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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


The NBA is in McConnell’s future

Bill Mason, Cat Tran Driver (Brown hair) Dennis Cady, Cat Tran Driver (black and white striped shirt) AJ Dowgiert, Cat Tran Driver (Plaid/Checkered Shirt)

The 2015 NBA Draft is just a week away, and there are many concerns surrounding former Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell and his draft stock.

One common phrase being said about McConnell is that he does not have “the tools” to become an elite point guard in the NBA, and I just have to disagree.

Since Michael Jordan won his first ring in 1991, a common denominator for championship teams was how the point guard was merely a player with a decent jump shot. There is a chance that no point guards on the 2015 list will make the basketball Hall of Fame.

To say that McConnell could not join the list is absurd. He does not have to be a world-beater to lead a team.

All big-shot championship point guards know when to feed their go-to players and how to play tough defense on opposing point guards. It always seemed as if McConnell scored the majority of his baskets in the second half to keep the game in Arizona’s favor.

The way McConnell led his team through tough times was a common denominator for many Wildcat games. He never shot the ball unless the rest of the team was cold and in need of a spark, and McConnell always ran the offense like a floor general and only shot his turnaround when the game was tight. That is what made him priceless to head coach Sean Miller.

With McConell’s 3.5 assist-to-turnover ratio and his 60 percent at the rim, McConnell would be a hand-in-glove fit with the San Antonio Spurs. He definitely needs to improve his three-point shot, but Kawhi Leonard, Patty Mills and Tony Parker were all decent-at-best shooters before joining the Spurs.

If Matthew Dellavedova can have a little success in the association, why not place a point guard who can actually run an offense on the Cleveland Cavaliers? There is little argument that LeBron James is the one of the best players, but when he sits the offense goes into a stagnant game of my turn, your turn, even before they lost Kyrie Irving to injury. The Cavaliers could even play Irving at shooting guard and let McConnell run the point so he can just play his game and not have to worry about creating.

To say the NBA is driven by point guards would be a definite understatement with players like Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry in the league right now. While it is highly likely that Curry breaks from the norm of the past two decades of not needing great point-guard play, I still feel as if this is not a coincidence. Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and LeBron James each needed guys who would play hard on defense, and most importantly, feed them the ball. And nobody fed the rock better last year than No. 4 for Arizona.

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