JaVon McCrea, 6-7, Power Forward, Buffalo
21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, 3 blocks, 2 steals, 9-14 FG
After filling the stat sheet for four years at Buffalo, Javon McCrea picked up where he left off in his first game at the PIT. McCrea proved to be the most complete player on the floor, impacting the game on both the offensive and defensive end. Despite playing out of position at small forward, the 6' 7 250-pound big man used his chiseled frame, long arms and big hands to finish around the rim, where he shot an excellent 67.7% on the year. McCrea also made his presence felt on the offensive glass (4.6 per 40 on the year) relying on his high motor, strength and length to grab three offensive boards, including a very crafty one-handed lefty put-back.
Although he's not the most polished post player with his back to the basket, McCrea showed the ability to face up and handle the ball a little bit in the half court. He's not particularly explosive, but he uses his strength to bulldoze his way to the rim. The MAC Player of the Year also sees the floor very well for his size, evident in Wednesday's game and by his 2.8 assists per 40 on the year. McCrea proved capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers, but he'll have to become much more consistent with his less than stellar shooting mechanics to become a legitimate threat. He shoots with his left foot in front of his right and sports a slow, unorthodox release that resulted in 35.4% shooting (17-of-48) on all of his jumpers this season.
Defensively, McCrea is a playmaker off the ball, using his length and anticipation skills to rack up steals and blocks. He finished Wednesday's game with three blocks and two steals, on par with his 2.8 blocks and 1.8 steals per 40 rate that he posted during the season. McCrea is a fundamentally sound defender both in the post and on the perimeter, but his size and lack of lateral quickness makes him a bit of a tweener at the NBA level. He's able to make up for his size with his energy and physicality, but it's his 6' 7 stature and lack of perimeter skills that may keep him out of the NBA. McCrea would be a nice summer league and vet camp player, however, and should be able to have a very good career overseas.