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The Shades of Jeremy Sochan
Versatility is a currency equivalent to gold in the NBA and Baylor freshman Jeremy Sochan has the potential to make Front Offices drool.
Versatility is a currency equivalent to gold in the NBA. Front Offices hunt for it like a vampire scattering through the night, thirsty for blood. Coaches go to sleep dreaming of a swiss-army-knife type of asset that they can toss into a variety of lineups and rotations. The idea becomes a passionate vision of being able to bring in a talent that has a collection of weaponry waiting to be unleashed on a basketball court.
The concept of defending multiple positions is something that is thrown around often in the scouting world. Finding a player who has the functionality to become a switchable player on the defensive side of the ball will get evaluators in their feelings quickly. But finding a player that has the potential to turn into a two-way utility asset can get you foaming at the mouth.
Baylor Bears freshman forward Jeremy Sochan will be a prospect that has the attention of many throughout the upcoming months. While Sochan is two steps away from fully buying into the “Dennis Rodman hair dye experience,” his potential on both sides of the ball will have people hallucinating about a modern-day “Weapon X.”
Jeremy Sochan has had to constantly adapt to his surroundings, going through a number of changes throughout his basketball career. Although he was originally born in Guymon, Oklahoma, Sochan spent the majority of his childhood in the United Kingdom. He’s represented Poland during his national basketball career and was named tournament MVP in the 2019 FIBA U16 European Championship (Division B).
After a couple of years of high school basketball in Indiana, Sochan would move back to Europe to join the German club Orange Academy before eventually committing to play his college basketball for Baylor. Much like his stylish hair and versatile playing style, Sochan has continued to welcome change throughout his time on the hardwood.
Every NBA fan base wants to hunt star power. They want the flashiness, the player that makes them seek out highlights on YouTube each day. But the guys that do the dirty work are the ones that championship contenders hunt for constantly. They are the players that shift the entire makeup of a roster. These individuals are low-maintenance—the type of characters who grab their hard hat and lunch pail and punch the clock each day. There’s an understanding of their role, and they are prepared to scrap it up on both sides of the floor without getting the glamour of being the focal point of an offense.
The grinders of the NBA won’t get all of the attention…but you can find them on every NBA roster. They set the tone every night and make life easier for the rest of the team. That’s exactly why a 6’9” 230-pound 18-year-old is starting to get the curiosity of NBA personnel around the league.
Although Sochan won’t have the “stat chasers” licking their chops, the improvements throughout the year have to be taken into consideration. The versatile forward was mainly coming off the bench, but his impressive play throughout the 2021-22 NCAA season started to see an uptick in his minutes.
November (7 Games)
20.6 MIN | 7.3 PPG | 6.4 RPG | 2.0 APG | 1.1 SPG | 0.9 BPG
40.0 FG% | 21.1 3P% | 50.0 FT%
December (5 Games)
24.6 MIN | 10.2 PPG | 6.4 RPG | 2.6 APG | 1.4 SPG | 0.4 BPG
60.0 FG% | 53.8 3P% | 64.7 FT%
March (4 Games)
29.5 MIN | 13.8 PPG | 8.2 RPG | 2.0 APG | 1.5 SPG | 1.0 BPG
43.2 FG% | 29.4 3P% | 60.0 FT%
Overall (30 Games, 1 Start)
25.1 MIN | 9.2 PPG | 6.4 RPG | 1.8 APG | 1.3 SPG | 0.7 BPG
47.4 FG% | 29.6 3P% | 58.9 FT%
Alright enough with all of this fancy talk. Let’s get into the real fun stuff…
While there will be plenty of talk about the outside shot (more on that later), Sochan has the offensive versatility to create some damage on the floor. While Jeremy will never jump off the page with his overall quickness and athleticism, his feel for the game stands out on a number of occasions. He understands where to pick his spots and has the handles to put the ball on the floor and attack off of the bounce. Great job here of attacking the closeout and finishing for the sweet reverse.
The footwork offensively with Sochan is something that leaves you extremely intrigued. His bread and butter is his spin dribble. Jeremy will set defenders up with a number of spin counters, but he has the midrange ability to create some damage off the bounce, especially when he starts to get defenders second-guessing. The efficiency will need to come around on a more consistent basis, but Sochan has shown numerous examples of tough shot-making ability, especially when it comes to turnaround jumpers.
