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NBA draft prospect Miles McBride (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/2021 Getty Images)
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Utah Jazz NBA Draft Prospect: Miles McBride

NBA draft prospect Miles McBride (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/2021 Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA Draft is later and the Utah Jazz own the 30th pick in the first round. One player that could be an option for the Jazz late in the first round is West Virginia guard Miles “Deuce” McBride.

McBride is an undersized 6’1 guard but carries a nearly 6’9 wingspan which allowed him to carve out a niche as a strong defender in two seasons at West Virginia.

The guard averaged 15.9 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.9 rebounds during his second and final season with the Mountaineers.

Miles McBride – WVU: Guard

15.9 Points, 3.9 Rebounds, 4.8 Assists, 43.1/41.4/81.3

Strengths: Despite strong scoring averages as a sophomore, McBride proved to be most dangerous as an on-ball defender in two seasons at West Virginia. The sophomore guard is aggressive at the point of attack defensively where he uses his 6’9 wingspan effectively on the perimeter.

Knew when he could attack lesser ball handlers on the court, and when to rely on his feet and solid fundamentals against the better guards (Jalen Suggs at Gonzaga) at the college level. Due to his long arms, he’s able to defend both backcourt positions even though he’ll be shorter than most guards in the NBA.

As a scorer, McBride is heavily reliant on his pull-up jump shot both from mid-range and the three-point line where he shot a promising 41 percent as a sophomore. Rare for long-armed guards to have such a pretty jump shot which he gets off over bigger defenders.

Had a very promising assist to turnover ratio, averaging nearly five dimes per game and only 1.8 turnovers. Has a tight confident handle that rarely causes issues in the halfcourt.

McBride has an extremely high motor and seems to relish doing some of the little things that help teams win.

Weaknesses: Though his assist numbers are promising, McBride is not a natural playmaker like some other point guards projected to be drafted late in the first round. He doesn’t read the floor particularly well and a lot of his assists are born out of teammates making shots one pass away.

That’s a potential concern at 6’1 if he’s asked to play off the ball.

Due to his height, he can be overly reliant on his pull-up game rather than getting all the way to the hoop for layups where he had his shot blocked pretty regularly. McBride averaged 4.2 free throws a game which isn’t bad but could be higher to offset his 43 percent field goal success rate inside the three-point line.

There aren’t a lot of great defenders in the NBA that are 6’1, so while it may have been a strength in college, it might not translate as seamlessly to the next level.

Overall: McBride was certainly the best player at West Virginia last season and was asked to carry a big load on both sides of the floor.

Among better scorers in the NBA, he might be able to focus even more on the defensive end while continuing to develop as a spot-up shooter, something he did well as a Mountaineer.

If he continues to develop as a playmaker, McBride has the chance to be a starter in the NBA when teamed with his strong shooting and defensive abilities. But even if the playmaking never evolves, he could excel as a secondary ball-handler and tenacious defender a la Patrick Beverley.

Previous Draft Breakdowns:

Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland

Quentin Grimes

Jaden Springer

JT Thor

Sharife Cooper

Ayo Dosunmu

Jared Butler

Joshua Primo

Tre Mann

Herbert Jones