Jordan Stevens might be my most difficult first impressions to write this year for a couple of reasons. To start, it’s difficult for me to say whether or not the skill he flashed at the Pro-Am was real or poor defense inflated. He looked like a hand full on the dribble creating space for himself or cutting to the hoop. On top of that, he made some great passes. The question remains will it translate to D-I ball. Second, I really had a difficult time figuring a strong comparable player for him.
The Dukes have a number of quick players, but Stevens might be the quickest. He also looks like a strong jumper with decent body control in the air.
I pegged him for a two when he committed but Stevens looked his most comfortable running the point. He appears to enjoy having the ball in his hands and he often seemed to fade into the background when someone else ran the offense. Stevens showed he could score in a variety of ways. Lay up, reverse, pull up j, step back, head fake, teardrop, dunk, runner. You name it, I probably saw it from him outside of post ups and hook shots. I could write a similarly well rounded list of the kinds of passes I saw him dish, but it won’t be long before you see him for yourself. Stevens hogged it a little in the first two games he played but the more comfortable he looked, the more apt he was to give it up.
Effort to Output
After a rough start, he generally looked relaxed out there which leads me to believe he could take it to another level in game action.
Stevens seemed to recognize how well he shot the ball and adjusted his playing accordingly. If he was on, he shot the ball more. When he noticed he was cold, he gave it up almost every time down the floor. His ability to objectively recognize his output and adjust on the fly shows a great deal of basketball IQ and humility. Stevens demonstrated strong vision and I think he’ll pair well with Micah Mason and Jordan Robinson to help create shots for both. He has the potential to be the team’s best passer.
I had a difficult time finding Jordan Stevens true match, but I know who he doesn’t look like: two likely comparables Tra’vaughn White and Xavier Munford. Both are players who excelled in junior college, Munford also coming out of Iowa, but only one made a strong impact on the A-10. Stevens has much better vision and stronger passing skills than White. He’s also an easy three inches taller and a step quicker. White might have been a better summer league scorer in a smaller sample, but Stevens has a broader skill set to fall back on if he’s not filling it up. Munford looked to have a more shoot first mentality even in A-10 league play than the more balanced attack of Stevens.
I don’t know if he’ll be as productive as him overall, but Stevens reminds me a bit of Tony Taylor from GW. I don’t know if Stevens will be a great shooter or tremendously efficient. Taylor was neither, but he could slash and find his teammates if the jumper’s off. I suspect Stevens can do the same.
First Year Outlook
I think Stevens will begin the season as the sixth man, but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t eat deeply into someone’s minutes by the seventh or eighth game of the year.