|Preston Medlin briefly interrupts game action to do The Sprinkler.|Preston Medlin
, Utah State, Senior, 6'4 185lbs2013/14 stats:
33.1 mpg, 12.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.1 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 1.4 fpg, 1.4 TOpg, 41.8% FG, 42.4% 3PT, 78.0% FT
Despite the assists and the assist/turnover ratio, Medlin is not a 'classic' point guard. He initialised some offense for Utah State, but played more of his time off the ball, in a dynamic-shooting three guard lineup.
Shooting is the best part of Medlin's game. Very rarely does he get to the line, and nor does he look to get inside - rather, he is a shooter with excellent form, who can catch on the move and go straight up, and who is effective off of curls. Medlin gathers quickly and goes straight up, combining good balance with a consistent release point, a threat to pull up from three or run off the ball for a look from the wing. He is small for the two guard position, slender and with fairly short arms, and he struggles to finish at the rim, but none of this prevents the shot.
Outside of the jump shot, Medlin has some point guard awareness, a good understanding of time and score and a reliable hand in getting the ball into the front court. He also drives and kicks regularly to decent effect, and although he is a very limited finisher at the rim, he will drive open lanes and use crafty changes of pace to get there. Aside from jumping to pass too often, he makes very few mistakes, and benefits from (and is partly responsible for) Utah State's very disciplined offensive environment. Medlin is nevertheless better off the ball as a shooting threat, where his greatest value lies.
On the defensive end, Medlin's complete absence of stocks speaks to the difficulties he has here. He will step in and take a charge, but he provides little ball pressure and cannot keep anyone in front of him. With little lateral foot speed, little straight line speed, little core strength, no wingspan or strength, Medlin's main defensive attribute is the flop, and the impassioned yell after a successful one. This isn't much, though, and his physical profile rather condemns him to always being challenged defensively.
In a sense, Medlin reminds one of Jaycee Carroll. He plays like him, has a similar build, similar strengths and similar weaknesses. Carroll, though, is much better. It ought be remembered that Kendall Gill looked and played like Michael Jordan, even down to the way he ran. It didn't mean Kendall Gill was Michael Jordan. Medlin was tailor-made for college basketball, but his shot (and his ability to create a foot or two of space for it) will need to take a leap to reach Carroll's level. Moving the ball and hitting open shots is just the start.