|Freshman||6’7″ 215||Small Forward||Michigan||DOB: 1/8/99|
|14.8 ppg||5.4 rpg||0.8 apg||FG: 46.2%||3 PT: 39.2%|
Strengths: Outside Shooting, Rebounding, Efficiency
Weaknesses: Quickness, Length, Consistency
Brazdeikis came to Michigan after being a fairly highly recruited player, known as a true scorer who can put up points in a hurry. He lived up to the billing averaging 14.8 points as a freshman on a talented Michigan roster. His season as a whole was up and down, going through stretches where he shot the ball very well, and then stretches where he went cold. There were many positive performances where he put up 20 plus against some good teams, like when he scored 24 against UNC, 20 against Michigan State, and 21 against Maryland. He can come off of screens, and create his own shot, but he projects much more as a catch and shoot type of player as a professional. Driving to the basket will not be a large part of his game going forward, however he has shown that he is capable of driving leading to a finish or a foul. He rebounded well, especially for a freshman playing on the wing in the Big Ten Conference. Overall his offensive game translates well to the next level, providing he does not have trouble getting open shots. His passion for the game is very evident and he plays with a high motor, leading him to play a villain role at times during away games.
Not the quickest player on the floor, he has been able to use a quick release and crafty play making so far, but that will become much more difficult against NBA level athletes. Some scouts have expressed concern with this aspect of his game, but others don’t think he will have an issue getting his shot off. Having a wingspan under 6’9″ will put him at a disadvantage against the length of the typical professional small forward, which is a big part of the concern that some have with his translation. Despite the overall shooting numbers being solid, he will need to become a more consistent shooter on a night to night basis to stick in the league. Many young players struggle with this and become more consistent over time, and there is no reason to think that with his shot mechanics he will not be able to shoot the ball efficiently when open.
While not the most explosive athlete, he can still finish at the rim as you can see in this play:
Here is Ignas Brazdeikis’ steal and slam that put Michigan up by 11 in the second half. pic.twitter.com/HePbW6y1nQ— Jay Sarkar (@ByJaySarkar) December 22, 2018
Here is an example of how he can knock down an outside shot:
#9 Michigan throttles Chattanooga 83-55 to move to 6-0 on the season.— CollegeBB News (@CollegeBBNCAA) November 23, 2018
Ignas Brazdeikis: 20 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST
Brazdeikis could be drafted anywhere from the late first, to the middle of the second round. There is the possibility he returns to school to improve his draft stock, but most expect him to stay in the draft and take his chance. His ceiling as a professional is a starter level wing possibly coming off of the bench in a sixth man role, while being one of the main scoring threats on a team. The worst case scenario for Brazdeikis is that he is unable to replicate his scoring from college to the professional level, leading him to play in a limited role as a back up.