Jonathon Isaac- 6-11, 210,

PF, FLA ST, 50.4% 2-P, 7.4 APG

6-11" WS, 34.2% 3-P, 6-10.5 SR,

14.5 PPG, 6 RPG, 1.8 SPG, .8 BPG

He Could Be A Celtic.

By Tom Mahoney

He is a great dunker who smashes the high lob down with power. He has the length of a Center, and when he skies up for the high lob he looks like an NBA Center. He can get the nice pass inside, and knows how to move to avoid defenders, and make it look easy dunking the ball in traffic.

He is not a Small Forward, especially in today's NBA. "I’d take Isaac (over Tatum, me too;), even though he’s not a true Three," a central scout said. "He can do everything a three needs to do, but he can play four, too, because he has size. Much more well-rounded game than Tatum." He has great wings skills on offense and defense, but he is an NBA Four.

He has put a lot of work into his Jumper. He still clangs off too may when he is camping out at the 3-point line. But his shot will improve tremendously, he has shown he will work at. He still sees the game like a kid, who only understand running to the rim and shooting Threes sometimes. And constantly calls for the ball way out at the 3-point line. But he did add some maturity late in the season.

He had a very late growth spurt and grew 6 inches his senior year in high school. "Isaac is a little bit more unique," an exec said." How does his size and his body fit in? He’s got that Porzingis-kind of game and build. Porzingis found a niche; does this guy find a niche at his size? You really have to use some vision to think about where he fits in down the road." He was a Wing most of his life, and really only a Big for less than a couple of years. He is still adjusting to his size, but has kept an amazing assortment of Wings skills for a kid who could still grow into a 7-footer. He reminds me of a Darius Miles, who wanted to be a wing with a PFs size.

So he is used to playing outside as a Wing, and it showed up on the court. He is great on the fastbreak, and runs the outside lane like Wing. "A team that needs to compete more immediately could take Tatum and sleep well, but a team with a little more time to build a roster might be willing to take Isaac," Aldridge wrote. "Who scouts think may take a little longer to reach his potential, but whose ceiling may also be greater." Isaac is a much better player than Tatum, especially on defense, where it is incomparable. He will be be a better Pro in the long run.

He goes to the hole like a power forward on the break. "He has such a unique skillset at his size and his length," a northern exec said. "He has more upside to Tatum when you’re drafting up there, and I think Tatum is going to be very good. It’s hard to predict but I think he’ll be able to put some strength on, and be able to be strong enough. Having seen him up close and personal I’ll probably have a better idea. But he is thin." He makes defenders look small when he skies up over them on the Break. 

He has a nice quick Jumper from Three that has good form, but it can be a little inconsistent on the release. "From everything we’ve been told he’s a really high character kid," an exec said. "He’s the least accomplished of the three but he did have a good season. He’s not as assertive as Tatum or Jackson; part of that is his youthfulness. But he has two-way potential. Good hands, touch. He can play four if he adds some muscle to his frame. If you need help in a game today those two guys are probably more ready." He will drive into a crowd and just pull and shoot. 

Doesn't look at teammates with the ball in his hands near as much as you'd like. He just tries to dribble as close as he can to the basket, and shot it like a kid. He can move like a SF dribbling the ball in traffic. Great quick and explosive athlete. But does not understand the game yet. He is a great worker, and hustles his ass off on the court. 

He's always attacking the offensive glass, and runs into the Paint, when his teammates shoot (I'd like to see more of that on the D-glass;). He comes up with more O-Boards than he should through pure hustle. Amazing relentlessness going to the offensive boards. Too often plays with a kids intentions. When he matures, he has the skills to be a great player. If he can just get smart enough to pass the ball with some guile. 

He has as much upside as Jackson, but Jackson has figured it out already, and plays with an amazingly mature game for a one and done athlete, and for a kid who harassed a woman outside a gym. If Isaac can learn what Jackson seems to know naturally, he could become a star. So his biggest negative is that he is a kid who grew into a Bigs body, before he was ready to be a consistent smart man in a smart man's game. But he is so young, and so newly grown into a 7-footer (he grew 6" as a senior in HS). So it is hard to say that can stay a negative. He just needs some great coaching.

