In the months leading up to the 2016-’17 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the 'BTPowerhouse 25,' which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today's edition will take a brief look at Bryant McIntosh of Northwestern, who came in at No. 13 in the rankings. His leadership this upcoming season will be imperative as the Wildcats will look to make a postseason tournament following the end of the season.
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ - #13 Bryant McIntosh:
- Eligibility: Junior
- Career Totals: 64 games, 2,208 minutes, 807 points, 195 rebounds, 363 assists
- 2015-16 Averages: 35.7 min, 13.8 pts, 3.6 rebs, 6.6 asts, 0.2 blks, 1.0 stls
- Positional Role: Point Guard
Northwestern has gradually improved since Chris Collins took over in the spring of 2013, thanks in large part to the recruiting of Collins. One of those players is the leader of the Wildcats, Bryant McIntosh. McIntosh made the All-Big Ten Freshman team following his stellar freshman year and was All-Big Ten honorable mention following his sophomore campaign. He’s hoping to build on that this year.
McIntosh is an excellent floor general. He knows how to get the ball where he wants it and is very solid at handing the ball on the floor. Not only did he average 6.6 assists per game last year, but he also finished with a 37.3 assist rate, which ranked No. 14 nationally and No. 2 in the Big Ten.
Along with his passing, he also was a respectable inside scorer (45.3 two-point percentage) and did really well (82.4 percent) when he got to the free throw line. By just about any stretch, he was the key to Northwestern’s offense last year.
Areas For Improvement
Overall, McIntosh shot the ball well from beyond the arc (36.6 percent) during last season. In large part, this was because he was not guarded as closely during the non-conference schedule as he was during conference play. His shooting percentages dipped in conference play because other teams forced the ball out of his hands. His assist rate grew during conference play because he was able to create shots for other players.
To put this in perspective, just consider that McIntosh’s three-point percentage dropped to just 27.6 percent during Big Ten play. His numbers didn’t drop as badly as a freshman, but he needs to get better at finding separation on the arc and more ways to score in the paint.
Along with that, McIntosh could also improve his consistency as well. He finished with an offensive rating below 100 in half of his Big Ten games, which certainly implies some room for improvement.
There may be room for improvement, but McIntosh enters this season as one of the better guards in the conference and should be set for a big year. By season’s end, don’t be surprised to see him in the conversation for second or first team All-Big Ten.
He is still under-the-radar because of his scoring numbers, but he was second in assists in the 2015-2016 season only falling behind Denzel Valentine. McIntosh has the power on the court to lead Northwestern to the postseason and the NCAA Tournament over the next two years. If his shooting improves and he’s able to become a consistent threat on both ends of the court, the sky is the limit for him.
'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings:
- #26-31 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #24 - Josh Langford (Michigan State)
- #24 - Kam Williams (Ohio State)
- #23 - Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (Michigan)
- #22 - Jalen Coleman-Lands (Illinois)
- #21 - Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State)
- #20 - Jae’Sean Tate (Ohio State)
- #19 - James Blackmon (Indiana)
- #18 - Eron Harris (Michigan State)
- #17 - Corey Sanders (Rutgers)
- #16 - Derrick Walton, Jr. (Michigan)
- #15 - Isaac Haas (Purdue)
- #14 - JaQuan Lyle (Ohio State)
- #13 - Bryant McIntosh (Northwestern)
- #12 - to be continued ...