Fan's Guide to the McIntosh commitment

Our scouting report of new Northwestern commit Bryant McIntosh. During July, PW collected some in-person analysis of his game and skillset.

He's the ideal versatile point guard.

Even on his profile, McIntosh is listed as a shooting guard. When Chris Collins offered him in July, though, he made one thing clear: McIntosh would play the point in Evanston. During July performances for Eric Gordon All Stars (AAU), the Greensburg (Ind.) talent flashed his playmaking ability. He made strong, quick decisions whenever driving the lane, and could find talented teammates Sam Logwood and Mack Mercer for open looks. With some development, he'll be comfortable when guarding speedy Big Ten floor generals—the Aaron Craft types. Overall, it's the perfect fit for NU, which needed to fill a PG spot so desperately.

He'll knock down shots.

Collins continues to recruit shooters. His first commit, Vic Law, earns praise for his range. His second, Gavin Skelly, fits the "stretch four" mold of someone who can spread the floor and create matchup difficulties. Now, Bryant McIntosh adds another serious perimeter threat. Though admirably unselfish, McIntosh can always challenge opponents with the three-point field goal. It's not just that: He keeps his control in the paint, pulling up for some mid-range looks and quick layups. If the shot's there, McIntosh will find it.

He can make winning plays.

Count on McIntosh to do some of everything: shoot, pass, drive, and even rebound. In July, he faced some difficult schemes–like Compton's 1-2-1-1 full-court press–that might be impossible for coaches to evaluate. He can step in wherever, leading the team well against full court pressure. When I first watched him play, I think he grabbed four or five defensive rebounds, showing willingness to stay involved. McIntosh also emanates leadership qualities, and has the intense disposition that will make him an easy player for Collins and his staff to work with.

He's deceptively athletic.

This is a big plus. As noted earlier, Collins watched McIntosh throw down an alley-oop slam during the July evaluation period. Of course, this will put fans in the oft-vacant Welsh Ryan Arena. But it'll add another dimension to this team, and not just in terms of dunks. His strong fitness, aided by trainer Darnel Fox, leads to sharp defensive ability and enhanced moves in the lane. It'll be a welcome sight on the purple floor beginning in 2014.

He's going to start right away.

With all due respect to current Northwestern point guard Dave Sobolewski, I'd be absolutely stunned if McIntosh didn't start over the senior during the 2014-15 season. He's a better player (already) on both ends of the floor, with a more advanced offensive game and the requisite length to defend in this competitive conference. Sobolewski can still contribute as an effective backup and senior leader. Still, if Collins can oversee quick development of McIntosh and Law, this team will compete for an NCAA Tournament bid when the 2014 recruiting class arrives on campus.

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