By James Blackburn
Game Scouted: Elizabeth City State @ Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State wins 65-53
Angelo Sharpless (G, 6’4”, SR)
What I also knew about coming into the game was his scoring and shooting ability. While he did struggle from the field tonight, going 4-11, he also displayed a smooth shooting stroke with good elevation, form, and rotation on his shot. For the season, Sharpless is shooting close to 40% from 3 and over 53% from the field, terrific numbers for a shooting guard who puts up the quantity of shots that he does. He can do his scoring from anywhere on the floor and has a quick first step he uses to get to the rim, where he has a variety of scoring and finishing moves. He also has the size and athleticism to finish with authority inside the paint. He does a good job of creating space offensively and holding his ground off the ball to get open and is able to create his own shot. He came into the game averaging over 22 points per game, which is good enough to place him in the top 10 in the nation for DII NCAA in scoring. He gets the bulk of his points in transition and gets out on the break quickly.
While he does have over 100 more shot attempts than anyone else on the team (offense clearly runs through him), he also finds a way to dish out over 2.4 assists per game as well. He had 2 tonight and both were highlight-worthy, leading to easy open lay-ups for teammates.
Defensively, Sharpless is the best rebounder on the team. He leads the team with over 9 boards a game, which is top 25 in the nation for DII. The team struggles rebounding with him out of the game and got badly beaten on the boards tonight, with him sitting on the bench most of the first half. He is strong with the ball and uses his athleticism to attack the ball. He plays solid help side defense and is a decent weak side shot blocker (Made an impressive block on the opening possession on a player 3” taller on the low block). Has good quickness and is able to cover large amount of space quickly. He also talked and communicated on the defensive end. Communication is not an area that he has a problem with. Has potential to be even better on the defensive end. Guarded WSSU best scorer, most of the time they were on court together and held him under his average.
While his ball handling is average for the most part, he did show the ability to lead the break several times after a rebound, where he could draw the defense and kick or keep it himself and score.
Sharpless is a talented player and scorer, but could be better if he improved on several things. While he is not a bad ball handler, who needs to improve his ability go left and tighten up his handle overall, especially when driving in traffic. While he is a good shooter, he does not have a high release. He didn’t struggle to get off his shot tonight, but may if he had a taller player defending him. Forced some shots tonight, that I felt he should not of taken- needs to improve shot selection. Seemed like he was more intent on making highlights then helping team win this game and was more worried about getting out in transition to get his dunks than anything else.
Defensively, he has potential, but tends to take some plays off, and also falls asleep on occasion. Several times tonight, he got beat to the spot and lost his man on the perimeter. He didn’t show any effort to fight over or through screens, content to just switch.
His attitude and on court body language were poor for the majority of the game tonight. I believe I caught him on an off-night. I talked to couple of people who have seen him play before and they said he usually has a great attitude. Got into an argument with his coach early on the first half and was sat out the last 12 minutes of the half (did bounce back and play entire 2nd half and helped pull team with-in 3). Showed visible frustration with teammates, coaches, and referees over mistakes and calls. Also showed frustration when he didn’t get the ball when he was open on the break or in half-court. To his credit, when WSSU started the game off winning 9 to 0, Sharpless did a good job of huddling team together, being a leader, and calming everyone down. I think this is how he normally is, but felt like he just got frustrated tonight with team losing and pressed too much.
Angelo was held 14 points under his average against a WSSU Rams team that is ranked 17th in the nation at home. He struggled with his shot the majority of the night and did not make things better by displaying a poor on-court attitude. Sat out last 12 minutes of first quarter after getting into argument with coach. Did a good job of bouncing back in the second half to score all 8 of his points and collected 9 rebounds in limited minutes. He has a high ceiling with his shooting ability and above the rim play. In my opinion, he is talented enough to get drafted into the D-League in the later rounds or play overseas. He has a chance to get invited to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT) in Virginia in April, a showcase tournament reserved for the top seniors in the country, regardless of college division. A strong showing at the PIT could give him a great shot with making a D-League roster. His athleticism will translate as will his scoring and rebounding ability. It will be interesting to see how he finishes the year and if he can keep his scoring average and FG% up in a highly competitive CIAA conference.
James Blackburn is the Director of Scouting for Basketball Elite. He scouts high school, college and pro prospects. You can follow James on Twitter right this second.