It’s not just the stars who come out to shine during the NCAA Tournament. Often, it’s the role players, those X-factor guys, and veterans who lead the way or rise to the occasion when the games matter most.Here’s a look at 25 players, assuming they’re healthy and their schools are in the field as expected, to keep an eye on in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.


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Virginia Tech is in the hunt for the ACC regular-season title, and Aluma is a big reason. The Wofford transfer leads the Hokies averaging 15.7 points and 7.7 rebounds during his first season against consistently elite competition. The 6-foot-9 Aluma made a major statement with his 29-point, 10-rebound, four-assist performance in Virginia Tech’s 65-51 win over rival Virginia on Jan. 30. He followed it up with 30 points and 10 boards in a loss at Pittsburgh.


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College hoops fans expect Luke Garza and Joe Wieskamp to pace the Hawkeyes during the heart of March. However, if Iowa is to make a deep NCAA Tournament run, Bohannon must be a factor. When in a rhythm, Bohannon, in his fifth collegiate season, is one of the top 3-pointer shooters in the country. He’s hit six or more 3s three times this season, but Bohannon has been inconsistent from long distance (3-for-16 in three games from Jan. 21-Feb. 2). If Bonannon gets hot, the Hawkeyes will be even tougher to take down.


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The 6-foot-11 Castleton was not very productive in two seasons at Michigan, but it looks like he’s found a home in Florida. After totaling 26 points in his first four games with the Gators, Castleton’s averaged 15.9 over the next 10. He’s blossomed into one of the SEC’s top big men and could be featured prominently come NCAA Tournament time for a Gators’ squad that could be Sweet 16-bound.


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With Clark, it’s about leadership and how well he runs the Cavaliers’ offense. His scoring and assists might be down in 2020-21, but he’s shooting a career-high 46.1 percent. More importantly, Clark’s turnover average is down nearly 2.0 from last season. That’s what Virginia needs from Clark — a guy who can take care of the basketball and lead the team while setting up the likes of Sam Hauser and Jay Huff to succeed.


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A consistent double-double machine this season, Culver has looked extremely solid of late. During a six-game stretch from Jan. 4-Feb. 2, the 6-foot-10 Culver averaged 15.8 points and 12.0 rebounds. One can see the maturity in Culver’s game and a progression that’s solidified himself as one of the top big men in the Big 12. If he’s able to keep that up into March, then the Mountaineers could hang around the NCAA Tournament for a while.


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Averaging 15.1 points and 11.4 rebounds, Dickinson has not disappointed during his freshman season at Michigan. The Wolverines might end up as a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament. If so, the pressure will be pretty hefty. That said, it will be interesting to see how the 7-foot-1 Dickinson handles all the weight that comes with the lights and intensity of the NCAA Tournament.


7 of 25
Trent Frazier, Guard, Illinois

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Illini fans know how dominant stars Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn can be, and are capable of carrying the team themselves. However, if Illinois is to make a run and reach the Final Four for the first time since 2005, the senior leadership from Frazier could be key. Frazier averages a little more than 10.0 points on the season, but 18.7 while making half of his 34 attempts in the Illini’s recent stretch of three straight victories over Penn State, then-No.7 Iowa and Indiana. His presence on and off the court is truly underrated.


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There was a time in mid-January when it looked like Tennessee would roll to the SEC regular-season title, but that’s subsided. It also seemed the senior Fulkerson would have a shot a league player of the year. The 6-9 Fulkerson still averages a team-leading 11.0 points, but he totaled just 30 while the Volunteers split a four-game stretch from Jan. 23-Feb. 2. If the Vols are to pose a serious challenge in the NCAA Tournament, Fulkerson must be actively involved.


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Gray has become quite the force for the Seminoles since the turn of the calendar to 2021. Since Jan. 16, the junior has averaged 15.2 points, shot 58.3 percent, and recorded 6.8 rebounds per game. At the moment, the 6-8, 260-pound Gray is Florida State’s best player while more well-known contributors like M.J. Walker and stud freshman Scottie Barnes deal with inconsistency. When it comes tournament time, Gray could be Florida State’s X-factor. 


