Can Codi Miller-McIntyre be the point guard for Wake Forest?
After scouting fellow sophomore Devin Thomas’ strengths and weaknesses, our attention turns to Codi Miller-McIntyre and will investigate whether he can be a point guard for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons this season or whether he is better suited to playing off the ball.
First, let’s review some of his statistical measures from last season to start determining about whether he should play more with the ball in his hands. Per KenPom.com, his assist rate was 19.4%, which ranked behind teammate Madison Jones’ 22.6% and 17th in the ACC. He struggled a bit with turnovers, turning the ball over 20.4% of the time, which is a poor mark, even for a freshman. Draft Express has his pure point rating at -0.64.
In the video, we see similar mixed results. CMM can attack the rim well with the ball off the dribble but he doesn’t always make the best decisions, which leads to turnovers.
Off the Dribble
In the first few clips below, you can see CMM penetrate off the dribble into the lane and finish at the rim or find a teammate for a layup attempt. He has a quick first step that allows him to beat the defense and get to the rim. One thing he can improve on for next year is drawing more contact in the lane, which would allow him to get to the foul line more often. Last season, he shot only 46 free throws (19.2% free throw rate) while shooting 56.5% on these free throws.
This sample size is a bit too small for us to determine if he is a poor free throw shooter but regardless, he needs to get to the line more. In the first two clips, you see him avoid the defense to attempt the shot instead of absorbing the contact to draw the foul. He can work on driving into the teeth of the defense, drawing contact and finishing or drawing the foul to make the offensive possession a successful one.
At the end of the clip, you can see where CMM struggles with turnovers. He is careless with the ball at times, which allows the defense to take the ball from him. If he wants to play with the ball in his hands more, he’ll need to cut down on these turnovers.
In transition, we see similar pluses and minuses from CMM when he runs the break. When he looks to create for himself, he gets out of control or throws up a wild shot. However, when he looks to make the easy play, he can often find the right person on the break for the open shot.
Look at the first play from this clip as an example. With CMM running the break, Wake has a 5 on 3 advantage against Maryland. Thomas is going to run to the rim, which crowds the paint, leaving Madison Jones and CJ Harris on the wings as shooters. With CMM being defended, the pass is the right move and he finds Harris to knock the open shot.
When CMM struggles is when he tries to do too much on the fast break, which leads to wild shots or turnovers. The last clip below is a great example of this, which blends CMM’s struggles in transition with his poor free throw rate. At the high speed he is at in the last clip, he should be at worst, drawing a foul when the defender challenges him. instead, he throws up a wild, off-balance layup that has no chance of success.
Similar to his skills off the dribble, CMM had an up and down season in transition. If he wants to be the Wake point guard, he will need to make smarter decisions on a more regular basis, so the offense will have more success in these situations.
Pick and Rolls
Wake Forest did not a pick and roll often, so CMM does not need to be an expert in this set but it again shows some of the areas of improvement for CMM when he has the ball in his hands.
After Alex Len strings out the pick and roll, CMM has two viable options. He can make attempt the difficult pass to the roll man or hand the ball off to cutting Jones. Instead, he keeps the ball himself and takes a contested long jump shot with 20 seconds left on the shot clock.
These types of decisions were typical for CMM his freshman season, which caused him to have one of the lowest offensive ratings on the team at 90.3, according to KenPom. While some improvement is expected from his first to second season, he will need to take a major leap in his decision making with the ball to be a point guard that the team can rely on to run the offense. He will need to create offense regularly but will need to balance this with his role of initiating the offense and making smart decisions to lead the team.
CMM will look to take the leap next season and may find himself the starting point guard of the Demon Deacons by the start of the season. He seems confident he can grow from last season and be an asset on offense. What’s clear is that he has the skills to be great as a point guard, as he has a quick first step that can help him create offense off the dribble. He showed flashes of being a great point guard, as he was able to create off the dribble and find teammates for open shots off the dribble.
However, he needs to do a better job of finishing at the rim while making overall better decisions with the ball to cut down on turnovers. If he does, he should fit in nicely as the starting point guard for a young team. If he continues to struggle though, Coach Jeff Bzdelik may be forced to slot him off the ball again with a combination of players, including Madison Jones, handling the point guard duties.