clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Could Jalen Hood-Schifino be the perfect pick for the Lakers at pick No. 17?

The Lakers will have many options available to them with their first round pick, but could Jalen Hood-Schifino be the right fit for them?

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament Quarterfinals - Indiana vs Maryland Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being a franchise known for its scouting department and draft prowess, it’s been rare for the team to have a first-round draft pick in recent years. Most of that has been due to the fact that they sent many of them to New Orleans in a trade for Anthony Davis and the others have been off-loaded in other trades.

This season, they are in a unique situation in a number of ways. On top of having their first-round pick, the Lakers finishing as a play-in team at the end of the regular season means they’ll be both a team that went to the Western Conference Finals and one that has the No. 17 pick.

Considering how deep the roster was — and could be next year — at season’s end, the Lakers have a lot of flexibility with their pick. A team that has always prioritized best player available on the draft board, it’ll be even more the case in this year’s draft.

One of the players that is in the range of the Lakers pick, and was mocked to the Lakers in Ricky O’Donnell’s latest draft for SB Nation, is guard Jalen Hood-Schifino of Indiana. Among a whole host of wing scoring options that should be available with the No. 17 pick, Hood-Schifino is one of few ball handlers in that range.

This is where I can offer a unique insight to Lakers fans. On top of covering the Lakers, I also cover IU athletics for Locked On and watched every game last season of Hood-Schifino.

So, let’s take a look at JHS and how he would fit with the Lakers.


Coming into the season, JHS was not seen as the one-and-done prospect he would become. An injury to IU’s starting point guard early in the season forced Hood-Schifino into a primary ballhandler role all season long and he flourished.

JHS excelled all season long in the pick-and-roll, mostly as a mid-range scorer. That mid-range area is where Hood-Schifino will make his money, figuratively and literally, in the NBA.

According to Hoop-Math, Hood-Schifino shot 42% on 2-point jumpers, which accounted for 52.6% of his field goal attempts on the season. For some reference, albeit in a different context, Austin Reaves shot 42% on mid-range jumpers while Rui Hachimura and Dennis Schröder each shot 43%.

His smooth shooting stroke and shot-making ability are things that will translate to the NBA immediately. He’s comfortable dribbling into a mid-range jumper and punished drop coverages all season long.

His best showing of that came in a 35-point performance against Purdue. With Zach Edey on the floor, Purdue employed a heavy drop coverage and JHS took advantage.

As that video shows, it’s not just a mid-range jumper that he possesses but a nice floater game around the rim that allows him to further excel against those drop coverages. He has a good understanding of space and how to use his body to keep players in jail. In a number of ways, he looks like an NBA guard running the pick and roll.

His size and height also are big advantages. At the combine, he measured at 6’4.25” with a wingspan of 6’10.25”. He’s a big player and it’ll allow him to both excel as a ballhandler while also being able to play both guard positions.

That size also helped him defensively as well, as he excelled as a point-of-attack defender. At times, he struggled with concentration and was caught out off the ball, but it was all correctable things and the foundation of what he has defensively can be built upon into a solid player.


Hood-Schifino’s mid-range game may be effective, but his jumper overall is very streaky. On the season, JHS shot 37-111 (33.3%) from the 3-point line, a mark that already shows some shakiness. Sixteen of those 3-pointers came in three games spread out on the season, which means in the 29 other games, Hood-Schifino shot 21-87, or 24.1%.

The jumper came in starts and stops and led to some really hot nights — going 8-12 from the field and 6-9 from the 3-point line against Ohio State — and some really ugly nights — going 1-14 against Maryland — with lots of variation between. The jumper is certainly workable with his mid-range game showing how effective it can be on top of his 77.6% shooting at the foul line, it’s just a matter of if he can consistently knock it down at the NBA level.

Despite being a heavy pick-and-roll player and playing alongside a great big and finisher in Trayce Jackson-Davis, JHS’ assist numbers aren’t particularly high as he averaged just 3.7 per game. He flashed some great vision at times but it was another thing he didn’t consistently do. The Hoosiers didn’t have much in the way of floor-spacing for drive-and-kick opportunities on those pick and rolls but that doesn’t account for all the limitations he had at times.

Similarly, turnovers were an issue for JHS as well. Some of it was simple freshman mistakes, but a loose dribble and some careless passes led to him averaging 2.8 turnovers per game.

And for as much success as JHS had as a mid-range scorer in the pick and roll, he did not get to the rim often nor did he finish particularly well when he did get there. Only 19.9% of his shots came at the rim and he shot 52.5% on those attempts. Dennis, for example, shot 54% on shots at the rim in the regular season last year but that accounted for 26% of his shot attempts and led to a number of fouls drawn. He’s also a much smaller player than JHS.


Hood-Schifino, as you can tell, is an interesting prospect for the Lakers. Best player available may not be an entirely accurate summary of the Lakers approach, as it’s more best prospect available.

No matter if it’s someone that can contribute immediately like a Josh Hart, Austin Reaves or Larry Nance — or someone that will take some more time to develop in Talen Horton-Tucker, Max Christie or even a Thomas Bryant — the Lakers will take the top prospect they feel is on the board.

In that sense, JHS could be their guy. There’s the foundation of a lot of good things, but there are also a number of things that need to be ironed out. If the Lakers think they are losing some combination of D’Angelo Russell or Dennis this summer, JHS could make sense to eat some minutes.

But if you’re looking for a player that can spot up and be a scoring threat alongside LeBron in that capacity? That wasn’t something JHS showed consistently last season.

He’s a solid prospect that could develop into a really good one. If the Lakers are willing to take time to allow him to work those things out, he could make sense. He’s also someone that likely needs the ball in his hands to be at his best, which may not make sense.

It will lead to an interesting decision for the Lakers. It’s not a seamless fit, but it could be the type of player the Lakers select now, let him develop and he becomes yet another great find in the draft.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Silver Screen & Roll Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Los Angeles Lakers news from Silver Screen & Roll