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Grimes earned some NCAA Tournament experience while starting for Kansas in 2019. Now, the Cougars hope that can help as they look to translate a stellar regular season into success in the tournament. Grimes has found a home at Houston, where he’s averaging a team-high 16.2 points, plus 6.7 rebounds. He’s grown into a leader and someone his teammates can depend on when it matters most.


11 of 25
ShanQuan Hemphill, Forward, Drake

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Drake has become one of the most interesting stories of the 2020-21 season after winning its first 17 games. Regardless of what happens inside the Missouri Valley Conference, one would assume the Bulldogs could earn an at-large NCAA Tournament bid, at the least. That would then allow a good chunk of the country to check out Hemphill, who leads the team averaging 14.4 points and shooting more than 58 percent while also averaging 5.5 rebounds.


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Though Louisville closed January with three losses in four games and Jones has struggled a bit of late, he’s enjoyed a strong season at Louisville as a graduate transfer. When Jones, who averages 17.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.9 assists, is on his game, the Cardinals are a tough team to beat. That’s why it’s worth keeping an eye on both come NCAA Tournament time.


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The Buckeyes entered February playing some of their best basketball of the season. Liddell, meanwhile, has truly blossomed during his sophomore season, averaging more than 15.0 points and nearly 7.0 rebounds per contest — he averaged 6.7 points and 3.8 boards off the bench as a freshman. Liddell has become one of Ohio State’s most important performers, and if it’s to continue to stay hot and stick around a while during the NCAA Tournament, Liddell’s play must remain at that high level.


14 of 25
Davion Mitchell, Guard, Baylor

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Jared Butler and MaCio Teague garner a lot of attention for a Baylor squad likely headed to a No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed. However, when it comes to being a star at the next level, Mitchell (13.8 points per game, 54.1 field-goal percentage, 49.4 percent from 3-point range, 5.8 assists per game) might be the best pro prospect. The improvement that Mitchell has made from the time he started at Auburn in 2017-18 to now is quite impressive.


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The 7-foot freshman is a projected top-five pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. And he should be while averaging nearly 17.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and almost 3.0 blocks per contest. However, before Mobley heads off to the NBA, Trojans fans would like to see him help the program win a game or two in the NCAA Tournament. With Mobley leading the way, USC is playing some of its best basketball at the moment.


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The top-ranked Zags are loaded with talent and have tremendous depth. One of those key reserves is Nembhard, the Florida transfer who has been a major contributor in his first season at Gonzaga. Whether scoring 17 points at Pepperdine on Jan. 30 or grabbing 10 rebounds at San Diego two days earlier, Nembhard has the ability to be a factor in various ways. Which is obviously valuable when it comes to crunch time in March. 


17 of 25
Micah Potter, Forward, Wisconsin

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Wisconsin has a pretty good guard and outside presence in D’Mitrik Trice. Now, the Badgers can use a little more inside consistency from Potter, who averages just over 12 points and more than 6 rebounds. Yet, the 6-10 senior has also disappeared in games this season, like last month when he finished with six points and two boards in an 81-71 loss at Penn State. Potter has the potential to be a dominant paint figure, and Wisconsin will need that come March.


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Reaves leads the Sooners averaging nearly 16.0 points. However, a true sign of a big-time player is coming through in those big games. In his last four games against ranked opponents (as of Feb. 4), Reaves averaged 19.5 points. Sure, the senior can be a streaky shooter, but this is a guy who might be ready to become a star during the madness of March for one of the nation’s top programs.


Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports

As we’ve already mentioned, senior leadership can be vital to a long NCAA Tournament run. Samuels provides that for the Wildcats, who appear to be headed toward a No. 1 seed. The 6-7 Samuels can do a little bit of everything well. Though he’s not quite averaging double figures in points, Samuels shoots roughly 46 percent from the field and is pulling down a personal-best 6.7 boards per contest.


