|- Go-to scoring mentality|
|- Mismatch Potential|
|- Scoring instincts|
|- Ability to create own shot|
|- Ambidextrous |
|- Ball-handling skills|
|- Ability to face the basket|
|- Back to basket scoring|
|- Excellent hands|
|- Work ethic|
|- High-level productivity|
|- Ability to finish w/either hand|
|- Body control|
|- Excellent first step|
|- Incredibly quick|
|- Excellent rebounder|
|- 3-point range|
|- Pull-up jumper|
|- All-around defense|
|- Off-court red flags?|
|- Winning mentality|
|- Size for position|
|Top 25s - Full List|
H: 6' 8"|
W: 239 lbs
(25 Years Old)
|RSCI: 4||Agent: Jared Karnes ||
High School: Notre Dame Prep
Hometown: Upper Marlboro, MD
Pick 2 in 2008 by Heat
Best Case: Amare Stoudemire Meets Antawn Jamison
Worst Case: Derrick Coleman
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2008||NBA Pre-Draft Camp||6' 7"||6' 8.25"||239||7' 0.25"||8' 11"||7.7||30.0||35.0|
|2007||Hoop Summit||NA||6' 9"||NA||7' 0"||9' 1"||NA||NA||NA|
Basic Per Game Statistics - Comprehensive Stats - Statistical Top 25s
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Rookie Retrospective: Michael Beasley|
December 18, 2008
In our second installment of our new “Rookie Retrospectives” series, we’ll be analyzing the play of the second of three former freshman standouts that are vying for the Rookie of the Year Award. After one of the most impressive freshman seasons in recent NCAA history, no player in this class may have began their career facing expectations as lofty as those Beasley set for himself with his play at Kansas State.
Unlike many of his counterparts, Beasley also has the added pressure of stepping directly into a prominent role on a playoff-contending team. With both of those things in mind, Beasley has shown glimpses of great play; however, these brief stints have been overshadowed by inconsistency on both sides of the floor as he acclimates to the rigors of a full NBA season.
In recent weeks, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has removed Beasley from the starting line-up and has began using him as a scoring punch off the bench. During this time, Beasley has averaged ten fewer minutes per game, but is still putting up the same per game averages. Perhaps this move to the bench has sparked his competitive drive and marked the beginning of Michael Beasley’s professional maturation.
Rookie Retrospective: Michael Beasley
Power Forward 6’8 ¼, 239, 1989, Miami Heat
Part One: Inside Scoring & Post Skills
“Beasley is doing his biggest damage in the paint, working off the ball, often continuing moves from the elbow or the baseline to finish with acrobatic layups. He’s a flat-out impressive finisher around the rim. He perfectly uses both hands, and his ability to hang in the air with the balance he shows there allows him to work to avoid almost every opponent’s attempt to challenge him. He’s just a majestic player evolving off the ground.”
-U-19 World Championship: Early Rounds 07/20/07
From his one year stint at Kansas State, the Miami Heat expected Beasley to provide a consistent inside scoring threat to accompany Dwayne Wade’s stellar perimeter skills. Yet, through the first month of his rookie campaign, Beasley has attempted everything but attacking the interior of opposing defenses. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Beasley is converting a dismal 48% on shot attempts around the rim, and 32% of his post-moves. Compare that with last season at Kansas State, where he converted 67% of his shot-attempts around the rim, and 52% of his back-to-the-basket opportunities.
Already being undersized for an NBA power forward, and being more of a smooth/fluid type athlete than a freak leaper, Beasley has had a much more difficult time going up against the size, length and athleticism that NBA big men are known for—no longer simply being able to operate as a man amongst boys by bullying his way around the basket. He will have to learn how to go up stronger at the rim and not try to be so cute with his finishes—doing everything quicker and with more purpose than he’s been used to thus far in his career.
Even more concerning for the Heat is that Beasley is taking far more shots from the perimeter than in the post. Whereas last season post-up plays accounted for 33% of his shot-attempts, this year that percentage of attempts has fallen to just 15%. This lack of inside touches has taken away some of the things that made him such an efficient college player. The fact that his free throw attempts are down in a huge way (8.5 to 2.9 per game) and his offensive rebounding has fallen off a cliff (from 4.0 to 1.7 per game) are clearly indicative of the on-going changes Beasley is going to need to make to his game to transition to being a more effective NBA power forward as well as Miami’s need to utilize him in a more effective role.
On the rare occasion that he does catch the ball in the low post, Beasley prefers to face up or turn to the middle of the floor. When he faces up in the low post, Beasley doesn’t have ample room to beat his defender off the dribble. Adding to the problem, he also lacks a “step-through” or “up-and-under” move which would allow him to score more effectively as an undersized power forward. Since he lacks these interior moves, he usually relies on well-contested mid-range jumper over taller defenders.
With his back to the basket, Beasley turns to the middle of the floor twice as often as the baseline. In fact, he is only comfortable spinning baseline on the right side of the floor and hasn’t attempted a baseline move on the left block the entire season. At this stage in his career, Beasley would benefit greatly from watching some Antawn Jamison or Carlos Boozer game film and learning how to effectively use his shorter frame in the painted area.
The transition from college to the NBA is absolutely massive, especially when comparing the dramatic rise in the level of competition big men are forced to go up against on a nightly basis. Beasley clearly has the tools to be a lethal scorer in the NBA, but he’s going to have to adapt to his new surroundings and become much more cerebral about the way he gets his shot off.
Part Two: Perimeter Scoring
“ Beasley is a prototypical face the basket modern-day power forward. He is strong, but incredibly quick, possessing the type of agile first step that makes him an absolutely devastating threat creating his own shot from the perimeter. Kansas State is utilizing him a great deal at the top of the key on Isolation plays, where the lefty likes to take his man off the dribble with his smooth ball-handling skills and finish with either with and a variety of pretty floaters and layups. He has incredible body control to get the job done on these types of drives, handling the ball in the open floor like a guard, and at times pulling up off the dribble fluidly from mid-range with the greatest of ease.”
