Men's Basketball, WVU Sports

Deuce McBride making his case at the NBA Combine to be a first-round pick

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Deuce McBride took a few steps to his left and then rushed to the corner of the gym at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, where someone pumped him a pass.

Seconds later, the WVU point guard swished the shot.

Again and again, McBride repeated the drill, mostly with the same result.

It was a drill he’s done hundreds of times inside the WVU Coliseum, except this time it was different.

This time, McBride was performing in front of NBA general managers and scouts.

Those are the ones who hold McBride’s possible NBA future in their hands, and according to the latest mock drafts, they’ve liked what they’ve seen.

Heading into the combine, McBride was projected as an early second-round selection in next month’s draft if he decided to leave WVU early.

That has changed, according to the top mock drafts, who now list McBride as a late first-round pick, which would come with a guaranteed two-year contract worth at the very least $1.61 million in its first season, according to the NBA salary scale.

So, where is McBride being projected? has him projected the highest at No. 22 to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Bleacher Report has McBride going 27th overall to the Brooklyn Nets.

ESPN has him projected at No. 30 — the final pick in the first round — to the Utah Jazz.

CBS has him pegged at No. 29 to the Phoenix Suns.

As to what’s on McBride’s mind as for his future, the point guard did not tip his hand when interviewed by college basketball writer Andy Katz.

“I’m just continuing to get feedback from NBA teams as well as talking to my family and coaches about getting the most information I can gather and then making a great decision,” he said.

It was more than just a simple shooting drill that gave McBride a boost.

At the combine, McBride’s standing vertical leap was measured at 31 inches, fourth highest among point guards.

He completed the lane agility drill in 11.08 seconds, fifth highest among point guards.

His wingspan was just under 6-foot-9 and his hand width was measured at 9.5 inches, tops among all point guards at the combine.

What McBride did as a sophomore with the Mountaineers also helps his case.

He improved his 3-point shooting by 11 percentage points compared to his freshman season. He shot the ball better from the floor, rebounded it better and passed it better.

McBride has until July 7 to make his final decision on whether or not to remain in the draft and forfeit his remaining college eligibility.

If McBride were to remain in the draft and was taken in the first round, he would be the Mountaineers’ sixth all-time player to be a first-round pick and the first since Joe Alexander in 2008.

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