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Xavier has struggled to find a rhythm this season due to COVID-19. Still, the Musketeers have just two losses as of Feb. 4 and could be a tough out come March. That’s especially true if Scruggs (14.6 points per game) plays as well as he did scoring 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting at Butler on Jan. 30. Scruggs really is the motor that makes the Musketeers go, and they need him to keep churning.


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The NBA could be calling Shannon pretty soon. In the meantime, the sophomore continues to help a Texas Tech squad that could be a sneaky sleeper pick when the NCAA Tournament rolls around in March. Shannon has been one of the Red Raiders’ top offensive performers all season and averaged 17.7 points in his last three games. We think his stock will continue to rise.


Ricardo B. Brazziell/USA TODAY Sports

Sims has never averaged more than 9.7 points in four seasons at Texas, yet he’s started these last two campaigns and is one of the more underrated players in the Big 12. Sims is a guy who will do whatever is asked and if he’s needed to score, there’s confidence within the Texas program that he can get it done. Like he did while averaging 13.3 points on 15-of-18 shooting in the last three games.


John Reed/USA TODAY Sports

Tilmon’s first three seasons at Mizzou can be best described as “inconsistent.” However, it seems the 6-10, 260-pound Tilmon has finally found his potential this season as a senior. While the Tigers have enjoyed a solid campaign, Tilmon’s been a big reason for the success, averaging 13.9 points and 8.1 rebounds — both career highs. It will be interesting to see how he performs when the lights are even brighter.


Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

Williams has progressed in each of his three seasons at Purdue. Now, he’s turned into a potential star and someone who might be able to carry the Boilermakers to some NCAA Tournament success as an underdog in the event. Williams is averaging nearly 16.0 points and 10.0 rebounds. In fact, over a six-game stretch from Jan. 14-Feb. 2, the 6-10 Williams averaged 17.5 points and 10.7 boards.


Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports

Zegarowski entered the season as a national player-of-the-year candidate but has been inconsistent in 2020-21. Especially when it comes to his shot (Zegarowski is shooting 42.6 percent). If Creighton is going to make a serious run during the NCAA Tournament, Zegarowski must step up his game and find a more consistent touch. As he did while shooting 51.5 percent during the Bluejays’ three-game winning streak from Jan. 23-30.

Jeff Mezydlo has written about sports and entertainment online and for print for more than 25 years. He grew up in the far south suburbs of Chicago, 20 minutes from the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Ind. He’s also the proud father of 11-year-old Matthew, aka “Bobby Bruin,” mascot of St. Robert Bellarmine School in Chicago. You can follow Jeff at @jeffm401.