-NCAA Weekly Performers – Freshman Edition, Part One 11/23/07
It became apparent early in Beasley’s freshman campaign that he possesses a special perimeter skill set given his size and athleticism. As predicted, this is the area of Beasley’s game that has made the smoothest transition to the next level. In Miami’s offense, Beasley normally gets his touches in one of two ways: as a spot up scorer working off a teammates’ dribble penetration or as a face-up post player off an entry pass.
When he catches the ball in spot up situations, Beasley usually receives the pass about 20 feet from the hoop. If the defense does not extend to contest Beasley’s first look, he will shoot without hesitation. Thus far, he has been reasonably (although not incredibly) effective for a rookie power forward, hitting on 44% of his shots between 17 feet and the three-point line, as well as 36% of his 3-point attempts. When the defense extends to contest his initial shot, Beasley will put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. In these situations, defenses have done a great job taking away his left hand, forcing him to the right, where he has struggled to score effectively (0.70 PPP); however, he has no trouble being productive when he can penetrate going left (1.22 PPP).
When the Heat run sets for Beasley in the post, he initiates contact on the block, but releases to catch the ball around 15-feet away from the rim so he can have some space to operate facing the basket. This plays to the quickness advantage he enjoys over most defenders and allows him to see the entire floor as he attacks the defense. When he gets a chance to operate one-on-one off the catch, he gets to show off the tremendous feel for scoring off the dribble that we wrote about over a year ago.
Unfortunately, Beasley often stops his penetration early to shoot a pull-up jumper rather than finishing at the rim and earning valuable trips to the charity stripe. He is currently averaging 2.9 free throw attempts per game, ranking him 10th among this year’s rookies. For a player of Beasley’s caliber, this number must improve greatly for him to continue the development of his offensive repertoire. He must work to catch the ball in better position to score as well, not settling for starting his moves 17-18 feet away from the basket, which makes it much easier for the defense to rotate.
Beasley’s perimeter skills are what make him a special prospect at the power forward position, but at this point in his career, he would be best suited trying to get as many attempts around the rim or at the free throw line as possible. Settling for fade-away jumpers from 18-20 feet out is exactly what NBA defenses hope to force, and Beasley is far too talented to fall into that trap every single night the way he often has thus far.
Part Three: Defense
“ Defensively, there is absolutely no way around the fact that Beasley has looked awful so far--not really a surprise considering his reputation coming into college. Even when he tries to put in a legit effort, he looks unfocused--almost completely lost-- constantly out of position, and too often caught with his hand in the cookie jar gambling for steals. He doesn’t always put in that legit effort, though, as it’s not rare to see him looking a bit lazy running the floor to get back, particularly in transition situations. Again, some scouts will shake their heads at these types of things, while others will chalk it up to youth and inexperience.”
-NCAA Weekly Performers 11/23/07 – Freshman Edition, Part One
This is still, as we wrote, the part of Beasley’s game which must develop for him to be a star in the League. At this point, he doesn’t jump off the stat sheet as a defensive difference maker (0.65 STLPG, 0.52 BLKPG), and the film we watched showed several glaring flaws in Beasley’s defensive fundamentals. After analyzing game film, it is evident that Beasley’s biggest defensive problem is losing his man while playing help defense. Rather than staying in an open stance and seeing the ball and his man, Beasley often gets caught facing the ball, allowing his man to sneak behind him on the baseline and into the paint. This puts him in poor defensive rebounding position, and if his man gets the ball, it puts him in a situation where he has to either foul or give up an uncontested layup.
Another problem for Beasley, as well as most NBA post players, is closing out on quicker perimeter scorers. Beasley’s quickness is excellent for a power forward, but many of his close-outs appear sluggish. Rather than “chopping” his feet several steps before the perimeter player and sitting in a defensive stance, he is often too concerned with the jump shooter, causing him to take longer steps and lunge at ball fakes. If he improves in this facet of the game, Beasley will commit fewer costly mistakes like fouling jump shooters. Ultimately, it will be that improvement, coupled with greater discipline and commitment that will give Beasley the ability to cover small forwards in pinches. Beasley seems to have bought into this on some level, and is becoming a better defender in no small part due to the tough love he’s received from rookie head coach Erik Spoelstra, but he still has a long way to go.
Part Four: Rebounding
“ Had Beasley settled for displaying his typical array of perimeter talent, mixed in with a steady dose of post-ups letting him utilize his quickness on the left block, he might have finished his first three games with a solid 20 and 10. He’s managed to pad his stats incredibly though by crashing the offensive glass like a man possessed, indeed grabbing nearly 9 per game so far. That’s the primary reason why he’s managed to get himself into the 30 and 20 range, which is in itself a pretty incredible feat. Beasley has just been bigger, stronger, quicker and more explosive than all of his opponents so far, allowing him to absolutely dominate the offensive glass. But he’s also stood out nicely with the terrific coordination he possesses, as well as with his awesome hands and reaction time.”
-NCAA Weekly Performers – Freshman Edition, Part One 11/23/07
This is the area where Beasley has disappointed most, primarily because he was such a dominant rebounder at the collegiate level. He has yet to pull down ten rebounds in a single game this season, and ranks 15th among rookies with a dismal 11.2 rebounding rate. The Heat, desperately searching for rebounding help and interior defense, don’t have a player in the top 35 for rebounds per 48 minutes (Udonis Haslem, 12.4 RP48M ranks 38th). Beasley’s rebounding woes stem from both his defensive shortcomings and his role in the Heat offense.
Given his tendency to lose his man while playing help defense, Beasley is often out of position to box out when a shot goes up. This leads to offensive rebounding opportunities for the opposition, and in some cases, uncontested put-backs. Where in college he could often get away with not boxing out opponents and just letting his physical superiority do the job for him, the NBA is obviously a different story.
Another reason he’s struggling on the defensive glass is his physical strength. He’s now competing against players physically equal and often superior to him, and it takes a much greater effort to out-position experienced veterans who boast comparable assets athletically. If Beasley stops backing down from contact and begins to exert himself in a much more physical manner, his numbers will improve; perhaps even to a respectable level. In the meantime, the concerns raised about his smallish measurements before the draft (6-7 without shoes, 6-8 1/4 with) are beginning to look like serious issues at the NBA level.
