Assessing Brandon McCoy, Cody Martin, and Caleb Martin

March 1, 2018

By Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch a Mountain West basketball game that took place on February 28th between Nevada and UNLV.  I had not anticipated that this would be a close contest even though UNLV surprisingly won in their first matchup and it wasn’t, as Nevada went on to score over 100 points and defeat UNLV in a rout.  Instead, I took this opportunity to see UNLV’s freshman center, Brandon McCoy play as well as to see Nevada play once again.  Here are my thoughts on how McCoy and other various prospects fared on this day.

UNLV’s 7-0 freshman center, Brandon McCoy had a fairly good showing in his team’s loss to Nevada.  He primarily excelled as an inside scorer and rebounder, as he scored 19 points and collected 17 rebounds in this game, though he did struggle with his position defense, McCoy was able to consistently make some good plays, as he played well in the second half despite his team losing by double-digits.

McCoy showed a good ability to finish plays around the basket to garner scores.  He has very good size and strength, as he can catch high entry passes, and he also can score on strong put backs and tip-ins off of offensive rebounds, but sometimes, he may miss shots at the rim, as he may be prone to rushing his shots on occasion.  He also showed off adequate low post scoring skills.  McCoy can make tough catches in traffic, and he displays a good scoring touch, especially when he gets deep position on the block.  But sometimes, he may set up too far away, which can make it tougher for him to get good shots up in the paint.  He also attempted mid-range shots, but he seemed to struggle more to make jumpers when they were outside of the paint area.

Also, he also displayed decent playmaking skills.  McCoy showed a knack for throwing good passes out of the post, and he also can regularly hit the cutter to set up scoring chances for his team.  He was able to notch one assist by passing out of a double team from the post to find a teammate on a cut to set up a score for him.  Plus, McCoy also did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He frequently would crash the glass to get tough boards on both ends of the floor, and he was basically like a chairman of the boards, as he hauled in 17 rebounds in total against Nevada.

However, he did not play great defense in this game.  For the positives, McCoy managed to deflect a pass, though it went right to an opponent.  He also would contest mid-range shots to force some misses.  On the other hand, he really had trouble staying in front of his man when defending drives, or rotating to do so, as he would struggle to move his feet or cut off penetration.  He tended to get beat off the dribble as he did not seem to be able to stop the ball often, and this would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.   He also had his hand down when defending a shooter, which led him to allow a three-point basket once.  Another time, he committed a foul on a mid-range shot due to being too aggressive on the close out on that particular play.

In general, Brandon McCoy played fairly well, as he was quite effective at getting his team points and rebounds in the paint, but he also struggled to make plays defensively in this game.  He is an athletic big man that can be an interior presence on offense, and he is also a tremendous rebounder, but he will need to improve his defense.  With his skill set, he could end up being a good value pick for an NBA team in the mid to late first round range of the upcoming draft.

Nevada’s 6-7 junior forward, Cody Martin had a strong showing, as he lead his team to a blowout win over UNLV.  He excelled at making plays in all facets of the game, and he showed off solid all-around skills to get his team the victory.  Martin really excelled at getting scores on quick drives to the basket.  He possesses a good first step to the hoop, and he also changes speeds well, as he can use ball-handling moves to throw off his opponents’ timing, and he was able to frequently get scores and free throws for his team.  He can use hesitation moves to get past his man, and he also managed to throw down an emphatic dunk on a left-handed drive once.

Also, he showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  Martin did a good job of scoring on put backs, and he also managed to throw down a dunk to score off of a cut to the hoop.  He struggled to consistently knock down jumpers, but he was able to use a jab step to make a three-point shot from beyond the arc.  He also displayed solid playmaking skills.  Martin is a tall point forward that can handle the basketball, and he also sees the floor well.  He did a good job of throwing passes off the dribble to set up scores, and he also can find teammates on cuts to the hoop.  He managed to throw a behind the back pass off of a drive to set up a score on a fast break to show off his court sense.  He did not often commit turnovers, but his lone turnover was when he lost the ball off of a drive due to careless on that particular offensive possession.