นี่อาจเป็นปีที่ยากที่สุดสำหรับน้องใหม่ในการรวมตัวกันในสนามบาสเก็ตบอลของมหาวิทยาลัย ทีมหยุดและเริ่มกังวลเกี่ยวกับ COVID เกมถูกเลื่อนออกไปและเล่นต่อ ทุกอย่างกลายเป็นความไม่แน่นอนและไม่สามารถจดจำได้ อย่างไรก็ตามมีนักศึกษาใหม่จำนวนหนึ่งที่เติบโตในกองที่ 1 ในหลายบทบาท ผู้เล่นเหล่านี้บางคนพร้อมโอกาสสำหรับ NBA ในขณะที่คนอื่น ๆ กำลังสร้างรากฐานสำหรับอาชีพในวิทยาลัยที่ยอดเยี่ยม ห้าชื่อนี้ได้รับการยกย่องในฐานะนักแสดงปีแรกที่ดีที่สุดในรอบมหาวิทยาลัยในฤดูกาลนี้ 23 มกราคม 2564; Evan Mobley กองหน้า USC Trojan (4) แสดงปฏิกิริยาหลังจากยิงประตูใส่หมีสีทองของแคลิฟอร์เนียในครึ่งแรกของ Haas Pavilion Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports 5. Evan Mobley, USC ไม่มีน้องใหม่คนไหนร้อนและหนาวเท่า Evan Mobley จาก USC คืนนั้นเจ้าเจ็ดขาดูเหมือนจะเป็น NBA All-Star ที่กำลังจะมาถึงและเป็นหนึ่งในความสามารถที่แสดงให้เห็นมากที่สุดของบาสเกตบอลวิทยาลัย มันเป็นแบบเต็มหน้าจอ 19 จุด 13 รีบาวน์หกช่วงตึกต่อคืนในรัฐแอริโซนา มันไม่ใช่เกมหกบล็อกเพียงเกมเดียวหรือ 13 รีบาวน์ของเขา คืนหนึ่งเขาโผล่ออกมาจากหน้าจอ ในเกมอื่นเขาหายตัวไป ในเกมเหย้ากับยูทาห์ Mobley ไม่ได้พยายามยิงจากพื้นใน 31 นาที เขายิง 5-14 และ 5 นัดกับโคโลราโด เขามีเพียง 11 คะแนนในทีม Cal Baptist และเขาควรจะจัดการและควบคุมได้เพียง 3 รีบาวน์ใน 30 นาทีเมื่อเทียบกับรัฐวอชิงตัน หากโค้ชโทรจันสามารถเตะเครื่องยนต์ของ Mobley ได้ในเดือนมีนาคมเขาอาจทำให้ USC แข็งแกร่งในการแข่งขัน NCAA 13 ธันวาคม 2020; มิชิแกนเซ็นเตอร์ฮันเตอร์ดิกคินสัน (1) เข้าสู่ตะกร้าขณะที่เทรนต์บัตทริกกองหน้าเพนน์สเตต (15) ป้องกันในครึ่งแรกที่คริสเลอร์เซ็นเตอร์ เครดิตบังคับ: Tim Fuller-USA วันนี้ Sports Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports 4. Hunter Dickinson, Michigan อาจไม่มีผู้เล่นที่ทรงพลังในประเทศมากกว่าศูนย์น้องใหม่ของมิชิแกน ผู้นำเจ็ดขาจากรัฐแมรี่แลนด์เป็นผู้นำสิบอันดับแรกในเปอร์เซ็นต์การยิงประตูเปอร์เซ็นต์การยิงจริงเปอร์เซ็นต์การยิงประตูที่มีประสิทธิภาพและคะแนนสองแต้ม เขาทำให้ 70% ของเขามองเข้าไปในส่วนโค้งโดยมีความพยายามเกือบเก้าครั้งต่อเกม ในขณะที่ Ahmas ยังคงอยู่ในช่วงว่างเนื่องจากการหยุดการแข่งขันกรีฑาทั่วทั้งโรงเรียนพวกเขาจะยังคงค้นหาตำแหน่ง Big Ten และอันดับต้น ๆ ในเดือนมีนาคม . ดิกคินสันเป็นผลงานที่มั่นคงในรายการของ Juwan Howard และเปิดโอกาสให้มิชิแกนต่อสู้เพื่อเข้าสู่รอบ Final Four 5 ธันวาคม 2020; เคาบอยแห่งรัฐโอคลาโฮมาปกป้องเคดคันนิงแฮม (2) กับโอ๊คแลนด์โกลเด้นกริซลี่ระหว่างการแข่งขันที่สนามกัลลาเกอร์ – ไอบาอารีน่า Rob Ferguson – USA TODAY Sports 3. Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma ไม่มีการแข่งขันในการแข่งขันเพื่อชิงตำแหน่งสูงสุดใน NBA Draft เดือนมิถุนายน โอกาสที่คันนิงแฮมจะแพ้ไม่ว่าทีมใดจะเป็นผู้กระตุ้นในการเลือกครั้งแรก น้องใหม่ 6 ฟุต 8 คนทำหน้าที่เป็นผู้พิทักษ์รัฐโอคลาโฮมาและเป็นผู้นำการละเมิดคาวบอยทั้งหมด เขาเฉลี่ย 18.2 คะแนน 3.8 แอสซิสต์และ 6.2 รีบาวน์ในฤดูกาลนี้ยิง 47% นอกสนามและ 39% จากระยะไกล คันนิงแฮมเป็นแมตช์ที่ยากที่สุดในประเทศนานเกินกว่าที่ผู้คุมจะสามารถหยุดมันได้อย่างรวดเร็วและว่องไวเพื่อหยุดคนตัวใหญ่ 23 มกราคม 2564; Gonzaga Bulldogs ผู้พิทักษ์ Jalen Suggs (1) นำบอลลงปะทะกับ Pacific Tigers ในครึ่งหลังที่ McCarthey Athletic Center James Snook – USA TODAY Sports 2. Jalen Suggs Gonzaga Suggs ได้ขี่รถไฟเหาะไปแล้วในช่วงเปิดตัวในระดับมหาวิทยาลัย เมื่อเขาระเบิดตัวจริงในเดือนพฤศจิกายนเขาปรากฏตัวในฐานะผู้สมัครชิงตำแหน่งผู้เล่นระดับชาติแห่งปีและเป็นสาเหตุหลักที่ทำให้กอนซาก้าโดดเด่นในฐานะทีมที่ดีที่สุดในบาสเก็ตบอลของวิทยาลัย ในขณะที่ทีมต่างๆได้ค้นคว้า Suggs และปรับให้เข้ากับสไตล์การเล่นของเขาสิ่งต่างๆก็เปลี่ยนไป Suggs เป็นพลังเมื่อเขาก้าวลงสนามเป็นครั้งแรกโดยโจมตีส่วนท้ายของพื้นทั้งหมดรวมถึงจากนอกส่วนโค้ง เขาทำได้มากกว่า 55% ของความพยายามทางไกลในห้าเกมแรก การยิงของเขาเย็นลงอย่างมาก เขาทำได้เพียง 23% ของทั้งสามคนในสิบเกมล่าสุดของเขา Suggs ไม่ได้ส่งมอบเรือรบลำนี้ตลอดเกมของเขา เขายังคงใช้ความเป็นนักกีฬาเพื่อมีอิทธิพลต่อเกม ด้วยความไม่พอใจเขาแทรกซึมเข้าไปในแนวป้องกันด้วยก้าวแรกอันทรงพลังและลงจากเนินเขาโดยเปิดทางอ้อมให้เพื่อนร่วมทีม ในด้านการป้องกัน Suggs เป็นเรือพิฆาตที่สามารถขโมยได้มากกว่าสองครั้งต่อเกมในเดือนมกราคม เขาอาจจะไม่ใช่ผู้เล่นหรือผู้ชายที่ดีที่สุดของ Gonzaga แต่ Suggs ทำให้ Zags สูงขึ้น ความเป็นนักกีฬาของเขาเป็นอาวุธที่แทบไม่มีทีมมหาวิทยาลัยไหนยอมจัดการ 1. Sharife Cooper ออเบิร์นออเบิร์นเป็นทีมที่ธรรมดามากในช่วงเริ่มต้นฤดูกาล ใน 11 เกมแรกของเสือออเบิร์นอยู่ที่ 6-5 และชนะเพียงหนึ่งครั้งจาก 100 ทีมแรกต่อ KenPom เมื่อ NCAA ตัดสินว่าน้องใหม่ Sharife Cooper มีสิทธิ์มุมมองของออเบิร์นเปลี่ยนไปอย่างสิ้นเชิง เขาเป็นมากกว่าหัวเทียน คูเปอร์ได้ปรับโฉมทุกสิ่งที่ออเบิร์นไม่พอใจ หากเขามีเวลาเก็บสถิติมากพอเขาจะนำชาติในการใช้ประโยชน์ช่วยเหลือและให้ทุนต่อเกมและได้รับ 21.3 คะแนนต่อเกม ในขณะที่คูเปอร์วิ่งโชว์อย่างไม่พอใจออเบิร์นได้ย้ายจากทีมที่เดินตามปกติไปเป็นทีมที่เร็วที่สุดในบาสเก็ตบอลของวิทยาลัย เขาโจมตีเป้าหมายด้วยความเร็วดุจสายฟ้าและใช้วิสัยทัศน์ระดับสูงเพื่อใช้ประโยชน์จากการป้องกัน แม้แต่อันดับ 2 กับเบย์เลอร์คูเปอร์ก็มีผลการแข่งขันที่แย่ที่สุดในปัจจุบันและทำคะแนนได้ 15 คะแนนเจ็ดรีบาวน์และห้าแอสซิสต์ น่าเสียดายที่ออเบิร์นสั่งห้ามตัวเองหลังจบฤดูกาลในฤดูกาลนี้ซึ่งหมายความว่าคูเปอร์ไม่สามารถสั่นคลอนความบ้าคลั่งในเดือนมีนาคมได้ โชคดีที่เขาบินได้ NBA Draft บอร์ดและเขาน่าจะนำความตื่นเต้นไปสู่อีกระดับในปีหน้า


