Earlier this week, Cal men’s basketball landed a commitment from 2017 3-star point guard Darius McNeill. He's expected to make an impact right away for the Bears, potentially slotting into the starting point guard spot.
Listed at 6’3”, 170 pounds, McNeill is quick, with excellent ball handling and an ability to get to the rim. His speed in the open floor makes him very difficult to stop, especially when he can finish with either hand around the rim. He has good court vision and knows how to get others involved.
An added dimension to McNeill’s game is his pull up jump shot. His ability to attack the rim and penetrate has allowed him to develop a solid pull up jumper, making defenders have to guess and making him that much more difficult to guard.
While he does finish well with both hands around the basket, McNeill is left-handed, giving him a distinct advantage over right-handed players. He should be able to catch defenders off guard a bit and really give them trouble given that he doesn’t limit himself to one side of the floor.
Defensively, McNeill has all the tools to guard both point guards and shooting guards. He has great athleticism and possesses the length to guard players that are bigger than him. He is very active in passing lanes and knows how to force turnovers, leading to easy baskets in transition.
2018 Cal commit Jacobi Gordon weighed in on what he thinks McNeill will bring to the table. Gordon played AAU basketball with McNeill for two years, possessing a really good perspective of his game.
“Darius has a John Wall type of game as far as speed. He’s very fast in the open court and half court. He has a string on the ball. His handles are crazy good and he’s a pure shooter. He can hit the open and contested three, shoots good off the one dribble pull up and those are the things I know from playing with him for two years. He’s a smart player and a decent passer. He works hard and that’s going to make him a good player at Cal.”-Jacobi Gordon.
McNeill has all the pieces to be an effective player in Wyking Jones’ system. He can push the ball in the open floor, force turnovers on defense, and bring an energy that is needed to play such an aggressive style.