Because of his perimeter-oriented role in the Heat offense, Beasley rarely attempts to make his presence felt on the offensive glass. He would likely find his way back into the starting lineup if he put forth the effort to gain extra possessions and easy baskets for his team. Until he realizes the full effect these types of hustle plays will have on his team, and he begins to demand them from himself from possession to possession, we can probably get used to Beasley remaining a one-dimensional sixth man.
Part Five: Decision Making
“ We’ve seen a fair share of Beasley-esque plays where he forces the issue and tries to do too much out on the perimeter (for example an ill-advised double-clutch pull-up fadeaway jumper), but he’s been able to make up for his mistakes largely by just rebounding his own misses and putting them back in. Beasley was known to be somewhat of a selfish player in high school at times, and from what we could tell from the game footage we evaluated early on, he’s not quite shedding that label quite yet. The ball-movement often stops once it reaches his hands, and oftentimes it seems like he is going to take the ball and shoot it no matter what, regardless of how the play develops around him.”
-NCAA Weekly Performers -- Freshmen Edition, Part One 11/23/2007
NBA rookies are notorious for being mistake-prone – Michael Beasley is no different. Defensively, Beasley usually hedges ball screens fairly well, but he has shown little effort in rotating back to his man. This lackadaisical rotation often leads to easy post-up opportunities for opposing frontcourt players. Since the Heat are already extremely undersized and often play a three-forward lineup, Beasley’s lack of hustle often hangs teammates out to dry. He has also fouled jump shooters on several critical occasions this season. This happens because he closes out on perimeter scorers very poorly and jumps early at ball fakes rather than sitting in a defensive stance and contesting jumpers after the shooter has committed to scoring the basketball. Much was raised before the draft about the demeanor Beasley appears to display off the court in interview sessions and such, and some wondered whether this would become an on-court issue as well.
On the offensive end of the floor, Beasley’s ball handling and passing statistics are noticeably poor. Of all NBA players, he ranks 175th in turnover ratio at 11.3 turnovers per 100 possessions and 304th in assist ratio, dishing out only 5.7 assists per 100 possessions. The selfishness we documented in Beasley’s high school and college performances has translated itself in some situations because of the increase in isolation plays created by the shorter shot clock. Ball movement still stops once it reaches his hands, and he rarely looks to make the extra pass to open shooters. If he wants to become a more prominent NBA player and warrant more help defensively, Beasley will need to become a more efficient team player and look for help from his teammates in half court sets.
Coach Spoelstra has managed to negate this issue somewhat by bringing him off the bench and turning him loose as the primary offensive option of the second unit, but this is probably not an ideal long-term solution considering where Beasley was drafted.
Part Six: Intangibles
Bulls.com: How would you describe his arrival and acclimation to college life?
Frank Martin: “It was tremendous. He was unbelievable how he handled all the publicity, attention, pressures and expectations. People here expected him and Bill Walker to be our saviors, guys that were going to bring a national championship to K-State. He had to embrace that kind of responsibility without having any kind of senior leadership whatsoever to help. For him to have done it the way he did—never questioning my leadership—was remarkable. The people in this community just love him. And it’s not because of what he did as a basketball player. It’s because of the way he acted away from the court.
Bulls.com: Beasley is quick to admit he’s “still a kid” when fielding questions about his character. What’s your assessment of him?
Martin: “I wish my kids will grow up to have his character and I’ve got three of them. He’s phenomenal and he’s a treat to be around. He makes coaching an easy profession. He cares about winning and nothing else. He wants to be the best, so he works at it, but he doesn’t go around thinking he’s the best. He’s receptive to coaching. You could go back and speak to any one he’s ever been a student of, coached by, or played with, and you won’t find one person who will give you a negative comment about Michael Beasley. I was a schoolteacher for many years, and the stuff that he’s done, it was nothing more than a young teenager looking for attention. He’s never placed harm on anybody and he never will place harm on anybody. It’s not in his personality and it’s not who he is. He doesn’t steal, he’s not into drugs and he’s not a gangbanger. He’s a simple kid who enjoys being a kid. He never missed a practice. He’d roll an ankle, but he’d refuse to come out of a drill. He’s an unbelievable person.”
-Bulls.com interview with Beasley’s college coach, Frank Martin 06/23/2008
Since arriving in Miami, with the notable exception of the marijuana incident at the NBA Rookie orientation session, Beasley has successfully avoided off-court drama and seems to be showing a willingness to improve within Erik Spoelstra’s defensive-oriented team concept. Upon moving to the bench a few weeks ago, Beasley has shown a significant improvement in rebounding, pulling down 12.2 RP48M, up from the 8.7 RP48M he averaged while in the starting line-up. And although disappointed at first with the move to the bench, he rebounded to score 24 points in 27 minutes in his second game as the sixth man. The Heat lost that second game against the Clippers, but Beasley said all the right things to the media and showed a team-first attitude.
"I would take [Friday's] game where I was 0 for 5 and no points and the win before I would take this," he said after Saturday's 97-96 loss to the Clippers. "If that's where I need to play -- sixth, seventh, eighth [man] -- it doesn't really matter," Beasley said.
Continuing to develop his professionalism and relationship with teammates will certainly improve the role Beasley has with Heat. As his maturation process proceeds and Beasley develops a larger role in Miami’s game plan, we will continue to track his future progress as he attempts to become one of the NBA’s biggest stars and more interesting personalities.
[Read Full Article]
Orlando Summer League, Day Two
July 9, 2008
Michael Beasley was about as awful as you can get for most of the way. At the end of the first half he was 0 for 9, with 5 fouls and 5 turnovers. He finished 1-13 on the day. Beasley was given fits by the length and agility of Sean Williams, one of the few players who is able to move his feet quick enough and contest his shots on the perimeter, but still strong and big enough to battle with him inside. Beasley settled too much for his outside jumper, looking very frustrated throughout, which lead to some traveling calls, offensive fouls and even blow layups. It was definitely a good learning experience for him. Defensively he looked extremely poor on the pick and roll, and did not do a good job moving his feet to stay in front of players challenging him off the dribble from the perimeter.
