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Is the Undersized Myles Mack a Legitimate NBA Prospect?

Though he had a successful career at Rutgers, Myles Mack's size may put him out of luck for the NBA.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Rutgers basketball team made much less than the statement the program had probably hoped to in its debut season in the Big Ten conference. The only major win that the Scarlet Knights (10-22. 2-16 Big Ten) secured was a home game against Wisconsin, which was without its star player and National Player of the Year candidate, Frank Kaminsky.

But the rebuilding necessity that Rutgers holds is not the only news encompassing Eddie Jordan's team. The Scarlet Knights are also graduating two seniors, one of which is hoping to extend his basketball career and make the leap into the NBA. That player is 5'10" Myles Mack. The guard averaged 35.4 minutes in each of the Scarlet Knight's game this season. He was selected Honorable Mention All-Big Ten Conference after

Averaging 13.1 points per game, the three-time team captain and two-time All-MET selection led his team in scoring 13 separate times this in its first Big Ten season. The senior ranks 35th nationally in free throw percentage at 85%. At the end of conference play, Mack was tied for second in free throw percentage, fourth in minutes (35.4), fifth in steals per game (1.7), seventh in assists per game (4.2), 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio per game (0.7) and 16th overall in scoring.

Mack is also among all-time leaders in Rutgers basketball history.  He ranks second in steals (208), third in free throw percentage (.846), fourth in assists (425) and three-point field goals made (239), and seventh in scoring (1,658).

Unfortunately for Mack, his goal of extending his basketball career looks to be more of that of a player that would sign with an international team as opposed to being drafted or signed as a free agent in the NBA. Mack is ultimately just a bit too small for the NBA. He's skilled when it comes to distributing the ball to his teammates successfully and is a gifted shooter, especially from three-point range. But the issue that Mack faces is that at 5'10, a guard his size does not have much of a chance in the NBA, unless he is one of the elite members in his class on both ends of the court. Teams are not going to take a smaller player who is not substantially elite to other guards. If a general manager has the option of signing a bigger built player with a greater potential of improving even if he does not start out as skilled as Mack, teams are going to choose the bigger player. You simply cannot teach someone to be bigger and taller.

This year's draft class is filled with elite point guards that are merely bigger than Mack. He is certainly a highly skilled player. But NBA teams simply have other options that make more sense. Should he not get drafted or sign with a summer-league team, Mack will likely go on to play internationally like other players of his kind. Once committed to team's overseas, most players finish their careers there as opposed to signing long-term contracts in the NBA.