Footwork makes the dream work, folks. While Sochan won’t ever be the quickest player at the NBA level, he has the feel and awareness to attack lapses by the defense. Love the feet here and the ability to anticipate his man over committing after this first drive. Sochan has the ability to get his opponents to bite using his hesitations and body fakes. If you’re a player that won’t ever be known for your speed, you better make up for it with your quickness and hesitations. Sochan has the awareness and quick burst to make up for it, and the flashes make you salivate about what he could develop in his arsenal.
One of the worst-kept secrets when evaluating Jeremy Sochan is the three-point shot. It’s the tool inside a treasure chest that is just waiting to be unlocked. If it can come around on a more “respectable” level, then Sochan could discover a new way to be a potential matchup nightmare. His high release can make life difficult for defenders moving forward, but Sochan will need to put in the time to speed up his release. If he can develop his outside shot, it will make the assortment of tools he has that much more dangerous.
Plenty of evaluators and NBA Draft maniacs will want to rave about Sochan’s defensive ability, but I find myself most fascinated by his playmaking ability. I’ve said a number of times this year on the No Ceilings Podcast with Tyler Metcalf that Sochan gives me some serious Boris Diaw vibes with his trajectory at the next level. This is why NBA teams are going to be so intrigued with the type of impact that Sochan can have at the next level. Not only does he have the versatility as a defensive weapon, but he also is oozing with goodies on the offensive side of the ball.
There are too many instances on film in which Sochan really shows some freakish vision as a passer. This play is one of my favorites because I constantly am convinced he’s going to throw the first pass to hit Kendall Brown for the backdoor before he turns around and dumps off a GORGEOUS dime on the other side. Seriously, I’m still waiting for him to pass it to Kendall.
You really take notice of a playmaker when they leave you laughing at a number of passes they make on tape. Let’s just say I was laughing like the Joker after a deep film dive on the Baylor freshman. Sochan uses his shiftiness to make defenders commit, setting them up to bite as if he knows exactly where he wants to go with the ball. The patience and feel to set this assist up cannot be overstated.
Enough offense talk—let’s get into the juicy stuff. The ability to defend multiple positions at the NBA level is something that will have the blood pumping for NBA scouts and executives. While many of us like to throw around the “idea” of a player being able to defend multiple positions, it’s rare to come across a prospect that has the range to truly be able to defend all five spots on the floor. Jeremy Sochan, folks…has that potential. I’ll be the first to admit that I still believe that Sochan will need some “fine-tuning” when it comes to his fundamentals on the defensive side of the ball.
Personally, I’ve come across some instances where he can get a little upright when defending smaller players. Now, that’s pretty much something that should be carved out quickly by a developmental staff in training camp, so let’s not get too crazy here. The rest of the tools on the defensive side of the ball are legit. Sochan is active and can be an absolute pest for the opposition. His motor keeps rolling throughout the game, and his awareness really jumps off on tape. Love this sequence from Sochan. At first, he looks like a little kid who is experiencing his first Christmas morning in which he actually understands the magnitude of the situation. After reading the floor, Sochan dissects the cutter flashing for a potential layup before closing for an emphatic rejection.
I had to include this clip because I’ve watched it about a hundred times in a row. Sochan tries to initially deflect this pass before quickly turning around and stripping the ball with his other hand. Now, I already can hear you saying it out loud: yes, this could just be a “freakish” play, but because Sochan is legitly on the path of potentially bringing back the Dennis Rodman hair dye movement…I’m going to say this was awesome.
Besides just being absolutely chaotic on the defensive side of the floor with his activity, Sochan really stood out to me with his hands and anticipation. He has VIOLENT hands and does an outstanding job of digging to force a number of turnovers. The effort is constant, and the toughness and willingness to mix it up will never be in doubt. While Sochan’s frame might give off some doubt that he could struggle with his mobility, he’s shown plenty of instances in which that’s not the case. Love this example of Sochan moving his feet to stick with this drive before the impressive rejection.
According to our No Ceilings number cruncher Nathan Grubel, Jeremy Sochan went on to rank in the 91st percentile when it came to overall defense. The footwork and defensive tools are legit, and I love this example in the sequence above. He does a great job here of moving his feet and keeping his hands up before battling back to get his hands on this shot attempt.
While it’s always fun to get excited about a team selecting a potential “star” in the upcoming NBA Draft class, it’s important to remember the type of assets that can push the needle forward. Every playoff team has a grinder or a player that does everything in their power to make an impact on both sides of the floor. These players won’t make you hunt for their box scores on a nightly basis, but they also might have a huge impact on stacking up wins throughout the year. The tools already in the shed for Baylor freshman Jeremy Sochan are legit. If the soon-to-be 19-year-old can continue to become a more consistent outside shooter, then some NBA organization is going to unlock a dangerous weapon on the court.