McCormick's Musings (Part 2)

In part two of our chat with former Michigan standout and college basketball and NBA analyst Tim McCormick we delve into the landing spots for other NBA stars, the potential impact of Dante Exum on Trey Burke in Utah, and more.


Sam Webb:  Let us talk about the Michigan State guys.  You mentioned them.  They are the Top 100 guys too and Adreian Payne and Gary Harris, he slid a little bit farther than I expected.  Was that all about height for him? 

Tim McCormick:  “I’m a big fan of Gary Harris and I think that part of the reason he slipped is that there were some times this year that I thought he struggled a little bit.  He is a great shooter.  But I didn’t blame his, and when I say inconsistency, he still was an All Big Ten guard but I think he seemed affected a lot by all of the injuries to Keith Appling and AP had some struggles.  It was just a crazy year with injuries for Michigan State.  It looked to me like every defense that played the Spartans was so loaded up to stop Gary Harris.  I don’t think he reacted great at times but it was the first time he had experienced that.  I look at Gary Harris as being so unique because he plays both ends of the court.  He is just a beautiful shooter.  Atlanta is going to be an opportunity for him.  I think he is going to get some early time and it could be one of the real surprises in this year’s NBA draft.” 

Sam Webb:  And then Payne is a seven footer that can play out on the perimeter.  That is a unique thing, obviously, as we saw in college, I don’t think it’s a thing that you see too many guys able to do on the NBA side either. 

Tim McCormick:  “No, I spent a lot of time with Adreian at the pre-draft camp in Chicago.  I was in awe in the amount of growth that he has made as a man in his four years.  When he was at the Top 100 camp, I think he was shy, his communication skills were pretty mediocre.  To see how much he has grown as a person was really exciting to see.  Also, on the court, he is going to be a highly successful player because of the era that we are walking into right now.  Metrics and analytics are just so huge in the NBA right now.  There are teams that specifically, they run their offense, do two things, get lay-ups or three pointers.  The center position, the power forward position is no longer, we are going to throw the ball on the low post, we are going to run our offense through our big guys.  It’s get point guards that can drive and kick it to face up fours that can knock down threes.  Remember when Adreian was a freshman/sophomore, the guy never shot the ball, he never left the paint.  Through his work ethic and gaining the confidence of his coaches, last year I thought that I would put him up against any big man in the conference in terms of consistently knocking down jump shots.  They are going to find a way to get him shots and his three-point range is going to be a great weapon because he shoots effortlessly.  He has a lot of range to his shot and I think he will do nothing but improve.” 

Sam Webb:  Just great insight, terrific insight Tim.  I want you to do this for me, I want to get to talking about Top 100 camp.  The Jazz, they take Dante Exum in the draft.  You have a combo guard in Alec Burks is already on the squad.  Trey Burke had an outstanding rookie season.  Is this a scenario where all of those guys can play together?  Even Gordon Hayward got some time on the ball last year.  Is this a situation where all those guys can play together or do you think that someone in that mix is going to be on the way out? 

Tim McCormick:  “I was impressed with Trey Burke and I think that he’s who we thought he was.  I just wonder if the Jazz management felt like maybe a lot of Trey Burke’s numbers were based on the fact that, hey somebody has got to score.  It is an NBA game and there is going to be 100 points.  Maybe they were not as impressed with his performance as maybe we were from afar.  I think that it’s going to be difficult for all of them to play together and so I would not be surprised to see somebody move at some point.” 

Sam Webb:  What can you tell us about Spencer Dinwiddie, to the Pistons fans around here? 

Tim McCormick:  “He would have been a high lottery pick if wasn’t for his knee injury last year.  It was devastating because he had Colorado in a position where they look like an Elite 8 caliber team.  He is a big guard.  I don’t know if he is a point guard.  To me he looks more like he is better off the ball.  With his size, athleticism, and his play-making ability, he’s got star potential all over him.  If they are listing him as a two, Kantaveous Caldwell-Pope is going to have a real challenge to outwork him and outplay him.  The big question mark is, is his knee going to be healthy, he will be able to play next year but will he be fully 100%.  A lot of times, guys that have the ACL say it takes about a year and a half before they really feel like they’ve got that full burst.”


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