One of many talented freshman on UCLAs roster this past season, Jerime Anderson was limited to primarily garbage minutes over the course of the season due to a playing time crunch, as evidenced by his underwhelming stat line. This season, with Darren Collison and Jrue Holiday off to the NBA, Anderson will have every opportunity to show his value, and there are many reasons to be encouraged for how he will.
Standing 63, Anderson has great size and good length for the point guard position, though hes not quite ideal physically, having a slight frame and lacking a lot of strength at this point in his development. Athletically, Anderson doesnt have a blazing first step, relying more on crafty change of pace moves to get past his man, however he is pretty explosive for his size vertically, showing the ability to get up in the lane. Itll be interesting to see how Anderson responds from a full offseason of strength training at UCLA, as it could potentially affect his game in numerous positive ways.
Looking at Andersons game, its hard to come to many definitive conclusions based off his limited playing time, often coming when UCLA already had a convincing lead, but a few things can be taken away. Anderson is a steady floor general who runs his teams offense well, not over-dribbling, moving well without the ball, maintaining good spacing, and distributing the ball among his teammates. He didnt show much in terms of ability to create off the dribble for others in the lane, however its something wed seen from him in high school and is something to look out for as he grows into his larger role this year.
As a scorer, Anderson shows potential in a few areas, however hes very inefficient and inconsistent at this stage, in part stemming from his underdeveloped body. As a jump shooter, Anderson can look good when shooting in rhythm, showing some three-point range, however oftentimes he seems to overcompensate for his lack of strength by throwing his body into his shot, throwing off his touch and accuracy greatly. Developing better base strength so he can more consistently and effortlessly use his shooting motion from deep will go a long way in developing his outside shot.
In terms of attacking the basket, Anderson shows a good dribble with both hands and has a very good command of hesitation dribbles, compensating for his lack of breakaway speed by throwing defenders off balance and picking his spots well. In the lane, he shows very good creative potential, being able to finish with an array of floaters and finger rolls with either hand, however hes not a good finisher in the lane overall, lacking the ability to get through contact and having a very unreliable pull-up jumper in the lane.
While Anderson does have good moments with his dribble and can make things happen in the lane, he seems to have a lot of trouble dealing with pressure defense in both the halfcourt and fullcourt, often exposing his dribble to defenders, leading to quite a few steals far away from the basket. Being able to better handle these type of situations will be crucial to his success this season, as its something teams will catch onto and abuse if he doesnt fix it.
Defensively, Anderson shows a very strong stance and puts in consistently high effort both on and off the ball, however his lateral quickness is a liability against point guards, even though he somewhat compensates for it with his size and fundamentals. Off the ball, Anderson is in constant chase and doesnt lose his man due to lack of awareness, however he can have trouble getting around screens given his lack of strength. Projecting to the NBA, Andersons lateral quickness will be a much bigger concern, especially with some of the games quicker point guards.
Looking forward, Anderson is still a ways away from thinking about the NBA, but there is much to be optimistic about based on the limited things we saw from him as a freshman. With the point guard position wide open for UCLA, Anderson will have many opportunities to grow as a player this season, and in watching him you get the feeling that with some more strength, a tweak here, and a tweak there, things could quickly fall into place for the young floor general. Anderson could stand to improve in every single facet of the game, but the little flashes hes shown have been promising.