Height/Weight: 6’3, 194 lbs
CJ Massinburg is one of the best college basketball players in the country and is finally getting some well deserved recognition nationally this season. He put the nation on notice early with a 43 point, 14 rebound performance in an upset win at West Virginia in the Bulls’ second game of this season. He lit up Syracuse in the second half to lead Buffalo to a come-from behind victory against the Orange on their biggest stage of the season to date. I was in attendance and was incredibly impressed by Massinburg when he scored his 1,500th collegiate point versus Southern Illinois on December 15th. The list of accomplishments keeps growing for CJ, and when you watch him play and see how talented he is you’ll quickly realize why.
Massinburg is a very complete offensive player. He is an impressive three point shooter and always shoots it at an efficient clip.
He’s also great at attacking the rim, possessing an excellent finishing touch and unbelievable body control in the lane. This results in crafty highlight reel buckets by Massinburg on just about a nightly basis. He can also knock down mid-range jumpers with consistency, making him a true and dangerous scorer at all three levels.
Arguably the most impressive part of CJ’s game is his rebounding ability. Pound for pound, he is possibly the best rebounder in the country, as he averaged 7.3 rebounds per game as a junior, a stat that he’s on pace to match this year. That is a crazy high number for a 6’3 guard, and he’s able to rebound at such a high rate thanks to a combination of toughness, a great nose for the ball, and always being at the right place at the right time.
A big reason for Massinburg putting up the numbers he does is his high basketball IQ and tremendous feel for the game. He rarely ever forces a shot and does a great job of just taking what the defense gives him. If the defense is keying on him or his shots aren’t falling, he has no problem deferring to his teammates and finding other ways to impact the game and make winning plays for his squad.
CJ Massinburg’s biggest weaknesses are his size and speed. He is a natural shooting guard, but at 6’3, is well undersized for that position in the NBA. He could potentially make the transition to point, but he doesn’t have the quickness most NBA guards possess and hasn’t shown consistent distributing ability during his college career. If he were a great athlete, I’d be less worried about his height hurting his chances, but he is just an average athlete at best compared to guys at the next level.
I also have concerns about Massinburg’s ability to defend NBA guards. He is a solid college defender, but he also never guards the best perimeter player on opposing teams. This isn’t really a knock on him, as Buffalo has some elite perimeter defenders in Davonta Jordan and Dontay Caruthers, so they tend to put him on easier match-ups and allow him to avoid foul trouble/spend more energy on offense. With that being said, Massinburg’s average quickness and height disadvantage lead me to believe he would really struggle to guard NBA twos.
Massinburg has put his name on the map with a great start to his senior season. A year ago, he was on nobody’s radar as an NBA prospect, but he has been absolutely balling the past two seasons and his success can no longer be ignored. While his size and speed/athleticism will certainly give teams hesitation when considering him on draft night, there is no doubt you will see CJ in the NBA summer league this July playing for a chance to make an opening day roster.
As of right now, best case seems to be that Massinburg ends up as a second round selection and end up as a deep bench player or earn a two-way deal next season.Worst case, he gets passed up in the draft and is unable to ink a free agency deal, but gets a nice contract in a quality league overseas.