การแข่งขัน: รอบที่ 121 - 152 อันดับที่ 152

Evan Mobley was the third-ranked prospect out of the 2020 high school class.
In the first half of what is certain to be his lone season at USC, the seven-foot center has averaged 19.5 points per 40 minutes on 60% effective shooting and compiled a 29.6 PER in 16 appearances, at the time of writing.
He had shown at Rancho Christian the versatility to develop into the sort of scorer who can stress the defense from all over the floor, and that has sort of been the case during his brief stay at USC, though to a lesser extent than the one that is envisioned for him if he does end up developing into the superstar that he’s widely thought to be on his way to become.

The 19-year-old has gotten a larger chunk of his offense out of the post and roaming around the rim for some finishing opportunities but has been able to show his skill level out of the short roll, take his man in isolation out in space and launch some catch-and-shoot jumpers as well.
But for as skilled and capable with the ball as he is on offense, Mobley might be even more special and a perfect fit for this era on the other end.
His physical profile is underdeveloped for someone his height, and it costs some in the more physical areas of the game. Yet he is supremely quick off the floor and has elevated the level of the defense around him to elite status by making a huge impact as a help defender near the rim.
The hope is for Mobley to be just as impactful away from the basket and offer the sort of versatility that is widely coveted in an era when offenses are stressing defenses to their breaking points because of the proliferation of the one-dribble three-pointer in pick-and-roll, but USC has actually mostly deployed him in conventional coverage, which has been somewhat disappointing.

Nonetheless, ESPN currently ranks him second in its top 100.
Help Defense
Mobley is an impactful presence defending near the rim.
He is active helping off the weak side, attentive to his responsibilities stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense and engaged helping from the side when his brother Isaiah is the one responsible for primary rim protection against an action in the middle of the floor.
Mobley is a quick leaper off two feet, doesn’t need to load up to go up, has a nine-foot standing reach to challenge shots effectively via verticality and has proven himself capable of blocking shots with either hand – averaging 3.5 blocks per 40 minutes over his first 16 appearances at USC.
He is prone to biting on a shot fake from time to time, but despite participating at the rim regularly, Mobley has posted a low foul rate – averaging just 1.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes so far.

He has logged 33.6 minutes per game for a team that, at the time of writing, ranks 10th in the country in shooting percentage allowed at the rim and 23rd in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Mobley has shown glimpses of very appealing activity in the hidden areas of the game as well, flashing the sort of second effort you don’t often seen from superstar prospects at his age, guarding with his arms up near the rim to discourage shots whenever he is close by, deflecting a few drop-offs and making the occasional preventive rotation that denies the opposing ballhandler space toward driving all the way to the goal.
Pick-And-Roll Defense
His nimbleness and mobility suggest he’ll be the sort of rangy center who stretches pick-and-roll coverage far above the foul line in order to blitz pull-up shooters at the three-point line or switches and holds his own against smaller ballhandlers out in space. But that’s not how he’s been deployed in his time in college.

