Sunday, August 18, 2019

Don’t let Deuce get loose or this could happen

As the West Virginia Mountaineers pulled out three easy wins in Spain this past week, freshman guard Miles “Deuce” McBride was undoubtedly a player who stood out among the pack. At the end of the team’s three-game stint, the freshman guard averaged 10.3-points, just under 5-rebounds, and 3.3-steals per game.

Quite frankly, I failed to have an accurate understanding as to who McBride was or what his game was like until I watched his stellar performance against the Madrid All-Stars, where he caught my attention by scoring 14-points, grabbing 5-boards, and recording 4-steals.

During that game, the freshman guard reminded me of three former Mountaineers: Daxter Miles Jr., Jevon Carter, and Juwan Staten.

At first, to me, McBride nearly mirrored Miles Jr.’s game. As I watched him play in the second game, however, I kept noticing Carter’s characteristics implemented in his game. Then, during the third game, I saw a resemblance to Staten.

McBride has a very similar build to Miles Jr.; he is roughly 6’2″ with long arms and exceptional strength. Like Dax, with the ball in his hands, McBride can create space to get off a pull-up jump shot. Both players are very athletic and have an explosive first step.

Likewise to Carter, McBride is a gifted defender. He can move his feet fast, has an exceptional reaction time, and he’s a ball hawk with quick hands. Compared to Carter’s freshman year, McBride might have a slight edge over Carter offensively, but not by very much. From the get-go, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins set the bar high for Carter, and he has begun doing the same for McBride.

Albeit, comparing McBride to Staten may sound crazy; but, if you look at both players’ games and intelligence, they are very similar to one another. While at WVU, Staten was quiet, laid back, and composed. He never let the small things get to his head, and he always allowed his game speak for him. With those things said, however, Staten was still a vocal leader, especially during his senior campaign. McBride’s characteristics and traits mirror Staten’s in terms of his composure, collectiveness, and ability.

Contrary to Miles Jr., Carter, and Staten, McBride has better ball control, controls his body better when he attacks the paint, and very seldom does he try to force a pass or shot.

Perhaps I’m entirely wrong; maybe, just maybe, the Mountaineers didn’t face much competition at all in Spain, and we’ve yet to see a real glimpse of McBride’s game. From the looks of it, however, one can safely state that McBride is a player who can do damage when the regular season comes about; he’s a guy who, if he continues to buy into Huggins’ system, could leave WVU with a great legacy, similar to Miles Jr., Carter, and Staten.

Cover Photo Credit: WVU Sports

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