Will Aussie draft prospect McCarron follow Dellavedova's trail?
Australian Mitch McCarron has been busy showing off his basketball wares to NBA front offices in a bid to live his dream. After an impressive college career both athletically and academically, McCarron will hopefully hear his name called in the upcoming NBA draft.
McCarron was a star for Division II college side Metro State Roadrunners located in the mountains of Denver, and one of four Australians on the Roadrunners roster last season. Metro State has a long history of Australian players, with Boomers representatives Mark Worthington and David Barlow among their more notable alumni.
As a 6'3 combo guard McCarron averaged 20.3 points and 6.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in his final season, which certainly highlighted his versatile game. Watching him play, you notice a fluent shooting stroke coupled with a quick release. The fluid shooting has enabled McCarron to post impressive shooting averages of 49% from the field, 85% from the line and 42% from long-range.
Last season's play earned McCarron the NCAA Division II National Player of the Year along with many other accolades, and his career average of 16.3 points per game is ranked third in Roadrunners history.
While it’s a rare jump to go from Division II to the NBA, working in McCarron’s favour is the ‘Delly Fever’ which swept across America during the NBA Finals. Matthew Dellavedova’s gritty play showed the world that Australians can make up for a lack of size, skill and athleticism with their heart, determination and selflessness.
Recency bias --the tendency to think that recent patterns observed will continue to trend-- has an effect leading up to any draft. Right now, it's not unthinkable to imagine that every team would love to get a 'Delly' on their roster. With talent spotting becoming a crapshoot on later picks, GMs are now looking for players who can bring assured intangible qualities to the locker-room and will leave it all on the court every night, a mould McCarron can certainly fit.
McCarron has been preparing for the upcoming draft, holding a number of workouts with NBA teams that included his adopted hometown Denver Nuggets, the iconic Los Angeles Lakers and champion Golden State Warriors.
Day 4 of draft workouts feature: Alan Williams Alex Harris Norman Powell Cliff Alexander Mitch McCarron Byron Wesley pic.twitter.com/mmEvI5fJGt
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 2, 2015
In a recent interview from Jon Guarna of Nothing But Net Media, McCarron spoke of his experience of what it was like working out for some of the NBA glamour teams.
They were incredible, I was very fortunate… you dream of as a kid to go to those facilities and see the big names and guys walking around that are in the NBA - you know that was really cool. I had a lot of fun with it, I learned a lot and just being round the coaching staff and see what they do on a daily basis for workouts was a really cool experience.
It was a big step up for McCarron playing against some top Division I talent during his workouts and he spoke of the challenge in adjusting his game to deal step up in competition.
You know when you jump up a level from anywhere, whether it was just jumping from club to rep as a junior or in my case from college to the NBA workouts you just have to adjust to the physicality, to the speed of the game.
I was playing against a bunch of 6’1, 6’2 guards now the guards are 6’6, 6’7, so you make that same move and your shot gets blocked or they just don’t let you pass. So everything has to be quicker, everything’s done, your finish has to be stronger, it has to be better.
So it was really good just to see what the pace is like, what the physicality’s like... I went in there and tried to get my foot in the door, I just wanted to play as hard as I could, have a good attitude, hopefully just impress through attitude and effort.
While McCarron received offers to play in the NBA Summer League from multiple teams, he chose to decline the opportunity in favour of representing his country in the upcoming University Games.
You know, it was really exciting but I had to unfortunately turn it down because I’m going to try and do the University Games path; I go into camp tomorrow actually. And so hopefully I make that team and then go to China for a pre-tour and then the World University Games is in South Korea. I just couldn’t turn down the opportunity to put on the green and gold again.
McCarron’s plans may be scuttled if he hears his name called out in next Friday’s draft (Australian Time) or receives a guaranteed money offer, much like Dellavedova did with the Cavs. In the meantime McCarron is biding his time and waiting to see what presents itself before deciding his next step.
Well ultimate goal, I think everybody’s dream is the NBA. As of now I just kind of trust in my agent that he’ll chase as many opportunities that he possibly can and then we’ll just take the best one and whether that’s Europe or the NBL I think that will just be time will tell. Just being patient with it and hopefully in the coming months some good opportunities pop up but we’ll see what happens.
The interest shown in McCarron by in the lead up to the draft has been promising. While still only an outside shot to land on an NBA roster this season, it only takes one team in need of their own ‘Delly’ for his dream to become a reality.
What do you think of McCarron's chances in the upcoming draft, will we see another Australian join the ranks of an NBA roster this season?
Thanks again to Jon Guarna of Nothing But Net Media for sharing the interview.