The improved decision making of Jeremy Hazell
The knock on Hazell on the offensive end last season was him poor decision making. He would force shots, whether they be in traffic in the lane or long, contested three pointers.
After watching today’s game where Hazell went 8-11 for the field, it appears his decision making has improved. With weapons around him in Herb Pope, Jeff Robinson and others, this is encouraging to see. Hazell is relying on his teammates instead of forcing the offense himself. Click through to see this from today’s game.
One aspect of his game that Hazell has improved upon is his ball fake and drive to the basket. If a defender is playing him tight, instead of forcing a contested three, he fakes the jump shot and drives to the basket.
This is shown in the following two clips. The defenders are ready to contest the jumper so Hazell gives a slight pump fakes, drives by the defense and gets into the lane to finish or draw the foul. Two smart decisions instead of forcing contested jump shots.
Hazell can still recognize when the defense is playing off of him and has the room to attempt the jump shot. By making defenders respect his ability to drive, when Hazell comes off screens, the defense has to be thinking about that. Hazell then can read the decision and make a good decision on whether he has the room to shoot.
In the next clip, Hazell comes off a screen, see he has the room to release and buries the jump shot.
Here, he gets the dribble handoff and sees he has enough separation to take the shot. This is not a forced shot and a bad decision since Hazell can make a shot from that distance and he has space to get the shot off.
He is learning when to give the ball up to his teammates, who have the ability to score. On this drive and kick, he draws the defense and passes out to the corner to Jeff Robinson who hits the three.
Instead of forcing a mid range floater in triple coverage, he sees the open man and gets him the ball in a great position to score. As stated earlier, SHU has weapons around Hazell and the more he uses them, the better the offense will be this season.
Hazell will still force some shots though. Here, he takes a very tough baseline jump shot that he forces against the flow of the offense. It is early in the shot clock and SHU should have been able to get a better shot than this with the time they had left.
Overall, Hazell’s decision making is improving. Through 2 games, he is shooting 53% from the field, up from 42% last season. If he keeps this up, it will go a long way toward SHU realizing its potential as a tournament team.