Star rating: 3
Who is he?
Bryant McIntosh seems to be the point guard Chris Collins has been looking for. He has good size, is a good athlete, has a nice handle and is a solid shooter. He appears to run the pick-and-roll well and, most importantly, has the type of game where he can break down his defender and get into the lane for his own shot or to create for others.
The Greensburg (Indiana) alum, led his high school to back-to-back state championships in his junior and senior seasons and compiled a 77-3 record during his sophomore, junior and senior years. Frankly, the kid is a winner. As a junior, McIntosh tallied 17.9 points and 7.4 assists per game and as a senior, his scoring dropped back a bit, but he posted in impressive 9.2 assists per game.
Following summer workouts, Collins referred to McIntosh, who can play both on and off the ball as a guard, as a "real smart player" and a "key guy" for the team's success.
What are his expectations heading into this year?
McIntosh's first goal is to beat out Dave Sobolewski for the role of being the team's top ball-handler. With that, everything else should fall into place. There's no reason to believe that McIntosh won't have a huge impact on the season, setting himself up for what could be a memorable four-year career in Evanston.
Obviously, McIntosh will need to get stronger. Opposing guards will be able to body him up and there's no way to predict how the freshman will handle the pressure of playing point guard against some of the toughest defenses in the country. Point guard is probably the hardest transition out of any position for a high schooler moving to college ball and because of that, McIntosh will make his fair share of mistakes.
The one skill that McIntosh will need to have in order to make a major impact is his shooting, especially off of the dribble. Due to the amount of pick and roll Northwestern runs, it's imperative that the ball-handlers are able to be a threat to shoot, drive or pass after coming around the screen. If McIntosh is able to be an effective shooter off of the bounce, he could see major minutes for the Wildcats and give them a dimension they didn't really have last season.