2022 Draft Watch: First Look at Bryce McGowens

September 13th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Bryce McGowens is a five-star prospect that has been receiving some draft buzz as a potential first-round prospect for the 2022 draft.  Therefore, I decided to take the time to watch Nebraska’s 6-6 incoming freshman swingman, Bryce McGowens play for Legacy Early College against Mauldin in a December 17th, 2020 game, with thanks to YouTube via Mauldin High School Broadcast Network.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.

Bryce McGowens is an athletic, high-flying guard that could potentially be a first round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
(Photo:
Nebraska Athletic Communications, via News Channel Nebraska)

Bryce McGowens is a very athletic swingman that was able to make some solid plays to help Legacy Early College get a double-digit win over Mauldin.  It was a defensive battle in which neither team shot the ball well, but he was able to thrown down a couple of impressive dunks to really showcase his athleticism. McGowens did a good job of scoring in transition.  He ran the floor to catch a long pass, and he then managed to score on a high-flying, two-handed dunk.  He also ran the floor to score on a thunderous dunk in traffic another time. 

He also showed a decent ability to score off the dribble.  He would drive to his right to make tough shots around the basket.  McGowens was able to score on a crafty, acrobatic reverse layup off the glass early on.  He also drove in to score on a thunderous dunk off of a right-handed drive another time.  He also showed a knack for finding ways to get fouled when looking to make plays off the dribble in order to frequently get to the free throw line.  Sometimes though, he would take tough, contested shots, which would lead to misses.

He also took a lot of threes early on in this game.  Early on, McGowens ran off of a ball screen to make a quick, spot-up three off the catch, and it also highlighted his ability to move off the ball on offense.  On the downside, he missed a lot of threes in this game, and he especially struggled to knock down threes off the catch or dribble.  He didn’t shoot the ball very well from beyond the arc.  He was prone to rushing up quick outside shots, and sometimes he wouldn’t set his feet prior to getting his shots up.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  McGowens is an unselfish player that can throw timely interior passes to set up scores for his teammates, and he also threw an accurate lob pass to notch an assist.  He also can make swift drive and kick passes to get the ball to shooters.  On the downside, he can sometimes throw hasty, inaccurate passes, and he also can sometimes struggle to handle the ball when facing ball pressure.  On one play, he cut to the hoop to get it, as he spun left into traffic and then got the ball stolen away to commit a turnover.  On another possession, he was called for carrying when handling the ball on a drive another time.

Also, McGowens would chase down balls to get his fair share of rebounds in this game.  He was able to get several defensive boards, and he also tipped a ball to help his teammate get another, and he would tend to quickly bring the ball up afterwards. He also played good defense in this game.  McGowens would actively challenge shots off of drives to force misses, and he was a threat to block shots in doing so.  He also was able to pounce on a loose ball to get a steal, and he also poked a ball away to nearly get another.  He also would actively close out on shooters and contest mid-range jumpers to get stops for his team.  On one play though, he hung out in a zone and was late to rotate to a shooter, which led his team to allow a three-point basket.

In general, Bryce McGowens played fairly well to help lead Legacy Early College to a double-digit win over Mauldin.  He didn’t shoot the ball very well, but he was aggressive at taking the ball to the basket to score, he showed some playmaking skills, and he also defended well when he was on the court.  He’ll need to improve his outside shot and decision-making skills on offense.  Still, his vast athleticism, solid defensive skills, and considerable upside could make him an intriguing candidate to consider in the late first to the second round range in the 2022 draft, as he could end up being a solid role player similar to Josh Richardson in the NBA.

South Carolina’s 6-2 incoming freshman point guard, Jacobi Wright played very well to help lead Legacy Early College to a win over Mauldin.  He had a strong all-around showing, and he is a skilled playmaker that was able to do virtually everything well to help his team get the victory. Wright showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  He would tend to favor going to his right to score on aggressive drives to the basket, but he also showed he can use either hand to get fouled when taking the ball to the rim to get to the free throw line.  He also showed off deft handles, which would enable him to score on mid-range floaters and pull-up jumpers.  He even caused an opponent to fall down prior to making a smooth, pull-up mid-range jumper in the first half.  He also pulled up to make a three midway through this match.  On the downside, sometimes he would be streaky with his jump shot, and he would also sometimes miss when he wouldn’t get foul calls.

