3 players who could see their 2023 NBA Draft stock rise

Sophomore Jordan Geronimo scored seven points in four minutes in the second half for the Hoosiers against St. John’s. (Photo: Indiana University athletics)

What he’s done in college

The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Geronimo was a key role player for the Hoosiers last season, averaging 4.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in 12.6 minutes per game, while tallying the second-most blocks on the team with 24. He also shot 51.8 percent from the field, 31.0 percent from three-point range, and 56.8 percent at the free-throw line.

Geronimo’s career-best game came this season in IU’s NCAA Tournament First Four win against Wyoming, when he scored a career-high 15 points and added seven rebounds, one assist and one block.

For his IU career, the Newark, NJ, native is averaging 3.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 51.7 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from beyond the arc, and 48.4 percent at the free-throw line. When factoring in his per-40 minute stats, he’s averaging 13.0 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 0.8 steals per game.

A former three-star recruit in the 2020 recruiting class, Geronimo was ranked the No. 130 overall prospect and the No. 25 small forward, according to 247Sports. After taking an official visit to Indiana on Aug. 29, 2019, he committed to the Hoosiers just days later on Sep. 2 and has remained with the program since then.

Strongest NBA skills

Just pull up a highlight tape of Geronimo and you’ll see several thunderous dunks, rebounds, and hustle plays. Much of that has to do with his elite athleticism, bounciness, and mature build.

What the highlight tape might not show a lot of, though, is Geronimo’s improving jumper. Although his shooting form looks smooth and doesn’t have any unfixable hitches or irregularities, he’s only taken 39 shots from the perimeter in two seasons. Some of that low total stems from his role in IU’s offense and his mediocre usage rate, but when he’s been given the green light to step out to the perimeter, Geronimo hasn’t been afraid to fire open 3-pointers or pull up for mid -range shots off one or two dribbles.

However, at this point in Geronimo’s career, his calling card is clearly his rebounding and finishing ability. Armed with a seemingly endless motor, Geronimo crashes the boards on both ends with purpose and toughness, and it resulted in the last season in a per-40 minute average of 11.3 rebounds per game. That rebounding ability has also translated to plentiful second-chance points for Geronimo near the rim, whether it’s tip-ins, put-back dunks, or power dribble finishes.

NBA Skills in need of improving

If the recent offseason reports hold true — all indications point toward that being the case — Geronimo should find himself playing more on the wing this season than he ever has at Indiana, and given his 6-foot-6 frame, it’s the most The logical next step in his NBA aspirations.

With Geronimo, his athleticism and physical tools have always been apparent, but his still-developing fundamentals and well-rounded skillset haven’t yet allowed him to unlock his full potential. A smooth transition this season to one of the wing spots could help to accelerate that development, though.

Whether it’s improving his ball-handling, showing a more consistent jumper, or being able to create shots for himself and teammates off the dribble, Geronimo still has a ways to go before solidifying himself as a true wing. While we’ve seen glimpses of the aforementioned tools throughout Geronimo’s career, they haven’t always shown up on a game-to-game basis. That doesn’t necessarily mean Geronimo has to make a significant amount of 3-pointers or dish out drastically improved assist totals, but he’ll at least have to show he can do those things with far more regularity.

On the defensive end, Geronimo will need to showcase more of an ability to guard on the perimeter. In two seasons at IU, he’s mostly been matched up against opposing post players or face-up bigs, but rarely against high-level slashers and shooters. Perhaps Geronimo can already guard on the perimeter and we just haven’t seen it enough yet, but it’s still a skill we need to see more of in bulk. Geronimo also has had bouts of mental lapses on defense — making the wrong read, not ‘tagging’ the right player, losing his matchup — which will need to be cleaned up.

A successful season for Indiana likely means a successful season for Geronimo, which could parlay into rising NBA interest. How Geronimo performs in his newfound role as a wing this season will be indicative to his long-term professional outlook.

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