NBA Draft Profile: Brandon McCoy
The former UNLV star could be taken in Thursday’s second round
McCoys strengths and weaknesses make him one of the most interesting prospects in this year’s draft class.
The 2018 NBA Draft will take place in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Thursday.
Among the draft hopefuls is one-and-done UNLV star Brandon McCoy, who projects to be selected late in the second round of Thursday’s draft.
Below is our breakdown of McCoy and where he projects to hear his name called on Thursday.
Polished offensive game around the rim
There might not have been a better player in the Mountain West at scoring around the rim. McCoy was able to score the bulk of his 16.9 points per game by using his superior footwork and size to work his way to the basket, and once there, McCoy’s soft touch enabled him to convert.
McCoy finished the season averaging just over ten rebounds per game, with 10 or more rebounds in a game 19 times. Per KenPom, McCoy had an offensive rebounding rate of 12.8% and a defensive rebounding rate of 25.1%, ranking his 61st and 43rd nationally, respectively. McCoy knows how to use his NBA-ready build and footwork around the basket to effectively rebound on both ends of the court.
While his overall defense may be questionable, one aspect that isn’t is McCoy’s ability as a rim protector. McCoy finished the season averaging 1.8 blocks per game while blocking two or more shots in a game 16 times over the course of the season. McCoy has all the attributes to be an elite shot blocker and finished just six blocks behind Arizona’s Deandre Ayton, the possible number one overall pick.
Defense in space
Defense is McCoy’s most glaring weakness at this point, and is likely a major contributor to his fall in many of the mock drafts. Often during the end of the season, McCoy was being subbed out while UNLV was on defense and needing a stop, as the big man struggled to defend smaller, quicker forwards that were able to get him isolated in space, and then would blow by him on their way to the rim. McCoy is not an athletic freak like a Deandre Ayton or Mo Bamba, but had 60 blocks during his lone campaign at UNLV. He’s shown that he can be an effective rim protector, but he’s just going to need a lot of work learning how to defend in space, which he’ll be asked to do a lot at the pro level.
On the year, McCoy finished 3 of 9 from deep, which isn’t a terrible percentage, but it’s also way too small of a sample size to actually know what kind of perimeter shooter McCoy is capable of being. As the NBA trends away from the traditional back to the basket center, and to more of a free flow, 3-point shooting game, McCoy will need to develop a consistent 3-point shot in order to earn consistent minutes at the NBA level.
Passing out of the post
As the NBA game continues to become more reliant on 3-point shooting, it’s important to have a center that has good court vision and ability to make difficult passes out of the post. McCoy consistently struggled with this over the course of his lone collegiate season. Teams would double McCoy right after he received a pass and if he didn’t have a lane to the basket or a chance to get established in the post before the double, he would struggle to find his open teammate on the perimeter. This led to McCoy forcing up bad shots, or dribbling in traffic and committing turnovers.
Projected draft result: 58th overall selection by Denver Nuggets.
McCoy is an incredibly talented basketball player, but will likely need some time to develop in the G League, as his defense in space isn’t ready for the NBA level. However, a team that is willing to let him develop should reap the benefits of having an offensively gifted center and rim protector. Most sources have McCoy being drafted in the middle to late second round or not drafted altogether.