Mobley has most often gone up to the foul line and dropped back. Within that scheme, he has approached the ballhandler in a stance and impressed with his fluidity sliding laterally and backpedalling, proving himself capable of stopping the ball and preventing the ballhandler from turning the corner right away off the pick.
His quickness off the ground has shined in these instances as well, as he’s blocked a few pull-ups in impressive fashion.
When the ballhandler has pressed the issue to get downhill, Mobley has shown he can keep space with north-south types on a straight line from the foul line down and block a shot defending on the ball.
He is prone to losing the roll man here and there but often shows the hustle to try recovering quickly to challenge at the rim.
Mobley is said to have a seven-foot-four wingspan and has indicated he knows how to leverage it by batting away some lobs and deflecting the occasional pocket pass to the roll man.

His average of 1.0 steal per 40 minutes might stand out as a tad disappointing, but the impact of his length can be seen a little clearer on video.
Perimeter Defense
That length combined with his explosive leaping ability make him capable of blocking the occasional catch-and-shoot three-pointer on hard closeouts.
But it’s actually more common to see Mobley get blown by in these instances, as he often sells out to close out and opens the gate for the defense behind him.
His individual defense out in space has also left something to be desired. Given his fluidity and his nimbleness at his height, Mobley is expected to develop into a good switch defender in time. But when he has faced a perimeter-oriented big man or crossmatched into a taller wing in college, Mobley has been caught flat-footed and seemed too spacey to be able to contain dribble penetration.

Post Defense
Mobley has a thin 205-pound frame in the context of his seven-foot height, and his underdevelopment in strength becomes more apparent in the more physical areas of the game.
He puts in the effort to leverage his length into denying easy post entries and guards with his arms up to make it tough to finish over him but generally struggles to hold his ground against more physically developed big men.
He is attentive to his responsibilities boxing out whoever is close by but ends up allowing inside position to tougher competition on occasion.
It hasn’t mattered a ton in college because almost no one has been able to compete with his explosiveness reacting to the ball off the rim, but even so, he’s collected a reasonably unimpressive 17.6% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor.

On the other end, Mobley is elite. He is quick enough to chase his own misses, has a quick second jump to fight for tip-ins or 50-50 balls, and established himself as a constant putback threat, even on tip-dunks with his left hand.
Mobley has averaged 3.7 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes and converted three-quarters of his 16 second chance opportunities into immediate scores so far.
Isolation Offense
His ball skills are what stand out the most on offense.
He doesn’t grab-and-go as much as he used to at Rancho Christian but will still bring the ball up on occasion and slow transition into an isolation.
Mobley has a rudimentary handle and hasn’t shown a particularly quick first step or a whole lot of speed with the ball. He is also not going to be confused with a jumbo ballhandler who can create for others regularly off the bounce anytime soon. 

However, he does have unusual side-to-side fluidity for someone with his height, a knack for taking his man on a straight line, the capability to go left and the nimbleness to weave into a slow but fairly well-coordinated spin move to eat space.
Mobley sometimes struggles to maintain his balance through contact and can’t often power through all the way to the goal but can counter the opponent managing to stop his momentum by being able to score from the in-between area just fine.
Mobley has flashed the ability to absorb contact and rise for a one-dribble pull-up in rhythm on drives off a shot fake but hasn’t yet developed the dexterity to create separation and pull up off multiple dribbles.
What he does best for now is launch floaters, even proving himself capable of getting off good attempts with his left hand, able to create separation off that slow spin move, a hard jump-stop or a shot fake one way to then turnaround the other.

