Basketball

McCullar’s Commitment Leaves One Scholarship and Welcome to Positionless Basketball

Player: Kevin McCullar
Position: Guard
Height / Weight: 6-6/180
High School: Wagner (San Antonio, Texas)
Offers: Houston, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas-San Antonio, Tulsa, Xavier
Recruiting Services: Rivals | 24/7 Sports 94 | ESPN N/A
Video: Hudl
Cumulative Ranking: 0.9719
Profile Date: July 5, 2018

RELATED: Quick Reaction: 4-star SF Kevin McCullar commits to Texas Tech

This is a huge commitment for Texas Tech as McCullar is a legitimate top 100 player and will be the second one of the 2018 class with Khavon Moore being the first top 100 player of the class. McCullar is technically a senior this year at Wagner, but he has reclassified for the 2018 class and will graduate in December of 2018 and join Texas Tech in the spring semester and from listening to interviews (see below) McCullar will essentially join the program in December, but won’t play until the next year. He’ll essentially have all of that time to adjust and get acclimated to the program.

McCullar is a swing forward that can play multiple positions, put the ball on the floor, drive to the hoop, score at the rim and has a decent outside shot as well. Last year, McCullar averaged 16.8 points, 6.6 boards, 3.8 assists, a block and one and a half steals a game, shooting 48% from the floor and 23% from the three-point line. Obviously the shooting needs to improve, but that will come with time  and I’m not worried about that at all.

TexasHoops’ Blue Zertuche talked with McCullar about his commitment to Texas Tech and why he chose the Red Raiders:

What were the main reasons that you selected Texas Tech?

The relationship that I developed with coach Beard and the vision he has for me at Texas Tech played a big role in my decision. Coach Beard has always kept it real with me and our relationship is very strong.

He wants me to transfer from being a wing from my high school years to being the point guard of his program.

You can also check out this five minute interview from Spectrum News, where McCullar talks about his commitment to Texas Tech and gets walked through the entire process. It’s a 5 minute interview and I know you won’t find anything more detailed out there, so check it out.

A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. talked with McCullar’s high school coach at Wagner, who said that McCullar felt comfortable with Chris Beard and the staff:

“I think they just made him feel comfortable and confident in what they will offer him and what they can do to get him ready for college basketball and beyond,” Wagner coach Rodney Clark said of what swayed McCullar to the Red Raiders. “They made it feel like home and that he’ll be taken care of.”

When I used to do these Eligibility Charts (and I mean not that long ago), I tried to always pin a player at a certain position. Were they a small forward or a shooting guard? Who’s the point guard? Where are the power forwards? These were all questions that I was trying to figure out and what I’ve learned in the couple of years watching Chris Beard do his thing is something that LaBarre touched on earlier in the year, which is that positionless basketball is really the future of basketball. As a coach, you essentially have three positions, a ball-handler, a wing and a big and that’s it:

“I don’t have the five positions anymore,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, per Kareem Copeland of the Associated Press. “It may be as simple as three positions now, where you’re either a ball-handler, a wing or a big.

“It’s really important. We’ve become more versatile as the years have gone on.”

In fact, Chris Beard said as much in March when talking about Villanova and also talking about Bob Knight and how “small ball” is essentially positionless basketball:

“Bob Knight changed basketball. He did with motion offense. And Coach [Eddie] Sutton changed basketball with the defense,” Beard said. “In my generation, Coach Jay Wright’s changed basketball. He’s the one that kind of invented small ball, where your four man can shoot threes. They always have four guys on the floor that shoot. I mean, this is the way that our teams try to play.”

“I can’t tell you how many players over the years I’ve made watch Villanova tape in my office, trying to kind of talk them into playing the four when their AAU coach and their mom and their high school coach think they’re a two. Look, Villanova does it. So this guy, he’s transformed basketball. The way they play, we’re all kind of doing the same thing.”

So, I’ve given up trying to put square pegs in round holes, and for me, looking at the chart below, you’ll have most likely two guards, two forwards and a center with the caveat that Beard can have a guard and three forwards or three guards and a forward or four guards and a center. There’s really not going to be a set lineup I think. I’d also add that I think we were a bit spoiled last year with Keenan Evans, who did handle the ball quite a bit, especially during crunch time. I’d look for Culver, Moretti and Mooney to be the main ball-handlers down the stretch and I’d guess that they all get their shots. All I know is that looking at this chart at the end of the season, this team got significantly younger, 7 of the players on this team are sophomores or younger and Beard has four spots to play with next year as well, plus the one additional spot that’s currently still available for the 2018 class.

Eligibility Chart

Position Player 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Guard Matt Mooney (6-3/210)
Davide Moretti (6-3/165)
Jarrett Culver (6-6/180)
Kyler Edwards (6-6/200)
Kevin McCullar (6-6/180)
Forward Brandone Francis (6-5/210)
Deshawn Corprew (6-6/216)
Khavon Moore (6-8/185)
Joshua Mballa (6-8/205)
Center Norense Odiase (6-9/255)
Malik Ondigo (6-10/210)
Tariq Owens (6-11/205)
TOTALS 12 8 7 4 0
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