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Bryce McGowens' Potential Outweighs His Inefficiencies

In a draft class full of offensive skillsets, Bryce McGowens' unique game makes him a sleeper.

Bryce McGowens is one of the most intriguing late-first-round prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft.

As an electrifying scorer at Nebraska, McGowens put up points in a hurry. The 6-foot-7 guard averaged 16.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for the Huskers. He holds the school record for points in a game by a Freshman after a 29-point performance against Rutgers.

If it weren’t for his poor shooting splits, McGowens might be locked in as a top ten pick. It’s hard for scouts to differentiate just how much of that has to do with his team, though, too. Nebraska was the worst team in the Big 10, recording a record of just 10-22, and McGowens was asked to do quite a bit in that offense.

He finished the year shooting just 40.3% overall and 27.4% from 3-point range. He wasn’t able to showcase his passing ability much either, averaging just 1.4 assists compared to 2.1 turnovers.

McGowens was an inefficient microwave scorer at Nebraska, but in a better system with a better surrounding cast, could he be a steal late in the first round? He gets to his spots easily on the floor and has nice athleticism and upper body strength to finish at the rim. When he blows by defenders it can sometimes seem like he’s gliding through the lane. The raw talent on the offensive end is near the top of the draft class altogether.

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At just 180 pounds, McGowens has the speed to get by defenders with a fast first step but still finishes surprisingly strong through contact.

In Oklahoma City, a player like McGowens wouldn’t have to create as much with great ball handlers like Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Playing with other stars that can get him open would do wonders for McGowens efficiency and allow him to not think as much on the floor.

The Thunder can never have too many scorers off the bench, and a 6-foot-7, McGowens has the potential to be a rare three-level scorer. Even if his inefficiencies are hard to look at, his overall potential as a wiry scorer in the backcourt is enough to take a chance on him. He could very well end up as one of the best offensive players to come out of this draft.


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