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Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Basketball Player Profile: Keisei Tominaga is an Elite Shooter

August 23, 2021

The final member of Nebraska’s 2021 recruiting class arrived on campus last week, and he didn’t waste any time showing what he’s all about.

Fred Hoiberg believes Keisei Tominaga was the best shooter in junior college the last two seasons, and there’s a reason for that. Last season at Ranger College, Tominaga averaged 16.3 points while shooting 51% from the field, 48.7% from 3 and 88.3% from the free-throw line. He shot 48.3% on 410 3-point attempts in his two seasons of junior college.

Tominaga hit 11 3s and scored 39 points in one game last season, and I broke that game down to show the ways Ranger used Tominaga’s skill set. Today, we’re taking a deeper dive into just how good of a shooter Tominaga is through the lens of his Synergy profile.

Based on his raw shooting percentages I knew Tominaga’s numbers would be pretty good, but when I pulled up his profile I was blown away. It turns out “pretty good” is a severe understatement. The 6-foot-2 guard is classified as “excellent” in every single play type for which he was used on more than 10 possessions. I’ve never seen anything like that. Even Stephen Curry has a couple play types in which he’s considered merely “good” or “very good.”

Overall, Tominaga scored 1.291 points per possession (PPP), ranked in the 99th percentile and, of course, classified as “excellent.” Taking out transition possessions doesn’t change much as he scored 1.274 PPP (99th percentile, excellent) in the halfcourt.

Tominaga’s most common play type was transition, so he should feel right at home in Hoiberg’s up-tempo system. He got out in the open floor on 31.8% of his possessions and scored 1.327 PPP (93rd percentile). Among all junior college players with at least 100 transition attempts last season (Tominaga was at 107), he was second in PPP. Drop the threshold to 75 or more and he was still seventh nationally.

He shot 51.6% in transition with most of his attempts coming from running the wings (19-of-31 and 1.829 PPP on the left wing, 17-of-38 on 1.231 PPP on the right wing). He mixed in a few layups or runners here and there when defenders chased him off the line, but for the most part Tominaga was hunting 3s any time he got out in the open floor.

Tominaga’s most common half court play type was spot-up which made up 23.1% of his possessions (78 in total). He scored 1.372 PPP (97th percentile) and shot 48.6% from the field. He was third nationally among players with 75 or more attempts and ninth among players with 50 or more attempts.

Tominaga knows his game. He was 0-for-1 at the basket and 1-of-3 on runners. His other 66 attempts were all jumpers. Tominaga has an unbelievably quick release and is confident in his shot, and that reflects itself in the fact that he shot 25-of-50 and scored 1.529 PPP on catch-and-shoot jumpers in spot-up situations despite every defense he played knowing that’s what he wanted to do. If defenders managed to chase him off his spot, he still shot 50% on off-the-dribble jumpers (8-of-16, 1.421 PPP).

Up next is off screen which made up 12.5% of Tominaga’s possessions (42 of them). He scored 1.214 PPP (86th percentile) and shot 42.9%. Only 10 players in the country recorded 40 or more off screen possessions and Tominaga was the best of the lot. Drop the line to 25-plus possessions and he was still fourth.

Ranger set a lot of off-ball screens (including some screen the screener actions) for Tominaga and he did a really good job of moving without the ball. Again, his quick release makes him really dangerous here.

Ranger also used him in a lot of hand-off actions as that play type made up 11.6% of his possessions, or 39 on total. He scored 1.359 PPP (94th percentile) and shot 15-of-32 with six trips to the foul line and four turnovers. Only four players had 35 or more hand off possessions last season and Tominaga was the best of the four. Drop the threshold to 25-plus possessions and the pool increases to 13 players, but tominaga was still first.

Everything I said about what makes Tominaga effective in off-screen plays applies to hand-off plays as well. Tominaga also had three four-point plays on hand-off plays.

The volume drops off after that. As a pick-and-roll ball-handler (21 total possessions), he shot 8-of-18 and scored 1.048 PPP (92nd percentile). He shot 2-of-6 on floaters and shots around the basket and 6-of-11 on pull-up jumpers (including 3-of-3 when he refused the pick).

Tominaga also shot an absurd 13-of-16 on shots as a cutter, scoring 1.667 PPP (99th percentile). Remember what I said about his off-ball movement? He does a great job of finding gaps in the defense or catching his defender sleeping for a cut to the rim.

Overall, Tominaga shot 18-of-27 (66.7%) around the basket, 7-of-13 (53.8%) on runners and 72-of-155 (46.5%) on jump shots. He shot 11-of-20 (55%) on mid-range jumpers. On catch-and-shoot jumpers, he scored 1.303 PPP (87th percentile) and shot 43.1%.He actually shot better on guarded (44%, 1.333 PPP, 87th percentile) than unguarded (41.2%, 1.335 PPP, 70th percentile) catch-and-shoot looks. To reiterate, Tominaga shot 44% on 75 guarded catch-and-shoot looks. A contest often doesn’t bother him much.

He was even better on jumpers off the dribble, shooting an absurd 52.3% and scoring 1.409 PPP (98th percentile).

Tominaga isn’t the biggest or most athletic player you’ll find, but he is a truly elite shooter in pretty much every way possible. Hoiberg will have a lot of options in the backcourt this season, but if Tominaga can earn his way into the rotation he should be a dangerous weapon for the Huskers within Hoiberg’s offense.

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