2020 Player Breakdowns

Grant Riller Breakdown


One of the best shot creators in this draft class with a high graded shooting portfolio.  He can make off the bounce off-balance pull ups, falling out of bounds corner threes, quick jab pull ups, step back contested jump shots and basic spot up jumpers.  He has a great handle and first step to beat his man at the point of attack using an array of combo crossovers, in-and-outs, hang dribbles or just attacking the defenders outside shoulder and putting them in vulnerable positions.  He can be either crafty or physical on his drives with change-of-direction and change-of-pace moves or just leverage leading downhill drives.  One of his most impressive drives I saw was versus Drexel.  It was the right wing, ball screen and he dribbles off the screen left.  He drives with his left hand into the paint when a defender slides into great position at the restricted area looking to draw a charge.  Riller stops all his forward momentum on a dime, two step gathers, leaps off his left foot and draws the foul for an and-1 opportunity.  That ability to control his momentum on a dime was outstanding.

He ended up taking a bunch of tough shots which he was efficient at nonetheless but he still generated a questionable shot selection.  At times he will drive with a predetermined mindset of scoring.  He has the ability to draw in defenders collapsing at rim but instead of dropping it off to the dunker he will force tough shots between 2-3 defenders.  It’s not like Riller didn’t utilize his scoring ability and create off those gains because he did.  He just didn’t do it as often even though he has the potential to do it much more frequently.  And yet overall he was still a solid playmaker making sound one man away passes, throw ahead passes in transition, backaction passes off ball screens and finding dive men off the pick-and-roll.  One of the best shot makers in this class but he did do this against lesser competition so it’s tough to tell if it will translate at the next level.  If you’re just looking at the tape however it’s pretty darn dazzling.


Needs better discipline.  Too many times did I see Riller wildly run at the line and fly by the closeout.  He’ll put the defense in a 4-on-5 situation or just commit a silly shooting foul.  He’ll let down his guard off-ball, not stay locked in and as a result becomes late to recognize.  His defensive creation was by far the best thing about his defense.  He did a great job reading the ball handler’s eyes like a hawk and intercepting the pass covering a huge chunk of space in the process.  He also had fine hand eye coordination swiping balls away while playing on-ball defense.  Riller might’ve had active hands defending dribble penetration but had poor positioning, weak mirroring and lacked a center of gravity.  When he played on his toes, got his feet underneath his body, had a strong armbar and used his chest Riller would do a decent job flattening out drives but that didn’t happen as often as it needed to. A lot of times he’ll lose a beat live-dribble just to attempt a back tap for steal.  He’ll shoot gaps on defense instead of staying connected.  Instead of being even on his slides he’ll gallop (or twist) and waste motion giving the ball handler better driving lanes.  He also was upright commonly and needed to sit in his stance. 

Riller did an alright job on team defense at times.  He’ll crash down on the roll man from the weak side, slide over one man away after his teammate blundered an assignment and play 2-on-1 weak side defense like a free safety.  That doesn’t excuse what he did poorly.  He needs better ball-and-man principles.  He was slow to react to oncoming drives in his zone.  He was late to process his man cutting right in front of his face or lifting for three.  Riller did have a 33.6 usage percentage so maybe he wasn’t giving defense his full attention but he needs to be coiled ready at all times at the next level.

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