The Wizards acquired the rights to Admiral Schofield, the No. 42 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft after trading for him with the Philadelphia 76ers. To help us learn more about his time with the Tennessee Volunteers, I reached out to Terry Lambert from Rocky Top Talk, SB Nation’s Tennessee Volunteers and Lady Volunteers blog.
How did Schofield develop during his four years at Tennessee? And how could he help the Wizards right away? Our Q&A is below.
Bullets Forever: Schofield has developed into a strong all-around player for Tennessee in his career. What parts of his game do you think have improved the most over his four years?
Terry Lambert: When Schofield committed, he was 6-6 and a pudgy 250 pounds. He resembled more of a post player from the start, but that quickly changed. As Admiral changed his physique, he became more of a threat on the perimeter. He transformed into this unique, physical guard who could handle minutes in the post, along with playing as a traditional shooting guard.
Secondly, Schofield became Tennessee’s best outside shooter. He came in shooting 30 percent from three-point range as a freshman, but that number went up each season. As a senior, he shot 41 percent from the outside. That number should translate immediately at the next level.
BF: NBA Draft analysts are often weary of the upside a senior layer has vs. a freshman. How does Schofield get past that misconception?
TL: Schofield has been through the fire. To me, there’s something to be said for three-star kids who make themselves into NBA prospects. Rick Barnes’ program isn’t for everyone, but those who buy in have really seen the benefits. Barnes sent three different three-star prospects to the league this year. That’s pretty amazing.
Schofield did a little bit of everything in Knoxville and I think that sets him up well for his next challenge. That versatility off of the bench will be valuable immediately, coming from a guy who has done it all for four years at Tennessee. Admiral is a guy lacking upside, but he’s probably going to come in an do all the little things for you immediately.
BF: If there was an NBA player who Schofield could emulate, who would it be?
TL: I’ve had this question before and it’s a tough one. My best answer is Rockets forward P.J. Tucker. A guy that can play the wing and give you some minutes at the power forward spot in a pinch. Admiral is going to have to improve his post defense to that level, but I think the role Tucker has carved out for himself in the league will be similar to Schofield’s.
BF: What kind of a role do you expect Schofield to get with the Wizards?
TL: Kind of building off of my last answer, I think Admiral is a guy who can play the 2-4. He’s going to bring energy off of the bench immediately, wherever he plays on the floor. He’s a whatever-you-need-him-to-do type guy, who can handle just about whatever you throw at him.
While Schofield lacks the athleticism to ever be a big time scorer in the league, he’s a good enough shooter, rebounder and defender to find a role. I see him as a reserve guard/wing player primarily, hopefully settling into a rotation quickly.
BF: Which parts of Schofield’s game do you wish he improves on next year?
TL: I thought Schofield could have attacked the rim more in his senior year. Part of that was because the offense ran so much through Grant Williams and Jordan Bone, but Admiral didn’t drive as much as I thought he could. He’s a strong finisher at the rim and he needs to utilize that more.
Thanks again to Terry and Rocky Top Talk for their answers!