Jeremy Sochan NBA Scouting Report

In an era where so many are drawn to versatile players and unicorns within “positionless” basketball, sometimes guys who are just really solid at their position can fade into the background. Jeremy Sochan defines the modern NBA 4-man.

Even in this draft class, some of the headliners are Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. and Duke’s Paolo Banchero, who are probably both technically power forwards, but they transcend that label based on all that they can offer. But some NBA teams don’t want their power forwards to transcend power forward-ness. Some NBA teams just want their power forward to be a power forward. This is most often the case for teams with a guard-driven offense, like the Chicago Bulls or Washington Wizards.


Enter Jeremy Sochan, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound power forward playing his freshman season of ball at Baylor for the defending champions in what’s become a great developmental context in recent years. 

Sochan projects to play the power forward in the NBA within a mold I really believe in when constructing a roster, and I’ll refer to this mold as the “modern NBA 4”. To me, this looks like someone with a baseline of physicality and athleticism paired with smart play on both ends while being able to positively impact the game with or without the ball; examples around the league include: Harrison Barnes, DeAndre Hunter, Nic Batum, and Deni Avdija.

But it only makes sense that Sochan would be perfect for ball. He was born into it.

Jeremy’s parents met where a lot of couples meet: college. His father, Ryan Williams, was starring as a 6-foot-6 wing at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. His mother, Aneta (or Anety, depending on where you are) Sochan, was studying in Oklahoma, away from her home in Poland, where she would later play for SKK Polonia Warszawa.

Ryan and Aneta welcomed Jeremy into the world on May 20, 2003 in Oklahoma, but Jeremy didn’t stay in the states for long, accompanying Ryan to the United Kingdom, where he played professionally for the Bristol Flyers. 


A lot of Sochan’s adolescence remains foggy, but we know he represented his mother’s native Poland in Division B of the FIBA U16 European Championship, where he led the Poles to a gold medal before heading to La Lumiere High School in Indiana. When Covid-19 hit, Sochan went back overseas to join OrangeAcademy (development squad under ratiopharm Ulm in Germany, same program that Killian Hayes was drafted from) with his friend Igor Milicic Jr. 

Jeremy remains set on representing Poland in international competition going forward, and already led the national team to a victory over Romania in the EuroBasket 2022 qualifiers 88-81, in which he scored 18 points in 30 minutes and made this clutch block:

Sochan came into Baylor as the 40th ranked recruit in the class of 2021 along with 12th ranked Kendall Brown, who’s made one heck of his own NBA case so far this season. Before getting into the film, here’s how Sochan’s stacked up statistically thus far for the Bears:


Offense

For a prospect as raw as Sochan, he has a pretty extensive “bag” of offensive moves to lean on when trying to find his own scoring. He seems to favor spin moves and turnarounds for halfcourt pull-ups, and he’s gotten pretty effective at them.

Sochan also leverages spins when driving as well, and he does a good job of keeping his balance in finishing at the rim.

With a free throw rate of .403 (higher than Banchero’s .367 and Smith Jr.’s .347), Sochan is a frequent visitor of the line largely due to drives like this.

Off the ball, Sochan isn’t as active as I’d like him to be; he could do a better job of setting himself up for cuts and getting downhill before drives, but he is very intelligent. He shows that here when he creeps up out of the corner, essentially using a screen from Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua to make himself available as Matthew Mayer is driving.

 

As for that shot from distance, Sochan has shot 7-21 (33.3%) from three during Big 12 play (10 games) and hasn’t made more than one in a single game yet. While there’s likely a 35-38% shooter in there somewhere at the NBA level, there are clear mechanical issues that need to be ironed out before that. 

Sochan’s shot is certainly too slow, although that doesn’t bug me as much as it may bug others, simply because he’s tall enough and long enough (7-foot wingspan) to mitigate a lot of that with his outstanding positional length. 

Plus, much of the speed issues will be solved by fixing the bigger problem: it’s a two-step process. Even on the next clip, when he catches the ball near his chest/head area, he brings it down to his waist during the load-up.

The “two-step” of his shot can make the arm motions look a bit like a trebuchet as well, as we get another look here:

 

The connecting equity is maybe my favorite aspect of Sochan’s offensive game, especially at his size, like this eye-opening dropoff in which he’s patient enough to wait for the back-cut. 

He does a great job here of escaping tighter defensive coverages on these plays by feeding the player the help comes from.

 

In total, there’s a lot of promise as an offensive 4-man in Jeremy Sochan. He just needs a team that has the right context to develop him, like other established perimeter creators, as well as a positive growth curve on the shot, and he could be a home run pick in no time.


Defense

Sochan makes his money on the defensive end through physicality and light feet. Here he does a great job containing Sean McNeil on this drive for about eight seconds before making one wrong step, giving up the baseline and the score. It’s the type of thing that is easily correctable over long stretches of reps.

In this next case, Sochan couples the physicality in contain with a few digs at the ball, making his defense even more disruptive.

Here’s another example of Sochan gambling a bit defensively trying to intercept passes, and although he never forces a turnover, he was the biggest reason in the West Virginia offense stalling leading to the missed shot at the rim.

And finally forcing a turnover here, Sochan leverages his length and quick feet to staying with Tre Jackson despite jab steps.


I believe Sochan falls into a rare category of high floor and high ceiling prospects. He would be able to help and be helped by good teams’ contexts, so it helps that I see him in the back half of the first round. Specific teams that I view as good fits for him: 

  • Oklahoma City – picking 15, 30, and 34
  • Dallas – 21
  • Chicago – 27
  • Cleveland – 37

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