Scouting & Video: JaVontae Hawkins vs. AA Gabriel Richard

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Guest contributor Jack Robenalt filmed Flint Powers’ win over Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard and provided this report on 2012 Michigan offeree JaVontae Hawkins.

Full scouting report after the jump.

Flint Powers traveled down US-23 to Ann Arbor Friday night to face the Gabriel Richard Irish, a team ranked in the class B preseason top 10. JaVontae Hawkins had a slow start for Powers but showed flashes of brilliance as the game progressed. At one point he ripped down a strong rebound on the defensive end, took off down the floor, crossed a Richard defender over at midcourt, and hit a runner from about 15 feet. He began to score a little easier inside, but his outside game was struggling a bit. Hawkins was playing mostly at the 4 spot for Powers, so he was almost always inside or spread low on the wing. He only attempted a handful of long shots and didn’t connect on any of them. Most of his takes were on post-ups under the hoop or drives from the wing.

Hawkins played a very strong second half, spending a ton of time at the free throw line. As Powers found themselves in the bonus early, Hawkins continued to attack and he earned his trips to the stripe. He was driving at will, but seemed to have trouble going from drawing contact to putting a good shot towards the basket. As he gets stronger and more used to the contact inside, he’ll be able to round out that part of his game. He was extremely effective from the line, however, shooting 7-10.

Powers pulled away in the fourth, and won 63-49. Hawkins scored 19, Zach Adams 17, and Pierre Brackett 13. It was another solid win for Powers –  Hawkins had a slow first quarter, started to assert himself in the second, and frankly took over the game in the second half, with Powers looking for him on most of their possessions down the stretch.

Strengths:

  • Hawkins was assertive taking the ball to the hoop, both from the wing and getting the ball in the post. Powers went to him often, and he wasn’t afraid of contact or afraid to go back to the hoop after a turnover or missed shot.
  • Hawkins looked good in transition, leading the break a few times. Unfortunately my skills are not what we’d call “experienced” on the camera, and the one time I got caught up in the live action and forgot to turn the camera on a breakaway also happened to be Hawkins best play of the night – a monster tip slam.
  • Hawkins was very solid from the foul line, and never looked rattled despite the hostile environment. He spent a ton of time at the stripe, and drained some clutch free throws in the fourth quarter to ice the game.

Needs Improvement:

  • Hawkins struggled from deep in this game. He didn’t get a whole lot of looks, as he was mostly playing the 4, but the times he did launch shots from the perimeter, they didn’t seem very close. He has the ability to be a good shooter, as his strong free throw shooting attests to, but he seemed to struggle a bit from outside in this one.
  • Converting after contact was a bit or a problem for Hawkins. He was strong taking it to the hole, but actually getting the ball in the hoop seemed to be an issue. He needs to continue to get stronger so he has an easier time finishing around the basket and absorbing contact.
  • Defensively, Hawkins struggled a bit guarding Richard’s big front line. Luther Page and Darren Washington are big and strong and were a very tough guard for the slender Hawkins, who was forced to play the four. To his credit, he stuck in there and battled against the bigger and stronger players all night.

Overall:

Hawkins looked very nice once he got rolling. His game seemed more inside-oriented yesterday, but he was willing and able to take that role. He showed poise and strength taking it inside in the second half, picking up fouls and draining the free throws. He looked strong in transition, and showed the hops and speed that you want to see from potential Big Ten athletes. He hustled on defense, breaking up a few passes and putting himself in a position to take hits and be physical. He took an extremely hard foul on a breakaway, and hit the court hard, but got right back up and nailed the free throws. It might not have been Hawkins’ best game but Hawkins demonstrated why he holds a Michigan offer.

  • YpsiTuckyBoy

    Hmm…Not sure about this. I liked how the highlights were actually from one full game, instead of hand picking the best plays from three or fours games. It gives you a more realistic view of the stage of development at which the player is. He seems to have the requisite athleticism, but he’s definitely not as polished as THJ or even GRIII. He seems like a slasher more in the mold of Pointer, but plays a little bit out of control at times. He did play great harassing defense, though, which I like to see especially when it’s easy to slack off on D because you have your opponent outmatched physically.