All in all, a very forgettable performance, but certainly the type of experience he will have to learn from, as he learns what parts of his game can translate to a much higher level of competition than he’s ever faced—where everyone is much bigger, stronger, longer and more athletic than he’s ever seen—and what doesn’t. He just needs to not let things bother him as much as he did, because there really aren’t many physical specimens like Sean Williams anywhere in the world.
[Read Full Article]
Orlando Summer League, Day One
July 8, 2008
It’s hard to envision a stronger first outing for the #2 overall pick than this, even if he started out a bit slow in the first half. Beasley pretty much had every play run for him today, and he did not disappoint in the least bit, scoring in a variety of different ways and showing that incredible amount of offensive talent that had scouts drooling over him all season long at Kansas State.
Beasley’s ability to create his own shot from the perimeter puts him in an elite class of players from day one amongst power forwards in the NBA. His ball-handling skills, first step, body control in the lane and finishing skills with either hand are remarkable, and he simply toyed with defenders all game long here against Chicago. Joakim Noah actually did a fairly admirable job trying to guard him, but just was unable to slow him down. He changed directions on the fly, established the threat of the outside shot early on, pulled off the dribble beautifully, and took it all the way to the rim when his man thought he finally had him figured out. The versatility he displayed offensively was simply off the charts.
We’re looking forward to seeing what else he has up his sleeve in the coming days.
[Read Full Article]
Interviews with Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley
June 1, 2008
Reporter: Derrick Rose said you’re a lot better player than him.
Michael Beasley: Why would he say that?
Reporter: We asked him…
Michael Beasley: He led his team to the Championship game, I wouldn’t say all that.
[Read Full Article]
Bad News for Those Who Didn’t Do Their Homework Early...
March 26, 2008
Beasley’s NCAA tournament experience probably didn’t start or end quite the way he expected it to. He picked up two quick fouls in the first four minutes of his first game against Southern Cal, and only ended up scoring five points in the first half of that game. He recovered to pump in 18 after intermission, though, showing his incredible scoring instincts by creating his own shot from the perimeter and finishing with either hand in a variety of ways, his awesome first step and shooting range, as well as his phenomenal hands and touch around the rim. He didn’t go down in the paint as much as we’re normally accustomed to seeing him, preferring to face the basket and quickly take players off the dribble instead, likely to avoid the problems his guards usually have with making quality post-entry passes, as well as the barrage of double-teams he usually sees down low.
#11 seed Kansas State moved on to face #3 seed Wisconsin, a team that ended up being just too smart, disciplined, fundamental and well-coached for them to handle. He started off the game well, but did not show great poise down the stretch against this extremely stingy defensive team, forcing the issue even more than he typically does, driving into bricks walls in the lane in out of control fashion, and settling for off-balance fade-aways from outside, which just wouldn’t fall for him in the second half. He played extremely poorly on the defensive end in particular, which has been his biggest weakness all season long. He at times struggles to maintain his focus on both ends of the floor, losing his concentration and making poor decisions. He contributed very little to his team in the second half, but one poor stretch of basketball obviously doesn’t erase an entire season of fantastic play, so he still looks like the sure-fire #1 pick barring any major surprises.
[Read Full Article]
Marquee Matchup: Michael Beasley vs. Blake Griffin
January 13, 2008
Taking a look at Beasley first, there was much concern about his defensive awareness and effort in our first look at his game earlier in the season, but his defensive effort has been much improved over the past few games, and is hopefully something that will continue through conference play. There seemed to be a lot of “going through the motions” defensively earlier in the season with Beasley, but his aggressiveness has been much better of late, with him getting into tougher defensive stances, contesting more outside shots, and fighting a little harder to hold position in the post.
With that said, there is still much concern about his defensive awareness, as even though he’s clearly trying harder, he can still look like a fish out of water here at times. He reminds of Drew Gooden a lot on the defensive end, in that he has the length and athleticism to occasionally make some impact plays, but can often look a little lost or confused, making some questionable decisions and not showing the greatest awareness of what’s going on around him. It’s obviously early in his development, though, and there is much room for improvement, especially if he is going to consistently devote the effort necessary on this end of the floor, and try to focus more with his awareness. Consistently doing these things would take Beasley to the next level as a prospect in the eyes of many, though it’s no sure thing that he does.
On the offensive end, this game was an important step for Beasley, as he showed he’s capable of outstanding performances against legitimate competition. Longar Longar and Blake Griffin may not put fear in the hearts of NBA players as defensive difference makers, but regardless, both of them are at an NBA level in terms of size and athleticism, and Beasley showed no problem scoring against both of them. This game told us a lot more about Beasley’s potential than his dominant performances against Sacramento State and Winston-Salem, for example.
There are still some legitimate question marks about Beasley’s game when projecting to the next level, though, notably what position he’s ideally suited for. At 6’9, he’d be slightly undersized for a power forward, but his strong rebounding and length and athleticism may lend himself better to that position than the small forward position. In the early going, he also looks more competent defending the post than the perimeter. There are also some questions about how he’s going to get off his turnaround jumper in the post against larger, more athletic defenders, as he has already showed some trouble there when matched up with California big man Devon Hardin.
[Read Full Article]
NCAA Weekly Performers -- Freshmen Edition, Part One
November 23, 2007
Michael Beasley is off to one of the most impressive starts of any freshman in recent memory, absolutely bulldozing his way through a slew of mediocre competition to put together a stat-line that has box-score reading pundits everywhere salivating. Considering the physical superiority Beasley possesses over the low-major and Division II opponents he’s been facing, it probably wouldn’t be fair to expect him to continue to dominate at quite the level he has so far once he starts picking on people his own size, but it’s absolutely obvious from what we can observe on tape that we’re dealing with an incredibly special talent.
