Benjamin Worgull/Scout

Verbal View: Breaking Down West Virginia Basketball Commit Jordan McCabe

West Virginia is getting a player with classic point guard skills in the form of Jordan McCabe, who committed to the Mountaineer basketball program on Tuesday evening.


McCabe is a high level penetrate and pass point guard -- a type of player that West Virginia hasn't had a great deal of over the past few years. The Mountaineers have certainly been good at the position, with players like Juwan Staten and Darris Nichols handling the job with aplomb, but none of them have the ballhandling skills of McCabe. He pushes the ball up the court, penetrates extremely well, and more often than not hits open teammates with no-look or flashy passes that set them up for easy shots. While many guards have the ability to drive and penetrate, McCabe, like a select few, seems to have the ball on a string, and under control at all times. He may add a little mustard to some of his moves, but all are designed to create space and operating room for himself and his teammates.

The rising junior is also working on improving his perimeter shooting, and he displayed the results of those efforts with 24 points in the title game as he led Kaukauna High School to a Division II state championship in March. That came on the heels of a 31-point showing (including five threes) in a semi-final win. His play and leadership earned him AP first team All-State honors, and set the stage for an outstanding summer season in which he has continued to shine. If McCabe continues on a solid improvement arc over his next two high school seasons, the Mountaineers will have snatched a gem while many other schools were still watching.


At 5-11, McCabe will have to battle guards bigger than he. Of course, he also still has at least three years of growing left, so he could easily add two or three inches to his height before he's ready to handle collegiate guard duties. He's also determined to shut down the naysayers who criticize that aspect of his game, and is set on demonstrating that he can play defense. His six steals in the state semifinals a year ago show that he's not just hanging around on defense.

McCabe's YouTube ballhandling videos, which go back several years, have unfairly tagged him as a showman, or a one-trick player. That doesn't appear to be the case, however. Certainly, his dribbling and passing are flashy and evoke comparisons to Pete Maravich (for old schoolers) or Jason Williams (for the younger crowd), but he eschews such comparisons. He told's Jeff Cobb that he doesn't like the nicknames or the hoopla that has come from the mixtapes, and instead is just concentrating on being the best player he can be. There will always be those who condemn flashy play as self-serving, but the results he gets on the court (not to mention his overall game) serve to counter any such criticism.

OVERALL ANALYSIS offers this look at WVU's newest commitment in the Class of 2018:

"McCabe is a flashy dribbler and playmaker who also knocks down open threes with regularity. Albeit on the smaller side by today’s college standards, McCabe possesses solid quickness as well and is a fairly complete player to be so young. As he matures, ideally he’ll grow another inch or two and certainly should continue to gain strength. The fact that he's comfortable in pick and roll makes him all the more enticing as a prospect."

West Virginia's coaches have been able to see McCabe in multiple settings, and clearly like the way his game fits their view of the evolution of the Mountaineer offense. With the game continuing to trend more to the high ball screen, the pick-and-roll and open post sets, WVU sees an excellent match with McCabe's abilities. It's still a long time before he will get to campus, but the Mountaineers have a great get at the top of the offense with which to jump start its offensive sets of the future. 

Mountaineers Daily Top Stories