A New Way to Evaluate Prospects: BuckScore

BuckScore will be a way to evaluate players throughout high school and into college. The basic story is that we wanted a way to grade high school players and Loyola recruits after watching tape on them. One of the most difficult things that we’ve come across while evaluating prospects is how to compare the players when they play at such varying levels of competitiveness in high school and AAU ball. This scale will hopefully give readers and fans a way to compare both recruits and underclassmen’s current and future values of 6 skills in basketball. The six categories we will evaluate are: shooting, offensive play making, rebounding, on ball defense, defensive play making, and athleticism. 


Shooting: The Shooting skill includes shot form, body control, release point, and efficiency. It takes into account three point, mid range, close range, and post shooting. 


Offensive Play Making: This skill is a catch all to document offensive skills that don’t show up in the scoring section. It includes ball handling, passing and driving. Players who excel at this skill often have increased assist numbers or are thought of as leading, initiating, and creating offense. 


Rebounding: This skill includes both offensive and defensive rebounding. Players who excel at this skill often box out effectively, aggressively attack the ball in the air, and have good timing to collect rebounds. 


On Ball Defense: This skill includes everything that goes into being a “lockdown defender”. This includes body control, limited fouling, closing out on shooters, and staying in front of their matchup in order to limit penetration. 


Defensive Play Making: Someone who is a defensive playmaker often will create turnovers for themself or their team. They may use their height and length to their advantage to create steals and blocked shots. They also may take charges and cause bad passes and bad shots better than the average player.


Athleticism: This skill includes speed, quickness, jumping ability and body control. Players who excel in athleticism can occasionally make up for lacking in some of the other skills. For example, someone may not be a great shooter, but uses their athleticism to jump higher with more body control in order to get easier shots. 


Our scale goes from 0 to 100. 100 being the best of the best. Here’s how we quantify the talent level. 


100 – Generational Talent

90 – NBA/WNBA level

80 – High Major all conference

70 – Mid Major all conference

60 – Mid Major starter

50 – Mid Major contributor

40 – Low Major contributor 

30 – All Conference D2

20 – D2 contributor

10 – D3 contributor

0 – Non-Collegiate Contributor


Sometimes the best way to come to understand the scale is to see examples. The first number is current value and the second number is potential or future projection. Future value can most closely be defined as a “reasonable hope” rather than definite fact.  For players who have reached their senior year, there is no future value, only present value since they are leaving the team.


Jacob Hutson

Shooting: 45/60

Offensive play making: 40/50

Defensive play making: 45/60

Rebounding: 40/65

Athleticism: 50/50

On ball defense: 50/50


Marquise Kennedy

Shooting: 50/65

Offensive play making: 55/70

Defensive play making: 65/75

Rebounding: 60/65

Athleticism: 65/70

On ball defense: 60/70


Lucas Williamson

Shooting: 70

Offensive play making: 65

Defensive play making: 80

Rebounding: 60

Athleticism: 65

On ball defense: 80


This method is very much a work in progress. There will be lots of tinkering, edits, and changes along the way. We’re more than open to constructive criticism, so please let us know if we forgot something. You will see BuckScores associated mostly with our prospect lists. You can expect the next update of the Prospect List to include BuckScores with all the players as well as the two new players that will be added in the next version. We hope you like it, and that it helps you understand the talent of these players a little more.