Beasley is a prototypical face the basket modern-day power forward. He is strong, but incredibly quick, possessing the type of agile first step that makes him an absolutely devastating threat creating his own shot from the perimeter. Kansas State is utilizing him a great deal at the top of the key on Isolation plays, where the lefty likes to take his man off the dribble with his smooth ball-handling skills and finish with either with and a variety of pretty floaters and layups. He has incredible body control to get the job done on these types of drives, handling the ball in the open floor like a guard, and at times pulling up off the dribble fluidly from mid-range with the greatest of ease.
Had Beasley settled for displaying his typical array of perimeter talent, mixed in with a steady dose of post-ups letting him utilize his quickness on the left block, he might have finished his first three games with a solid 20 and 10. He’s managed to pad his stats incredibly though by crashing the offensive glass like a man possessed, indeed grabbing nearly 9 per game so far. That’s the primary reason why he’s managed to get himself into the 30 and 20 range, which is in itself a pretty incredible feat. Beasley has just been bigger, stronger, quicker and more explosive than all of his opponents so far, allowing him to absolutely dominate the offensive glass. But he’s also stood out nicely with the terrific coordination he possesses, as well as with his awesome hands and reaction time.
We’ve seen a fair share of Beasley-esque plays where he forces the issue and tries to do too much out on the perimeter (for example an ill-advised double-clutch pull-up fadeaway jumper), but he’s been able to make up for his mistakes largely by just rebounding his own misses and putting them back in. Beasley was known to be somewhat of a selfish player in high school at times, and from what we could tell from the game footage we evaluated early on, he’s not quite shedding that label quite yet. The ball-movement often stops once it reaches his hands, and oftentimes it seems like he is going to take the ball at shoot it no matter what, regardless of how the play develops around him. That’s something some NBA scouts won’t mind at all, while others will hope he’ll grow out of as he continues to mature.
Defensively, there is absolutely no way around the fact that Beasley has looked awful so far--not really a surprise considering his reputation coming into college. Even when he tries to put in a legit effort, he looks unfocused--almost completely lost-- constantly out of position, and too often caught with his hand in the cookie jar gambling for steals. He doesn’t always put in that legit effort, though, as it’s not rare to see him looking a bit lazy running the floor to get back, particularly in transition situations. Again, some scouts will shake their heads at these types of things, while others will chalk it up to youth and inexperience.
We’re only starting to write the book on Michael Beasley’s freshman campaign, so let’s see how he progresses as the competition stiffens over the next few weeks. His first major test will be at home at the end of the month against Oregon.
[Read Full Article]
U-19 World Championship Review: Forwards
August 23, 2007
In terms of potential, very few players can compare with this super athletic forward. Beasley just enjoys a god-given body, very strong, ripped, perfectly built, and stands up to 6-9, which is great size for a three and, considering his awesome athleticism, decent for a power forward.
Right now Beasley is nothing but a four. He plays mostly in the paint, where he shows a great ability to find spaces and sneak through opponents. Left-handed, his go-to move is the turnaround jumper from the mid to low post. He can create a lot of separation from his match-up in the blink of an eye, as he delivers a pretty long step while being able elevate extremely well to shoot the ball. Although he's pretty consistent netting the ball in this fashion, he wasn't very accurate in the decisive games. He's also a solid mid-range shooter, although losing some accuracy as he goes further from the basket.
Anyway, the most impressive stuff usually comes when Beasley attacks the basket to finish around the rim. Although he can eventually put the ball on the floor to take advantage of his quickness with a couple of dribbles, he's not much of a ball-handler, and usually prefers to play off the ball looking for continuation moves from the elbow towards the basket. Once he receives the ball, he shows extremely solid footwork (for example, he's able to deliver quick reverse moves). He can hang in the air forever with terrific balance, and displays a staggering ability to finish his acrobatic layups with both hands, using counters to alter his shot and switching the ball from one hand to the other. More of a finisher than anything else, still he showed some nice effort in the rebounding department and also shared the ball reasonably well.
Beasley probably wasn't the most devoted and focused player on defense, but still he did a pretty decent job there. His tools are excellent, with great lateral quickness and the reactivity to answer any opponent's move. Only his relatively average size at the power forward position could hurt eventually him. On a different note, there might be some concerns about his character and attitude. He was rather integrated in this squad, but his body language is just awful, and he couldn't stay cool enough in the decisive games to be more useful for his team. Perhaps a small degree of maturity wouldn't hurt him.
[Read Full Article]
U-19 World Championship: Early Rounds
July 20, 2007
If we talk about potential, one guy stands above the rest: Michael Beasley. A very well known NBA prospect by now, Beasley is living up to the hype with some excellent showings. He’s a super-athletic, explosive and extremely smooth player-- very strong, ripped, displaying a perfect basketball body. Not the longest guy around if we talk about a power forward, the position where he’s evolving here, he’s every inch of the 6-8 feet he’s listed here, and looks like a very legit 6-9 in shoes.
Beasley is doing his biggest damage in the paint, working off the ball, often continuing moves from the elbow or the baseline to finish with acrobatic layups. He’s a flat-out impressive finisher around the rim. He perfectly uses both hands, and his ability to hang in the air with the balance he shows there allows him to work to avoid almost every opponent’s attempt to challenge him. He’s just a majestic player evolving off the ground. Although not prolific in this area, he’s eventually putting the ball on the floor and taking advantage of his quickness and coordination to beat his matchups, often using very quick reverse moves and showing excellent footwork in the process. He can also hit his left-handed jumper with range out to the three-point line, although he’s struggling from the perimeter. Still, he shows a notable ability to create separation in turnaround fashion and shoot over his opponent.
It’s not only about scoring points. Beasley is not forcing his plays either. He shares the ball reasonably, doing nice defensive work while cleaning the boards, particularly on the offensive glass. Considering his star status at this level, he’s a pretty nice example of how things are working out for the US team.