Also, he showed off solid playmaking skills in this game.  Wright has good court vision, and he can make an assortment of passes off the dribble to get the ball to his teammates.  He can throw quick, long passes to get the ball to his teammates.  Sometimes though, he would telegraph his passes, and he threw a couple of them that ended up getting intercepted.  He also was able to haul in his fair share of boards on both ends of the floor.  He also played solid defense.  Wright was able to run in to get a loose ball to get a steal early on, and he also showed a knack for deflecting passes.  He also managed to contest a deep three to force a miss.  Sometimes, he can struggle to stay in front of opposing ball handlers, which can lead him to commit fouls.

In summary, Wright is an agile, skilled playmaker that excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor to help Legacy Early College to get the win in this game.  He was a good get for South Carolina.  He’s a crafty offensive player that can make shots and will reliably run the team at the point, and he also is an aggressive defender that would apply considerable ball pressure.  He’ll need to trust his outside shot more, but he had a good all-around game on this day.  He may be an underrated prospect, and if he continues to progress as an overall player and hone his game, he could end up making his way to the NBA one day.

USC Aiken’s 6-6 incoming freshman forward, Kameron Little played very well for Legacy Early College to help his team get a win over Mauldin.  He is a very athletic, high-motor player that excelled at making hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.  He showed a knack for scoring on fast breaks in this game.  He would run the floor to score on powerful dunks, and he also caught a lob pass to score on a layup another time.  He also ran in to score on a tip slam after leaping up to grab an offensive rebound.  He also ran off of a curl cut, but missed on a quick layup once.

He also did a fairly good job of rebounding the basketball, and he was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  Little also played solid defense in this game.  He would hustle to block shots in the paint, and he showed that he can swat them to his teammates.  He also would contest threes to force misses.  However, sometimes he would struggle to stay in front of his man, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores on those plays.

Overall, Kameron Little is a very athletic combo forward that played bigger than his listed size, and he made impactful plays to help Legacy Early College get the win over Mauldin.  He’ll need to extend his shooting range and expand his game offensively in the meantime, which could help him more at higher levels.  Right now, it seems that defense is ahead of his offense, but his athleticism, motor, and high compete level could enable him to carve out a lengthy playing career in professional basketball someday.

Mauldin’s 6-0 soon-to-be high school senior point guard, Caleb Byrd played fairly well in his team’s loss to Legacy Early College.  He is a skilled, athletic combo guard that showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also rebounded and defended well in this game. Byrd shot the ball fairly well in this game.  He showed a knack for scoring on pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he has good body control that allows him to elevate and score when taking tough shots.  He also was able to make a quick, spot-up three to show his range later on.  He also showed a knack for scoring off of offensive rebounds, as he managed to score on a strong put back, and he also scored on a tip-in another time.  Plus, he would drive to the hoop hard to get fouled in order to get to the free throw line.  Sometimes though, he would take rushed, contested shots, which would lead to misses.

He didn’t seem to pass the ball very often, but Byrd was able to throw a long outlet pass to get the ball to a teammate ahead on the break to set up a scoring chance for him late in this match.  On the downside, when handling the ball once, he fell down and had it stolen away to lose the basketball to commit a turnover that time due to sloppy ball handling.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball, and he would chase down balls to help his team get boards on both ends of the floor.  He also played satisfactory defense.  Byrd would stay in front of his man and contest shots to force misses.  On the downside, there was one play where he sagged too far off of his man, and allowed him to score on a three-point shot. Overall, Caleb Byrd had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Legacy Early College.  He is an athletic shot maker that can handle the basketball.  He’ll need to show teams that he can reliably run the point, but if so, he could perhaps end up playing his way into NCAA’s Division I college basketball, and he is a talented offensive player that may have a long playing career ahead of him.

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