DraftExpress NBA Draft Prospect Profile: T.J. McConnell, Stats, Comparisons, and Outlook
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T.J. McConnell
Team: Arizona, Senior
PhysicalsPositionsRankings Misc
H: 6' 1"
W: 194 lbs
Bday: 03/25/1992
(22 Years Old)
Current: PG
NBA:   PG
Possible: PG
Rank 47 in NCAA Seniors
High School: Chartiers Valley
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Predraft Measurements
YearSourceHeight w/o ShoesHeight w/shoesWeightWingspanStanding ReachBody FatNo Step VertMax Vert
2014Nike Skills AcademyNA6' 1.5"1946' 0.5"NANANANA

Basic Per Game Statistics - Comprehensive Stats - Statistical Top 25s
YearLeagueNameGPMinPtsFGFGAFG%2Pt2PtA2P%3Pt3PtA3P%FTMFTAFT%OffDefTOTAstsStlsBlksTOsPFs
2013/14NCAAT.J. McConnell3832.28.43.37.445.42.44.750.60.92.636.00.81.362.00.53.13.65.31.70.21.82.2

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Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-12, Part 6: Prospects #10-14
September 8, 2014


Josh Riddell

After starting his collegiate career at Duquesne for two years, T.J. McConnell transferred to Arizona, where he played his first season with the Wildcats in 2013-14 after sitting out the 2012-2013 campaign. He jumped right into the team as the starting point guard on a squad that would eventually end up as a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, advancing to the Elite Eight before falling to Wisconsin. McConnell returns for his senior season to lead another loaded Wildcat team that again looks poised to make a deep NCAA tournament run.

McConnell was one of the best point guards in the nation last season, which helped land him on the Cousy Award finalist list. His 6.8 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted ranks him among the top passers in the country among returning players while his pure point ratio of 5.41 ranks fifth among all returning PGs. McConnell is steady with the ball in his hands and initiates the offense well by making the proper pass while not over dribbling. He doesn't try to force the issue and his decision making helped him average only 2.3 turnovers per 40 minutes pace adjusted last season. He does an excellent job of making the right decision and delivering the ball to his teammates in the right position to allow them to shoot or create immediately. His ability to run a team will get him noticed by NBA scouts, but he will have to show he can provide more to a team to be a serious draft prospect.

Nothing about McConnell's physical tools are terribly exciting, as he measured 6'1.5 and 194 pounds at the 2014 Nike Skills Academy, with just a 6'0 wingspan. He has good strength for his size, which prevents him from getting pushed around by bigger players. However, he isn't exceptionally explosive or quick with the ball, and will likely be at a disadvantage physically in the NBA.

McConnell wasn't relied on to score all that frequently by Arizona last season, as he attempted only 9.4 field goal attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted last season. His 16% usage rate would rank dead last among returning point guards, as it would among any college player drafted last season.

The majority of McConnell's scoring in the half-court comes off his jump-shot, which he finds somewhat mixed results with. With his feet set, McConnell is fairly effective, making 41% of his attempts last season, and 40% of his career 3-pointers in his three seasons of college basketball overall. He doesn't have the most conventional shooting mechanics, including a low release, a somewhat off balance stance and a propensity to shoot a flat shot off the dribble due to the lack of lift he gets creating separation from opponents, but he's able to punish opponents when given time and space, which happens a decent amount as he sees a good amount of his offense playing off the ball.

A very pass-first oriented point guard, McConnell doesn't look for his own shot all that often, being much more focused more on running the offense and creating for his teammates in the halfcourt.

Playing in a fairly deliberate offense that tends a bit stagnant at times, McConnell was asked to operate on the pick and roll a decent amount last season. He showed the ability to attack the rim at times, which created offense for his team, but his combination of an average first step, and a lack of a consistent pull-up jumper, allowed defenses to clog the lane, especially with as many non-shooters as Arizona usually fielded at the same time. McConnell only got to the free throw line 50 times in total last season in 38 games, as he simply isn't all that prolific of a threat to create his own offense, something that wasn't too different in his time at Duquesne (55 free throw attempts in 30 games). While it's unlikely that he'll ever develop into a dynamic one on one player, having a quicker and more consistent pull-up jumper in his arsenal will force defenses to respect him more on the perimeter, which will open up lanes for him to create for his teammates.

On the defensive side, while McConnell can be at a disadvantage physically, he is able to contribute defensively by knowing his assignments, playing with excellent intensity, and being in the right position on the floor to slow down his opponent. McConnell had 2.2 steals per 40 minutes pace adjusted last season, a product of his ability to read the floor and anticipate, combined with his quick, active hands. While he should be adapt to the complex defensive systems of the NBA due to his experience playing under Miller, and his willingness to compete certainly helps his chances, he may have trouble matching up with some of the bigger and more explosive point guards he'll run into at times in the NBA, as he at times gets beat off the dribble by quicker guards.

As the oldest and most experienced player on Arizona's roster, McConnell will be counted on to run Sean Miller's offense efficiently, play solid defense, and possibly carry a slightly larger offensive load this season, after seeing the team's top two scorers move on to the NBA. McConnell is already 22 years old due to sitting out a year and will be 23 by the 2015 NBA Draft. His ceiling is certainly limited by his age and average physical tools, but NBA teams are always on the lookout for solid, steady, competitive players to fill out their roster and up the level of their practices, and McConnell could certainly improve his chances of finding a roster spot if he leads Arizona on another deep tournament run.
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