ESPN Sport Science tests Brandon Knight’s mental agility and jump shot

Without a doubt, this looks impressive. But without seeing how Brandon Knight compares to other NBA players, I’m not entirely sure how much credit to give him.

In the one time shown for Knight in the reaction drill without questions, he took .78 seconds. In what appears to be the same drill, Markieff Morris reacted in an average of .59 seconds. To be fair, Morris’ wingspan helped him reach the targets more quickly, and he never took the test while facing questions. But without comparing Knight to a similarly sized player and another player facing questions, I’m not sure what to make of his results.

Knight’s shot angles fall in the “optimal 52-to-54 angle range.” But Kawhi Leonard, whose jump shot needed a lot of work entering the draft, had a release angle of 51 degrees. Is one degree a large difference at this level, or do most players, like Knight shoot in the optimal angle range?

All of Knight’s shots have between 2 and 2.5 revolutions per second, an ideal backspin.* But Derrick Williams’ shots had 2.2 revolutions per second. Again, are those two special or common in this regard?

*Knight’s video said the ideal backspin is between 2 and 2.5 revolutions per second, but Williams’ video says between 2 and 3 RPS is ideal.

Stick to science

One more note: I’m sharing this video for Sports Science’s specialized tests, not its statistical comparisons, which don’t reveal anything useful.

As host John Brenkus said, Knight averaged more assists per game than Dwyane Wade did his final year at Marquette and scored more total points than Derrick Rose did at Memphis despite playing two fewer games than the reigning Most Valuable Player.

Neither of those statistics particularly impress nor surprise me.

Of course, Knight, a point guard, averaged more assists per game than Wade, a shooting guard who played fewer minutes per game. And despite playing two fewer games, Knight played 196 minutes more than Rose.

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