Rashad Vaughn is carrying some pretty heavy expectations into the 2014-15 season. Though he’s just a freshman, he’s being counted on to shoulder a big scoring load for the Rebels, who had trouble hitting outside shots and getting consistent production from their perimeter players last year.
The 6-foot-6 shooting guard delivered in his first taste of college action, tallying 16 points in Wednesday’s exhibition game against Florida National on 5-of-11 shooting. It was a solid debut for Vaughn, who provided a nice complement to the inside production of sophomore forward Chris Wood (team-high 23 points).
Vaughn’s point total isn’t so impressive in and of itself—Florida National was woefully overmatched in the 100-65 rout—but it was interesting to see the variety of ways in which Vaughn scored:
1st half, 19:07 remaining
Vaughn’s first points come at the free throw line. He catches a pass on the left wing and aggressively drives baseline, beating his man with a quick first step and drawing a crowd at the rim. Vaughn goes up strong, forcing contact to earn a trip to the charity stripe:
1st half, 18:54 remaining
Vaughn shows off his shooting range here. Cody Doolin comes up with a steal, and Vaughn quickly races to spot up on the left wing. Doolin finds him in transition, and Vaughn steps into a 3-pointer:
1st half, 4:48 remaining
This is how Vaughn built his reputation as one of the best high school scorers in the Class of 2014. He loses his defender on a screen, probes the helping big man, then uses a step-back dribble to create space before effortlessly swishing the baseline 16-footer:
1st half, 1:48 remaining
Look familiar? This time, Vaughn dribbles left around a ball screen, then uses the step-back dribble to launch an 18-footer from the top of the key. This jumper is more tightly contested than the last, but Vaughn has good balance and a high release, which helps him bury the shot once again:
2nd half, 18:02 remaining
We’ve already seen Vaughn drive to the rim in a halfcourt set, and now we see him attack the basket in transition. Doolin’s on-target cross-court pass leads Vaughn baseline, where he beats the scrambled defense for an easy layup:
2nd half, 17:24 remaining
Another good, aggressive drive from Vaughn, who scoops up a loose ball, notices all the open space in front of him and decides to challenge the interior of the defense. He misses the scoop shot, but draws a foul in the process and heads to the free throw line:
2nd half, 7:48 remaining
Vaughn caps his diverse scoring line with a nifty putback basket. He’s stationed on the left wing as Kendall Smith’s jumper goes up, but no one bothers to box him out, so Vaughn slithers between defenders to poach the offensive rebound. He quickly goes back up and off the glass for the easy two:
Again, the point total isn’t the big story here. Florida National had no one to match up with Vaughn physically, so he was bound to put up some numbers. But the impressive aspect of the performance is how varied it is. Vaughn gets his points in just about every conceivable fashion—driving in halfcourt, driving in transition, spotting up for 3, jumpers off the dribble, and even opportunistic offensive rebounds.
Like most freshmen, he’s going to have his ups and downs this season, but he can absolutely put the ball in the hole and will have his share of big nights for the Rebels.
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