Jeremy Sochan's strengths
Normally, I would not be one to lump every aspect of defense into a single category, but Sochan is such a good defender that I think it’s appropriate in this case.
He showed several instances of suffocating on-ball defense throughout his freshman season at Baylor; he’s quick enough of a lateral mover to keep up with smaller guards on the perimeter, yet also strong enough—particularly in his upper body—to battle with bigs in the paint. He’s one of very few prospects in his draft class that I’m confident will be able to guard all five positions at the next level.
With this in mind, though, what he’s shown while he’s away from the ball on defense is just as impressive. He has the necessary awareness to enter short passing lanes and disrupt cross-court passes, is an incredibly disciplined help defender near the rim, makes timely rotations, and consistently seeks a man to box out after shot attempts. Sochan will be a day-one impact defender that will have the potential to become a team’s defensive anchor in the future.
Due to the nature of his role in Baylor’s offense, Sochan wasn’t always able to show off his playmaking ability, but it is very much there. This continues to be a dramatically underrated skill of his that requires going back and watching film from his play with the Polish National Team to fully appreciate. He’s capable of finding cutters, making one-handed swing passes with both hands, faking out his defender to open passing lanes, and dishing to his teammates in heavy traffic around the rim.
When I say that Sochan is a great playmaker, though, I don’t just mean that he’s a good passer. In just about every way imaginable, he is also a defensive playmaker that makes teams work for their points and that easily turns defense into offense for his team. Generally speaking, he’s a player that makes the lives of his teammates as easy as possible while making his opponents’ lives as difficult as possible.
While Sochan may still be an inconsistent shooter from deep, he makes up for it (and then some) with his incredible efficiency at the rim. He shot roughly 75% at the rim in his only season at Baylor by combining his brute strength with an impressively soft touch that could be indicative of better outside shooting to come in the future.
When he isn’t confident that he can overpower a defender with his strength and/or finish above the rim, Sochan loves to use a right spin move to quickly sneak the ball past his defender for an easy lay-in.