When Patrick McCaw committed to UNLV in 2014, he was the least heralded of all the recruits that made up a top 10 class nationally. He was the son of a high school coach, who was supposed to use is high basketball IQ to earn minutes as a roll player early on in his career and also be a player that Dave Rice could build his team around for the next four years.
However, after 2 seasons, he became the team's best player, averaging 14.7 points per game as a sophomore, and has himself primed to be a potential first round draft pick in this months NBA Draft.
Here, the Mountain West Connection will look at his strengths and weaknesses.
Defense - During McCaw's two years at UNLV, he built a reputation as one of the top defensive guards in the nation. As a sophomore he averaged 2.5 steals per game and became known as a strip and score specialist. Furthermore, he has the ability to aggressively defend all three guard positions and it's his defensive prowess that has him climbing up in mock drafts and it will be his best opportunity to carve out a role for himself early on in his NBA career.
Athleticism - While McCaw isn't one of the superior athletes in this draft, he possess exceptional quickness and speed on the court. It's this quickness and speed that allows him to defend multiple positions and as his offensive game develops, his quickness and speed will make him a handful for opposing players to guard.
Size (height) - McCaw possess great size for a guard, measuring in at 6'7" with a 6'10" wingspan. NBA teams love this type of size with guards, because it allows players to switch on perimeter ball screens making it easier to defend against other teams 3-point shooters. This attribute, combined with his defensive ability, should allow McCaw to contribute immediately as a defensive specialist on whatever team drafts him.
3-pt Shooting - As a sophomore, McCaw shot 36% from three point range, which is respectable in college. However, with the NBA becoming even more dependent on three point shooting, McCaw will need to become a much more efficient perimeter shooter if he's going to become more than just a role player on an NBA roster.
Size (weight) - While McCaws height and wingspan are strengths, he is one of the lightest players in the draft, weighing in at 180lbs. Until McCaw fills out his frame, NBA teams will question his durability and also his ability to drive into the lane and finish at the rim against more psychically developed NBA players.