Everything You Need To Know About Jahmi'us Ramsey

Jahmi'us Ramsey is an athletic combo guard who can be a reliable off-ball shooter. If he can iron out his inconsistencies on both ends he can carve out a role in an NBA rotation.

In the 2020 NBA Draft, few prospects personify the moniker of boom-or-bust as much as Jahmi’us Ramsey. This season, Ramsey was one of the few scoring options for a defensively stout Texas Tech team. He proved that he could fill up the scoring column in a hurry while also having a promising defensive upside.

As with most teenagers, though, Ramsey’s production fluctuated as he struggled to establish consistency. There are many reasons for Ramsey’s fluctuating production, including a Texas Tech team void of many scoring options. Still, one of the biggest reasons was the natural growing pains, which many players eventually grow out of, of a teenager adjusting to higher competition.

The frustrations with Ramsey’s game are understandable and, in many cases, completely valid. However, his raw talent is undeniable. This draft doesn’t have many “pure scorers”; Grant Riller and Desmond Bane are the two most obvious. Ramsey has the foundation and skill set to not only develop into a similar player as those two but potentially surpass them.

This season, Ramsey scored 0.95 points per possession (PPP) (73rd percentile), per Synergy. That number on its own doesn’t have the shock and awe value you would hope for, but once we dig deeper into his production and situation, it becomes more impressive.

Ramsey’s role in the NBA will be mostly an off-ball guard where he can punish defenses, shoot off the catch, attack the rim, and run in transition. This season, Ramsey scored 1.273 PPP (91st percentile) when shooting off the catch, 1.258 PPP (93rd percentile) on all three-point shots, and 1.2 PPP (88th percentile) when running off screens.

Ramsey has a smooth shooting stroke that should easily translate to NBA three-point range. He is confident in his jumper, and he has a natural sense of spacing and an ability to relocate on the perimeter.

Here, Ramsey makes a subtle move that is second nature for him. As the ball-handler penetrates the lane, Ramsey is spotting up on the wing, wide open. Instead of receiving the ball, the pass goes to Ramsey’s teammate, who has rotated into Ramsey’s vicinity. Ramsey could easily stand still and watch his teammate take a wide-open jumper. However, Ramsey slides to his right towards the corner while keeping his hands ready for the ball. This movement creates enough space for his worse shooting teammate to make the extra pass for an open three.

Again, Ramsey shows off his knack for finding open space and relocating on the perimeter. Ramsey initially gets lucky by finding a teammate to pass to after naively leaving the ground and having his momentum take him out of bounds. As Ramsey’s teammate attacks the closeout, the corner is vacated. Instead of watching the play and slowly getting back inbounds, Ramsey bolts to the open corner for the open three.

This level of floor awareness is rare for a 19-year-old. Most NBA offenses require guys to relocate and find the open spots on the floor to stretch the defense to the fullest extent. This ability is a great tool to build on and ensure he doesn’t clog up the offense.

Besides his off-ball shooting, Ramsey is also an explosive athlete who can punish the rim. When he ran in transition this season, Ramsey scored 1.167 PPP (76th percentile). As we can see below, Ramsey is a quality decision-maker in the open floor who can finish above the rim. After receiving the outlet pass, Ramsey immediately looks to push the ball. Instead of trying to slither through the defense on his own, Ramsey finds the open man and then proceeds to fill the open lane for the dunk.

Ramsey’s explosiveness and at-rim finishing also translate to aspects of the half-court offense. When Ramsey drove to his right, he scored 1.308 PPP (98th percentile). Defenses will have to take the right-sided drive away from him as it is almost a guaranteed score.

Here, Ramsey shows his explosiveness and confidence in driving to his right. He starts with a hang dribble to momentarily freeze his defender. Ramsey then bursts across the lane while using his teammate’s post-up as a makeshift screen. Once Ramsey gets around the screen, he quickly jumps off to feet and extends with his right hand to finish before the weakside shot blocker can rotate.

As efficient as Ramsey is when he drives to his right, he is equally inefficient to the left. On drives to the left, Ramsey scored only 0.565 PPP (24th percentile), which brought down his total at-rim finishing numbers to 1.016 PPP (34th percentile).

