Scouting Report on Virginia Tech Transfer Addition PF/C Robbie Beran

Scouting Report on Virginia Tech Transfer Addition PF/C Robbie Beran
Photo Credit: Erin Smith

Will Locklin | @locklin_will

TLP: Writer/Basketball Analyst
May 01, 2023

As we kick off our series of scouting report, we start with Virginia Tech's most recent transfer addition, Northwestern starter and Richmond native Robbie Beran.

The 6’9 forward played four years in the Big Ten at Northwestern where he appeared in 120 career games, starting in 99 of them. Beran averaged 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in over 25 minutes per game during his senior season in Evanston. From an outside perspective, Beran looks to fill the void that Grant Basile has left.

After one season in Blacksburg, Basile opted to travel overseas and play in Italy. Like Basile, Beran too is a similar sized forward who can play as a tweener between the four and five positions. Before breaking down some clips, it’s important to note that in my opinion, Beran will not be as good as Basile offensively. However, Beran definitely shows why he will be a better defender than Basile on his senior year film.

Note: Thank you to College Basketball Scouting on YouTube for some of the clips on Robbie Beran used in this breakdown.

Interior Defense & Shot Blocking

When looking at Beran’s shot blocking numbers, not a whole lot stands out. He averaged 0.7 blocks per game in the box score and 3.6 blocks per 100 possessions which is slightly above average on the advanced stats side of men’s college basketball. However, there is probably more than meets the stats for Beran on defense.

Beran doesn’t have the quickest feet for a 6’9 forward/big and that’s shown here. His man blows by him on the first couple steps but Beran is able to recover with a couple long strided steps. What stands out about the play is Beran’s ability to reach with his left hand across his body and get all-ball after his man got the step on him. Beran uses tremendous strength, hand placement, and coordination to force the turnover.

In clip two, Beran is acting as a weak side shot blocker and makes a big impact to disrupt the shot attempt. Beran notices the perimeter defensive breakdown and reacts accordingly. He shuffles his feet towards a good help position on the right side of the hoop and times up his jump to get just enough of the ball to force a bad missed shot.

Northwestern’s early season game against Prairie View A&M was one of two games all year in which Beran notched three blocks. Interestingly enough, all three of Beran’s rejections came on the same possession. He exhibits some of the qualities of the last play as he gets in good position to help, uses his length well, and blocks the initial shot at the hoop. From there, Beran is able to square his chest with the offensive rebounder, keep his arms vertical and block his shot twice.

On the final defensive play, Beran shows how he can keep up with guards when he’s forced to switch onto them. His man even shoves away a screen, signaling that he thinks Beran is an easy matchup. However, it's not that easy when Beran goes step for step, makes solid body contact with his man, and blocks his shot. Finally, Beran does well to tip the ball to a teammate and give his team possession.

Catch & Shoot Three-Point Shooting

Throughout his four-year college career, Beran has knocked down a healthy 36% of his long range shots. Is it concerning that his career worst 34% for a season was his senior year? I’ll say no because it was also his highest volume as Beran shot 3.3 three point attempts.

Beran certainly isn’t the most lights out shooter from downtown, but he’s a more than reliable floor spacing threat. Beran is plenty comfortable catching the rock from the top of the key and letting it fly from deep. These above the break threes are a common shot for Beran and one that he will shoot often at Virginia Tech.

One similarity between Beran and Tech’s last stretch five big is a play like this. Beran goes to set a screen, slips out of it early, and floats a few feet to his left for an open three. Beran’s ability to be a pick-and-pop threat will be great for the Hokies' offense. Basile hurt defenses with this last year so having the continuity continue on with Beran will be crucial towards future success.

Off Ball Movement & Outside Shooting Continued

Another part of Virginia Tech’s offense is complex sets that involve multiple screening actions and heavy off-ball movement. Beran showcased his ability to fit into a scheme like that last year.

In the play above, he swings the ball to the top of the key and comes off a well-timed back screen. Beran realizes he’s about to be swarmed immediately off the catch so he flips the ball up and into the hoop just in time.

The first off-ball cut was within the structure of the offense. This second one is more instinctive and not within the offensive structure. Beran lifts up on the three-point line as his teammate with the ball in his hands drives to the basket. When his teammate gets stuck, Beran cuts into the three point arc which loses his defender. Beran dribbles into a clean mid-range jumper, showing he’s more than just a beyond the arc shooter.

Beran is also more than a stationary outside shooter. Here, he runs up from the right dunker spot and comes off a screen to fire up a long range three. Beran curls his body and sets his feet well which are indicators of a dynamic shooter. Beran’s off-ball movement will fit well into Mike Young’s offensive system.