Stat Story: Breakout potential with Riley Jacobs & Clayton Mpiana, Kason Brown's approach and more

Statistics certainly don't tell the full story, but they’re a big piece of the puzzle in evaluating trajectory. Often times, it’s the most instructive tool in terms of projecting what’s not there yet, but will be in time.


Here, I'll break down to what to make of the promising statistical indicators on four prospects from around the country, along with a few indicators potentially of concern on four different prospects. As with evaluation as a whole, the process is fluid. As the sample size grows, the worrisome indicators can be diminished. All analytics are from Synergy Sports.


Riley Jacobs has all the ingredients for a breakout

Jacobs popped onto the radar for many DMV folks this past spring, but is largely a new name for me in revisiting New World's tape. Along those same lines, a breakout onto the national radar seems well within the realm of possibility over the next year for the 6-8 forward. With New World 16's, he produced 1.076 PPP (93rd percentile) and over 14 PPG on 61% from the field and 70% at the rim. Different than most who lead their team in scoring output, the bulk came within the flow of offense while also getting to the line almost five times per game. Still in the early stages physically and adding aggression to his approach, but both the intangibles and tangibles all look in place for a breakout over the next year.

- Keep an eye on Clayton Mpiana this spring and summer

The sample size wasn't huge with this summer, but Mpiana impressed in a big way with Dream Vision. In seven games with their 16's, he put up 10 points, 6 boards and nearly 4 blocks per game. Both defending bigs and sliding in rotation, he displayed exceptional instincts guarding the rim. Offense came in waves, as he flashed some mid-post creation ability and is willing to mix it up from the block to get to his hook, but mixed in shaky moments in terms of his ball skills and finishing. Room to grow more refined, but plenty of allure with his movement ability, length, quickness of the floor and defensive instincts. The 6-9 2025 big out of Redlands, CA has offers from UCSB and Cal Baptist, but I'd expect more to join the shuffle before long.

Adriel Nyorha's upside

The 6-5 guard's twitch and explosiveness pop in a real way, and while there are areas to clean up, he seems to quietly be trending up fast. The Brookwood Elite product put up 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 stocks over 10 games, but it was clear there's plenty more to tap into. A unique slasher and one of those rare athletes who explodes to the rim in a blur from a step inside the arc and navigates traffic on the way with fluidity. The overall decisiveness was a consistent plus, so while there's room to grow as a shooter (21% from deep), I'm a believer in things clicking at a high level if he does begin to demand closeouts consistently. He's displayed touch in other areas, both inside the lane and at the charity stripe. If that can be expanded upon, look out.

Kason Brown's simple, yet ultra impactful game

Low maintenance, high impact guards are tough to come by. Over-dribbling, forcing the issue getting downhill and taking tough shots are more common than not from off-guards. So while the flashes aren't as eye-popping as some others, when guards like Kason Brown come along, they impress in a real way. The 6-4 guard is an exceptionally fast decision-maker, and that decision is to take what the defense is giving him more times than not. Minimal wasted motion, knockdown shooting (40% on nearly 3 3PA per game), efficiency at the FT line and a notable work rate off the ball. There's a comfort, confidence and steadiness to his offensive game that bodes well in his projection to the next level. A stable shot-maker with a straight-forward approach, athleticism and a sturdy frame, he looks like one that'll become a priority prospect over the next year as 2025's step into the spotlight.


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