Early in his career, Ramsey will be almost entirely forced to his left. Defenses will adjust and take away his right. It will be vital for his overall scoring repertoire to develop more confidence and touch with his left hand.

Besides being right hand dominant hindering his ability to score off the dribble, Ramsey’s inconsistent ball-handling and shot selection also hindered his overall scoring efficiency. Ramsey’s dribbling arsenal is undeveloped, which shines through with his inability to create space for jumpers. Ramsey’s willingness to settle for contested jumpers combined with his rudimentary ball-handling was a significant factor in his meager 0.667 PPP (32nd percentile) when shooting off the dribble.

The final area of offensive improvement for Ramsey is his playmaking. Ramsey shouldn’t be asked to run an offense, but he does need to improve his passing consistency. With an assist-to-turnover ration of just 1.11 this season, Ramsey must take better care of the ball.

Here, Ramsey commits a completely avoidable turnover. As he runs baseline, Ramsey has an open teammate in the corner. This pass is not a complicated one, but Ramsey puts minimal effort into the pass that easily gets picked off.

These passes are far too common in Ramsey’s game, and he can quickly curtail his turnover numbers by merely trying. The more frustrating aspect is that Ramsey will make an ideal read and pass in the same game, as we can see below. After denying the screen, Ramsey gets both defenders to commit to him. Instead of forcing a contested jumper or wild jump pass, Ramsey delivers a perfect pocket pass to the screener for the open three.

These are the type of reads and passes Ramsey needs to make consistently. He doesn’t need to run the offense or manipulate defenses, but if he can find the open man and deliver a quality pass, he will be much more effective.

While Ramsey has some inconsistencies on offense, they are much more apparent on defense. His explosiveness and athleticism give him tremendous upside. When he is locked in, he is tenacious on the ball and wreaks havoc off the ball.

Here, we see how stout of an on-ball defender Ramsey can be. Ramsey quickly reads and adjusts to the ball handler's in-and-out dribble with his quick feet and hips. This rapid adjustment keeps him balanced and in an excellent defensive position. As the ball-handler drives, Ramsey absorbs and is unaffected by the contact before forcing the turnover.

Ramsey’s defensive footwork is incredibly impressive. He adjusts quickly, has excellent instincts, and rarely crosses his feet. His instincts and explosiveness also make him a quality weakside shot blocker. In the below clips, we see how Ramsey is an explosive two-footed leaper with impeccable timing. He is active with his rotations, times his blocks well, and can genuinely disrupt an opponent’s offense.

Unfortunately, Ramsey can also get caught sleeping off-ball and has some questionable defensive discipline. Below, Ramsey might as well not even be on the floor. As the ball-handler drives, Ramsey meanders towards the lane while fully turning his back to his man. Unbeknownst to Ramsey, his man wisely rotates from the corner to the top of the arc. As the ball-handler pulls the ball out for the open three, Ramsey shows no effort or desire to relocate his botched assignment.

Here, again, we see Ramsey’s lack of defensive discipline. Ramsey is initially in the paint because he had to rotate down to cover the weakside. Initially, this is a great rotation. However, Ramsey is incredibly late to detach and return to his man, who is wide open. As the ball rotates back to Ramsey’s man, Ramsey recklessly closes out to the shooter. Ramsey is so out of control that the opponent doesn’t even need a shot fake to blow past him. Ramsey proceeds to fly out of the play and give up the layup.

Ramsey has a ton of defensive potential. He is at his best when defending the ball or timing his weakside rotations correctly. He has a tremendous amount of work to do, though, with his off-ball awareness and discipline. Many of his defensive mistakes arise because he is out of position, to begin with, and frantically tries to recover.

Going forward, Jahmi’us Ramsey has the tools to develop into a two-way combo guard. His athleticism and off-ball shooting are undeniable and should help him carve out a role. He needs to improve his ball security and defensive awareness; otherwise, multiple mental and fundamental mistakes will quickly get him taken off the floor.

A team with a reliable developmental system late in the first round or early in the second round should target Ramsey. He has an excellent foundation that can be molded into a quality player, given the appropriate coaching. In the 2020 NBA Draft, there aren’t many young scoring guards who are as promising as Jahmi’us Ramsey.

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