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Nike Hoop Summit Team USA Player Recap (Part Three: The Big Men)
April 25, 2007
It wasn’t Beasley’s day, to put it mildly. And having found out about Bob Huggins’ decision to jump ship after a practice earlier in the week, he actually has an excuse. This time. There were flashes of the immensely talented forward’s potential, but little that translated into tangible help for Team USA or individual production. It isn’t as if mailed it in (like he has been known to do at times), as he still was a physical force in the paint and very difficult for the International team to deal with. But his individual-oriented offensive style and rushed perimeter shots certainly stood out on an all-star team that for the most part played like a real one.
The first thing you notice about Beasley is the sculpted, remarkably mature, 6’9 frame. High schoolers just aren’t supposed to be this strong. He has the natural strength to push plenty of NBA big men around, and he’s not at all pudgy like many thicker big guys at this stage. Beasley carries the bulk remarkably well, capable of gliding up and down the court and changing directions well enough to eventually play quite a bit of wing. He is an explosive leaper and really knows how use his strength – he bounces off opposing defenders in the paint to create separation for his arsenal mid-post scoring moves.
Unfortunately, this is where Beasley slipped up in the Hoop Summit game. Early on, he missed a couple of easy buckets, perhaps bothered by the length of the international team. Instead of continuing to pound the ball inside, Beasley began to rush contested midrange jumpers, failing to put his considerable strength and athleticism advantage to good use. These types of shots will eventually become his bread and butter in the NBA, but this wasn’t the setting that he needed to be firing away without discretion. But fire away he did, shooting just 3-15 from the field and 2-6 from the line on the afternoon.
There were still positives to be found here. Beasley battled hard on the boards in the 23 minutes he played, clearly a man amongst boys in this department. He finished with 9, and pretty much had his way physically – this isn’t going to be changing at the college level, and probably not at the NBA level either. There was an emphatic block and a couple of nice open court passes as well.
All in all, Beasley is still a high risk/high reward type of prospect. On one hand, his mental consistency and approach to the game have been may always be. Games like the Hoop Summit are going to happen, and Beasley will have to learn how to play through them. On the other, Beasley has obviously put in a lot of work on his game. His body is chiseled and his skill set polished. He is much more than just a raw athlete, able to beat just about any defender imaginable in some way or another, and having a good feel for how to find that edge in the middle of a play.
2007-2008 Outlook: It should be interesting to see how Beasley matures mentally over the next year. He has the talent to make a Kevin Durant-level (well, not quite Kevin Durant level) impact, but scouts will be looking for more than just a gaudy scoring average. With Beasley and Walker sharing the court, it should be quite the circus in Manhattan. Beasley has to display that he is committed to working hard every night to cement his status in the top half of the lottery, and this is a prospect that could go in either direction. But the Big XII appears to be fairly wide open yet again and Dalonte Hill is helping run the show, so a content Beasley could very easily lead the Wildcats to an NCAA Tournament berth.
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Nike Hoop Summit: USA Thursday Practice
April 6, 2007
With the absence of Kevin Love, Michael Beasley once again found himself a man amongst boys in the post. The much-hyped forward dazzled with his touch and awareness around the basket, and pretty much had his way physically. Beasley really doesn’t fit into any stereotypical molds in terms of position or projected future, but really knows his way around the mid-post. His physical maturity really stood out even in this most competitive of settings, and whichever college coach does end up with his services next year is getting a player that can do pretty much whatever he wants whenever he wants. Sometimes this amounts to not playing defense and lollygagging up and down the floor, but a motivated Beasley isn’t going to find many worthy adversaries at the college level this fall. And until late in the practice, Beasley did a great job of staying focused and aggressive.
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2007 McDonald's All America Game: Player Breakdowns
March 29, 2007
The MVP of this game, and rightfully so considering the way he dominated in the 20 minutes he played, Michael Beasley did a marvelous job displaying his entire arsenal of skills. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that if this were two years ago and players were still allowed to enter the draft out of high school, this performance would have locked him into the top 5-10 spots of this year’s draft. Unfortunately for Beasley (or not depending on your perspective), he’ll be heading to Kansas State, where he has a chance to take the Big 12 by storm in a way that will have many people comparing him to Kevin Durant.
An athletic combo forward who can play equally well in the post or on the perimeter, Beasley decided to start off this game going outside-in to show off his skill-set. He knocked down one 3-pointer from close to NBA range, and then followed that up with another from college range. Both looked smooth and effortless coming off his hands. He also handled the ball in transition looking like a true small forward, although the crafty guards of the West did do a good job sneaking up from behind him to try and poke the ball out.
Beasley also did a wonderful job creating his own shot from the perimeter, putting the ball on the floor with a quick first step and getting to the rim with the greatest of ease. Granted there wasn’t much defense being played by the East, but it’s impressive regardless to see a guy that size create for himself like a guard, and then finish with a pretty left-handed floater. Even though he had every reason to, he didn’t force the issue at all in his time on the floor, making the extra pass and showing a very good attitude around his teammates throughout.
Where Beasley was at his best, though, was down in the paint scrapping for offensive rebounds. He gets off the floor so quickly and has such great reaction time that no one was really able to keep a body on him when taking his frame and strength into consideration. He produced in this fashion with put-backs, tip-ins and just by cleaning up the old-fashioned way. At times, Beasley even got into a stance and played some defense, being fairly effective defending his position.
All in all, Beasley was the well deserving MVP of this game. If he keeps his head on straight and has the type of season we all know he can under Bob Huggins at Kansas State, there is really no limit on how high in the draft he could end up going.
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McDonald's All America Game Practices: Day Two
March 27, 2007
While Beasley played absolutely zero defense, he was downright fantastic on the offensive end. He made a few incredible plays for a 6’9 player, handling the ball in the open floor and gliding through the air to the rim as if he were a 6’4 guard. The Kansas State recruit exerted more effort today then he did in Sunday’s practice, but still seemed to lose focus at times. However, when Beasley decided he wanted to play, the offensive performance that he put on was honestly scary given his size, skill level, and athleticism.