    Plus, that eight foot Jason Williams tear drop shot is an awesome weapon to have, but there’s a reason Jason Williams has been one of the few people to shoot it from further than four feet away. It’s very tough to make. He threw that shot up about five times it seemed like and made it once.

    Looks like a good player with upside, but I’m not sold. Still bummed we missed out on Pointer. I think he would’ve been a nice piece to add.

  • wayman britt

    I always like to evaluate a recruit by looking at what other schools are offering or pursuing a recruit. Good independent barometer. Besides Iowa is any other Big Ten team offering him? Are any traditional top 30 basketball programs offering him?

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Offers from Michigan, Central Michigan, Dayton, West Virginia, Arizona State, South Florida, Miami (FL), Iowa, Iowa St, Detroit, Oakland, Colorado, and Minnesota.

    I also think it’s bit unfair to judge Hawkins from just one game… He led his team is scoring and obviously didn’t have his best game. He’s only a junior and has he gains strength I could see him getting significantly better. I don’t think he’s the same level of athlete as Pointer but I think his offensive game will round out significantly over the next year.

    Check this video from AAU season as well:
    http://www.umhoops.com/2010/07/30/video-javontae-hawkins-at-great-lakes-summer-championships/

  • CJD

    I fully realize the basketball program at Michigan is a work in progress; but when are they going to start being able to land players that are not? A school of Michigan’s stature should be able to land an occasional McDonald’s All American; especially if that kid was from Michigan.

    • GregGoBlue

      You’re new around here, aren’t you?

  • Bluebufoon

    Not terribly impressed. I much prefer Nik Stauskas to Hawkins from what I’ve seen. It will be interesting to see video of Sherron Dorsey-Walker and compare him to Hawkins and Stauskas.

    Sean Sheldon, the Jr. 6-9, BF, from Traverse City scored 26 Friday night versus Sutton’s Bay and MSU signee Dwaun Anderson. It will be interesting to see how his recruitment progresses. Here’s Steve Bell’s write-up of that game.

    http://bankhoops.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=225:st-francis-becoming-norsemens-home-away-from-home&catid=18:hs&Itemid=67

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      I’d be curious to see a whole game’s worth of film on Stauskas too..

      • YpsiTuckyBoy

        I’d rather pass on both Stauskus and Hawkins and bank the scholarship. If we have a good year this year and get the “up and coming” reputation, I think it’ll really help recruiting. Plus, JB’s recruiting has been on a consistent uptick since he got here, and I think the younger coaches will help continue that progression.

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          I think Hawkins would continue to play a part in that “recruiting uptick” — a big part.

  • Hawkins’ shot can be way on or way off. If you judge a high school wing guard by one game, then two other top 5 Michigan kids would’ve lost their Big Ten offers this weekend too. Sherron Dorsey-Walker shot 5-of-19 vs. Summit Christian then Denzel Valentine shot 4-of-11 vs. Lansing Eastern (but only 2-of-9 until the game’s final minute).

  • Sam

    Any word on how Patrick Lucas-Perry, LLP’s younger brother, played? I know we aren’t really going after him any more, but I wonder if he is even considered a high major prospect these days. From what I remember he was really highly rated about two years ago and then just seemed to stagnate. I watched him live one time and came away very unimpressed.

    • Jack

      PLP played decent vs AAGR. He seemed to switch off running the point with Vincent Adams. Adams is more of a scoring guard – he put up 26 in Powers’ opener, and 17 in this one. PLP’s scoring has been down as Adams has emerged, but he still put up 7 assists vs AAGR. He’s pretty good defensively, but that might be a by-product of AAGR’s young guards. He didn’t seem assertive at all on the offensive end, and wasn’t shooting the ball very well when he did take shots. He seemed to be the third best player for Powers for most of the game, and Brackett played better at times. It might not have been a strong matchup for PLP. He did show flashes of being a good PG, as his assist totals will attest to, but Adams seemed the stronger guard in this one.