‘I can do it all’ – New KU commitment Issac McBride breaks down his game
photo by: Nick Wenger
Officially listed as a point guard on various recruiting websites, recent KU commitment Issac McBride, who officially chose KU over Auburn and Virginia on Monday, views himself in a slightly different light.
“I feel like I can play the 1 or the 2,” McBride said during a conference call with reporters on Monday. “Combo guard. I feel like I can come off screens, but I can also play on the ball some and get everyone involved.”
Sound familiar? Kansas coach Bill Self has made a living — and put together some of his absolute best teams — with players who perfectly fall under that description. And the 6-foot-1, 180-pound McBride appears to be capable of making an impact at Kansas as soon as he arrives.
Self, who actually compared McBride to former KU star Frank Mason III during visits with the guard and his family, said as much while targeting the Little Rock, Ark., prospect during the past several months.
“Coach Self was very excited for me (when I told him I was committing to Kansas),” McBride said. “And he told me if I come in and work my butt off, I can make an impact on the team. They’re going to need guards that are going to consistently stay there three or four years. Coach Self was honest with me and the promises that he made, if I work hard, they will be fulfilled.”
So now that we know McBride can play both positions, we might as well find out which one he prefers, right?
“It doesn’t matter,” he admitted. “Once you really get out there, it’s just playing basketball. True players, they just get out there and react. It’s not whether, oh, I’m playing the 1 or I’m playing the 2. If you’re a basketball player, you’re just out there playing and having fun.”
Having fun does not sound like a problem for McBride, who said he was overjoyed at KU’s interest in him, which reached its peak when Self and his staff saw him in Las Vegas this summer. After learning that Self had spoken with his father and KU had, in fact, offered him a scholarship, McBride, who goes by the nickname “Mackey,” which also was his grandfather’s nickname, said he felt, “a sense of excitement and relief.”
“I was shocked at first,” he added. “But just having that on the offer list was great.”
Despite the big-time offer from the blueblood program, McBride took his time and vetted all of his potential suitors to make sure of three things: 1.) That he felt a connection to the people and the place; 2.) that he believed he could develop his game at his chosen school; and 3.) that he picked a school with strong academic programs to his liking.
After visiting KU for Late Night and checking all three boxes, it came down to McBride believing in himself and his game.
“There are some more parts to it that, of course, I can still work on,” he said. “But I feel like I can do it all.”
Asked to describe his game, McBride began and did not stop for a while.
“I feel like I’m a pretty strong guard, poised,” he said. “I try to make the right decision and, through the statistics, I got better from my sophomore to junior year, concerning AAU, making better decisions and not turning it over a lot.
“I feel like I can score on all three levels. I can shoot the deep 3, shoot a 3, mid-range, get inside, draw contact and finish. On the defensive end, I can pick up and guard your 6-5s, 6-4s, and I can also get into your quicker guards and try to speed them up.”
Did he forget anything? Doesn’t sound like it. Instead, he sounds like a player for which Self will find plenty of uses in the years ahead.