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McDonald's All America Game Practices: Day One
March 26, 2007
Beasley showed off his freakish athleticism in the three on two, two on one drills where he threw the ball off of the glass to himself for an amazing dunk over an unsuspecting teammate. He coasted a bit through some of the drills, but his remarkable skill set was on center stage on Sunday. Coach Taylor was forced to motivate Mike at times when he began to play lackadaisically, which is when the Notre Dame Prep forward started to turn it on. He hit a few NBA three pointers, put the ball on the floor well, and glided through the air like a 757 when going to the rim. While he may not have been the most productive player on the floor for his team in day one, he certainly left many in attendance drooling at the potential player he can be by the time it is all said and done.
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National Prep Showcase-- Day Two
November 19, 2006
Beasley showed everyone in attendance in Worcester why he is the number two player in the country, putting on a dominant performance in Notre Dame’s narrow win over Hargrave Military Academy. He truly only played inspired for about half of the game, still managing to yield 19 points and 12 rebounds. Fans and coaches alike were left pondering how good the Notre Dame senior could be if he didn’t coast so much, and the thought of Mike playing hard for an entire game is a scary thought, considering how dominant he can be going only half speed.
The former Oak Hill product’s offensive prowess was felt immediately, as he asserted himself on the offensive glass from the time the ball was tipped. He jumps far too quick and far too high for opposing players to stop from rebounding unless they put a body on him, and Hargrave’s Jeff Allen and Eric Wallace made the mistake of thinking they could out jump Beasley. His athletic prowess did not stop there, as he showed off remarkable quickness for a 6’9 player during his drives to the basket, spinning off defenders in an absolute blur and finishing above the rim. The body control that he displayed when in the air would have been remarkable even for a point guard, and we were looking at a power forward who was this graceful when airborn.
It was quite impressive to see how well Michael was able to defend on the perimeter, when he wanted to exert effort on the defensive end. He was able to keep in front of anyone Hargrave threw at him, whether it be PF Jeff Allen or shooting guard Jordan Crawford. He actually asserted his length and athleticism on the defensive end today, registering multiple deflections and altering a ton of shots. Beasley has the potential to become a very good defender at the college level if he chooses to exert more effort more often, and attempts to grasp the concept of team defense as a whole.
This just showed college coaches, recruiting gurus, and fans alike that Michael Beasley will be as good as Michael Beasley wants to be. If he wants to play like a future NBA all star, we will see an all star in the making on the court. If he wants to play the loathing big man role, we will see an athletic marvel on the floor accomplishing only a small fraction of what he has the potential to. It must be noted that Beasley played significantly harder on both ends of the floor when touching the ball on offense, so if you are listening Bob Huggins, start developing some offensive sets to utilize your ultra talented forward so we can finally see him live up to his fullest potential.
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National Prep Showcase-- Day One
November 18, 2006
Michael Beasley showed off the two sides of where he stands in his development as of right now—the good and the ugly. The ugly lasted for the first 30 minutes of the game, where he did not hit a single field goal and only pulled down a handful of rebounds. He did not get the type of minutes you’d expect the #1 player in the country (according to Rivals.com) would-- and when he was on the floor, he was very much uninvolved in Notre Dame Prep’s offense. Beasley spent most of his time on the perimeter in the first half, not really looking to hit the glass and looking extremely out of focus as he missed free throws and constantly looked over his shoulder at the bench in hopes of not being replaced.
Up until the 10 minute point in the 2nd half, Beasley did not snap out of his funk, partially due to the fact that he was not in the game for the most part. His extended stay on the bench lit a bit of a fire underneath him it seemed, and we saw a completely different player enter the game and change its complexion completely with 9 minutes to go. Beasley started off by attacking the offensive glass with reckless abandon and using his terrific quickness to finish creatively around the paint. His fantastic leaping ability and the sheer quickness in which he’s able to elevate off the floor were on full display, and this coupled with his excellent body and strength allowed him to sway the tide of the game in his team’s favor.
Beasley ended up finishing the game with a somewhat underwhelming 11 points (2-6 FG, 7-10 FT) and 7 rebounds in just 22 minutes. He did a nice job getting in the passing lanes with 3 steals, and did a better job finding open teammates and playing unselfishly than his 2 assists would indicate. He did not force the issue and generally showed a good attitude within the team concept, talking to his teammates on defense and pumping them up with the game stopped.
The thing he didn’t show was his perimeter game. All of his offense came either right at the hoop or from the free throw line, and the lone jumper he took looked good but did not fall. There’s no doubting his talent from what we saw today, but he’ll have to show more tomorrow to justify his lofty ranking in some of the recruiting services.
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Las Vegas AAU Summer Tournaments: Thoughts from Day Three
July 25, 2006
After watching Michael Beasley for two days, it is clear that the multi-talented forward is very much a high-risk, high-reward type of prospect. Beasley has every tool you could ask for in a professional forward prospect. His athleticism is top-tier, his body NBA-ready, his skill level downright scary-advanced. He creates his own shot with machine-like efficiency in the midrange, hits the 3-pointer, and is an adequate ball-handler and brilliant passer in the open-court. Simply put, Beasley makes the spectacular look easy. Based on pure talent, there is little doubt that he could star at either forward position at the highest level someday.
However, several red flags having nothing to do with raw talent are readily obvious in observing Beasley in the AAU setting. Beasley has all the tools to dominate this setting without breaking a sweat, but rarely does. This can be explained by the fact that he has three other McDonald’s All-American candidates on his team, but Beasley should ought to be leading this team in scoring. The reality is that he is probably the fourth most productive member of DC Assault, behind Nolan Smith, Austin Freeman, and Julian Vaughn. There are highly regarded players here in Vegas much more tentative that Beasley, but he doesn’t give consistent effort. He is very comfortable blending into the background, picking up garbage points with his athleticism and throwing in a nice midrange scoring move on occasion. Beasley clearly needs to work on his attitude, apparently more concerned with jawing at the officials than making plays in the second game we saw.