Notes during the season: Very nice offensive rebounder. Terrific movement without the ball. He can be affective on offense without the ball in his hands. Terrific smooth athlete. Easy dunker. With his size and long arms he dunks easily. He is a great wing defender. He was covering Graceson Allen against Duke. Terrific job driving past the smaller defenders, and dropping it off to his big center (any time he passes it it an uber positive;). Gets nice position on the O-boards, which is always a hustle play.

He is so great at attacking the rebound. He doesn't just get position, he goes up and gets it. He wants it more than most. He will also grab the D-board, and bring the ball up. They let him bring the ball up and set up the offense. Nice form on the jumper. He might be the best PF in the ACC, and he has the skills to play the Wing. He does remind me of Ingram sometimes. Looks like an NBA Three to me. 

Very physical defender. He defender SF with PF strength. When he bumps the SF he wins. Nice entry pass to a teammate cutting to the hoop. He can dribble right, and throw an entry pass to the Big in the Paint. When he wants to, he is a nice passer. That has been the biggest question for me.

Isaac Vs Louisville:

Nice. He got the ball and didn't shoot it. He stumbled and kicked it out instead (:32). It is truly amazing how he can man up on a guard and run with him sideways and backwards out in space. That defense right there is elite, and really shows his amazing athletic abilities (:32). He doesn't cut him off, but stays between him and the basket with his left hand up. And when the little guard tries to shoot it, Isaac doesn't even have to jump with his left hand up. He just bumped the ball with his left. It's like I always tell my kids, "we play offense right handed, but defense left handed" (and if that offends you lefties too bad;).

Watch this. He catches the great pass that leads him a half step ahead of the defender, and you know he is going to score this. He glides to the hoop, and dives to the other side with an impressive lefty reverse hook that I didn't know he had (:55). One thing about Isaac is that he does hustle to the boards (1:00). All teams need a PF who can defend and rebound, and run the floor like a gazelle and defend small players. Isaac might be the new prototype PF.

You could see the PG didn't want to give the Blackhole the ball way out there, because he might shoot it. Isaac finally burst the hole, and was given the easy basket by his teammate. That might be the most valuable thing he can learn from this Tape. He is not a shooting guard, he is a power forward. Act accordingly (1:00). OMG. He made a pass off the pick and roll, with some important NBA-like guile (1:25). Amazing agility for such a tall player. He dribbled between his legs to his left hand. Then dribbled lefty through the pick, and hit the roller with a great over the top pass. I don't care. The Celtics should trade down to Five and take Isaac there. He still just a kid who is playing a smart mans game, but he is learning! I now believe that he can play Wing in the NBA. But gaining weight and playing the Athletic Stretch Four is what teams will need from him in the new spread it out or die NBA.

A quick cut to the weakside and he is all alone under the basket. But he spoiled it by popping out for the jumper. Though his best position early might have to be on the Wing. As he gains weight naturally he will grow into an elite defensive stretch-four. I just wish his teammates got him the ball under the hoop there (1:39). Watch the quick burst into the passing lane (1:54). Then he moves backwards down the lane and gets into great position. Where he can defend his Big, and block the shot if the puny guard tries to shoot it in his face.

Then he tries to lead the break and gets fouled. If he had advanced the ball earlier it would have been an easy basket for his teammate (2:01). He gets the ball wide open for the Corner Three, and then dribbles around like a chicken with his head cut off for some reason. Then shoots the wacky long 2-pointer (2:17). It's not a kids game.

He gets the ball too far out. He  gives a nice little shimmy, and then steps into the Angle Three. The refs bail him out, but he hits the two free throws (2:33). He disappears for about eight minutes, and then boxes out the other Big and draws the foul. That is what he is going to have to do in the NBA (2:47). He hits the clutch free throws to end the game (2:51). That's all folks (but when the Celtics take him at Five, there will be more;).

