Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.
Player Name: Shelvin Mack
Height/Weight: 6’2, 210 lbs.
NBA Position: Point Guard
Projected Draft Range: Late First/Early Second Round
Overview: After spending his sophomore season playing in the shadows of Gordon Hayward, Mack emerged as the leader of the Bulldogs along with senior Matt Howard last year. While Howard may have been the public face of the Bulldogs, it was Mack’s stellar play that helped them achieve a similar result to the previous season even without Hayward leading them. As a junior, Mack averaged 16.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 3.4 APG while directing a Butler team that had suddenly become one of the biggest games on every opposing team’s schedule. However, at the same time he started shouldering a heavier load at Butler, his efficiency numbers also plummeted (FG% down from 45.4% to 40.8% and 3FG% down from 39.1% to 35.4%), which is certainly reasonable, but is still concerning for a fairly short point guard who doesn’t possess your typical one-guard skills. The questions surrounding Mack are ones that dog nearly every college guard that is a hybrid between a point guard and shooting guard but lacks the requisite height and/or athleticism to make the player stand out from about a dozen other prospects in the same year. Mack could be a successful player in the NBA, but that will depend on his ability to learn to play point.
Will Translate to the NBA: Mack will have to play the point guard position in the NBA. He lacks the size or quickness to play any substantial minutes in the NBA as a shooting guard, but if he doesn’t adapt he can still get a few minutes here and there but his time at the next level will be limited by the fact that he lacks an elite NBA skill to make him stand apart. While Mack may struggle to adapt to the point guard position offensively he should be a solid defender as soon as he gets to the NBA because he already has a pro-ready body and should be able to defend almost any NBA point guard with the exception of uber-athletes like Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook. Mack will probably be a career back-up, particularly due to the recent resurgence at the point guard position, but could potentially start in a few years if he finds the right situation on a team that can adapt to not having a strong traditional point guard.