In advance of the 2018 NBA Draft, Peachtree Hoops will be breaking down prospects, both from the college ranks and internationally, with an eye toward what the Atlanta Hawks will be evaluating in the coming days. More than 50 prospects will be profiled in this space and, in the end, the goal is to inform Hawks fans prior to June 21, when the Hawks are scheduled to make four selections with the first 33 picks.
Today’s installment will break down the work of UNLV big man Brandon McCoy.
Brandon McCoy put up solid numbers during his freshman campaign at UNLV. He led the team in points, rebounds and blocks playing for a fairly solid team. The first-year big man also represented him self well in a December match-up against Arizona and the would be consensus top-five pick Deandre Ayton, putting up 33 points and 10 rebounds in an eventual three-point loss in overtime.
McCoy also brings a solid physical frame to the table at 7’0 and 250 pounds. He’s not necessarily an explosive athlete, although he is pretty fast for his size. UNLV played at a well above average pace and he lead the team in usage by a decent margin.
If he is going to be a useful player at the next level, McCoy’s perimeter shot is going to have to continue to improve. The 7-footer was solid in the post at the collegiate level but he’s not nearly dynamic in area of his ball skill that he should expect to get to operate on the block in the NBA.
He did make 3 of his 9 three point attempts on the season (clearly a minuscule sample size). But his shooting form looks really clean and efficient. For a player his size, his release is reasonably quick. Overall, he shot 55 percent from the field and an encouraging 72.5 percent from the free throw line.
McCoy is not able to create looks for others and simply has a long way to go as a passer. He also turns the ball over too frequently such that he should expect to spend a lot of time in his first NBA season in the G League. He had just 17 assists and 87 turnovers in his first and only NCAA season.
He is comfortable with his hook shot shooting it over either shoulder. On this play, he shoots it with the left hand. Note that he is a right handed shooter, so this play is encouraging.
But it is easy to get him to turn the ball over when he is double teamed. On this play, McCoy dribbles into more trouble by backing into the corner and makes an ugly pass that results in a turnover.
Like most players his age, he strongly prefers operating in space than in tight quarters. He will need to get stronger to be effective in the half court offense at the next level.
McCoy was a very strong rebounder and shot blocker at the collegiate level, compiling 14.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per 40 minutes. He solidly anchored the UNLV defense at the age of 19 and they were an average unit on that end of the court, which is not a bad result.
He was not asked to defend on the perimeter very frequently and his team ran a pretty simplistic scheme. So it’s unlikely that he is fully ready to make reads and decisions in an NBA setting.
He has a solid base with which to work and knows how to use it defending in the post.
He is proactive about not letting his opponent set up to close to the basket. And he competes as to not give ground while also not fouling.
He does a nice job of contesting his opponents shots at the release and forcing them to shoot over him.
It’s a little surprising that McCoy did not reserve the option to return to UNLV. He is fully committed to the draft. Some mocks have him going at around the end of the first round (placing him in Atlanta’s theoretical range), but a team will need to really believe he can develop the perimeter shot to take him any higher than that.
He’s a big player that has impressive coordination and athleticism. But McCoy’s basketball skills have a way to go before he’s ready to contribute in any real way at the NBA level.