The Tennessee Volunteers had a big season in 2018-19, finding themselves as the top ranked team in the country for long stretches of the year, led by their forward tandem of Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield. I broke down Grant Williams as a draft prospect, you can read that here, but Schofield is a player worthy of a closer look.
Admiral Schofield is a 6’5, 240 senior small forward who averaged 16.5 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and shot 47% from the floor, and just under 42% from the three point in his final season. ESPN currently has him projected to be the 33rd pick in their most recent mock draft, and their 36th rated prospect.
The first thing that jumps out about Schofield is his brutish body and strength, he’s built like a tank, and it was backed up by his 240 pound frame at the combine. Schofield regularly overpowers players on both offense and defense at the college level, even if he lacks ideal NBA height. But while Schofield is built like a tank, his 6.8% body fat is an encouraging sign that he isn’t carrying around unnecessary weight.
He has two skills that will translate almost immediately as a pro, starting with his three point shooting, where he shot 39% or better from the three point line in his final three seasons at Tennessee, and a combined 40% from three on his final 393 attempts. It’s hard to imagine Schofield not being at least an adequate, if not plus shooter at the NBA level.
The second skill, and one that has a nearly perfect translation to the NBA is his motor. Schofield displayed one of the better motors on the floor of anyone in college basketball last year, and it was obvious when watching him play. Schofield doesn’t take plays off, is always around the ball, and regularly makes big plays late in games, when other players have gotten tired.
Schofield is an impressive athlete, who despite his less than ideal height, finishes easily above the rim with his 6’9.75 wingspan, and 34 inch max vertical. He also had the fastest time of all the forwards in the shuttle run at the draft combine.
In additional to his shooting and motor, Schofield has developed a nice game attacking closeouts as he has a comfortable dribble drive game, aided by a nice mid range jump shot. Schofield is comfortable shooting off the dribble, which may allow for further offensive development over time at the NBA level.
On the defensive side of the ball, Schofield strength and quickness make him tough defender at the college level, but not all of that will translate immediately to the NBA. Bigger small forwards in the NBA won’t be bothered by his height, and should be able to shoot over him. His strength should keep bigger forwards from being able to easily post him up, and he should allow him to guard multiple positions in defensive rotations.
Schofield’s two assists aren’t a great number, and may limit him as a playmaker at the NBA level. Additionally, despite his great strength and athleticism, he often opts to pull up for mid range jump shots when attacking closeouts rather than getting to the rim and the foul line. The senior averaged just 2.3 free throw attempts per game as a senior. He’s also 22 years old, meaning he’s closer to his ceiling than other players in the draft, and could prevent him from hearing his name in the first round.
Schofield reminds me of a poor man’s Ron Artest, who projects as a strong role player in the NBA, and a reasonably safe bet to carve out a role for himself at the NBA level. He might not be a star, but he’ll make the league, and that might be enough for him to hear his name called late in the first, or early in the second round.
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