Martin did a very good job of hauling in rebounds to help his team on both ends of the floor.  Plus, he also played solid defense.  He managed to block a three-point shot, and he also excelled at collecting steals, as he would jump passes and poke balls away to do so.  Plus, he excelled at contesting jumpers to force misses, and he also would take charges to get his opponents to commit offensive fouls on drives.  But sometimes, he would struggle to guard his man on drives, as he would not be able to successfully contest the shot, which would lead him to commit a foul or allow scores on occasion.

In summary, Cody Martin had a very good game, as he generally excelled at making plays throughout this contest to help his team get a double-digit victory over UNLV.  He is a tough, gritty basketball player that can help his team in a variety of ways, and he could end up being a potential second round pick whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.

Nevada’s 6-7 junior forward, Caleb Martin also played fairly well, as he shot the ball well to help get his team the victory over UNLV.  He excelled at knocking down numerous threes from beyond the arc, as he especially can make them off the catch.  Martin has very good range on his shot, and he has a quick release that can enable him to easily get his shot off.  Though he struggled more to knock down pull-up jumpers, he was able to use a step back move to knock down a pull-up three once. 

He also showed an adequate ability to score in the post, as he displayed good footwork and strength by scoring after using a pivot and a quick step through move from the block.  However, Martin struggled to consistently score off the dribble in this game.  Martin displayed fairly average playmaking skills, but he did manage to find a teammate on a cut after posting up to notch an assist, and he would look to move the basketball at times.  He also did a good job of not turning the ball over often on offense.

Plus, he also did a good job of rebounding the basketball, as he was especially active at crashing the defensive glass.  However, there was one time where he was unable to get a defensive board despite trying to box out a taller player, and he fouled an opponent on a put back, which led his team to allow a score and an extra free throw on that play.  Martin exhibited average at best defensive skills.  For the positives, he showed a willingness to take charges when defending drives, and he also contested a mid-range shot to force a miss.  However, sometimes he would struggle to defend his man on drives, as he occasionally had trouble staying in front of his man on that end of the floor.

In general, Caleb Martin had a good showing, as he excelled at shooting and scoring the basketball when he was on the floor.  He also did a good job of getting rebounds for his team.  He has played an instrumental role in his team’s success this year, and he could end up being a potential second round pick whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.

Nevada’s 6-7 senior swingman Kendall Stephens had a good game in his team’s win over Nevada.  He excelled as a shooter and scorer on offense, as he did a very good job of knocking down spot-up threes to effectively space the floor for his team.  He ran off of a screen to make a quick three, and he also would make deep threes, as he made one off of a catch, and another off the dribble.

He also showed a good ability to score on drives to the hoop, as he used a pump fake move to get past his man, and he was able to get a score off the glass once.  He also showed some passing skills, as he threw a long, accurate outlet pass to set up a score for a teammate out on the break.  Plus, Stephens played adequate defense, as he would contest threes to force misses, and he also stayed with his man on a drive to force a miss.  But there was another time where he gave his man too much space to shoot, which led his team to allow a three-point basket to the opposition.

In general, Kendall Stephens played well as he did a good job of making shots to help his team get the win over Nevada.  He is a tall floor spacer that can knock down plenty of threes, and that could enable him to likely end up on an NBA summer league roster this year.

Nevada’s 6-7 junior forward, Jordan Caroline also played very well, as he excelled as an inside scorer and rebounder to help get his team a double-digit win over UNLV.  Caroline did a very good job of scoring on hustle plays, as he runs the floor well to catch an assortment of passes to score on fast breaks, he drew free throws on a cut, and he also can finish plays around the basket by outmuscling his opponents to get scores at the rim.  Plus, he did a good job of scoring on strong drives to the hoop, as he scored on a reverse layup once, and he can often draw fouls upon his opponents.  In addition, he also showed some range by knocking down a three from beyond the arc.

He also will look to find the open man, and he also was active at grabbing rebounds, as he was able to get plenty of defensive boards.  But he did commit a foul on an opponent’s put back, as that led his team to allow a score and an extra free throw that time.  In summary, Jordan Caroline had a solid showing, as he scored 22 points, and he had 6 rebounds and 2 assists in his team’s win over Nevada.  He played a good all-around game, and he is an athletic, skilled combo forward that could potentially end up being a find for an NBA team at the next level.