|Soph.||6’10” 195||SF/PF||San Diego St.||21 Yrs. Old|
|15.9 ppg||8.3 rpg||2.1 apg||FG: 46.6%||3 PT: 32%|
NBA Comparison: Jonathan Isaac
Strengths: Athleticism, Guard like movement/skills, Ability to guard multiple positions
Weaknesses: Strength, Offensive efficiency
The older brother of possible 2020 #1 overall pick Jaden Mcdaniels, Jalen has played two seasons at San Diego State, although he does not have the same level of hype as the younger Mcdaniels. Standing at 6’10”, the sophomore possesses the ability to move like a guard, to go with high level athleticism. He can come off screens, as well as create his own shot, while he does not do much damage with his back to the basket. Lacking strength at only 195 pounds, he will need to add some weight, but since most of his offensive game is played on the wing or using his agility, it should not be a major issue. Considering Mcdaniels runs the floor like a much smaller player, he should be able to get fast break points whether it be catching lobs, put backs, or hitting a jumpshot from the start of his professional career. His stroke is solid, with the mid-range game being his bread and butter, but the potential of his game extending to the three point line makes him a very interesting prospect. During his freshman season, Mcdaniels did not shoot much from the outside, but with more emphasis this season on his outside shot he improved from 21.1 last year to 32% this season. His free throw shooting would suggest there is more room to grow with that part of his game, after shooting over 70% from the free throw line in both of his seasons in San Diego. The fact that he has increased his usage this year from deep, and improved drastically percentage wise, has NBA teams thinking his potential as a long and athletic wing is viable.
Here is an example of his athletic ability, and the ability to face up for a jumper:
Jalen McDaniels have MERCY on the rim! pic.twitter.com/nuBEAFWvV4— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) March 16, 2019
On the defensive side of the ball, he can be overpowered by stronger players down low at times, but his motor allows him to compete, which also goes back to his need to add strength for when he is faced with guarding a low post player near the basket. With that said, he can adequately guard multiple positions, which makes him valuable with the amount of pick and rolls that come your way on defense in the league. Only averaging less than a block per game, he definitely could use his length more to disrupt shots and prevent players from getting to the rim.
We currently have Mcdaniels projected as a first round talent in our mock draft, although many sites have him going in the second round. His size at 6’10” to go with his ability to put the ball on the floor, face up, shoot the mid-range and three point jumper, he is a rare prospect who has the tools perfectly fit for the modern day NBA. His ceiling is a starter level wing who could become more than that if he puts it all together, while his worst case scenario would be a bench player who can give you an offensive spark exploiting the mismatches he brings with his size/athleticism. Mcdaniels is one of the players that people in the future could look back at this years draft and wonder how he was not selected higher given his physical gifts.