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Malik Beasley – 6’5” Shooting Guard, Florida State, 19 Years Old
Malik Beasley is a 6’5, 190 pound shooting guard who only played one season at the Florida State. Flordia State failed to make a deep run in either the ACC Tournament or the NCAA Tournament. This lack of primetime exposure has not diminished his value in the eyes of NBA General Managers. During his one year as a Seminole, the teenage Beasley put up impressive scoring numbers on a very young team. Beasley had the third highest points per game average by the top 100 highschool recruits of his class at 15.6. Behind only potential number one pick Ben Simmons of LSU and lottery pick Jamal Murray from Kentucky. There is a lot of promise that Beasley could become a high end wing player at the NBA level.
Malik Beasley is the type of prospect that could bring an immediate scoring option off of the bench. He managed to get at least 10 points in every single game he played at Florida State. Beasley is a smooth and athletic 6’5 and is an excellent slasher who can get to the rim with long strides. Especially effective in the open court where he scored 27% of his points. Beasley fills the lanes superbly and seems to glide to the rim where he finishes above defenders. A knock that most freshman have against them while they are in college, especially ones that were All-Americans, is that they lack efficiency and are ball-stoppers; these are Beasley’s biggest strengths. He is the type of player to play within himself and not do too much. While at Florida State Beasley had historically high efficiency numbers.
- Since 1992 only two ACC guards managed to score more than 17 points per game and had a true shooting percentage of over 60%; Malik Beasley and Kyrie Irving (who only played 11 games) as per Draft Express.
- Since 2000 in the ACC, only three guards under the age of 20 scored 17 points per game while shooting 50% from 2-point range and 40% from 3-point range; Malik Beasley, Kyrie Irving and Rashad McCants as per Draft Express.
- Beasley is the only freshman guard in the country scoring more than 20 points per 40 minutes while shooting over 55% from 2-point range and 40% from 3-point range.
To set these impressive efficiency numbers Beasley had to be an intelligent player off the ball. Because of ball dominant guards in Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Dwyane Bacon Beasley would have to pick his spots. Beasley would score off of straight line drives, catch-and-shoot situations as well as attacking aggressive closeouts. His jumpshot, although somewhat mechanical, is fundamentally sound. Beasley has tremendous shot preparation which allows him to catch-and-shoot quickly before the defense can recover.
Because of his ability to get his jumper off quickly he often takes advantage of poor closeouts from defenders. He uses pump fakes and hesitations to either get right to the rim. Beasley has also become excellent at taking 1-2 dribbles and shoot a pull up jumper or a floater. Shooting nearly 60% on his floaters is an intriguing statistic because it shows his soft touch. This type of ability and patience is rare in young players today. Beasley is the type of player coaches love because no plays have to be run for him to score. This type of skillset is something that is coveted by every NBA franchise.
It may seem like a cliché but Malik Beasley’s most impressive skillset are his work ethic, basketball IQ and effort on the floor. Because of his rudimentary ball handling Beasley scores most of his points when a shot is created by another player. This is not necessarily a negative as he shows good awareness on floor spacing to find open spots outside the 3-point line, makes smart cuts from the weakside and is always filling the proper lane when running without the ball on the fast break.
Not only is he a smart basketball player, he is also always one of the most active players on the court. Despite his slight frame he is a capable defender. He uses his above average quickness along with his aggressiveness to pressure ball handlers and jump passing lanes. Beasley is the type of player to always dive for loose balls and provides maximum effort on the defensive end at all times. Because of this he has turned himself into a plus defender at the college level. Beasley has also showed his ability as a solid rebounder at his position, grabbing 7.1 rebounds per 40 minutes and showing strong box out techniques before attacking the ball in the air.
While there is no doubt that Beasley is an adept scorer, he might struggle initially at the next level due to his lack of creativity when he has the ball in his hands. Containing a rudimentary handle Beasley rarely takes his man into isolation situations. Instead Beasley relies on his quick first step and long strides, preferring to attack off of the catch. He is also fairly limited in his distribution only averaging 1.5 assists per game. When going to the rim it generally ends up being a shot instead of using his penetration to find open shooters.
Beasley’s effectiveness in the pick and roll seems to be the same as in isolation. Because of his poor handle he struggles to get by the secondary defender to score or create. At the college level this is often sufficient, but in the NBA offenses are predicated on isolation and pick and roll action, his immediate impact may be limited.
Draft Express has Malik Beasley going 26th overall, a good spot for the young shooting guard. Going in the latter parts of the first round would be beneficial for his development as he clearly has talent. He could be drafted by a veteran team like San Antonio or Golden State where he can improve his skillset and use his basketball IQ to provide an impact from the bench. A similar player to Beasley is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope when the Detroit Pistons guard was first entering the league. A fluid athlete with a nice shooting stroke who lacked an NBA level handle. Beasley could easily improve and become just as an effective scorer as Pope. The key is if he is given time and opportunity he would be worth the risk in the late first round.