Undergoing one of the biggest role changes of any player in the country last season, transitioning from a combo-guard to full-time floor general, Demetri McCamey
had a breakout junior season for the Fighting Illini, leading the entire NCAA in assists per game while also upping his production and efficiency across the board. Heading into his senior season, scouts will be much more focused on McCamey's game, specifically in terms of what adjustments he makes to prepare for translating his game to a higher level of competition.
In terms of actual skill set, not much changed for McCamey as a junior, but it was the application of those skills that saw a big turnaround, which was most evident in the area of shot selection. Despite being more of an offensive focal point, taking more shots per game, and taking on the burden of creating for others, McCamey still managed to increase his efficiency from the field and behind the arc. Looking deeper into the stats at Synergy Sports Technology, McCamey also increased his points per shot on both catch-and-shoot (1.00 to 1.04) and off-the-dribble jumpers (0.60 to 0.93).
As a shooter, McCamey possesses excellent form both in catch-and-shoot and pull-up situations, having a high release with pretty good speed and consistent mechanics, always showing good balance even when moving from side to side. He's still prone to forcing a contested jumper early in the shot clock, but has made immense improvements in this area as compared to his freshman and sophomore seasons, and could potentially take another step forward this year. McCamey does a good job using his craftiness and strength to make up for his lack of quickness in this area, using the former qualities in addition to the threat of his passing ability to create space to pull up for a shot.
As a shot creator in general, McCamey relies heavily on his jump shot, not having the quickness or explosiveness to consistently get past his man in isolation situations. According to Synergy, McCamey attempted 240 jumpers in the half court this season compared to just 84 shots around the basket. McCamey finished at a very high rate around the rim, scoring 1.26 points per shot, but that's more a testament to him picking his spots very well as opposed to him being an excellent finisher. While he does have a nice right-handed floater and makes good use of his strength, size, and touch in the lane, there are some major concerns projecting this area of his game to the next level, given his lack of vertical explosiveness and his troubles separating from his man in isolation situations.
In terms of penetrating with the ball, McCamey does an excellent job using misdirection and change of pace to get his man off balance, having very good ball-handling skills and a strong presence with the ball, while he also does a good job of keeping his head up and keeping his options open, rarely displaying tunnel vision off the dribble. He's somewhat limited in his ability to create in isolation due to his lack of a great second gear, but is dangerous once he has a half-step on his man and makes good use of high screens to do so.
As a floor general, McCamey shows very good awareness of what's going on around him and is capable of making a large variety of passes, including one-handed passes on the move with either hand (though the left is still noticeably behind the right in comfort level). He does a good job reading pick-and-roll situations, hitting teammates coming around screens, and finding cutters open in the lane, while he's capable of throwing strong precision passes over long distances when necessary. While he's prone to forcing the issue at times and is still clearly coming into his own as a full-time playmaker, McCamey exhibits a very good feel for the game and does a good job managing pace and getting the ball to teammates in positions where they can succeed.
Defensively, McCamey showed good effort and intensity levels as a junior, playing with good fundamentals and awareness while not taking plays off. In isolation situations, his lateral quickness is very much sub-par for a point guard, something that is prone to being exploited and certainly will be even more so in the NBA, but he does a good job trying to make up for it by being in the right position and putting in maximum effort to keep his feet moving. One area where McCamey does excel on defense, though, is playing the pick-and-roll, where he does a very good job using his strength to fight through screens and stick with the play, while also showing good awareness and understanding of positioning.
Looking forward, McCamey needs to continue to show the improved decision-making and consistency he exhibited as a junior, while he could further improve his draft stock if he comes back trimmer so he could better maximize his physical tools. Projecting to the next level, being at his physical peak will be of the utmost importance, as the holes in his game are certainly more apparent in college when matched with long, athletic defenders, who tend to make things very difficult for him. There is also concern about how he will adjust to a different role in the NBA, as he will likely have to cut back on the amount of time he spends with the ball in his hands, and as a freshman and sophomore he didn't always show the best decision-making in that position. Currently projected as a second round pick, McCamey's stock could improve with another strong season, especially if he alleviates some of the concerns about how his game will translate to the NBA.