Much like her on-court persona, Jess Finney was no joke on April 1st, when she sent a tweet that would change her life and send reverberations throughout the West Coast recruiting scene.
A Proven Gamer
A 5’10 guard out of Chaparral High School in Scottsdale (AZ), Finney is a well-known and much sought after 2021 recruit because of her game-time ability to rise to any level of competition.
The on-court catalyst of the well-respected powerhouse Arizona Select UAA program, Jess is a combo/lead guard with a thin, rangy build and long arms and legs.
Jess is considered a combo guard because of her excellent ability to shoot from deep and score off the dribble-drive, but throughout a game Finney will often play like a classic point guard.
So Many Tools in Her Bag
In my review of game film, Jess Finney plays the game with a controlled pace, quickly but not hurried.
Finney consistently demonstrates a smooth shooting stroke to the three-point arc and beyond — to about the international three-point distance.
Jess has a quick shooting release off-the-catch or off-the-dribble, which allows her to comfortably get off her shot even if closely guarded.
When she is the primary ball-handler on offense, Finney exudes a confident presence.
Jess always plays the game with her head up, demonstrating good playmaker’s vision and court awareness of the defense and her teammates.
Finney is a crisp passer when feeding teammates, which shows the attention to detail in her game.
Jess has good quickness with the ball; and she uses an effective first step with a shifty change-of-pace, change-of-direction dribble to setup a drive to the lane.
Demonstrating a classic point guard technique, Finney uses a probing dribble against team defensive pressure to find a shot for herself or teammates.
Jess has some flair to her game, as she favors one-handed scoop finishes on the break or drives to the basket, which she consistently makes.
Without the ball, Finney shows good movement to maintain one-pass-away spacing.
Jess Finney’s exceptional basketball IQ is on display at all times; and coupled with her on-ball creativity and shot-making ability, it makes her a very tough matchup.
As a defender, Finney demonstrates good anticipation with quick hands and feet.
Future Looks Bright With Some Added Growth
Jess Finney’s all-business game demeanor is reminiscent of a point guard’s leadership; and it is easy to see her assuming that role, at times, with Washington.
However, Finney’s slight build will require added strength and muscle to withstand the PAC-12 gauntlet of exceptional guards — particularly to finish her shots around the basket, as well as be a physical defender.
Jess should be able to contribute at UW immediately as a freshman, because of her deep shooting range and her all-around game.
But Jess will probably need the benefits of a college strength and conditioning program to become an impact player comparable to the abilities she showcases at the high school level.