School: Connecticut | Year: Sophomore | Age: 19 | Born: May 30, 1992 | Position: SG
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 185 | From: Norcross, GA | Best Case Scenario: Rip Hamilton
Jeremy Lamb is an extremely long and athletic shooting guard that played an integral part to UConn’s 2011 NCAA Championship title as a freshman last season. As a freshman, Lamb had tremendous success playing off the ball with Kemba Walker running the offense. During the 2011 NCAA Tournament, Lamb proved himself a very clutch player and excelled with the game on the line. He is the son of former NBA player Rolando Lamb, which has contributed to his high basketball IQ and great feel for the game. This year as a sophomore, the versatile guard assumed much more of the ball handling duties with Kemba Walker in the NBA, and went from a mainly off the ball type player to more of a combo guard. Coming off last year’s championship title, Lamb and the rest of the talented UConn team had high expectations that they fell far short of. Struggling to completely adapt to his new role in the offense, Lamb was still able to have a good season and had flashes of his enormous potential at the NBA level.
Standing at 6’5”, Lamb has good height for a SG. His incredible length and athleticism separates him from the rest of the SG prospects, as he possesses a ridiculous 7’1” wingspan paired with a fantastic vertical leap, which is rumored to be around 40 inches. However, he fails to possess good strength or mass as he weighs in at only 185 pounds, and his narrow frame will inhibit him from putting on significant muscle mass in the future. Ideally, if Lamb can get around 200 pounds, he should be able to overcome his weight disadvantage from his superior length and spring.
With the ball in his hands, Lamb is a patient and smart player and loves to stop and pop coming off of screens. He tends to be overly cautious while dribbling into the defense and is not confident in his ability to use his strength to get past defenders. He shies away from anything other than a one-on-one, and although he has a quick first step, he generally is not able to blow past good perimeter defenders. As a dribbler, Lamb has excellent handles and his experience running the UConn offense has made him a potential combo guard at the next level. When driving to the hoop, Lamb has extreme difficulty finishing through contact and his terribly low free throw rates demonstrate his lack of confidence driving through crowded lanes. He does however use the floater well and is able to score around defenders by taking off balance shots.
Running in transition, he has excellent agility and amazing court vision. In transition with the advantage, Lamb is able to set up the open man with easy scoring chances and is great at finishing above the rim. His athleticism makes him a good alley-oop candidate not only in transition, but also when cutting to the hoop off of the ball.
At the collegiate level, he has been an efficient three-point shooter with an excellent mid-range game. It is yet to be seen if his shooting will extend to the NBA three-point line, but he has overall good shooting mechanics and should be able to be a good NBA three-point shooter with the necessary offseason work. He has had success both shooting off the dribble and when catching and shooting, and has proven that he can hit the big shot while always wanting the ball in his hands at the end of games. When shooting off of the dribble, Lamb uses the stutter step extremely well in order to get separation to get shots off over his defender.
Lamb possesses the intangibles that allow him to make an impact in games without necessarily affecting the stat sheet. On the defensive end, he has good foot speed and quick hands that have helped him to become one of the top perimeter defenders in the country. His versatility allows him to successfully guard all 3 perimeter positions, and he has a great motor and lateral quickness. His biggest problems on the defensive end lie in his inability to get through screens, as he does not possess good strength. If he is to have success in the NBA as a perimeter defender, it is essential that Lamb add increased strength and weight to his body while maintaining his good foot speed.
Lamb understands the limitations of his body and it has led to him being less aggressive than he could be. In turn, this has caused decreased turnovers, but it has also inhibited his ability to get to the free throw line and score in traffic. As he continues to grow as a player, Lamb will need to develop confidence in driving to the hoop and not become dependant on the jump shot in order to score.
Follow Jeremy Lamb on Twitter @_JLamb3_
Photo Credits: John Woike/Hartford Courant