The NBA Draft is later this moth, and Syracuse has two players that will potentially get drafted. Today, we take a look at Chris McCullough, who declared for the NBA Draft after his freshman season. McCullough played the first 16 games for SU before missing the rest of the season with an ACL tear. He ranked fourth in scoring average (9.3) and third in rebound average (6.9) with the Orange.
Here is The Juice Online’s scouting report on McCullough:
Strengths: Excellent agility and athleticism for someone with his size… Has a silky smooth mid-range jumper… Jumper has the potential to extend back even further… Solid rebounder on both sides of the ball with good instincts… Good timing as a help-side shot blocker… Runs the floor nicely… Plays above the rim… Has plenty of offensive potential.
Weaknesses: Needs to develop more muscle… Was pushed around in paint at the college level… Doesn’t have a reliable post game… Has long periods of passiveness on offensive… Still unable to determine if he’s lost any athleticism after his ACL tear… Could use more work on his ball handling… Not an elite finisher around the hoop… Small sample size after only playing 16 games as a freshman.
NBA Comparison: Stromile Swift. Like McCullough, Swift had excellent athleticism with the same lanky frame coming out of LSU that McCullough has now.
- Birthdate: February 5, 1995
- Hometown: Bronx, NY
- Position: Forward
- School: Syracuse ’18
- Height, 6’10″
- Weight, 220 lbs
- NBADraft.net: 1st round, 28th pick (Boston Celtics)
- Draftexpress.com: 1st round, 29th pick (Brooklyn Nets)
College Highlights: McCullough was one of 22 candidates on the 2015 Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award Watch List. McCullough finished with averages of 9.3 points and 6.9 rebouds per game. In his debut against Kennesaw State, he scored 16 points and collected a team-high 11 rebounds. Against St. John’s, he led Syracuse with 13 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
Overall: NBA Scouts haven’t been exactly effusive in commenting on McCullough’s decision to leave Syracuse. In all likelihood, even if McCullough is a late first round pick, he will probably start his professional career in the NBDL as he works to rehab his knee. But McCullough oozes potential, and any team with a later pick would be wise to roll the dice on McCullough, who had the potential to be a lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft had he returned.