Guard | Jahcobi Neath
Entering the off-season Wisconsin had a glaring need for a point guard with in game experience. Thus, the search was on for a guard capable of logging minutes right away. Greg Gard believes he found that in Wake Forest transfer Jahcobi Neath.
According to 247Sports, Jahcobi Neath was a three-star prospect (No. 284) in 2019 out of Crestwood Prep in Canada. Neath was also a member of the u18 national team at the FIBA Americas championship.
In two seasons at Wake Forest, Neath averaged 4.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 2 assists in 50 games for the Deacons.
Jahcobi Neath was a bit of an unconventional addition, and I mean that as a compliment. Neath excels as a play-maker and possesses rare athleticism for the position.
Neath’s addition to the program better positions the badgers to play small ball when necessary.
The in-game experience accrued from playing in the ACC will provide significant value to a young/unproven point guard depth chart. His experience should give him a leg up for early playing time consideration. His presence alone will help push Chucky Hepburn and Lorne Bowman.
What stands out about Jahcobi Neath is his on-court versatility. You can essentially play him at three positions if need be. He’s a player you’d feel comfortable with running the point due to his handle and feel for the game. Neath can also play off the ball as a secondary play-making option.
Neath has good size (6-foot-4 200lbs), and is a more explosive athlete for the position than we’ve been accustomed to. He’s well built and is a strong finisher around the rim.
When Neath has a full head of steam and gets downhill he’s tough to stay in front of.
Neath has a tendency of putting the ball on the floor too much in effort to make plays for others, which in turn kills the spacing on the floor.
I expect this to improve due to the nature of Wisconsin’s offensive system. He does however, have good court vision and is an unselfish play-maker that delivers strong passes.
Neath is a 34% shooter from beyond the arc in his short career – with some uneven splits.
The ability Is certainly there to be an effective shooter in this offense but the consistency is something that has yet to be determined.
Neath’s potential role:
I think the most likely outcome for Neath will be playing off the bench in a role similar to the one Trevor Anderson found himself in a year ago – with potential for more due to his versatility. I expect to see Greg Gard use more three-guard lineups next season, and Neath’s size will allow him to play 1-3 should the Badgers decide to go small.
Jahcobi Neath has all the tools to be an effective defender, but at this stage in his development, it’s an area of his game that needs improvement. Greg Gard will not give anyone minutes he doesn’t trust on defense. So, if he is able to improve defensively, I think Neath will become a fixture in the rotation.
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