Around this time last year we identified Brad Oleson as a rising star in the ACB, and while Oleson has since left the shooter friendly atmosphere of Fuenlabrada to move to a bigger club (and paycheck) in Real Madrid and subsequently Tau Vitoria (now known as Caja Laboral), Jaycee Carroll appears to have succeeded him as the ACBs most dangerous perimeter shooting threat, as evidenced by his recent 23 point outburtst against Real.
The former Utah State standout currently sits fourth in the extremely competitive ACB in points per game at 16.6 per-contest, while leading Gran Canaria to a 3-4 record. A threat to explode for a big game on any given night, Carroll is building a strong resume in one of the Europes strongest leagues, something NBA decision makers might need to take notice of.
Considering what Carroll accomplished last season as one of the top scorers in Serie A, this should come as no surprise. Finishing the season as the leading scorer for Banca Tercas Teramo, who ended last season in third place ahead of perennial powerhouses Benetton Treviso and Armani Jeans Milano before falling in the first round of the playoffs, Carroll emerged as a major offensive asset already in his rookie season. He spent last summer with the Hornets and their NBA Summer League entry, where he had a meager showing, shooting uncharacteristically poorly from the field in substantial playing time.
A gifted shooter who is lights out in catch and shoot situations who can make an impact running off of screens in half court sets and is not afraid to pull the trigger when he has space in transition, Carroll's jumper features a quick release and textbook form. Undersized for a shooting guard at 62 and lacking much in the way of point guard skills (hes averaging nearly three times as many turnovers as assists), Carroll can score from essentially anywhere on the floor. Displaying a very quick first step and showing a knack for hitting shots off the bounce, Carrolls jump shot is a constant threat. In addition to his shooting ability, Carroll displays some finishing ability, and does a good job picking and choosing his spots, but often struggles around the rim against NBA-level competition. Lacking the leaping and size to be a good finisher on the interior, Carrolls athleticism is more conducive to playing a Rip Hamilton-esqe role, where he can use his quickness to create openings for his jump shot.
From an NBA perspective, Carrolls lack of playmaking ability, below average size, skinny frame, and clear-cut defensive limitations certainly restrict the potential impact he could have against bigger and more athletic competition. However, his perimeter stroke, capacity for providing instant offense off the bench and impressive European resume could be attractive to any team looking for a Jannero Pargo or Daniel Gibson style shooting specialist. Its extremely rare to see an American player producing in such impressive fashion right off the bat immediately upon arrival at this level of European competition, so there is certainly something to be said for that. Carrolls physical profile may not project perfectly to the NBA, and at age 26 he isnt as young as most second year pros, but at the rate hes going, hes destined to, at the very least, emerge as one of the more coveted American shooting guards in European basketball.