Mid-Major Freshman All-American
Javon McCrea, a 6'7" is power forward who played his college ball with The State University of New York at Buffalo. Javon has the potential to be the first player in UB's history to selected in the NBA draft.
Javon came to Buffalo from Newark, New York and made an instant impression on the conference by winning the MAC Freshman of the Year Award in 2011. Normalized out to 40 minutes on the floor his freshman numbers were 22 points and 12 rebounds per-40 on 63% shooting.
He was a huge part of UB winning 20 games in a season in each of his first two years on campus. During his Junior campaign McCrea had an average 18 points and 7.9 rebounds per-game, but the Bulls finished the year with a 14-20 record, leading to the dismissal of long-time head coach Reggie Witherspoon.
The past season under new UB coach Bobby Hurley McCrea rounded out four amazing seasons by winning the MAC Player of the Year Award. During the season Javon put up 18.5 points, a shade under 10 rebounds and better than two assists and blocks per contest. Those are hard numbers to come by among this years crop of NBA hopefuls. In fact, by ESPN.com's Player Efficiency Rating, McCrea was 7th among NCAA players.
McCrea has the power needed to drive to the basket but during his four years of college ball he really honed his instincts and that's what makes him so dangerous. Using a variety of moves and shots McCrea displays decisiveness when he catches the ball. He is equally effective with the left or the right hand which makes him even more difficult match up in the post. During his career Javon shot 65% as a finisher and 51% in the post. According to Synergy Sports Technology, McCrea ranked among the more efficient first-options in college hoops.
Defensively, McCrea used his length and anticipation skills to rack up steals and blocks. Javon is an effective defender both on the perimeter and in the post. What scouts are looking for this summer during his workouts is a better lateral quickness while defending. That might be the last piece of the puzzle which gets McCrea into the NBA.
There are three things working against McCrea getting drafted.
The first are the accomplishments of his team. McCrea never led the Bulls to a MAC title or earned an NCAA tournament berth in his four collegiate seasons. Playing on a good team but not the best team in a one bid conference can keep a player under the radar.
The second thing which may hold mac McCrea is his size. At 6'7" some may thing that McCrea is too small to play a power forward in the NBA. This is something that might be overlooked when you consider his 7' 3" wingspan or his 8' 11" standing reach. Despite being "small" McCrea's long arms and strength has always allowed him to play tall.
The third item I have seen mentioned about McCrea is that his outside shot is not smooth. If his height is a concern the logical thing to to would be to move Javon out to a small forward, but several draft sites have mentioned that his shooting mechanics are still a work in progress. He shoots with his left foot in front of his right and has a slow release. During his senior season he shot (17-of-48) on all of his jumpers.
Before the Portsmouth Invitational some questioned how McCrea would fare against top level competition but Javon put those doubts to rest.
2014 Portsmouth Invitational: Mid-Major Stars Raise Stock - Mid-Major Madness
Javon McCrea, Buffalo: Buffalo Bulls' star Javon McCrea showed his 18.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game in the MAC were not a fluke by averaging 15.6 points per game and shooting 50% from the field in Portsmouth. McCrea also averaged 6.7 boards per game and added 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 4 steals in three contests.
McCrea has been compared favorably to Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap, who was knocked for his size when he entered the NBA. Millsap has thrived, though, and McCrea can as well. This summer he has worked out with more than a half dozen NBA teams, hoping to impress the coaching staffs in the weeks leading up to the draft.