Skal Labissiere (Freshman, Kentucky)
Power Forward/7’0/215/Age: 20
Product of…Lausanne Collegiate via Prep via Port-au-Prince, Haiti
6.6 points/game, 3.1 rebounds/game
Prior to the 2015-16 season, Skal Labissiere was discussed as a possible top-5 pick. After an up and down season at UK, the backend of the lottery seems like his ceiling. Don’t get me wrong, Skal holds great upside and showed a few glimpses of becoming a future Star UnderDOG/Top DOG. But the overall package was underwhelming and often times, he just wasn’t a relevant factor in games.
A so-so shooter and scorer, Skal is a 7-footer who prefers playing on the perimeter and facing up. Only problem…he only attempted TWO COLLEGE threes all year long and wasn’t aggressive enough with the rock to earn a full-time role in the rotation.
Skal is a long-term project, with considerable potential. But until he develops a mean streak, hits the weights (just 215), and finds a niche, the D-League is a likely destination.
NBA Skills: Faceup scoring
-Has shown a raw ability to face up and score; when he doesn’t overthink action, Skal boasts a solid midrange J and is more than able to get by slower defenders
-Solid athlete, can really get out and run in the open floor; slender frame but moves more like a three man; speed and quickness could lead to perimeter opportunities in the league
-Nice shot-blocking instincts; finished 5th in the SEC in blocks despite a limited role; defense could earn him PT while the rest of his game rounds out
-Very slight to play on the interior & bang against NBA level competition; until he’s around 240, could have trouble defending without fouling & gaining optimal position down low
-No range on his J; pretty decent form on his J but seems to be at least a couple years away from putting up near stretch four numbers
-Lacks a mean streak; got pushed around/disappeared in key games as a freshman, particularly when matched with stronger or more athletic bigs
NBA DOG Status: UnderDOG
Skal Labissiere will (likely) look great in workouts and has a few jaw-dropping moments on tape…but be careful, he’s a couple seasons from contributing at a high level. If he couldn’t string together consistent production in the SEC, withstanding the grind of an NBA season will be a monumental challenge.
All of that considered, Skal’s upside is undeniable. Maybe he’s just must better suited for the NBA, similar to Myles Turner. If only a blurry view of the larger picture is available, it may be enough of a preview to roll the dice.
NBA Comparison: Perry Jones/Myles Turner