Weight: 231 lbs.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is a high-quality college player. He has an impressive IQ for someone who recently turned 19 years old. Offensively, he can be used in a variety of ways. He can be effective rolling to the basket, on the block, and can even stretch the defense as he is shooting 40% from 3. He relies heavily on his knowledge of the game to make up for his lack of athleticism. Earl is a coach’s dream as he is mature beyond his years and will always play hard. He also understands offensive spacing and will play within the rhythm of the offense. There are also impressive passing skills there for someone his size too. He can even start fast breaks himself and has impressive open court vision to find the open man. Another strength of Earl’s is when he sees one of his teammates secure a defensive rebound he will occasionally sprint down the floor and out-hustle his man. This creates mismatches if an opposing team’s guard switches on to him or he will get a wide-open dunk. This is something most young bigs don’t do but it will lead to easy baskets for your team. On the defensive end of the floor, he does a good job of guarding his man without fouling while playing team defense. Robinson-Earl doesn’t take plays off either which is hard to find these days. On the glass, he always attempts to put a body on his man when a shot goes up as he is averaging 9.9 RPG which is 2nd in the Big East.
The biggest weaknesses most definitely are length and athleticism. Earl doesn’t have a long wingspan nor great lateral quickness. He is a decent defender at the college level, but the disparity between Earl and his matchup will become even greater. Earl also doesn’t offer any rim protection as he is only averaging 0.9 blocks per 40 minutes. I would expect Earl to at least become a better disruptor at the rim, but he is showing little signs so far. This season, Earl has been decent at switching at the college level, but he doesn’t have the lateral quickness to keep up with guards in a switch-heavy NBA. It’s even concerning for him to have him guard small-ball 4s. On offense, Earl has been a lower volume 3 point shooter as he has only shot 15 3s in 7 games. This creates problems at the next level, because he doesn’t have the length to become a center, and he hasn’t shown he can be a true stretch 4. In addition to this, his worst opponent might be himself. He really can get down on himself if he makes a bad play and then it snowballs. He won’t keep shooting if he is making mistakes but will shy away from it instead. The problem though is that the team loses the value of having him on the floor. Another area of concern is his ability to rebound. He has allowed offensive rebounds at times when defending a perimeter player because there are more athletic players who will run right around him before he puts them on his back. This problem isn’t too concerning though as he just needs to take better angles and beat his man to the spot.
Despite all of the negatives, Robinson-Earl is a student of the game and is too smart and too talented to be a bust. There may be a learning curve but there are ways for him to make up for a lack of athleticism. On defense, it will benefit him to be on a team that doesn’t switch ball screens consistently. He will be best at defending NBA 4s. There may be a few assignments that will be hard for him to defend, but he should be able to hold his own against most. Not all good defenders have to be the most athletic. If he stays fundamentally sound, he should be able to learn throughout his career, pay attention to the scouting reports, and play team defense. The single biggest thing Earl needs to improve is his confidence. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl doesn’t realize how good of a player he is. He has shown flashes being a strong post player with his footwork and touch but doesn’t demand the ball enough. In his game against Mississippi State, he went up against another NBA prospect that many analysts previously to this game liked more than Earl was Reggie Perry. Perry is much more of an NBA athlete and looked better than Earl for about the first 7 minutes of the game. After that, Earl made a couple of plays that picked up his confidence and he looked like a completely different player the rest of the game and unquestionably outplayed Perry. Adding confidence also will significantly help his jump shot. Right now, you can tell what the result of the shot will be before it even hits the rim by just looking at his mechanics. Robinson-Earl reminds me of former Kentucky Wildcat P.J. Washington in the sense of needing to be more aggressive and how much it can benefit him. About halfway through the season last year, Washington became more assertive and showed scouts and himself the caliber of a player he was as he became a lottery pick in the 2019 draft when he was originally being looked at as a 2nd rounder. Earl’s floor is too high with all the intangibles he possesses. Some don’t even see him as a first-round pick, but that won’t happen assuming he stays healthy. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is versatile offensively, has a high IQ, competes on both ends of the floor, and has a team-first mentality.
Article written by Bradley Patten
All stats provided by Basketball-Reference (https://www.basketball-reference.com)
Photo credit to Bill Streicher-A\ USA TODAY Sports (https://theathletic.com/1395712/2019/11/21/its-jeremiah-robinson-earls-will-that-makes-him-and-villanova-a-good-match/)
Wingspan found on NBAdraft.net (https://www.nbadraft.net/players/jeremiah-robinson-earl/)