Jarrett Culver Scouting Report
- Overall Offensive Versatility: One of his greatest strengths on this end is his ability to score off the dribble. Culver is a developing shot creator/improving slasher, and is exceedingly comfortable shooting off the dribble (including off of hang dribbles and such), and shoots with hand in his face above average. Although his jumper is a tad slow/rigid at times with a long, delayed release, it still demands some respect as he can hit shots from all over the court with touch. He is comfortable creating shots from mid-range with dribble pull-ups near the elbows off of pick and rolls, post ups, and triple threat. He can extend this shot to 3pt territory, and has an excellent feel for scoring out of the pick and roll due to his shooting ability and preference for downhill, physical driving against guards. He has good touch inside on his finishes as well. He can shoot off the dribble from just about anywhere on the court, and has a nice arsenal of touch shots and subtle space-creating moves on the perimeter and mid range that will translate very well to the next level.
- Pick and Roll Ball Handler Skill/Potential: Great feel for the pick and roll. His best offensive setting is as a P&R BH currently, as he has an excellent feel for that pocket pass and rising up off the dribble. Tons of potential to grow in this area, as he has the ability to shoot over screens well with that high, arcing shot, or take it to the mid range/paint. He has flashed occasional playmaking instincts, but has a long way to go. He is in a more ball dominant role this year, which has given him more chances to develop this key trait to a P&R BH. Could be another established ball handler (which the NBA teams tend to do a lot of now) once he tightens up his handle/ball security a bit. This tightening up should open even more lanes and allow him to be more comfortable and effective taking it downhill against length.
- Character/Mentality: Being from a family of athletes and a pastor father, Culver’s attitude on the court and interactions with teammates/fans reflect a high character, humble individual who wants to succeed and push his dream further. He definitely will not be a problem in any locker room, and has a very positive, polite, controlled yet energetic attitude. He is certainly a player that NBA fans will enjoy following and learning more about on and off the court. He is also comfortable playing whatever role the team needs him to play and seems very comfortable with the game and developing his skillset. He is not afraid of big shots, and often has to take them. His coach says he watches a ton of film compared to previous players he has coached, and is an all around hard worker. In a potential complementary piece, this is a golden trait. He also puts team success above personal success. He also isn’t fazed by playing good teams (although Virginia’s defense exposed his weaknesses in the championship game), buys into the system, and plays to win. At the very least, he could end up being a great team player whether he ends up being a role player or a starter.
- Overall Impact: Impacts the game on many different levels. Can be a stout defender, playmaker, rebounder, shot creator, or just a generally versatile offensive weapon. This raises his basement, and helps guarantee him a role at the next level. Every elite player has multiple ways to impact the game, and Culver has this ability as well. This will be incredibly crucial to his development at the next level and potential as a glue-guy guard. His off ball movement on the perimeter could improve if he plays a more supporting role, and his spot up shooting was lacking as his form deteriorated a bit when he couldn’t shoot off the dribble, and often looked forced and awkward.
- Defensive Ability/Impact: Stout defender who can guard 1s, 2s, and smaller 3s. Has the lateral quickness to stick with them on the perimeter and quick hands that, when active, cause a lot of disruption on the defensive end. Head is on a swivel, and is very aware. He has benefitted greatly from playing on a great defensive team that has also shaped Culver into the defender he is today. However, he does not project as an elite/lockdown 1 on 1 defender, and is the type of defender ready to do the little things that will help on that end.
- Complementary Shot Creating/Glue Guy Potential: Projects to me as a supporting shot creator that can get to his spots off the dribble, as he doesn’t yet have the right type of game yet to be a really effective number 1 option on a good team somewhere in the modern NBA (even though he creates close to 35% of Texas Tech’s offense). He shot a better percentage from 3 during his freshman year when he had to create less shots, which shows that he has potential to play off the ball as well. However, he was a poor spot up shooter this year with inconsistent mechanics. He has also made progress in efficiency, as he posted a 26.19 PER which ranks 67th in D1 per ESPN. An efficient 3-level scorer is always a great second or third option on the offensive end. Could end up being a 13/5/4 guy down the road with the right fit and development team. He will probably not be a late bloomer at the next level. However, it may take some time to extend his range, fix his release, tighten his handle, and improve his consistency. Yet, he is likely to be a starter soon due to this draft’s lottery setup. He will be a high impact player down the road if he can overcome his weaknesses. He has a higher floor but also a chance to disappoint.
