Tyrese Haliburton became a key second piece of Iowa State’s 2018 recruiting class when he announced his commitment Monday night. The 6-foot-5, 170-pound point guard brings key passing abilities, long-distance shot making and versatility to a class that already included a top-tier talent in Illinois wing Zion Griffin.
Haliburton, who is rated as the No. 177 player in the class by 247Composite, is big for a point guard and boasted an offer list with multiple other major programs such as Nebraska, Minnesota and Cincinnati.
Here’s a quick look at some of the key strengths and areas to improve Haliburton brings to the floor as he moves towards the collegiate level.
Haliburton shows a unique ability to see passing lanes and creativity to complete difficult passes when necessary. He has an impressive talent with finding an open man after drawing defenders off the dribble and takes pride in his ability to set his teammates up for easy baskets.
On film, it appears as though Haliburton is often a pass or two ahead of most other players on the floor, which is obviously valuable as a point guard. Haliburton’s frame seems to project him as more of a combo type of player at the next level, but in my opinion, his ability to see passing lanes will give him a clear opening as a floor general alongside elite scorers like Griffin, Lindell Wigginton and Terrence Lewis.
The Oshkosh, Wis. native’s ability to shoot was the first thing that stuck out to me when he came onto Iowa State’s radar this summer. He has deep range and a quick release that should translate to the next level.
There is a slight dip in his shooting motion and it can lag at times off the dribble, but he has the tools to become a really solid on and off ball shooter at the college level.
Haliburton’s ability to play above the rim was one of the more surprising things to me when watching him on film. He has good instincts for finding the ball off the rim and one of his highlight tapes starts with consecutive clips of him going in for tip dunks off of missed shots.
His leaping ability and length (more on this in a second) also make him an adept shot blocker for a guard. It’s unknown how well that is going to translate to the college game when he is playing against better athletes, but he definitely has the tools to be an above average defender.
This is the thing I love most about Haliburton. He has long arms and at 6-foot-5 is going to be bigger than a lot of point guards. It also gives him the ability to play multiple different spots on the floor and that versatility is invaluable in today’s game.
Areas to improve
I don’t know how Haliburton’s growth has come over the past several years, but he appears to be a guy who hit a serious growth spurt relatively recently. That has left him with a rather wiry frame that he will have to put weight and strength onto as he transitions to college.
That is not something I am overly concerned about at this time though as most every player has to do that when moving up a level.
This is something every player hoping to play point guard in college has to improve. He has solid handles already, but you can see times when he gets a little loose with his crossovers and between the legs moves, which can be fine in high school but can become troublesome at the college level.
I want to see Haliburton’s handle tighten up over the course of his senior season at Oshkosh North then through the summer session leading up to his first season at Iowa State. All in all, Haliburton brings some exceptional tools to the table for Steve Prohm and his staff, especially when you consider his rating.
I believe we will see Haliburton’s ratings rise before he arrives on campus in Ames and he will be seen as a diamond in the rough type prospect entering next season.