Malik Beasley, SG, Freshman, Florida State
Standing Reach: 8’4.5″
Max Vert: N/A
*data via NBA Draft Combine*
Freshman Year Stats & Accolades
15.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 47.1 FG%, 38.7 3FG%, All-ACC Freshman Team
*data via Sports-Reference*
Before pledging to Florida State University, Malik Beasley was ranked the 28th best player in the 2015 class by ESPN. Despite being ranked so high, no big programs — UNC, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas — had offered the bouncy, 6-5 guard. Beasley was arguably the best player on the Seminoles with fellow freshman Dwyane Bacon put up very similar numbers.
To put it frankly, Malik Beasley is a prototypical two-guard: good size for the position, elite athleticism, consistent shooting, and scoring efficiency.
With Beasley, it all starts with his athleticism. Specifically, his leaping ability. He decided against participating in the combine, so we don’t have actual numbers on his vertical, shuttle, etc. What we do have, however, is game film. And watching him on tape shows all of his explosive athleticism. On the clip below, look at the rip-thru move to get past Marshall Plumlee, and then the finish over potential number one pick Brandon Ingram:
There are plenty of cases when a supreme athlete’s game doesn’t translate to the next level. Beasley, however, is a reliable shooter who gets it done all over the court at a very efficient clip — spotting up is where he’s at his most effective. With a fluid motion and solid mechanics, he causes headaches to those who over-help and leave him in transition. Although Rathan-Mayes lost the ball on his drive, Clemson’s Jordan Roper misses Beasley on the zone rotation, allowing him to slide into the corner for an easy three:
Along with being a consistent threat from outside, he has a capable handle and utilizes the one (or two) dribble pull-up if a defender takes away his outside shot. He beats Duke’s Matt Jones off the bounce, then elevates over a helping Brandon Ingram and a recovering Jones:
The numbers behind his efficiency are just as staggering as the actual performances. According to Sports-Reference, Beasley is the second ACC freshman since 1994 (Kyrie Irving, 2011) to average 15 points per game while shooting at least 45 percent from the field, 35 percent from three, and 80 percent from the free throw line.
Since he’s such superb shooter, and defenses also had to worry about Dwayne Bacon, Beasley was able to get away with having almost no creativity off the dribble. Once he dribbles one or two times, he’s rendered almost ineffective and forced to get rid of the basketball. He didn’t turn the ball over much, just 1.7 times per game for the season, but his AST/TO ratio is not very good.
This could be because he has one objective when he’s out on the court: score the basketball. Included with his role, Beasley wasn’t the team’s primary ball handler, and his shots would come in the flow of the offense. As a result, he averaged 1.5 assists this past year. It’s not so much a knock, but if Beasley was more efficient creating for his teammates, I believe he’d be a much more lethal scorer.
Malik Beasley is a very talented shooter and gifted athlete. He also has good size and plays with tremendous effort which will make him better on the defensive end. For his full potential to be reached, Beasley will need to work on being on more creative with the basketball, and teams shouldn’t be discouraged by his assist numbers if they already have someone who’s going to be the primary ball handler.
Prediction: Late first, 20-30
Best Fit: Indiana at 20, LAC at 25, and San Antonio at 29 — let’s face it: any prospect’s best fit would be with the Spurs.