2019 NBA Draft Profile: Jalen McDaniels
Jalen McDaniels is a tall, lanky forward with budding inside-outside scoring ability and playmaking ability on the defensive end. Widely regarded as a top-175 prospect in the high school class of 2016 coming out of Federal Way High School, McDaniels redshirted his first year at San Diego State before putting together a solid freshman season averaging 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game under first year head coach Brian Dutcher. Showing growth in several areas as a third-year sophomore, the Seattle-area native averaged 15.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game to earn All-Mountain West 2nd Team honors and help the Aztecs to 21 wins.
Younger brother, Jaden McDaniels, is considered one of the top high school players in the country.
- Possesses terrific size for a forward measured at 6’9.75 in shoes with a 7’0.25 wingspan and a lean 192-pound frame at the Draft Combine. Rangy athlete with good feet and room to get stronger.
- Served as the offensive focal point of a San Diego State team known for its gritty defense. Still coming into his own as a scorer and decisions makes, but contributed in a variety of ways flashing the ability to use his length and athleticism around the rim, make jump shots with impressive consistency from mid-range spots, improved consistency as a floor spacer, and the ability to create his own shot one-on-one from the inside and out.
- Versatile offensive player who improved significantly over the last year. Does a little bit of everything offensively with a third of his possessions coming on Spot Ups and Cuts, a third coming on hustle plays, and another quarter coming on a combination of Isolations and Post Ups. Three-level scorer with plenty of room to continue to develop.
- Did his best work as a finisher last season both in terms of efficiency and with the way he finished tip-dunks and the occasional lob staying active off the ball. Plays above the rim impressively at times and has some touch to score over defenders. Scored 1.197 points per finishing opportunity around the rim in the half court [65th percentile] displaying quite a bit of natural talent, staying active on the glass for stretches, and scoring floaters at a very impressive rate.
- Significantly improved catch and shoot threat. Scored 1.079 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [63rd percentile] this season after attempting very few three-pointers last season.
- Takes a lot of mid-range jumpers off jab steps, flash cuts, face-up drives, or short rolls. Dangerous from 12-feet as his size and touch shined at times last season on contested short range attempts. Not the most polished shot creator but is comfortable handling the ball and aggressive finding ways to get to his mid-range jump shot.
- Made some nice passes this season after not being able to show much vision as a freshman.
- Diligent defender who will make some impactful plays blocking shots, crashing the glass, and moving his feet on the perimeter. Has intriguing versatility—especially if his frame and game mature to allow him to be more physical. More adept at getting in the passing lanes than protecting the rim. Too aggressive with his hands at times leading to foul trouble.
- Allowed 0.727 points per Post Up possession [68th percentile] and 0.538 points per Isolation possession [82nd percentile] finding quite a bit of success defending both inside and away from the rim.