Setting - Live Game, Oklahoma vs. Vanderbilt
By: Derek Murray
Bieniemy has averaged 20.4 MPG during the 18-19 season, but has seen that increase to 33.3 over the past week. Recruited as a long, versatile combo guard from Katy, Texas, we are beginning to see the development hoped for. He was ranked #146 nationally in the 2018 class according to 247Sports.com.
One of the things to love most about him is his basketball IQ/feel for the game. He is excellent at finding and settling into space, creating open looks and assist opportunities for his teammates. Shooting, he does a great job of setting his feet early before the ball arrives; this allows him to step into his shot and get a quick release over the defender. JB also stands out defensively, his length and active hands make him difficult to handle the ball around.
Today he had 4 steals, one shy of his season high 5 which he registered against UTSA. He does a great job of anticipating the passing lanes and times his jumps/reaches very well. His frame should allow him to add muscle as he continues to fill out, which would enable him to effectively defend the 1-3 positions.
Lastly, his vision is exceptional. JB has shown the ability to see the entire floor and find the open man consistently. According to ESPN+ NCAAM Stats, Bieniemy is ranked third in the Big 12 in AST Ratio.
JB is developing into the player scouts and recruiters across the country believed he could be. He’s affecting the game in multiple ways even when he doesn’t light up the scoreboard with points. In the win vs. Vanderbilt he logged 5 REB, 7 AST, and 4 STL; without scoring a single point in 29 minutes his raw +/- was +20.
With his IQ/feel already at this level, combined with his athleticism and ability to defend multiple positions, don’t be surprised if his minutes and usage continue at this higher clip. Jamal Bieniemy has the potential to be a real star for the Sooners.