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Scouting With the Mavs: Baylor at TCU

Keyonte George underwhelms, but Damion Baugh continues to catch scouts’ eyes

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks, along with eight other NBA teams, packed TCU this last weekend to see projected lottery pick Keyonte George & the Baylor Bears play TCU without stars Mike Miles & Eddie Lampkin.

While the Mavs are unlikely to be in any position to draft Keyonte George, Dallas could get a lot of value out of scouting his teammates. Adam Flagler, LJ Cryer, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Jalen Bridges, and Langston Love are prospects that could at a minimum be on two-way contracts.

Cryer is a floor general with shooting, but will have to overcome his lack of size at point guard. Flagler is one of the country’s best shooters, but at about six foot three, he needs to prove he’s able to run an offense and contribute all-around on both ends. Langston Love is another shooter, standing at six foot five, with a route to take over for Adam Flagler’s role when he graduates.

Bridges, a transfer from West Virginia, has ideal size for a wing, and is a dominant two point scorer. He will have to prove that he can shoot the three ball with consistency; the best thing he has going for him there is that the free throw percentage has a strong track record, which can often be more reliable than three point percentage.

Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (nicknamed JTT) had a brutal knee injury last year, and just returned within the last week ahead of facing TCU. When healthy, he is an energy big that can be a threat at the rim on both ends with a growing jump shot. Most importantly for Jonathan is that he proves his knee injury is behind him and he can return to full form for the duration of the season. In this game, JTT was passive, living on the perimeter at times, and not willing to play like he did a year ago, being more fearless towards the rim. Scouts and management will want to see that aggression return to full strength before committing a contract to him. The good news for JTT is that he has one more year of eligibility, but this would make him 25 on draft night if he were to use the extra year.

Lastly for Baylor, Keyonte George had an underwhelming homecoming to DFW. With some Mavs brass in attendance, George only recorded four points on 25% shooting, two rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block with zero free throw attempts. He got to his spots well, but couldn’t make enough shots to have a big impact, only playing 22 minutes (a season low). He didn’t play most of the final ten minutes of the game, which left the nine NBA teams in attendance a bit disappointed that the main draw only had a minimal presence.

For TCU, Damion Baugh once again stood out at TCU’s second best prospect behind Mike Miles, who missed the game with a lingering injury. He flirted with a triple double, finishing with 16 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds, one steal, and one block on 50% shooting. Since conference play started (13 games including the SEC/Big 12 Challenge game) Baugh is averaging 14 points per game, six assists per game, three and a half rebounds per game, 1 and a half steals per game on shooting splits of: 44% from the field, 22.5% from three, and 78% from the line.

Baugh’s three point shooting will be the difference of being a G League player fighting for scraps, or earning a safe two-way contract with potential to have his contract one day converted into a full NBA contract. At 6’3, being a slasher, playmaker, and defender will not be enough if his shot cannot be respected or efficient enough in the NBA.

With the Big 12 being the best conference in basketball, and as he plays alongside Mike Miles, Baugh will always be available to catch NBA scouts’ eyes in Fort Worth. Look for him to be a Summer League prospect when he declares.