Minnesota Timberwolves 2013 NBA Draft Player Profile - C.J. McCollum
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Article

C.J. McCollum

C.J. McCollum

LEHIGH
Year: Senior
Position: Guard
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 200 lbs.
Editor’s Note: Throughout the month of June, Timberwolves.com will profile a series of prospects that could be available at Minnesota’s No. 9 or 26 picks, or if they choose to move up during the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27. Part VI highlights Lehigh senior C.J. McCollum, a big-game performer who was the second-leading scorer in NCAA Division I hoops last year before a broken foot ended his season.



Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

Email / Twitter

Mock Draft Projections: 1st round, picks 7 to 13

2012-13 Season: 23.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.4 SPG, .495 FG%, .516 3FG%
2011-12 Season: 21.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 2.6 SPG, .443 FG%, .341 3FG%
2010-11 Season: 21.8 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.5 SPG, .399 FG%, .315 3FG%
2009-10 Season: 19.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.3 SPG, .459 FG%, .421 3FG%

Lehigh senior guard C.J. McCollum put himself and his university on the map in March 2012, when he led the Mountain Hawks to a stunning 75-70 win over No. 2 Duke in the NCAA tournament. During that performance, McCollum paved the way for 15th-seeded Lehigh with 30 points, grabbing six rebounds and adding six assists.

This winter, even if it was abbreviated, he picked up right where he left off.

McCollum was the second-leading scorer in NCAA Division I basketball when he broke a bone in his left foot during a Jan. 5 matchup with VCU. The injury sidelined him for the rest of the season and halted a college career in which he was a two-time Patriot League Player of the Year. He ranks first in Patriot League history and second in school history with 2,361 career points, averaged 23.9 points per game as a senior and was hitting 3-pointers at a 51.6 percent clip before he was sidelined due to injury.

McCollum currently projects to be a late lottery pick, and he’s holding that status through this draft season. He’s a noted big-time performer who has intangibles as well as productivity on his side on the court, and he seems to have strong character off the court.

During his senior season, McCollum scored 30 points in four of his 11 full games. He opened up the season with 36 points against No. 19 Baylor, then racked up 35 on 12-of-21 shooting against Fairfield, 30 against Quinnipiac and 34 on 18 shots against Bryant.

McCollum spent four years at Lehigh, entering at age 17 and will is 21 years old as of Draft night. He said at the Draft Combine he thinks having that extra experience in college while not being too much older than most of the players in this draft plays to his advantage.

“It’s funny how you’re tagged as an older player when in reality some of these guys in younger grades are older than me,” he said. “I think that plays in my favor. I went through four years of college, and not just any university but Lehigh University. I think that plays in my favor.”

STRENGTHS

On the court, McCollum is a gifted player who first and foremost can shoot the basketball. He only put up 64 3-pointers during his senior year, but he hit 51 percent of them and shot 49.5 percent from the field. He’s a player who, in college, showed he can attack traffic in the lane and finish at the rim. He can spot-up or get to the basket in transition, and he also has a nice stroke off the dribble. For a guard, he was a strong rebounder in college—he brought down 7.9 boards per game as a junior and 6.5 as a sophomore. Perhaps more than anything, McCollum is an experience, mature player who carries himself well off the court. He is proud of the education he received over four years at Lehigh, and that maturity spills over onto the court. He has a strong basketball IQ and has proven he can perform in pressure situations and in big games.

WEAKNESSES

McCollum is listed at either 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4, depending on which source you check, and in either case he will not bring quite the same length as some of the other guards in this Draft. For the Wolves in particular—a team that has played small due to lack of depth at the 2 over the past two seasons, height, length and the ability to guard bigger guards is a priority in this draft. That being said, his ability to be aggressive and score in traffic against NBA opponents is still to be determined. From an injury standpoint, he did miss most of his senior year with a broken foot—that likely won’t play a factor in this year’s Draft, but it’s something teams will likely take under advisement.

THEY SAID IT

“You have to be a student of the game. I know a lot of teams’ budgets, I know unrestricted free agents. I know some of the coaches on a first-name basis, so it’s interesting to see how prepared I am compared to other perspective athletes…One GM asked me if they’re interviewing me or I’m interviewing them.” — Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum

WHAT HE CAN BRING TO THE WOLVES

McCollum showed throughout his college career he can score, and despite less than impressive 3-point percentages during his sophomore and junior years he has the ability to hit from the outside. His character and basketball IQ are on par with the type of team coach Rick Adelman began molding last season. He’s a player who can stretch the floor, score in transition and split defenses.