Bob Huggins could be the best thing that has happened to Michael Beasley thus far in his short basketball career. Huggins is unlikely to put up with Beasley’s inconsistent effort and attitude issues. If Beasley buys in and becomes Huggins’ prototypical player, he will undoubtedly leave Kansas State with a spot in the top five waiting for him. The fact that Beasley will be the Wildcats’ undisputed number one option makes it even more likely that his college stay will be a short one. At the same time, it is easy to see Beasley clashing with Huggins’ intensity. It remains to be seen where Michael Beasley will end up, but it is very clear that his path will be very much worth following.
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The Unofficial High School National Championship
February 24, 2006
Beasley, who we featured in December, was not really the focus of Oak Hill’s offense with Tywon Lawson back. He did however show why scouts absolutely love his package of skills. Like when we saw him in December, Beasley showed off world-class athleticism in warm-ups with an incredible dunk repertoire. When the game came around, he was incredibly active, crashing the glass extremely hard and blocking and/or altering numerous North College Hill players’ shots. Beasley also did a great job finding open teammates, showing the necessary passing skills to make the eventual transition to small forward.
The main problem with Beasley is that he gets noticeably frustrated when he doesn’t get touches, and it throws his entire game off. This was the case early in the game, but after he got his first points, he was a totally different player. Mike’s hands didn’t really look too good tonight as well, as he dropped or bobbled quite a few passes.
In my mind, Beasley is hands down the third best junior in the country behind Mayo and Walker. He is a world class athlete, has very good size, and has the skills to play both perimeter positions. Mike uses both hands incredibly well around the basket, and can really change the game when he plays inspired. His body and wingspan are very good, with a frame that can easily add 20-30 lbs to it. It’s really going to be fun to watch how Beasley does when he makes his way to Charlotte in 2007, as some people think that he will be the best player in the Atlantic-10 already in his freshman year.
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High School Roadtrip: Scouting Brandan Wright and Michael Beasley
December 14, 2005
While Beasley did not put up his normal dominant numbers, it was clear to just about any observer that he was easily the most talented player on the floor. Regarded by most as a top three member of the class of 2007 (along with O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker), the Oak Hill junior possesses the combination of a lethal post game of a power forward along with solid shooting and ball handling skills that enable him to play small forward when needed. Beasley has freakish athleticism and maintains very nice post moves, making him a nightmare down low for opposing small forwards. While his inside game is definitely his strong suit, Beasley’s outside game is what has allowed him to jump so high into the rankings. He is truly one of the few legitimate “combo forwards” who can play both the SF and PF position very effectively. Speaking to him after the game, it was very refreshing to finally hear a player this versatile realize that their future will be in the paint first and foremost, and on the perimeter second.
|Joel Richardson/ The Washington Post|
On the defensive side of things, Beasley is a very good defender in the low post. He fights for position, boxes out well, and plays nice team defense. When he steps out to the perimeter, he struggles a bit guarding quicker small forwards, but this is something his coaches at Charlotte will surely work with him on as soon as he steps foot on campus. Physically, Beasley has a nice frame that could very easily add 20 or so pounds without diminishing his athleticism one bit. It must me noted that at times the Oak Hill junior does get a bit frustrated when his guards fail to get him the ball, and his effort does drop a bit. Again though, if Steve Smith and his staff don’t correct this within the next two years, it should be corrected immediately once he steps foot on Charlotte’s campus.
Michael Beasley Interview
DraftExpress: It was a pretty surprising decision when you committed to UNC-Charlotte so early. Can you tell me why you decided to commit so young?
Michael Beasley: It’s a good school. It’s a different style of play. They run the ball. It isn’t like a Duke or a UNC, but it’s still a big D-1, but without all of the All Americans…All the McDonald’s All Americans, so I can play right away.
DraftExpress: Being a top five player, you could have probably went to any school in the country. Why did you decide to attend a less heralded university as opposed to a UNC or Duke?
Michael Beasley: Because I don’t want to go to a real big school with the real big players…With three or four McDonald’s All Americans coming in every year that I have to sit behind and not play. I want to get in and make a difference really quick.
DraftExpress: Being ranked as a top five player in the country, can you give fans a little insight about what your recruiting process was like?
Michael Beasley: It was plain and simple actually. My old AAU coach, we’re really good friends, when he went there…that’s when I really started looking at them. I was already looking at them, but that’s when I really started looking at them. I started looking at some schools and I found out that this school is for me. I went to the campus and everyone was showing me love…that’s when I found out that this school is for me.
DraftExpress: What position do you think you’ll be playing at Charlotte?
Michael Beasley: The four and a little three.
DraftExpress: What areas of your game do you think you’re really going to have to improve upon before you get to Charlotte?
Michael Beasley: My free throws and ball handling I guess.
DraftExpress: Not that it will affect you at all, but what are your thoughts on the NBA’s mandatory age requirement?
Michael Beasley: I mean, for me personally, I really don’t care about it. I was planning on going to college anyway. I plan on going to the NBA, but I plan on getting my education first.
DraftExpress: So even if the age limit hadn’t been put in, you wouldn’t have even thought of going to the NBA out of high school?
Michael Beasley: No. Unless I was the number one pick.
DraftExpress: Are there any players that you pattern your game after?
Michael Beasley: Me.
DraftExpress: Well if you had to name a player who your style of play is similar to, who would that be?
Michael Beasley: Hmm…Uhh…Lamar Odom.
DraftExpress: How much do you feel that the year or two or four that you spend at Charlotte is going to help your game?
Michael Beasley: It’s going to help me a lot. They’re going to have me in the weight room getting stronger. I know they’re going to have me waking up early in the morning every day working on my handle. It’s going to help me a lot. It’s going to help me move to the 3 and 4 for when I go to the NBA.
DraftExpress: Has it been a bit of a relief with committing so early that you don’t have to deal with all of the recruiting sites calling you every week and colleges sending you mail everyday anymore?
Michael Beasley: Oh no, it still happens (laughs). I’ve been committed since right after 8th grade, and letters still come every day. It still happens. It ain’t over.
DraftExpress: So say that you’ve done a year, two or four at Charlotte and entered the Draft. If I’m an NBA GM, why am I going to pick you? What is so intriguing about you that is going to make me select you?
Michael Beasley: My will to win.
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