- Free Throw Shooting: A career 69% free throw shooter, Culver will have to improve his consistency here in order to more effectively put increased pressure on defenses, especially if he continues to develop as a slasher. Not a great sign of touch or consistency either, leading to many questioning his shooting potential.
- Lack of Elite Athleticism/Measurables: Just average coordination and fluidity, but an NBA level athlete who can rise up quickly off of 1 foot. He has solid lateral quickness, but needs to develop his overall shiftiness/agility a bit more. He could stand to hit the gym and bulk up a bit more, as that will help develop his versatility on both ends. He had moments where he struggled down low against stronger/longer defenders because he did not have a consistent floater/touch shot yet to keep himself from trying to finish through contact. He stands just over 6’6 weighing 195-200, with a +3 wingspan. This is by no means bad, just not really separable from the measurables of many NBA players.
- Weak Hands/Ball Security: Turnover rate is nothing special at 13.7%, but by watching him one can see that he does not possess superb ball security in the lane or when going up for shots. This is mostly due to his weaker ball handling, as the ball can be knocked out rather easily. He also does not always go up strong. He really needs to improve his handle, as he still does not seem entirely comfortable dribbling in traffic. Passes are often a tad weak on the perimeter as well.
- Lack of Elite Fluidity/Coordination: While he does have excellent footwork (also played soccer a long time) and can evade defenders, the occasionally rigid (can be 2 motion at times) nature of his shot along with the lack of elite coordination/fluidity may hinder his development in the lane and as a shot creator. His fluidity impacts his lackluster spot up game as well. He doesn’t have that smooth interior scoring ability possessed by elite guards such as Doncic or D-Lo yet, and it will be interesting to see if he can smooth out his game in these areas. He has shown flashes, but does not have the elite coordination/fluidity needed to be an elite slasher. It will do for now, but it is not elite, which lowers his ceiling.
- Lack of Elite Feel for the Game: Culver has an above average feel for the game and has great instincts for efficient play when the role suits him. He tends to make mistakes when he plays more instinctual which may be a problem, but, if anything, it shows that he can mentally work himself to overcome his weaknesses. Culver also occasionally falls victim to his downhill style of play (needs work as well). His playmaking IQ needs some work too, as he has some lazy passes and misreads (and flashes of great reads as well). He can also fall victim to taking bad shots, especially when his jumper is not working well off the dribble. He has the ability to get to his spots and score in the ways he knows that he executes best, which is a good sign of high IQ basketball executed in Texas Tech’s system. This trait will be key for his ability to adapt his game to the NBA, as he could find a role easily, even if he ends up being a supporting starter or bench scorer. He didn’t play well in the championship and did not showcase his IQ at all, and was disappointing overall.
- No Elite Skills: Culver is extremely solid and impactful at the college level. This is mostly due to the fact that he is just better than many players in many different areas. He is a swiss-army knife type of player (especially on the offensive end), and has a ton of potential as a glue-guy scorer. However, he just does not have any one physical skill that separates him from the pack other than overall impact. Expect efficiency to rise later in his career as his skillset is refined and usage is decreased. He will likely not be a star unless he has some major breakthroughs, but he is certainly a good project to work and build upon.
The Big 12 POY and AP All-America Second Team member Jarrett Culver has had an excellent sophomore year so far with Texas Tech, leading them to the NCAA Championship game. Culver is a guy that can adapt his role to the team’s need and put up solid 3 level-scoring, defensive effort, and a few rebounds and assists in the process. Culver will likely be an excellent team player at the next level, and it is unlikely (but never impossible) for him to be an all-star or a number 1 option. He just does not have any elite skills or measurables (6’6.5 195lbs +3 wingspan) that make him much better than other wings/guards in the NBA. He can definitely put up some solid scoring as a support guard/wing or as a role starter/player, and he will be a good locker room guy that fans will like a lot. From interviews and such, it is evident that this guy has a great personality and that he will always give 100% every night. Overall, his game makes him a safe pick for a team looking to acquire an impact guard/wing with room to grow in order to strengthen their team. For a team looking for a potential all star, they might want to look elsewhere. He does not have the elite guard/wing skills needed to become a star yet. However, he has a long career ahead of him if he can continue to impact the game in many different ways (without being a volume scorer) as he does now.