After the Bulldogs won at Loyola earlier this season, Butler Coach Brad Stevens articulated why Shelvin Mack struggled early in the season and he sounded like a prophet in predicting how Mack would react to it.
“I think everyone’s keying on him, everyone’s going to be keying on
him the entire year, and I think in January he’ll be a different
player because of it, because I think that’s a really a good thing to
go through,” Stevens said.
In business school, I had to do a lot of S.W.O.T. Analysis
(strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). But when you apply
those methods towards college basketball
players, and NBA Draft prospects, it’s much more fun; and interesting.
And perhaps no one has more “league” potential on the Butler Bulldogs
than junior guard Shelvin Mack.
Mack has learned and grown from the threats opponents posed to his game. He’s making the most of his opportunities by playing his best ball at the time that it matters most.
Mack scored 27 in the Elite Eight win over Florida, 30 in the second
round victory over Pittsburgh. But he still can’t give you that
performance every night. Your girlfriend may dress up as a naughty
schoolgirl for you on your birthday, but she likely won’t put on the
plaid skirt, pigtails and knee-high socks for you every weekend.
Shelvin is a streaky volume shooter, with only average
athleticism/quickness, not explosive enough around the rim and he’s more
of a scoring point guard than a true distributor.
Go here for the full detailed analysis of Mack’s pro potential
is to committing a good hard foul what Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is to being unfunny and possessing no wit.
Howard benefited greatly from sophomore Center Andrew Smith
to the four, giving him more experience playing the only position he
has a legitimate chance of playing at the next level. Howard, lost
weight in the offseason and improved his jump shot. He’s a great college basketball player, but his skills do not necessarily translate to the next level.
Still, he could get serious looks due to his intangibles and actually
make a roster due to his winning ways and the energy he brings. And
he’s smart too, Matt Howard was the Academic All-American of the year.
More than likely, he goes undrafted but a team could take a second
round flyer. He has numerous strengths, including: hustle, non-stop work
ethic, aggressive rebounding, basketball IQ, making winning plays,
solid fundamentals on offense including his three-point range, free
throw shooting and a good touch around the basket.
He’s goofy and awkward but it works for him. He’s like a rich man’s version of Northwestern’s John Shurna.
“Matt Howard will be an NBA player and his team would be winning
wherever he went to school. That’s who he is,” his Coach Brad Stevens
“He makes teams better. He is a winner. Whenever I have to answer
questions about what’s his real height, how long is he, he wins. He
just wins. He’s smart, he’s tough, he’s physical, he’s — he just
understands the game…I could go on and on.”
Go here for the full detailed profile of Howard’s pro potential
You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.