Mobley has nailed 43.9% of 57 two-point shots away from the rim so far.
Pick-And-Roll Offense
He is a willing screener who widens his stance and makes an effort to draw contact regularly but generally doesn’t quite disrupt the on-ball defender due to his thin frame. Mobley also hasn’t yet developed advanced techniques such as flipping the screen, slipping the pick, developing a feel for re-screening and laying Gortat screens.
He can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense and has flashed good hands catching the ball on the move while attacking space on cuts but hasn’t often been able to roll hard down the middle, so it’s unclear how explosive he can be going up for lobs in a crowd.
He has been assisted on fewer than half of his makes at the rim, but when he has found opportunities roaming around near the basket, Mobley has excelled as a finisher. He has averaged 2.2 dunks per 40 minutes and converted 66% of his 44 non-dunk finishes, while earning 7.3 free throws per 40 minutes as an indirect result – showing not just touch, but ambidexterity as well.

For the most part, Mobley has operated out of the pick-and-roll as a scorer from the in-between area and a passer.
He’s been able to unleash floaters off a jump-stop and the occasional midrange jumper out of the pick-and-pop. Mobley has unleashed a three-pointer out of the pick-and-pop once or twice. Given how good he looks on those, the endgame certainly seems that he’ll be launching those fairly regularly in the near future, but for now he seems more comfortable popping to the elbow area.
Mobley hasn’t yet developed particularly remarkable court vision on the move, but he’s shown be a very functional passer at this point of his development, able to execute quick kickouts against the strongside corner/wing defender rotating in to cut off his roll and post-to-post entry feeds when his brother and his defender crowd his path to the goal.
He has assisted on 11.9% of Southern California’s scores when he’s been on the floor, though at a 0.89 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Post Offense
Mobley has gotten a steady dose of touches in the post and has showcased a fairly versatile arsenal of moves.
He is unable to get a deep seal consistently and is pushed further out to the elbow extended area at times due to his lack of strength.
Mobley hasn’t yet developed any power moves operating with his back to the goal, but he’s been able to rely on enough core strength to maintain his balance and use his light feet to spin around post defenders on quick moves.
He has truly excelled on more deliberate moves, though. Mobley has a patient approach, and though he can’t back down many opponents, he’s able to work them well enough to create separation for right-handed hooks and the occasional turnaround fadeaway jumper.
For whatever reason, Mobley doesn’t yet seem to be as comfortable going to his left hand on hooks, even though he’s pretty comfortable going to it off the bounce and at the rim, opting instead for some awkward lean-in jumpers when he’s forced to turn over the defender’s right shoulder.

The endgame for his post series in the pros, at least for the immediate future where his physical profile doesn’t change much, is probably for him to operate more facing the basket.
Mobley doesn’t have a particularly quick first step, but he’s been able to overwhelm slower defenders with his skill and get by them. When they sag off him as a counter, he’s able to launch no-dribble jumpers off a jab-step.
Mobley hasn’t yet developed into a particularly special shot creator for others out of the post, but he’s proven himself a very functional passer out of operating with his back to the basket, able to execute kickouts against late double teams, launch two-handed passes to the opposite wing and spot some cutters.
It’s not yet common to see him handling hard double teams with calm escape dribbles to ignite movement against a numbers advantage, but Mobley has been seen dribbling out of the post to assist shooters sprinting to the ball for a dribble-handoff series.

Spot-Up Shooting
Mobley doesn’t space out to the three-point line that much and has averaged just 1.6 such attempts per 40 minutes so far this season.
He still figures to end up a real threat to space the floor in the near future, given how projectable his shooting stroke looks.
Mobley catches it on the hop, goes through textbook weight transfer to load his shot, rises with great balance and fully extends himself for a high release, though the speed on his release needs to improve a little more in order for him to be able to launch those long-range attempts more confidently.
The ball hasn’t gone in a ton yet, as he’s hit just a third of his 22 three-point shots, but the touch certainly seems in place, as he’s converted 70.4% of his 98 foul shots.

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