NBA Draft 2023: December scouting notes on Judah Mintz, Arthur Kaluma and others

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NBA Draft Dayton Flyers forward DaRon Holmes II Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

College basketball is in full swing with a jam-packed month of terrific non-conference games at all levels, and the start of conference play for some leagues. This past Saturday featured an elite mix of games that I’m sure all fans of the sport I enjoyed.

I have spent the past month on the road in the Midwest, attending a handful of games. Here are my NBA Draft scouting takeaways from games I saw live, headlined by the Legends of Basketball classic this past weekend.

Dayton v. Wyoming – Saturday, December 17th

DaRon Holmes II – Dayton – 6’10, 220 lbs – August 2002

Holmes did what he needed to do against a depleted Wyoming front line. He feasted on post-ups, using his body to dislodge defenders a bit and showing some good touch on hooks with both hands and some fadeaway jumpers. Holmes hit his only three of the game. He attacked closeouts well, showing some speed and functional dribbling with the ball getting downhill. Holmes didn’t get to show his passing, as Wyoming didn’t double him for some reason, but I think he processes the floor pretty well and could succeed in the short roll.

He’s not overly tall, so Holmes will need to win on the margins to survive long-term as a rotational center. I didn’t think he was a super active rebounder. He can cover ground well in drop or hard hedges, he just needs to raise his awareness at times.

Still, it’s hard to punish Holmes too much in a game where he met expectations. The three-point shoot could unlock a ton for Holmes on offense, but it felt unnatural and kind of a push-shot for him. He did make his only attempt. Holmes is a good player and while I’m not sure what his niche is, he probably does enough things well to make it as a backup center. I’d draft him in the second round this year, but probably two-way him to start.

Mike Sharavjamts – Dayton – 6’8, 180 lbs – August 2002

The biggest unknown entering the game was Sharavjamts, AKA “Mongolian Mike”, and unfortunately, I left Saturday night still not totally sure what he is. Sharavjamts picked up two early fouls in the first half and was sent to the bench. He ended up playing just 12 minutes.

When he was in, Sharavjamts showed his passing acumen and flair. Down a pair of guards, the Flyers had Sharavjamts operating as the lead ball-handler. He uses his handle well to probe and disarm defenders, before finding holes in the defense. He had a really nice pick-and-roll snake into a euro before looking off the low-man and finding a baseline cutter for a dunk.

Shharavjamts only took one shot, but I thought his jumper mechanics looked good in warm-ups. The two downsides are he’s old for a freshman (would be 21 by the start of next season) and still incredibly skinny. I need to watch him a bit closer (I’ll see Dayton again in February), but 6’7-6’8 players that are terrific passers and can handle and shoot it will always intrigue me long-term. There’s a good chance he ends up being Dayton’s best prospect.

Toumani Camara – Dayton, 6’8, 220 lbs – May 2000

Camara is a physical four-man who did a lot of the little things to help Dayton win comfortably. He was incredibly active on the glass (snagged a game-high nine rebounds) and as a defender in the help and on the ball. Camra’s offensive game isn’t super translatable. He scored out of the dunker spot, baseline cuts, and some post-ups and is a below-average shooter.

I don’t think he’s an NBA player, but that kind of defensive versatility and how hard he plays should lead to a positive career somewhere. I think he’d be an interesting exhibit-10 player as a glue guy but is probably best fit for overseas.

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