Nesmith started off his Sophomore campaign with a couple of solid performances, going for 25 PTS, 4 REB, and 2 AST in 33 minutes against Southeast Missouri State & last night he registered 21 PTS and 7 REB against Texas A&M-CC.
Recently voted All SEC Second-Team, he has picked up right where he left off.
Nesmith showed some really good balance and a quick release in the season opener. He shot 7-of-11 from deep which is especially fun to see. He's always been an effective cutter, but the perimeter creation is what we need to see this season. While that shooting percentage isn't sustainable, I appreciate the number of attempts and hope to see that stay somewhat consistent this year.
Check out these shots, including this smooth step back 3:
As discussed below, his length on defense can wreak havoc, and tonight he had a fantastic chase down block early on. His defensive intensity is infectious, so I love to see a play like this set the tone.
I'm truly excited to see what Nesmith can put together in 2019.
I currently have him at #33 in the 2020 Draft, but with more performances like these, we could see that rise a bit.
6'6" - 213 lbs
In January I was covering OU vs. Vanderbilt and instead of the players I went to watch, I came away really impressed with Aaron Nesmith. While he didn't light up the scoreboard, he showed to be an excellent athlete with NBA potential.
Nesmith is the kind of player that varying parts of the basketball world will disagree over; his eye test is solid but the numbers can be troubling. His shooting across the board was considerably lower than you'd like to see, with TS% and eFG% sitting near 60th & 50th percentile respectively (HoopMath).
Even with the numbers, he's got multiple skills that should translate to the next level.
I really enjoy the way he approaches catch-and-shoot three pointers. He has really good feel for the game and knows how to find space in the half-court, setting his feet quickly and is very balanced off one bounce. At 6'6" and a reported 6'10" wingspan, his release point is high and difficult to contest, especially with his smooth mechanics.
While Nesmith can struggle to create space off the dribble, he's a strong driver and uses his broad shoulders to get to the rim. He's also a high IQ cutter and can elevate for dunks in traffic.
In 2019 I'd like to see him drive more and create contact in order to get to the FT line; he shot 82.5% from the line last year and I believe he'll raise his PPG quite a bit by taking more.
Another thing to watch in 2019: how his MPG and USG% affect his efficiency. While it wasn't severe, there was a decline as the workload increased. Again, the numbers give small reason for concern, but I really like his game and the way he plays offensively.
Defensively Nesmith really knows to how utilize his length. Whether it's in the paint or on the perimeter, he's always sets a wide stance and uses his arms to close passing lanes or contest shots. He has good lateral quickness but smaller, shiftier players are still able to get around him.
He also feels backdoor cuts really well and provides good help defense when needed. A.N. rarely falls asleep or looks caught of guard. I like his activity a lot, but do hope to see an bump in his 1.8 stocks per 40. He's a high IQ guy; it's evident from the way he communicates to his teammates that he anticipates well, so I expect a solid showing in year two.
Additional positive note: Nesmith was named to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll.
The more I watch Aaron Nesmith, the more I like. His IQ and feel for the game are evident and should allow him to contribute at a high level in 2019, where he projects to be Vanderbilt's best player. If he can shoot consistently from deep & maintain his defensive intensity, we should see him selected in the 2020 NBA Draft.