The Mikan Drill

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Summer Scouting Series: Shelvin Mack

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For the methodology post, Click here

For the other posts in the series, Click here

With Gordon Hayward moving on to bigger and better things, it is going to be up to the combination of Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack to lead the Bulldogs back to Horizon League glory this season. Mack is a player that is garnering a ton of buzz this season (see Luke Winn’s feature here) so I decided to take a look at how he played last season in the Sweet 16 and beyond.


Rebounds well

For a guard, Mack rebounds fairly well, as he uses his strength as well as anticpation to snatch rebound on the offensive and defensive end. He grabbed 3.7 rebounds per game last season (13% of defensive rebounds and 2.2% of offensive rebounds) and I would not surprised to see these numbers improve, after going up against NBA players in the offseason.

In this clip, notice that he is playing on the bottom of a 2-3 zone. He has to be a strong rebounder here to be an asset and he lives up to the challenge. He is not afraid to throw his weight around and he is strong enough to battle larger forwards and rip the ball away.

Here is a clip of Butler playing man defense and watch Mack as he drifts toward the basket for a rebound after the shot goes up. This is an example of knowing the situation and where the ball may come off based on where the shot was taken. Mack uses this information and is in the right position for the rebound.

In the final clip, Mack does not get the rebound but he boxes out a much bigger player in 6’10’, 265 Luis Colon, preventing him from getting the rebound. So, even though Mack’s rebounding stats are not eye-popping, he knows how to be fundamentally sound in his box outs and prevent a much larger player from getting a rebound over him.

Midrange game

From watching the 4 games from the Sweet 16 on from last season, one of Mack’s favorite moves is the pull up jumper at the elbow. It’s obviously something he has practiced a ton and feels comfortable with it in a variety of situations.

Here he is against the Syracuse zone with the help of a screen:

Here he goes away from the screen to his left after Rautins tries to jump the screen:

Finally, here he is on the break:

As you can see, this is one of Mack’s favorite moves and an effective one, at that. Look for him to use this regularly in the upcoming season.


3 point shooting form

Looking at Mack’s 39% 3 point percentage, you can not immediatly see that this is a weakness in his game. However, your opinion might change once we go to the video. I think his percentages are inflated by the college line and he will need to improve his shot to be a 3 point threat in the NBA.

He has not found a consistent form yet, as this will hurt his accuracy from a longer distance. As you see in the first shot, his feet are not square and he does not do a great job of following through with his fingers.

In the second clip, he rectifies these faults and sinks the jumper but it shows that he is not consistent with his shot, which is a flaw in his game. A good jump shooter will not make every shot but they will have almost the same form with the knees square, elbow in and finishing with the follow through. Mack looks erratic on his jump shot and needs some reps in the gym to fix the flaw and find his rhythm.


With Hayward gone, Mack is a player who you will hear more about this season (especially with the hype about him from this summer). He is a suitable offensive player with one above average move that he is comfortbale with when he needs confidence.

I am not sure Mack is a NBA caliber player because I am not sure he has the speed to keep up with players his size. We will see how he plays this season and if he lives up to the high praise heaped on him by players on Team USA this summer. If he does, look for him to rocket up draft boards.


Written by Joshua Riddell

August 26, 2010 at 12:16 am

One Response

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