3. Mobley’s inconsistency should raise red flags for the Houston Rockets
Mobley first broke out during his junior year of high school, posting averages of 19.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks per contest, leading him to take home the California Gatorade Player of the Year award. Fresh off of his success that season, Mobley entered his senior season with high expectations.
In many ways Mobley underwhelmed, as he didn’t dominate like we often see out of top prep players during their senior seasons. Mobley posted averages that were nearly identical to his junior season, averaging 20.5 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 5.2 blocks, not demonstrating the statistical increases that was expected.
In fact, after Mobley’s junior season he was ranked first overall in his class by Rivals, but dropped to fourth after his senior season. In addition, several others dropped Mobley out of their top-five altogether.
It was stated that Mobley’s effort level was oftentimes lacking during his senior season in high school, prompting questions about why exactly that was happening. One of the theories regarding why Mobley underwhelmed was because it was the first season in which he wasn’t playing alongside his older brother Isaiah Mobley. The elder Mobley, who was also a five-star recruit, had already left Rancho Christian School for USC, where both Evan and Isaiah’s dad, Eric, was an assistant coach on Andy Enfield’s staff.
The lack of consistency has led people to question Mobley’s motor, and understandably so, as he’s not seen as a fiery competitor. In fact, Mobley is the exact opposite, as he rarely shows any emotion on the floor.
This was pointed out by Houston Rockets beat writer Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, during the recent Red Nation Hoops episode with Salman Ali, who covers the Rockets for ESPN Houston.
“For a guy who isn’t the big, imposing center, he doesn’t play with his hair on fire either. Maybe because he’s never had to.
To be fair, not having a fiery motor or personality doesn’t exactly mean that a player can’t be successful, because Kawhi Leonard would be the recent example of how a player doesn’t have to fit that mold (and there are many others).
But motor concerns, combined with inconsistency issues are often traits that we see with draft busts.