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Awards: Earned consensus first-team All-America honors – from the Associated Press (AP), the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), Sporting News and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) … was one of four consensus first-team selections along with Villanova’s Josh Hart, Kansas’ Frank Mason III and Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan … also secured first-team All-America acclaim from Basketball Times, USA Today and NBC Sports … was one of five finalists for the John R. Wooden Award and one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy (both awards honor the nation’s top player) … named one of five finalists for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award … was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection by the AP, securing Pac-12 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors (by the AP) … was named the Pac-12 Conference’s Freshman of the Year, securing first-team All-Pac-12 honors, along with teammates Bryce AlfordClick here to hear it and TJ Leaf … also was one of five players named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team and was named an honorable mention Pac-12 All-Defensive Team selection … captured National Freshman of the Year honors from USA Today, the USBWA, the NABC, Sporting News, Basketball Times and Bleacher Report … was the USBWA All-District IX Player of the Year in addition to securing first-team USBWA All-District IX honors.

2016-17: Started all 36 games as a freshman … averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and a nation-leading 7.6 assists per game … also averaged a team-leading 35.1 minutes per game, the sixth-highest average in the Pac-12 … scored in double figures in 31 of 36 games … recorded nine double-doubles, including six of the point-assist variety … registered at least 10 assists in seven games and grabbed at least 10 rebounds in four contests … scored a season-high 24 points against Arizona (Jan. 21) … set the UCLA single-game freshman assists record, dishing 14 assists in the Bruins’ final home game against Washington State (March 4) … established UCLA’s single-season assists record (274), the second-highest single-season total in Pac-12 history behind Ahlon Lewis’ 294-assist total at Arizona State in 1997-98 … his 274 assists are the most of any Pac-12 freshman, surpassing Gary Payton’s previous Pac-12 freshman record of 229 assists (at Oregon State, 1986-87) … finished the season having averaged 7.611 assists per game, the second-highest single-season average in program history (behind Pooh Richardson, who averaged 7.613 assists per game in 1988-89, totaling 236 assists in 31 contests) … led the nation in assists per game (7.6) and total assists (274) … ranked No. 3 in the Pac-12 in steals per game (1.8), No. 16 in scoring (14.6 ppg) and No. 17 in rebounds (6.0 rpg) … ranked No. 11 in the conference in overall field goal percentage (55.1%) and No. 8 in three-point percentage (41.2%) … was No. 2 in the Pac-12 (and No. 13, nationally) in assist-turnover ratio (3.1) … also led the team in steals (66) … had multiple games in which he came close to a triple-double – most notably against Pacific on Nov. 11 (19p, 8r, 11a), UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 14 (13p, 10r, 7a), Arizona State (10p, 7r, 12a) and USC (15p, 8r, 8a) … became the first player in the Pac-12 to have logged at least 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists per game since Jason Kidd at California in 1992-93 … recorded at least three steals in 11 games, leading the Bruins to an 11-0 record in those games … the Bruins compiled a 10-0 record in games in which he had at least nine assists.

High School: Four-year varsity basketball letterwinner at Chino Hills High School under head coach Steve Baik … was rated the No. 4 player, nationally, in his high school class by and … was tabbed the No. 7 player by … both and rated him as the top point guard in the state of California and the Western region … named the 2016 CIF Southern Section Open Division Player of the Year … earned 2016 National Player of the Year acclaim from MaxPreps (previous selections who have attended UCLA include Kyle Anderson in 2012 and Kevin Love in 2007) … was also heralded as the 2015-16 Male High School Athlete of the Year by MaxPreps, the first recipient of the national award from the state of California … as a senior, was named the Naismith High School Player of the Year, the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year and the Gatorade State Player of the Year … claimed national Player of the Year honors from USA Today, in addition to being named a first-team All-America selection … earned McDonald’s All-America honors, recording a team-leading 13 assists in helping the West Team secure the victory in the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago (March 30, 2016) … secured first-team All-CIF Southern Section acclaim as a senior, junior and sophomore … registered 23.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 11.5 assists and 5.1 steals per game as a senior (2015-16) … shot 54 percent from the field and totaled 837 points in 35 games … helped Chino Hills post a perfect 35-0 record during his senior season, culminating in the 2016 CIF State Open Division Championship … Chino Hills defeated De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) by a 70-50 margin in the title game … totaled 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals in the championship victory in Sacramento … averaged 24.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game as a junior (2014-15) … led Chino Hills to the Division I state title game in 2015 … was one of six finalists for the Player of the Year award in 2015.


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