As we at the Tech Lunch Pail have been detailing all week, Virginia Tech men’s basketball coach Mike Young has defied the odds by scrapping together a solid 2019 recruiting class.
We have detailed incoming freshmen Hunter Cattoor, Jalen Cone, and John Ojiako. Here we will break down the game of the fourth and final incoming freshman, shooting guard Nahiem Alleyne.
Nahiem “The Dream” (as he refers to himself on Twitter) is a 6-3, 170 pound 3-star prospect from Lawrenceville, GA. Much like Cone and Ojiako, Alleyne was originally part of the 2020 class but was given the opportunity to reclassify to 2019 and start college a year early.
Alleyne brings a lot to the table offensively. On a team that lost its top five scorers from last season, Alleyne could have an immediate impact.
When watching his highlights, it quickly becomes clear that Alleyne has an elite jump shot. Whether that comes from spotting up in the corner or creating shots off the dribble, Alleyne knows how to put the ball in the basket.
Here are a few of my favorite examples:
Alleyne knows how to keep defenses on their toes.
He has an incredible ability to constantly change speed, combining slow, relaxed dribble moves with sudden bursts of quickness to get a shot up. He can lull the defense to sleep then catch them off guard with a fast shot:
Or he can start quickly then suddenly slow down, causing the defense to overrun and free up a shot:
You combine that with long arms and a smooth lefty jump shot and Alleyne has the potential to be a very fun offensive tool for the Hokies.
Alleyne could fit in well in Young’s system that involves a heavy amount of outside shooting.
“We’ll shoot ‘til our arms fall off through the rest of the summer,” Young said at a press conference this summer. “You’ve got to be able to stretch people with guys that can ring the bell.”
And ring the bell, Alleyne can.
The biggest concern for Alleyne on the offensive end will be his ability to make plays for teammates.
It’s pretty clear that he can turn bad plays into good plays for his own scoring ability. However, we have yet to see fully how he can use that creativity to create open looks for others.
Alleyne has shown flashes of being able to find the right passes. Here is an example:
On this play, Alleyne recognizes the help defense moving to stop his drive. He has the intelligence to realize that means his teammate will be open under the basket. Alleyne makes the no-look pass and it ends in an easy layup.
We certainly see an ability to create offensively. It is just a matter of consistently making the right play.
How good of a passer is he? Can he see the whole play and not just the opportunities for himself to score? Will he try too hard to force shots?
These questions will certainly be answered this season.
On the defensive end, Alleyne can use his length to his advantage. Though he is not quite at the same level athletically as Cone and Ojiako, his length allows him to make up ground and poke the ball free, as seen here:
He can also use that length to deflect shots at the rim:
Alleyne has the wingspan, instinct, and solid enough athleticism needed to be a strong defender. He will likely not be the best defender on the team, but he will certainly be better than most.
The notable player who Alleyne most reminds me of is RJ Barrett.
Though Barrett is roughly four inches taller than Alleyne and has a much higher ceiling, they have similar styles of play.
Both are shot creators through and through, using length and an elite left-handed jump shot to keep defenses guessing and light up the scoreboard.
First, we see that ability to create from Barrett, using the same stop-and-start techniques Alleyne uses:
And pair that up with a solid jump shot:
You can see how Alleyne’s game mimics that of the Duke standout who will soon start his rookie campaign with the New York Knicks.
Alleyne will almost certainly never be the same level of player as RJ Barrett, but he will still prove very useful to the Hokies.
Expect Alleyne to see some scattered minutes off the bench at the beginning of the season with the Hokies having a pair of talented wings in Landers Nolley and Isaiah Wilkins returning. Should he make the most of those opportunities and prove himself to be a solid playmaker and defender, Young will gladly start to use him more and more as his career progresses.
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
Stay up with The Tech Lunch Pail for the latest on Virginia Tech. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Subscribe to our email updates.