Zhou Qi pronounced, Chjoe Chi, is an 18 year old Forward/Center prospect from the Henan, China. Zhou weighs in at 220 lbs and measures 7’2″ tall with a rumored 7’4-5″ wingspan. At this point, his biggest strengths are his length and mobility. On defense he is an excellent shot blocker helping off his man; can also block shots and contest shots on the ball. Zhou runs the floor very well and can catch on the move in transition for a quick finish or early action post up. Qi has a good feel for the game. He can facilitate from the high post finding cutters and also make swing passes or interior passes from the low post. In addition he shows good ESP with guards in pick and roll situations; moves well, can catch on the move and has a soft touch around the rim.
As noted, Zhou has a thin frame for his position at only 220 lbs. He may be more of power forward offensively, but on the defensive end he may wind up guarding centers when smaller/quicker stretch 4 types are in the lineup. Zhou is easily moved off his spot by smaller guards when setting UCLA screens and sometimes struggles to finish into contact in the paint. Along the same lines, he needs to work on his post game. Qi is graceful and can spin baseline or fake spin-pivot-drop step. However, he often has difficulty sealing his man and struggles when meeting a shot blocker at the rim. Also, needs to work on his footwork; prone to traveling violations.
Zhou is an intriguing prospect because he flashes upside potential in various areas of the game. He can put the ball on the floor from 15-18 feet for step back jumpers. From the mid post area he can spin baseline and finish on the other side of the basket. Not yet a great shooter, but has range out to 20 feet. In addition, Qi is a good offensive rebounder, shows a good understanding of geometry in that he moves his body to where he thinks the ball will be. Not to be overlooked, his pick and roll coverage is already better than some current NBA players. Zhou is familiar with hard hedging strategies as well as soft, shadow schemes.
Unfortunately, its not known weather he will enter his name in the 2015 NBA Draft or 2016 Draft, for that matter. If he participates in the 2015 Nike Hoops Summit and has a good showing, then he will increase his chances of selection in the 2015 draft should he decide to enter. It is still uncertain what position he can defend at an NBA level; though Center may be ideal given his height, length, and P&R defensive prowess.
=> Length – has great length. Blocks shots on the ball and off of weak side or help rotations. Uses length to contest jump shots on ball.
=> Mobility – agile and light on his feet. In transition, can catch passes on the move and finish, draws fouls. Runs back on defense in transition.
=> Feel for the Game – natural facilitator; high post. Makes swing passes from low post. Tracks loose balls. ESP with guards; slips screens & catches on move.
=> Focus – sometimes struggles with ball-you-man and misses rim protection assignments. Hi IQ player, but makes inexperience related mistakes.
=> Strength – gets knocked off balance by smaller players in the course of play; defense, screens, put backs. Needs to add weight & core strength.
=> Post Game – has potential but still raw. Likes to spin baseline, but no counter. Shuffles feet and gets called for travels. Lacks physical presence.
=> Scoring Threat – has a developing midrange game. Puts the ball on the floor for step back jumpers. Shoots out to 20 feet, Spot-ups. Post game potential.
=> Off. Rebounding – reads where the ball is going then moves his body to the spot, uses length. Brings the ball down to gather then lifts for a put-back.
=> Pick & Roll Defense – agile and quick enough to execute hedging strategies like show & recover. Also skilled at playing soft while protecting the rim.
=> Draft; Late 1st, Early 2nd
=> Feel for Game, Highly Skilled
=> Needs to Add Strength
=> D Upside; Mobility & Length
=> When Will He Come Over?