Former West Virginia guard Miles McBride has learned where he'll be starting his NBA career.
The two-year Mountaineer veteran was selected in the second round with the 36th overall pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder and then was immediately traded to the New York Knicks.
McBride has been on an upward arc ever since declaring for the draft, moving to a projected first round choice by many respected mock drafts, though on draft day he dropped to the early portion of the second round.
His rise in the eyes of NBA scouts was presaged by strong improvement in his two seasons at West Virginia. All of his numbers went up dramatically, including field goal percentage (40.2% to 43.1%), 3-point percentage (30.4% to 41.4%) and free throw percentage (74.7% to 81.3%). His assist-to-turnover ratio spiked at 2.5-1, while his defense improved on the strength of 20 more steals, accompanied by a decrease in fouls, despite playing 201 more minutes in 2020-21.
West Virginia was 40-20 in McBride's two seasons, making it to the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. The Mountaineers would also have made the 2020 version of the event had it not been canceled by the COVID pandemic.
The Cincinnati standout has drawn excellent reviews for his defensive capability and ability to create space and shots for himself while also setting up chances for teammates. Excellence in the mid-range, something of a lost art in a game where 3-pointers or shots at the rim are emphasized, also give him a plus rating in versatility.
McBride is the first Mountaineer drafted since Jevon Carter was a second-round pick with the 32nd overall selection in the 2018 draft, taken by the Memphis Grizzlies. Incidentally, Carter was part of a draft-day trade Thursday, being dealt from Phoenix to Brooklyn.