Vernon Carey Jr – Center – Duke
- A really well built athlete at 270 pounds and is son of former NFL offensive lineman Vernon Carey. For his thick size, he is surprisingly nimble as well.
- Great post scorer and has a very nice touch around the hoop and an arsenal of post moves. Does a great job of using his size to create separation by getting position down low and overpowering opposing defenders on the block. Also uses his size to draw a ton of fouls in the paint.
- Amazing rebounder, he has a high motor, great patience, trajectory, and boxes out really well. Averaged nearly 9 rebounds per game in under 25 minutes a game as a freshman last season.
- Effective in the pick and roll, he sets really hard screens.
- Runs the floor really well; is a lob threat. These things make him an effective transition player.
- Shot 38% from three last season. Has decent mechanics and has certainly flashed shooting potential. Has great touch and improved from the free throw line as the season went on.
- While he has shown flashes as a playmaker, he’s a very inconsistent decision maker. Averaged 2 turnovers and just 1 assist per game at Duke last season.
- Rarely uses his right hand; very left hand dominant.
- Shot a very low volume of three point shots: just .7 attempts per game. Only shot 67% from the charity stripe on 7 attempts per game.
- Poor defender in space and gets torched in the pick and roll. Poor footwork, awareness, and lateral quickness. Lacks consistent effort.
- I have my doubts for him as a rim protector despite his 2.5 blocks per 40 minutes and 7 foot wingspan. Poor communication, leaping ability, and fundamentals.
- His weight makes him more of a powerful, traditional big opposed to a more modern day, explosive athlete and limits his vertical.
Vernon Carey Jr’s game screams old school. He’s a throwback big who dominates on the post and feasts on the glass. However, he must improve as a defender and reach his shooting potential if he wants to make a real impact in the NBA. To be honest, I don’t see anything special about Carey as a prospect. I don’t see him going on to do too much in the NBA, and to me, his ceiling is a backup center. He’s got a few great strengths, but those are fairly common and out of date in today’s NBA, and his weaknesses do concern me. His defensive liabilities are really going to hold him back from ever playing a serious role in the NBA. I don’t think he’s talented or unique enough offensively to really overcome that.
Player Comparison: 2017-2018 Domantas Sabonis