Miles Byrd finished his senior season and will be attending SDSU next season. Byrd’s game was dissected after his commitment, but he has had a year to develop since then.
He recently played in the NorCal all star games. It’s hard to take too much from an all star game, as players don’t have chemistry, the effort defensively is often lacking, and players try to do fancy things on offense that result in turnovers. Nevertheless, Byrd’s game will be analyzed, albeit with a healthy dose of salt.
Byrd finished with 16 points on 7-12 from the floor, to go with 6 rebounds. He struggled with free throw shooting (1-4) and had 6 turnovers in 22 minutes.
What did Byrd show defensively?
Byrd had a decent showing defensively, which is saying something because of the lack of effort players tend to show. He played solid isolation defense and his man generally didn’t score in the half court.
He also had this play below where he switched the ball screen and then collapsed down into the post to poke the ball out. That is something that SDSU likes to do, so he should fit in well in that regard.
His size and length give him the potential to be a very versatile defender. He’ll need to bulk up before he can consistently disrupt guys with his body, but his height and his long arms let him be disruptive against all sorts of players.
The defense wasn’t perfect, he did lose a guy that got by him for a dunk on the play below. It could be that quick players may have an advantage and will be able to get by him. His Junior tape showed some instances of struggling to get around screens, and on the play Byrd was setting up to get around a screen. He may have been overcompensating slightly and got burned.
Overall, Byrd will take some time to learn the defensive scheme, but he has the tools and skills to be a good defender when he does.
Byrd will likely be a great player offensively. It will not happen right away, but he has a good combination of size, ball handling, passing, and scoring abilities. He still profiles a bit as a jack of all trades, master of none, but as the skills develop over the next four years he has potential to blossom into an offensive centerpiece due to his versatility.
In this game specifically he was turnover prone. He had six of them in 22 minutes. Turnovers were something he was noted to struggle with as a junior, and it seems he may still need some work in that regard. In a non all star environment though the number wouldn’t be as high. Many of the turnovers from a lot of players came from players trying to do things they wouldn’t do in an actual game.
Byrd’s worst turnover was the one below that happened on a normal isolation play. He simply got stripped of the ball on the crossover.
His 3-point shot was not there during the game, only going 1-4 from deep. As a senior he shot 33% from behind the arc, which is about average. It’s good enough that he should be allowed to do it, but not so good that it will really burn defenses. For context, Trey Pulliam shot 33% from deep last season. Percentages do not provide full context, but Byrd will want to get those numbers up to be truly unlocked.
Byrd’s midrange game was on point in the all star game. He was able to come off screens, attack switches, attack close outs, and do whatever else was needed to get to his spot and hit the jumper.
The only times he got to the rim were in transition or during a cherry picking situation, which is a little concerning. One of the offensive issues this past season was guys settling for midrange shots rather than going to the rim.
Byrd also had no assists during the game. He averaged over 3 a game as a senior though, so it’s a relatively safe assumption that getting zero assists is at least in part attributable to not having much chemistry with teammates.
Overall Byrd has the tools to be an offensive centerpiece. It won’t happen this season, or the next, but by the time he is a senior he will likely have developed enough to be a featured option in the offense. His versatility and size will make him very tough to guard.
Overall what was seen was pretty similar to what was seen when Byrd committed. He has great versatility, while needing to improve on a few key categories. The main thing is his size and his weight. MaxPreps has Byrd listed at 170 lbs. If true that means he gained 5 pounds since his junior year, which is improvement, but more will be needed in order to help prevent injuries and play more effectively.
Projecting his freshman season is tough, because he looks to be skilled enough that he could contribute on a winning team. However, he would really benefit from taking a redshirt year and adding weight to his frame, especially considering he likely won’t see the floor much with all the depth in front of him.
Regardless of what Byrd chooses to do, expect him to be a key contributor in a few years.