is poor. He does not see the next pass developing, and rarely disrupts passing lanes. He is improving at recognizing the proper weak side rotations, but it is still an area of his game that requires more work. He makes good block to block rotations and has found some success with chase down blocks in transition, but anything more complicated than that is currently beyond him.