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Time Draft Picks

Year
Player
Pos.
School
Rd / Pick
Ht / Wt
Class
2012
Robbie Hummel
F
Purdue
2 / 58
6'8" / 215
Sr
2011
Derrick Williams
F
Arizona
1 / 2
6'8" / 248
So

Donatas Motiejunas
F/C
Italy
1 / 20
7'0" / 222
Int'l
2010
Wesley Johnson
G/F
Syracuse
1 / 4
6'7" / 215
Jr
Luke Babbitt
F
Nevada
1 / 16
6'9" / 225
So
Trevor Booker
F
Clemson
1 / 23
6'8" / 240
Sr
Paulo Prestes
C
Brazil
2 / 45
6'11" / 260
Int'l
Hamady Ndiaye
C
Rutgers
2 / 56
7'0" / 235
Sr
2009
Ricky Rubio
G
Spain
1 / 5
6'4" / 180
Int'l

Jonny Flynn
G
Syracuse
1 / 6
6'0" / 185
So

Ty Lawson
G
North Carolina
1 / 18
5'11" / 195
Jr

Wayne Ellington
G
North Carolina
1 / 28
6'4" / 200
Jr

Nick Calathes
G
Florida
2 / 45
6'6" / 194
So

Henk Norel
F
Netherlands
2 / 47
6'10" / 230
Int'l
2008
OJ Mayo
G
USC
1 / 3
6'4" / 200
Fr
Nikola Pekovic
C
Montenegro
2 / 31
6'11" / 265
Int
Mario Chalmers
G
Kansas
2 / 34
6'1" / 190
Jr
2007
Corey Brewer
F
Florida
1 / 7
6'9" / 185
Jr

Chris Richard
F
Florida
2 / 41
6'9" / 255
Sr
2006
Brandon Roy
G
Washington
1 / 6
6'6" / 215
Sr

Craig Smith
F
Boston College
2 / 36
6'7" / 250
Sr

Bobby Jones
F
Washington
2 / 37
6'7" / 215
Sr

Loukas Mavrokefalidis
F
Greece
2 / 57
6'11" / 260
Int'l
2005
Rashad McCants
G
North Carolina
1 / 14
6'4" / 207
Jr

Bracey Wright
G
Indiana
2 / 47
6'3" / 210
Jr
2004
Blake Stepp
G
Gonzaga
2 / 58
6'4" / 194
Sr
2003
Ndudi Ebi
F
Westbury Christian H.S.
1 / 26
6'9" / 195
HS

Rick Rickert
F
Minnesota
2 / 55
6'11" / 215
So
2002
Marcus Taylor
G
Michigan State
2 / 52
6'3" / 195
So
2001
Loren Woods
C
Arizona
2 / 46
7'1" / 245
Sr
2000
Igor Rakocevic
G
Yugoslavia
2 / 51
6'2" / 184
Int
1999
Wally Szczerbiak
F
Miami (Ohio)
1 / 6
6'7" / 244
Sr

William Avery
G
Duke
1 / 14
6'2" / 180
So

Louis Bullock
G
Michigan
2 / 42
6'2" / 180
Sr
1998
Rasho Nesterovic
C
Slovenia
1 / 17
7'0" / 248
Int

Andrae Patterson
F
Indiana
2 / 46
6'9" / 240
Sr
1997
Paul Grant
C
Wisconsin
1 / 20
7'0" / 245
Sr

Gordon Malone
F
West Virginia
2 / 44
6'11" / 215
Jr
1996
Ray Allen
G
Connecticut
1 / 5
6'5" / 205
Jr
1995
Kevin Garnett
F
Farragut Academy H.S.
1 / 5
6'11" / 220
HS

Mark Davis
F
Texas Tech
2 / 48
6'7" / 210
Sr

Jerome Allen
G
Pennsylvania
2 / 49
6'4" / 184
Sr
1994
Donyell Marshall
F
Connecticut
1 / 4
6'9" / 220
Jr

Howard Eisley
G
Boston College
2 / 30
6'3" / 180
Sr
1993
Isaiah Rider
G
UNLV
1 / 5
6'5" / 215
Sr

Sherron Mills
F
Virginia Commonwealth
2 / 29
6'9"
Sr
1992
Christian Laettner
F
Duke
1 / 3
6'11" / 235
Sr

Marlon Maxey
F
UTEP
2 / 28
6'8" / 250
Sr

Chris Smith
G
Connecticut
2 / 34
6'3" / 191
Sr

Tim Burroughs
F
Jacksonville
2 / 51
6'8"
Sr
1991
Luc Longley
C
New Mexico
1 / 7
7'2" / 265
Sr/Int

Myron Brown
G
Slippery Rock
2 / 34
6'3" / 180
Sr
1990
Felton Spencer
C
Louisville
1 / 6
7'0" / 265
Sr

Gerald Glass
G
Mississippi
1 / 20
6'6" / 221
Sr
1989
Pooh Richardson
G
UCLA
1 / 10
6'1" / 186
Sr

Gary Leonard
C
Missouri
2 / 34
7'1" / 246
Sr

Doug West
G
Villanova
2 / 38
6'6" / 200
Sr

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