Figures & Film: Terrance Arceneaux
Examining the Houston freshman and historical comparisons.
An important part of seeing into the future is understanding the past.
While historical data, or any other data for that matter, cannot calculate work ethic, personality, or background, it often provides useful baselines for comparative analysis. As I was perusing our Global Search tool recently, I came across some interesting lists. A player who stood out as I weighed the 2022 freshmen class was incoming Houston Cougar, Terrance Arceneaux.
Our platform assists both NBA and NCAA organizations scout by ‘pointing the arrow’, if you will, and helping make sure that the right questions are being asked. In my conversations with NBA front offices, Arceneaux’s name is one I hear intermittently - how firmly he is on the radar varies by team, largely due to limited opportunities to see him as a HS player. My goal with this comparative data is not to tell anyone WHAT to think, but rather to draw out the right questions.
Let’s dive in. While searching our Modern Big archetype within EYBL 17U play from 2018/19, some serious names and metrics appear. A glossary of our 5-Metric Suite can be found HERE. Quickly, a breakdown of our Modern Big archetype:
Height > 6’5
Pure Scoring Prowess (PSP) > 70
3 Point Efficiency (3PE) > 40
Floor General Skills (FGS) > 50
Around the Rim (ATR) > 70
Defensive Statistical Impact (DSI) > 70
Usage > 23%
Here are the names that show from the 2018 Summer:
A really strong list, all things considered, including 4 future RD1 picks. Now let’s take a look at 2019:
This 2019 group is special at the top with Cade and Paolo, followed by 3 other future NBA draft picks. With a sense of a baseline now set, take a look at the same query from the 2021 EYBL cycle.
Whitmore stands out as an (early projected) top-10 pick in 2023, while Filipowski (Duke) finds himself on a handful of Draft Boards in the pre-season. While I’m not going to compare the three head to head due to different styles and college programs, Arceneaux having the highest PSP, 3PE, and DSI of the three is, at the very least, something to examine.
With these in mind, let’s look at the film starting with his highest single metric, DSI.
As noted by PD in his recent article, 10 Things: Incoming Freshmen, Arceneaux’s defense is highly impactful. While his measurables will be something to track (listed 6’6 on On3/Rivals, 6’7 on 247Sports, and now 6’5 via UH without shoes), he is extremely productive and routinely causes problems for opposing offenses. His ability to defend the post with length & timing, combined with lateral quickness & mobility on the perimeter gives promise to a switchable, versatile defender at the next levels. He’s an innate shot-contester with great instincts and deflects a large number of passes on all parts of the floor.
You will rarely, if ever, find a game in which Arceneaux isn’t wreaking some sort of havoc, a style of play that should fit nicely in Houston. He runs the floor well, is a pogo stick vertically, and plays with equal part anticipation and reactivity. Love the defensive upside.
Onto some offense. Last summer in EYBL play, Arceneaux shot the ball at a clip of 40.3% from behind the arc, which played a big role in his jump to being the top overall C-RAM performer in the entire summer.
For reference, this was the top-5 in overall C-RAM from 2021 EYBL 17U:
See Arceneaux’s full data profile HERE.
Even with shooting splits that dropped a bit across his entire player scouting profile (52.4/80.3/35.8 57.9 TS%), the release is high and repeatable, often proving reliable in the corner or off a 1-2 pull-up.
He ranked 86th percentile on catch-and-shoot attempts but only 59th percentile off the dribble, which is something to monitor this year at Houston. While he is capable of creating and scoring OTD, expansion is necessary if he wants to prove himself a creator at the next level. He, at times, has a tendency to over-dribble and put himself in precarious situations, often in the mid-range. He’s shown the ability to knock down post-fades and other tough mid-range shots, but the selection will need to be cleaned up a bit, something I’m confident in the Houston staff with.
As you can see in his crazy USG% in 2021 EYBL, Arceneaux was relied upon heavily as a creator and initiator. This led to a propensity to take iso possessions too deep into the shot clock, causing tough looks. However, I don’t expect him to be called upon to do the same at UH. With a talented backcourt including Marcus Sasser, Jamal Shead, and Tramon Mark, his role at UH likely moves to 3&D instead of a primary ball-handler, therefore it’s not something I’m overly concerned with regarding his NBA outlook. His handles are adequate for the role he’ll be called upon to fill, although it’s a skill that, for me, becomes a huge propellor to his stock should it develop further.
The Cougars’ staff will likely use Arceneaux in an ideal role and give him the opportunity to showcase real, two-way value. He’s impactful in so many facets of the game - even on a crazy-talented Cougar squad widely regarded top-5 in the nation, I really hope we get to see some significant playing time.
Historical comparisons will never tell the FULL story of a player, but as mentioned at the beginning, they can be a great place to start when setting baselines. Terrance Arceneaux has performed equal to, or better than, multiple names we’ve heard on NBA Draft nights.
Whether he reaches that potential in one year, two, or ever, remains to be seen. It will take him developing at a high level, as well as the right teams asking the right questions. That being said, I believe that he’s a guy who deserves to be on all radars based on the numbers and what we’ve seen already - I’ll be tracking him early and often during the ‘22-23 season.
(Photo via Texas UIL)