The Charlotte Hornets have struggled defensively for several seasons now. Part of that is scheme and part of that is youth an inexperience, but it’s also in part because the Hornets don’t have a lot of players that are gifted players on that side of the ball. The Boston Celtics have made it to the finals on the back of a switchable, pestering defense. Players like Jeremy Sochan are supposed to make that possible, which could make him appealing for the Hornets in the late lottery.
Height: 6’9” (listed)
Weight: 230 pounds (listed)
wingspan: 7’0” (listed)
Defense, potential offensive feel, comfort in role
Jeremy Sochan is one of the top defensive prospects in this draft. His technique is almost flawless. He keeps his feet active when guarding on the perimeter and never gets caught flat footed. He does a very good job cutting off driving angles, and if ball handlers do get an angle on him, he works hard to recover and bother shots from behind. Off the ball, he’s constantly moving and putting him in the right spot. He fights to get in position to help at the rim and he’s good at playing passing lanes to get steals and start the break. His motor is relentless. He should be a positive defender from day one has a chance to be a premier defender if he plays himself onto the court enough. This Twitter thread has a brief look at his whole defensive arsenal:
JEREMY SOCHAN DEFENSE THREAD
Jeremy is such a special defender, his IQ, physical tools and technique make him a unique talent.
Let’s start with his 1vs1 defense, look how he moes his feet and stays ALWAYS in front of the handler 1/ pic.twitter.com/n12F8MeW2l
— Francesco Semprucci (@fra_sempru) March 18, 2022
His game needs more work on offense, but there are things to like on this end as well. The shot isn’t quite there yet, but he can make an impact in other ways. He’s got a good handle for his size, which makes him a versatile piece. He’s not quite point forward level, but he makes good decisions and keeps the ball moving. He looks like he could be one of those guys that has a bunch of games where you check the box score and realize he has six or seven assists and you don’t even realize they happened.
Jeremy Sochan with a steal to launch his team in transition.
First he shows a nice bounce pass whereafter collecting the ball again he attacks the closeout and finds the open shooter.
NBA teams LOVE tools like these. pic.twitter.com/OQTEkC8T2E
— Ersin Demir (@EDemirNBA) May 7, 2022
He’s also a good finisher around the basket and makes himself available for cuts and drop offs. While his shot is a work in progress, his activity and ability to score from off the ball actions should make him a respectable option.
He plays within his skill set, which accentuates his talents. He takes what’s there and doesn’t force the issue too often offensively. He’s unselfish and already played a low usage role at Baylor, so he should be comfortable in a situation like that in the pros if that’s what a team needs from him.
Sochan’s outside shooting will have a major impact on the level of player he is in the NBA. His shot form is mostly okay, but he has a little bit of a funky wrist movement on the release that doesn’t help him. He converted a respectable 36% of his spot up jumpers, but on the whole he shot just 29.6% from three and 58.9% from the free throw line. He’ll need to be a threat from the outside to open up the rest of his offensive game due to his other shortcoming.
While Sochan is a very smooth, nimble athlete, he doesn’t have a whole lot of pop. He’s a good finisher around the basket, but he’s rather ground bound when attacking the basket. He may struggle with NBA length from the help side. It also limits him a bit as a rim protector.
Sochan projects as a perfect role player and defensive star. He plays with a ton of pride on the defensive end and has the potential to effectively guard 1 through 5. Even if the shot doesn’t fully come along, his ability to facilitate and catch and finish should keep him from being a complete non factor offensively. He profiles similarly to former Hornet Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, though he’s bigger and has more confidence and less work to do to improve as a shooter. The Hornets need defenders, and Sochan should help the defense immediately. He’d be a great target with one of the Hornets’ two picks in the teens.