Pull-up shooting? Check. Elite defense? Check. Ability to run an offense? Check. Deuce McBride is a tenacious pitbull that has it all, and yet he still isn’t garnering quite the amount of NBA attention that he deserves to this point.
“Miles McBride still isn’t in ESPN’s top 100. He’s long been a Draft Twitter guy, but it’s very strange that someone playing awesome perimeter defense & initiating the offense — while flashing high-level pull-up shooting — for the No. 8 team in the country can’t even crack top 100,” -Jackson Frank
Miles McBride: CG, 6’2″, 6’4″ Wingspan (est.), 200 lbs., West Virginia, (20 years old).
Offensive role: Secondary Creator.
Defensive role: Disruptive multi-guard defender.
NBA projected role: Rotation player, starter upside.
Swing factor: Transitioning into a primary creator
ESPN 2021 Big Board: N/A (!)
My Big Board: 24th
McBride made the Big12 Freshman team along with former teammate Oscar Tshibwe, Terrence Shannon Jr., Jahmi’us Ramsey and Christian Braun to complete quite the list a season ago. While he wasn’t featured in a prominent role offensively, he had some moments where he flashed some star equity including a 22-point outburst against Texas Tech on just 11 shot attempts. While the consistency wasn’t there, he was a vital piece coming off the bench for the Mountaineers. After a promising freshman campaign, Deuce started to draw some interest at the pro level according to West Virginia’s head coach Bob Huggins. “He’s the first name out of their mouth,” said Huggins when talking about NBA teams calling.
Bob Huggins on which player is generating the most calls and interest from the professional level: pic.twitter.com/QjvYbNI443— Joe Brocato (@joebrowvm) October 22, 2020
So far, his sophomore season has been everything you hoped it would be and then some, as he’s led the way for West Virginia as their number one option offensively, while playing that stingy, rugged classic Bob Huggins defense. Through 15 games he’s putting up some pretty intriguing numbers that match the eye test. He’s not just putting up the numbers though, he’s emerged as a well-respected leader for a very good team.
Additional 2020/2021 Statistics: (via Barttorvik.com)
- BPM: 10.2
- TS%: 57.3%
- Usage: 22.0%
- AST/TO ratio: 2.3
- Dunks: 4-4 (100%)
- Close 2’s: 23-34 (67.6%)
- Far 2’s: 34-92 (37.0%)
- Free Throw Rate: 30.4%
- Steal rate: 3.1%
This game-winner goes to show you that he is not afraid of the moment as he went toe-to-toe with Mac McClung and a very strong Texas Tech squad. Taking down the 10th ranked Red Raiders after having the game he did (24 pts on 7-12 FG, 3-4 3pt, 7-8 FT, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO) is quite impressive and was a coming-out party of sorts on ESPN.
MILES MCBRIDE GAME-WINNER 🔥— Bleacher Report CBB (@br_CBB) January 26, 2021
No. 11 West Virginia takes down No. 10 Texas Tech pic.twitter.com/G2cJQVxhD1
While McBride isn’t necessarily a pure point guard, he can absolutely handle sharing floor general responsibilities as a co-captain or secondary creator. Ideally he plays alongside at least one more shot creator to lessen the creation burden for him. His ability to score from all three levels cannot be overstated enough, as he operates comfortably out of the post and can finish through traffic.
The development of his off-the-dribble shooting has elevated his offensive ceiling quite dramatically and can offset some playmaking or lead guard concerns that many had about him entering college. He does need to improve on knowing when to be less aggressive on his drives at times, because he can force the issue which leads to a charge or wild shot at the rim. When he’s under control he’s at his best from a decision-making standpoint. His assist-to-turnover ratio is quite good at 2.3, but there are occasional mental errors that he can cut down on.
Here are some of his clutch shots off the dribble or on the move vs. Texas Tech:
There is such a small margin for error for undersized guards due to their impact being limited even if they are borderline elite. Luckily for Deuce, he is elite
for his size defensively. I have very little concern over his ability to guard opposing point guards effectively at the next level, and he should be able to defend most 2’s as well, and though he won’t be switchable on the perimeter to guard wings due to his height, he is a pest that will fight for every inch on the court.
Here are the things I think he does really well defensively: denying the ball, anticipating passes, applying pressure at the point-of-attack, fighting through screens, help-side rotations, blowing up plays in transition, and last but not least being an absolute menace that makes his opponent uncomfortable to dribble around him. That is an overwhelming amount of positives on this side of the ball, and it’s an area of his game that (along with the shooting) will give him a chance to crack an NBA rotation.
Here, you see him anticipate the pass, snatch it and take it coast to coast right through contact and finishes strong over the defense.
This video tells you just about everything you need to know about his defensive tenacity.
26 seconds of Miles McBride defense… Enjoy pic.twitter.com/DhPLyu2uyN— Zach Milner (@ZachMilner13) December 7, 2020
He’s proven to be a reliable pull-up threat, and that is a skill that on it’s own is very much in high demand in the NBA today. Despite somewhat uninspiring shooting numbers as a whole his freshman season, the pull-up shooting was there in flashes throughout the season, and with increased confidence he’s taken it to another level.
Here’s one of those pull-up flashes from his freshman season:
Really smooth pull-up jumper from Miles McBride, who's averaging 16.5 points on 53.7% shooting (7/12 from 3) over his past 4 games. He's one of 7 freshman with a BPM over 10 (min. 300 minutes). pic.twitter.com/HH9L9hZwmB— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) January 14, 2020
He can also finish through contact in the paint, which makes him a dangerous, multi-dimensional scorer. He’s had many post-up opportunities where he takes advantage of his strength and body control to out-muscle opponents. While that may not be an area that is feasible to translate against NBA athletes, it’s a positive sign that he has the requisite strength to survive the physicality of the association.
Role at the next level
The easiest path for McBride in the NBA is essentially serving as a co-creator in an offensive system where he can balance playing both on and off the ball– which is when he’s at his best. There are several situations or pairings in the backcourt or with jumbo initiators where I think he could thrive. While he isn’t the floater god that Tyrese Maxey was, they are a very similar archetype and it will be fascinating to track their development in the coming years. Undersized guards that aren’t quite natural point guards have to bring a lot to the table to survive in the NBA, but I think he has the requisite ancillary skills to endure and even thrive at the next level.
Here’s a list of some teams that I think he’d excel on or at least be put in a position to succeed: Celtics, Lakers, Nets, Nuggets, 76ers, Jazz, Suns, Bucks, and Grizzlies. The thing these teams all have in common? They have the engines to their offense in place and he could serve in a role that is best suited to his strengths immediately. There are several more that could make sense, but these are the ones that jump out to me off the top of my head the most at the moment.
One thing to keep in mind is that he hasn’t received a ton of NBA buzz just yet, so if he declares and the feedback from teams isn’t promising there’s a very legitimate shot that he returns for his junior season at West Virginia. Either way, expect him to garner more NBA interest as he continues his impressive sophomore campaign. And for all those March Madness folks, McBride is a prime candidate to have a breakout tournament.
Here’s a quick highlight montage from his freshman season at West Virginia.
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Categories: NBA Draft