Scouting Corey Kispert

Updated: Feb 11


Credit: Josh Thomas / @shotsbychubbs (IG)

In the latest edition of 'P.I. Pulse,' Pro Insight’s Aneesh Namburi conducts a deep dive analysis on arguably the best shooter in college basketball, Gonzaga's Corey Kispert:


Corey Kispert is a 6-foot-7 senior wing from Edmonds, Washington, in the midst of a breakout season with the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs. Primarily a floor-spacer early in his college career, Kispert has transformed into one of the most dynamic and potent offensive players in the country. A potential All-American candidate, Kispert is a dribble/pass/shoot wing that is highly valuable in the modern NBA. Below is an in-depth scouting report that covers every aspect of his game and how it translates to the NBA, where his strengths lie in addition to potential areas of improvement.


Measurables

Date of Birth 03/03/1999

Height 6'7"

Weight 220 lbs.

Wingspan 6'8"


Injury History

Missed 2 games thus far at Gonzaga (ankle sprain winter of freshman year)


Potential Roles/Outcomes

High: Starting dribble/pass/shoot wing. Elite C&S threat. Real movement shooter, comfortable shooting non-set shots. Can put the ball on the floor and finish well due to frame and shooting gravity. Consistently able to find teammates within offense and while attacking closeouts. Excellent off-ball cutter. Can run situational on ball actions. Positive team defender based around IQ+strength. Understanding of positional concepts and improved physical tools makes him a good defender vs. non creators or bigs. Can switch onto PG’s and true 5’s in a pinch, but will need help.


Median: Solid to high level backup wing. Real threat shooting off the catch. Decent movement shooter, but still not a high level one due to lower body. Can put the ball on the floor, average finisher due to strength but struggles a bit due to lack of versatility. Consistently able to find teammates within offense and attacking closeouts. Provides value as a cutter. Solid team defender based around IQ and size. Can guard 3’s and 4’s competently due to strength, understanding of positional concepts, with situational ability against slower 2’s and smaller 5’s. Needs immediate help against point guards and traditionally sized 5’s.


Low: End of rotation shooter. Shooting gives him situational rotation minutes, but low(er) release point and lower body mechanics prevent him from possessing real movement capability. Ability to finish or make good reads off closeouts. Solid size, strength. IQ gives him competence as a team defender, but lack of quick twitch athleticism and high level flexibility makes him a liability on ball, specifically against quick 1’s and 2’s.


Frame/Athleticism

His two biggest strengths are above average size and strength for his position. Kispert’s 6-foot-7 frame and strength through four summers in the Gonzaga weight room give him upside to hold his own defending out of position. Solid vertical athlete, but his timing and aggressiveness accentuate this area. Needs to improve lateral quickness and hip flexibility. Wingspan is reported to be 6-foot-8. Overall, fine athlete by NBA standards, but not a differentiator. Kispert’s combination of size, strength, and IQ allows him to maximize his physical tools.

  • Reported +1 WS, does not hurt him too much due to projected role

  • Passable vertical athlete, ancillary skills helps mitigate minor tape concerns

  • Offense: aggressiveness+strength finishing at the hoop

  • Defense: great timing in rotation as a helpside rim protector

  • Great size and strength for position, could potentially see him at up to 3 different positions

  • Good hip turn in the lower body, slower in the upper half, leads to inconsistent overall hip flexibility

  • Struggles to move with quicker players laterally

  • Not a very quick twitch athlete by NBA standards

  • Slightly below average burst/first step, but ability to understand the floor helps

Credit: Josh Thomas / @shotsbychubbs (IG)

Offense

Kispert is a day one dribble/pass/shoot wing who might be the best shooter in the draft with his feet set. Specifically proficient in early offense trail 3’s, lifts, relocation, and of course spot-up situations. His mechanics/set up are pristine, but may limit effectiveness off movement to some degree. Kispert is an aggressive finisher in both the half court and transition, and comfortable uses both hands. He can read the floor at a high level for a primarily off-ball wing and consistently makes good decisions, specifically when attacking off a closeout. Excellent floor mapper. Not really a manipulator of the defense, but utilizes fakes well. Kispert has a sufficient handle for a primarily off-ball role. His understanding of spacing and Gonzaga’s scheme makes him a dangerous cutter, and it seems likely that those same skills translate once he gets comfortable with his team’s offense. He has real potential as a screener both on and off the ball due to shooting gravity, and could run some side PnR in a pinch down the road.

Finishing

  • Aggressive finisher, not going to shy away from contact (67/91 within restricted area this season)

  • Comfortable using either hand

  • Excellent getting out and running the lanes in transition, cutting backdoor in half court

  • Have not seen him attempt many adjustment finishes (has not really been necessary, can usually finish through people)

  • Most half court finishes are from straight line drives

Shooting

  • 1.308 PPP on 91 jumpshots in half court (95th percentile, “Excellent” rating)

  • Textbook lower body mechanics

  • Shot stays compact

  • Lowe(er) release. Not a major concern, but has been given some trouble against length/hard closeouts

  • Mostly shoots out of a hop w/ feet squared to the hoop before he catches the ball. Limits potency as a movement shooter

  • 20 possessions off screen, 14 times comes off straight (three flares, three curls)

  • Large diet of shots from above the break, many from NBA range

  • In past seasons, his confidence as a shooter didn't appear as unwavering as we are seeing, presently. Not so much this season, but something to monitor in early NBA career

