Discover more from The Call-Up
What Houston Rockets Fans Should Know About Trevor Hudgins
Dakota Schmidt breaks down the game of Houston Rockets two-way guard Trevor Hudgins
Last Thursday, 58 young men had their childhood dreams realized by hearing their names get called in the 2022 NBA Draft. Whether or not receiving those calls will serve as the launching pad for NBA glory still remains to be seen. However, it’s a major milestone for a cornucopia of young folks from different upbringings that have been working on getting better at this beautiful game of basketball for as long as they remember.
Although each of those players obviously deserve their flowers following last week’s coronation event, the focus of the basketball masses should expand further than those individuals. The reason rests with the impact that undrafted players have had in the NBA since the two-way contract was implemented in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) prior to the 2017-18 season. Since then, we’ve seen the likes of Duncan Robinson, Gary Payton II, Luguentz Dort, Alex Caruso, and Jose Alvarado utilize two-ways as the boost needed to get into the NBA, where they’ve gone on to make a positive impact.
One player that will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of his forefathers in ball is former Northwest Missouri State guard Trevor Hudgins. While the Division II standout migght be a mystery to the basketball-loving masses, the 23-year-old already has an incredibly strong resume to his name. Some of his accolades include the following:
4x MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) All-First Team - (2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22)
4x MIAA All-Tournament Team - (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)
2x MIAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player - 2020 and 2022
3x MIAA Player of the Year - (2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22)
2x NABC Division II Player of the Year - (2020-21, 2021-22).
Trevor getting that type of love since he started his college career come through how he combined volume and efficiency better than most guards that you’ll see at any level of the game. An example of that was seen in the 2021-22 season where he averaged 23 points, 4.3 assists, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.5 steals on 48% from the field and 42% from beyond the arc on 10.4 attempts per game. Those numbers allowed him to maintain a 66% True Shooting Percentage and 62% effective Field Goal Percentage. While those numbers are incredible on their own, they pale in comparison to the 72% TS% and 67% eFG% that he maintained in the following season.
That immense consistency as a shooter is wild when you start to watch his film and see the diverse ways that he’s able to get his shot off. Whether it’s through step-backs, coming off hand-offs or through catch-and-shoots, Hudgins showed a real capability of being able to get to his spot and quickly launch up a jumper before the defense reacts.
Even when a defender is there, the 2x Division II Player Of The Year is crafty enough to utilize screens or change of speed moves to create the separation needed to release his shot. Sometimes, he can combine the utilization of screens and space creation skills to just be an absolutely unfair offensive weapon for any team matched up against him. In the clip below, he does a great job of moving around the screen to get his defender caught up for a few moments. That’s long enough for our subject to get to his spot and nail a three at the wing. For as small and stocky as his frame is, its honestly impressive see how he can use his lower body to load up his shots to hit step-backs from deep.
Along with being fantastic at being able to create his own shot, Trevor’s smooth stroke carries over to his work as a catch-and-shoot threat. Despite only entering his pro career, it already seems like he’s mastered this art through how he’s able to move off-ball and utilize screens to create separation from his defender along with his footwork needed to adjust himself before gathering the pass. All of this allow him to utilize his lightning quick release once receiving the feed. The clear work that the new Rockets guard has put into his craft was seen by how he shot 43% from beyond the arc on 176 catch-and-shoot attempts, according to Synergy Sports.
Looking away from his status as arguably the best shooter at any level of college basketball last year, things start to get a bit murky for the 6’0 guard. Despite the different ways that he’s able to create his own shot from the perimeter, he had his issues with bursting past permeter defenders when they’re defending close in one-on-one scenarios.
However, the 23-year-old makes up for it being being an ace at utilizing screens to either create separation from the perimeter defender or force the big to switch onto him. When those switches occur is when Trevor can really make magic happen as there’s funk in the way that he moves with how he can hesitate, use stop and start moves, or utilize supreme footwork to get around the defender.
A fantastic example is seen in the clip below where uses a spin and fake to get his defender in air before driving under and finishining with his left. That type of dribble craft and ability to use footwork and movement allowed him to be a dangerous driver despite not having amazing burst.
That immense level of dribble craft along with how he was able to use his sturdy 180-pound frame to finish through contact allowed his perimeter efficiency to carry over to around the paint. As a senior, the Divison II standout to shoot 65% from around the rim, which led to him averaging 1.34 Points Per Possession. Those numbers placed him in the 85th percentile among Divison II players, impressive considering him only standing at 6’0.
While Trevor won back-to-back Division II player of the year awards due to his ability as a premier scorer both from beyond the arc and around the rim, the pride of Manhattan, Kansas wasn’t a slouch as a facilitator. During his prolific run at Northwest Missouri State, he averaged 5.3 assists per game with an incredibly respectable 3.06 Assist to Turnover ratio.
His success as a facilitator is largely due to the gravity that surrounded him whenever he had the ball in his hands. When the focus goes onto Trevor when he’s on the move, Trevor is good at processing his surroundings with the quickness before finding a teammate, whether it’s someone diving to the paint, waiting in the dunker spot, or ready to make it fly from deep. An example of this is evident below as he drives until he captures the attention of the defender on the corner before dishing it out to the shooter.
Trevor being able to use the gravity that surrounded him as a scorer to create for others were the keys behind him not only being named Division II Player of the Year in back-to-back years but being the leader of a Northwest Missouri State squad that won three national championships during his time with the squad. Along with the championships, awards, and tremendous statistics, the impact that he had on the team will stick with the school even after the 6-foot guard starts his pro career.
Speaking of his pro career, yours truly reached out to Northwest Missouri State head coach Ben McCollum to gather insight on what the Rockets organization and fans should expect from their new two-way guard.
“Trevor was a fantastic teammate. He was a servant for his teammates while also challenging them daily to be their best. He will be very intentional with his work ethic and is at his best every single day . He is extremely consistent as a person and a player”, stated McCollum to The Call-Up about what type of person he is..
“Trevor does not have an off day. He is always on and always works. He is very intentional with his work and constantly works to improve his craft! He will be one of the best most intentional workers. Also, he is a visual and hands on learner but he can learn a variety of ways . He watches hours of film and tries to find any information he find to improve himself,” proclaimed the title winning coach about the type of worker and learner that the young guard was during their four years together.
As Coach McCollum’s statement show, Trevor Hudgins is regarded as fantastic teammate, hard worker, and someone that will spend hours watching game tape when he isn’t on the court. As we’ve gone over, that impressive nature is seen with how he is on the court as the 6-foot guard is incredibly capable of getting his perimeter jumper off in numerous ways.
That great skill along with his craftiness as a ball-handler and someone that can use his gravity to create for his surrounding teammates. All of that mixed with his quick hands and effort on the defensive end has it make complete sense for the Rockets to use one of their lone two-way spots on him.
While it’s doubtful that he’ll get immediate run with the big league club, the former Division II standout should have no problem fitting as one of the offensive leaders of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Could he have problems dealing with the leap in talent and athleticism that will come from him making the leap from Division II to the G League? Absolutely.
However, his tremendous knack as a shooter mixed with the attention that his talented teammates will offer should allow an easier transition than most Division II prospects get when they go to the G. After his shooting will serve as the base for him to help RGV’s offense at the beginning of the year, his ability as a pcik-and-roll scorer and facilitator could come into play as the game starts to slow down for him as the season goes along.