RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Scott Machado

Posted by KDoyle on May 17th, 2012

The NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New York City. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll generally work backwards, so for the next week or two we’ll present you with players who are projected near the end of the first round, and we’ll work our way up into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.

Player Name:  Scott Machado 

School:  Iona

Height/Weight: 6’1 “, 180 lbs. 

NBA Position: Point Guard 

Projected Draft Range: Early to Mid-Second Round

Machado Was One of the Best Mid-Major Players in America Last Season (AP)

Overview:  If Kevin Willard has one regret in leaving Iona to take the head coaching job at Seton Hall, it is that he only had the opportunity to coach Scott Machado for two years. While Willard set the foundation for success at Iona and for Machado, his successor Tim Cluess enabled him to run rampant in his up-tempo offensive system. Predicated on a heady point guard who sees the floor exceptionally well, Machado flourished. Everyone remembers the monumental collapse Iona suffered against BYU in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, but lest we forget the 15 points and 10 assists Machado also had against the Cougars. In his first true game on the national stage, Machado comported himself wonderfully. (Tim Cluess’ defensive coaching abilities? Not so much.) As a junior, Machado averaged 7.6 APG — nearly doubling his total from his sophomore season — and then as a senior he led the nation in assists with 10 per game. For his first three seasons, Machado was seen primarily as a solid distributor with inconsistent scoring ability. Although he averaged 12.5 and 13.2 PPG in his sophomore and junior years, respectively, his shooting percentages hovered right around 40% from the floor and 30% from beyond the arc. The strides Machado made with his shot during his senior year — 50% from the field, 40% from three, and 81% from the stripe — will no doubt pay dividends come draft day. More than anything, Machado is seemingly always in total control on offense and when handling the basketball. Poor decisions and ill-advised shots are rare occurrences, and when judging a point guard, these are two of the best attributes one can possess. Machado will carry on the tradition of strong point guards to come out of New York City — Queens, specifically — and the first to hail from Iona since Steve Burtt, Sr.

Will Translate to the NBA: Without a doubt, Machado’s top two abilities translate perfectly as an NBA point guard: court vision and distribution, along with ball handling ability. The fast-paced offense that Machado played in at Iona prepared him well for the NBA as he had the freedom to run every part of the offense. Whether it was on the fast break, in the half court, or coming off of set plays, Machado was the motor that made Iona go. He won’t be looked to score much at the next level, but rather to manage the offense.  

Needs Work:  Any flaws in his game were ostensibly hidden as more than half of Iona’s games came against MAAC competition. Truth be told, other than size it is hard to find a noticeable shortcoming in Machado’s game based upon his play last season. Many will point to the weak competition of the MAAC as a primary reason for his impressive stats and performances, but he elevated his game depending on the opponent (14 points, 11 rebounds, two turnovers against Purdue, and 33 points, 10 assists, and three turnovers against St. Joe’s are two examples). Standing at just 6’1″, Machado is smallish for a point guard, but perhaps more importantly, he lacks that explosive first step that other guards his size possess. His on-ball defense and ability to penetrate the lane, as a result, may be two areas of concern.

Comparison Players:  Mark Jackson. A steady point guard from New York — although Brooklyn, not Queens — Jackson was not a score-first kind of point guard either. He averaged less than 10 PPG for his career, but he saw the floor and distributed the ball as well as anyone to ever play the game. Jackson was always touted as an exceptional basketball mind while on the floor — there’s a reason he’s coaching Golden State now — and Machado has an equally strong basketball mind.

Best Case Scenario:  He is not ready to step in and take on the role of starting point guard just yet, but Machado would fit in nicely as an understudy to an already proven point guard. His ball-handling and decision-making on the floor should make an NBA coach feel comfortable having him run the offense for 10-15 minutes a night.

Best NBA Fit: New York Knicks. Much of this depends on the direction the Knicks elect to take with Jeremy Lin. Is the electrifying Lin their point guard of the future? If so, then the Knicks would do well to find a legitimate scorer to back him up to help take the load off of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. But, Machado would be an instant favorite being a local kid from Queens by way of Iona.

Scout’s Take (from NBADraft.net): “Has the look and feel of a long time NBA back up. Lacks standout physical attributes but understands how to run a team and does so in an efficient manner.”

*This post was contributed by RTC’s Kevin Doyle. He can be found on Twitter @KLDoyle11.

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2 responses to “RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Scott Machado”

  1. EJacoby says:

    Love this breakdown of Machado and agree with most everything especially that he is a great fit for the Knicks… but the comparison to Mark Jackson is a bit wild!! Jackson ranks 3rd all-time in NBA assists, led St. John’s to a Final Four in college and is now an NBA head coach. That’s a lot to live up to for this little guy from Iona who should be thrilled to land a backup role to a strong point guard like you mentioned. Definitely rooting for him

  2. KDoyle says:

    Definitely may be reaching just a bit in comparing Machado with Jackson, but I do so many similarities. Machado is the prototypical pass-first point guard, yet plays in an era/league where PGs are nearly becoming shooting guards who happen to be good passers with handle.

    Can’t wait to see this kid excel in the NBA.

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