The Premier Basketball Scouting Service

T.J. (Ty Jacob) Leaf

t.j. (ty jacob) leaf


Name: T.J. (Ty Jacob) Leaf

School: UCLA

Season: Freshman

ESPN High School Ranking: 13 (2016)

Birthdate: April 30, 1997 (19)

Birthplace: Tel Aviv, Israel


- Parents Karen and Brad Leaf

- Born in Israel because father was playing professionally there

- Moved to Lakeside, California at 2 years old

- Father coached him in High School

High School: Foothills Christian High School


- 2016 California Mr. Basketball Runner-Up (Lonzo Ball won)

- 2016 McDonald's All-American

- 2016 Naismith All-American Second Team

- 2016 USA Today All-USA Second Team

- Played for Israel in FIBA Europe U18 Championships in 2015 - named Tournament MVP

Twitter: TJLeaf22

Instagram: LeafSquad

Height: 6'10

Weight: 220

Wingspan: 6'11

Standing Reach: 8'11.75

No Step Vert: N/A

Max Vert: N/A

Body Fat %: N/A

Injury History: N/A

Interviews, Personality, Psychology, Experience: 

- Says he needs to work on strength and shooting consistency

- Confident and personable in interviews - good locker room guy

- Says he will leave if he has the opportunity to be a high draft pick, but he won't rush anything

- Golfs and fishes in spare time

- Devout Christian - retweets bible quotes

Freshman Season Stats: Through 22 games

- 16.3 PPG

- 8.6 RPG

- 2.6 APG

- 1.2 BPG

- 0.7 SPG

- 63% FG

- 49% 3

- 62% FT


6th in effective field goal percentage in the NCAA

- 18th in true shooting percentage in the NCAA

- 13th in offensive rating in the NCAA

- 18th in offensive win shares in the NCAA

- 16th in total win shares in the NCAA

- 1st in field goal percentage and effective field goal percentage in the PAC-12 in 2016-17

- 2nd in true shooting percentage, box plus/minus and offensive rating in the PAC-12 in 2016-17

- 3rd in win shares and total rebounds in the PAC-12 in 2016-17

Position: PF

Greatest Strength: Rebounding + IQ

Greatest Weakness: Perimeter Drives

Athleticism: 6

Aggression: 8

Speed: 7

Strength: 7

Lateral Movement: 6

Basketball IQ: 9

Switchability: 7

3 point shooting: 7

Jumpshot: 8

Ability to finish at the rim: 8

Post moves: 8

Handle: 6

Passing: 7

Rebounding: 8

Motor: 8

Touch: 8

Hands: 8

On ball defense: 7

Help defense: 7

Steals: 6

Blocks: 7

Pick and Roll: 

- As good as it gets on the roll/pop offensively - great finisher at the hoop and good 3 point shooter

- Defensively, can show and recover well

- Even if he allows the guard into the lane, he is a good help shot blocker and can cover a lot of ground with his long arms

Abilities and Areas of Improvement:

- Very good rebounder - natural rebounding instincts

- Boxes out

- Versatile skillset offensively - should simplify his offensive game to the post and and shooting 3s/pullup jumpers - he usually doesn't score on drives

- High IQ

- Not a quick defender, but a capable one - knows when to help on perimeter, recovers under control with hand up, can get beat to the hoop but is a good on-ball shot blocker

- Good shooter, usually only takes smart shots

- Long arms

- Not an elite athlete, but very smart player

- Drives with the ball to exposed - dribbles are high

- Very thin, but plays strong - doesn't get pushed off boxouts or rebounds and can still back down in the post offensively

- Good verticality 

Game Analysis: 

- vs. Kentucky

- #32 Wenyen Gabriel

- #0 De'Aaron Fox

- #35 Derek Willis

- #25 Dominique Hawkins

- Fights to boxout

- Good boxout on first 2 defensive possessions

- Notices Gabriel watch ball for a split second, cuts backdoor from right 45, gets positioning, receives pass from Ball and lays it in with right

- Pick-and-pop at right 45 to the 3 point line - Alford gets in lane because Gabriel has to stay close to Leaf - 3 point threat

- Good boxout again - already has a few rebounds in first few minutes - natural instincts on the boards

- Tips on offensive glass - no boxout, almost gets another offensive board

- Guarding Fox - drives baseline, hangs to draw contact, Leaf stays upright and blocks shot - high IQ play

- Help on Fox in lane allows Willis to get behind D and get dunk

- Crashes glass out of nowhere for defensive rebound 

- Catches on the right block, backs Willis down, gets under hoop and leaves pass for other big after being doubled - layin

- Gets steal in strong-side help lane - Fox just lost ball

- Incredible offensive rebound, crashed from the 3 point line, wasn't boxed, skied and then reversed for a layin

- Uses screen in lane, quick cut to right low block, backs Willis down, turns under net and finds Welsh open, missed jumper

- Leaf gets offensive rebound after creating shot opportunity for Welsh and lays it back in with his right

- Catch and shoot straightaway 3 - miss - bad shot

- Steals backdoor alley-oop pass mid-air

- Catches on left block over-the-top of smaller defender, squares up, dribbles left and hits short corner 1-footer - Dirk shot

- Pick-and-pop with Ball, pumps, drives left for scoop right layup misses

- Good relocating in lane when help comes for Hamilton, catches in lane and dunks

- Catches at top of key, pumps, drives with left but stripped in lane - probably needs to simplify his game and either take the 3 or one dribble pullup

- Catch and shoot 3 at right 45 - hits

- Good positioning on offensive boards, draws foul

- Catches right corner, drives baseline, fakes to spin back, then goes back baseline around Adenbayo for a dunk

- Catches on left block after Fox switches on him from ball screen, one dribble back-down then tries to dunk over him - missed - Adebayo came over to help, it appeared Leaf was fouled

- Catch at top of key, drive right, got step on Gabriel but airballed hook shot - again, needs to stop driving from the 3 point line, that's not his game

- Good contest on Willis left 45 catch and shoot 3 - long arms can cover a lot of distance

- Catch and shoot at top of key, pumps, one dribble pullup - miss

- Good pass from top of key to Welsh off flex screen left short corner for a jumper - hits - same playa gain next possession on right - hits again

NBA Comparison: Kevin Love

Current Ability: 7

Projection as an NBA Player: 8-8.5

Projected Draft Spot: Mid-late Lottery

Opinion:  Leaf is a very unique player with a vast skillset and an incredibly high IQ. He can do everything on the floor. He is a great rebounder with elite instincts. He can shoot out to the 3-point line. Leaf will be a nightmare in the pick-and-roll because he has great post skills and always finds the opening in the defense. Despite being skinny, Leaf can back bigger players down in the post and use his athleticism to finish at the hoop. Leaf is a very good passer as well. His one flaw is he tends to be out of control on perimeter drives, but that is easy to fix-just needs to simplify his game. He is not a great athlete, but his elite basketball skills are enough. Defensively, Leaf is a good shot blocker both on-ball and in help. He does a good job of moving his feet and even if beaten on the roll, his long arms help him recover and block shots.