Handle

  • Functional, nothing exciting

  • Does not turn the ball over (18 turnovers through 17 games in 2020-21)

  • Lots of straight line drives

  • Most of his work putting the ball on the floor comes off closeouts and pump fakes

  • Rarely breaks down D (mostly due to role), not many one-cut moves, either

  • Five possessions driving right, six possessions driving left out of spot-ups

On Ball (Pick-and-Roll, Isolation)

  • Shown proficiency running second side PnR at college level, question translation to the NBA

  • Teams either selling out on his shooting or a Timme roll, which makes things easy for him

  • Has never been used as an isolation player, unlikely to see much usage in the NBA either (three total possessions, this season)

Off Ball (Catch and Shoot, Movement Shooting, Cutting)

  • 1.315 PPP on 73 C&S possessions in half court (86th percentile, “Excellent” rating)

  • 1.526 PPP on 57 spot-up possessions (99th percentile, “Excellent” rating)

  • 45 possessions no-dribble jumper, 1.578 PPP (94th percentile, “Excellent” rating)

  • Excellent transition player

  • Understands when to cut/space floor, proficient at both

  • 1.716 PPP on 67 transition possessions (99th percentile, “Excellent” rating)

  • Elite shooter with feet set/squared to hoop

  • Less comfortable when running into shots (Ex. hand-offs)

  • 0.826 PPP on 23 hand-off possessions (46th percentile, “Average” rating)

  • Will slightly hinder movement shooting capabilities until he puts an emphasis on improving hip flexibility and ability to turn into shots with lower body

  • Smart cutter, understands how to play defensive rotations and teammate gravity

  • 1.412 PPP on 17 possessions as cutter (82nd percentile, “Very Good” rating)

  • Could have real utility as a spacer screening in the PnR, D would not be able to put two on the ball handler due to shooting gravity

  • Floor spacer out to deep NBA range

Passing/Decision Making

  • Ability to make variety of reads from attacking off closeouts/cuts, PnR

  • Does a lot of his work before he catches the ball, maps the floor well and understands how to exploit gaps on the floor (both for himself and teammates)

  • Misses/can’t make some of the more complex or split second decisions

  • Not a high priority requirement given projected role

  • Utilizes head+ball fakes

  • Shoulder turn really sells it

  • Rarely makes dumb mistakes in terms of shot selection

Credit: Josh Thomas / @shotsbychubbs (IG)

Defense

Kispert is a high IQ defender who uses his understanding of the game to make an impact while maximizing his physical tools. Has a great knowledge of team rotations and positioning, and is almost always in the right place as a team defender off-ball. As previously mentioned, he does not have great vertical pop, but his rotational instincts, strength, and timing make him someone to consider as you are attacking the hoop. Kispert struggles a bit guarding on the perimeter. As aforementioned, his instincts and his hips are decently flexible, it is not enough to nullify/mitigate his lateral quickness issues. Unless physical improvements are made, he will likely struggle guarding against players with great speed or burst. Better suited to guarding screeners in PnR. Kispert’s ability to consistently determine whether to give a hard closeout vs. short closeout and contain is not something that should be discounted. Will likely stick to off-ball wings/forwards initially, but aforementioned improvements to lower body mechanics and mobility could give him the ability to switch onto some guards and bigs, situationally.


On-Ball (Isolation, Pick and Roll)

  • When guarding within position group, effective due to combination of strength and length

  • A little too technical sliding his feet

  • Hip turns look awkward due to difference between upper and lower body

  • Will likely struggle against guards initially due to lateral quickness issues

  • Will probably be guarding the screener in most PnR situations

  • Will likely be unable to switch onto ball handler unless 1) he improves lateral mobility significantly 2) he switches onto a wing

Off-Ball and Team Defense

  • IQ keeps him in the correct position most of the time when not guarding the ball

  • Effective as a nail defender, recovering back to man

  • Does a great job of timing when he stunts on drives

  • Has trouble navigating off-ball screens

  • Not a defensive playmaker per se, rarely takes gambles

  • Sub 2.0 STL and BLK% every year at Gonzaga

  • Occasionally prone to over-helping

Other (Rim Protection, Rebounding, Switchability)

  • Not a great block rate over college years, more of a rim deterrent than actual shot blocker

  • Despite lack of ideal length, has good timing and anticipation + stays vertical in the air

  • Strength will help him stand his ground when contesting straight up

  • Low rebounding rate for a big wing, but has played majority of minutes next to two bigs

  • Best defending off-ball/spot up wings and forwards (can match strength a bit and lateral quickness issues will not be a massive issue)

  • Could probably guard certain small ball 5’s, as well

  • With lateral quickness improvements, could slide up to defending all but quick guards and traditionally sized bigs in a pinch

Credit: Josh Thomas / @shotsbychubbs (IG)

Summary

Kispert is a perfect dribble/pass/shoot wing for the modern NBA. His four years at Gonzaga show a large sample size of shooting proficiency, and he’s really developed some nice ancillary skills as a playmaker and finisher over the past couple of seasons that help accentuate his offensive threat. While no one will mistake him as an elite athlete, Kispert has enough size and strength to prevent him from being a real liability on defense. These traits, in addition to his IQ and understanding of the game, should make him a capable on-ball defender against non-primary wings and a stabilizing team defender. Obviously there’s about six months until the 2021 NBA draft, but it’s hard to see that kind of package falling out of the first round in a worst-case scenario. Will likely end up at least top-20 on my overall board and top-five for my “glue wing” positional category.



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