Bryant McIntosh is a Northwestern legend. He’s the program’s all-time assists leader (and holds the single-game record), he drove the Wildcats to their first-ever NCAA Tournament and he hit big shots time and time again. Now, he’s trying to get to the next level and stick in the NBA, which will be no easy feat. An experienced, wily player, his savvy and shot-making could give him a chance if he can hit threes more consistently. That said, it’s an uphill climb for the Greensburg, Ind. native.
Courtesy of KenPom.com
The number that jumps out for McIntosh is his assist rate, which at 34.6 was the 31st-best in the country last season. So, when he was on the floor, McIntosh was the fulcrum of the offense and a catalyst for his teammates. The most important statistic for him is his three-point shooting, however, which was poor. He shot just 31.1 percent from beyond-the-arc, which is not nearly good enough for an NBA point guard that will probably be a liability on defense. That number should jump up when his job is to play basketball and he trains day-in, day-out at a higher level, and it’ll have to.
What’s concerning is that B-Mac’s offensive rating — and his play as a whole — declined in each of his final three seasons in Evanston. He was heroic at times, especially during the Tournament run, but he couldn’t quite find consistency in his final two years. Pro teams may feel like he doesn’t have as much room to grow.
- Passing and vision — The assist totals speak for themselves. B-Mac is a great passer, and he’s always willing to get others involved. He can run a team well and understands how to balance getting shots for others and controlling tempo.
- Competitiveness — You can’t quantify this, but McIntosh is tough, and he works incredibly hard. He isn’t content with losing, and he expects greatness from all those around him. He’ll undoubtedly handle himself with professionalism and class, to go along with a tenacious mindset.
- Floaters — Ohhhh yeah. The best floater-game in the Big Ten, bar none. He’s so crafty in the short mid-range area, and knows how to avoid shot-blockers and flip up silky runners in the lane. In a league where the players are even bigger and getting all the way to the bucket is even harder, being able to have a go-to shot is important, and B-Mac has it.
- Ballhandling — The ball was literally in McIntosh’s hands for entire possessions at a time, and he was basically a one-man press break in close games. He can deal with pressure, and doesn’t turn it over a whole lot.
- Athleticism/defense — Athleticism and defense are different, but they’re grouped together here because they overlap for McIntosh. He isn’t really quick enough to chase around most NBA-caliber point guards, and he doesn’t have great size, which means he’ll struggle defensively. It’s hard to overcome glaring deficiencies in those areas.
- Shooting — B-Mac can shoot, but he hasn’t done it well enough in recent seasons. The jury is still out on this one, as is previously mentioned, but the numbers from last season won’t cut it at the next level.
- Age — The NBA values youth and potential, so McIntosh will be considered old in NBA circles. Some evaluators might think he doesn’t have the same capacity to improve as less-refined but younger prospects.
It would be huge, almost monumental shock in McIntosh hears his name called at the NBA Draft. He just isn’t really athletic enough to get on teams’ radars, and his game is better suited for college than the NBA. Still, he’ll work hard wherever he ends up, whether it be the G-League or Europe. Even if he isn’t an NBA-level player, that doesn’t take away from anything he achieved at Northwestern. He’s an all-timer at NU, and that won’t change.