Svi is certainly one of my favorite players on the team, if not my most favorite. With Josh Jackson in the fold, he will be fighting with Lagerald Vick for backup minutes (though it should be re-stated that Svi is the youngest of the three). I could certainly see either he or Vick at 6 or 7 (spoiler alert), but I am giving Vick a slight edge due to potential playing time.
That is certainly not to suggest I am anti Svi. I just think he will be a better pro than a collegian. To start with, he’s very versatile. He’s most known as a shooter, and while he can be streaky he shot 38 percent from deep last season. He also shot 54 percent from two, which is a sharp departure from his work with the Ukranian national teams he has been on, lending some credence to my theory that Svi’s shooting woes with those teams are due to the quality of talent around him rather than any issue with Svi.
Secondly, Svi has flashed great potential in the pick and roll. This is one of those things that will probably come in handy more in the NBA, but Kansas can take advantage of it as well.
(both videos via @cstonehoops)
As a guy who can put the ball on the floor, pass, and shoot a jumper, Svi can be a matchup nightmare. It doesn’t take advanced basketball knowledge to realize he can drive by bigger guys while being able to shoot over smaller guys (and sometimes drive by them as well).
Defensively, I think Svi is underrated as an on ball defender. Although both guys ended up having good (great) games, he did a good job on Denzel Valentine and Buddy Hield, forcing both into a lot of tough shots.
Here you see Svi cut Hield off on the baseline and eventually make him give the ball up.
But Svi still has some issues off the ball. Here he is doing a good job forcing Hield to give up the ball, but then letting him get it right back:
Here is a bit of bad and good in the same clip, as Svi gets lost in the shuffle a bit down below but is still able to get out and contest the shot thanks to being quick and 6-8:
We will finish with some good: Svi gets switched onto Denzel Valentine, last year’s national player of the year, and stays with him the entire way down the lane and makes him force up an extremely tough shot, and gets a hand on it (also Valentine got bailed out by a terrible call):
Svi’s best role at Kansas probably isn’t the assertive shooter he was during the Late Night scrimmage, but rather as a good outside shooter who can do a lot offensively, as well as maybe the most underrated perimeter defender on the team.