Miles Bridges was phenomenal last year for Michigan State when he was able to be on the court. Bridges shot above 48% from the field and 38% from deep which led to an average of about 16 points per game. With his production and talent, he earned his acclaim as one of the top players in college basketball and was projected to be a lottery pick in this year’s draft.
Miles, instead of pursuing his NBA career immediately, decided to come back to college and work on his craft. Since we haven’t seen this freshman class play on a college court, it is hard to say this definitely but the odds are that next year’s draft will not be nearly as good as this year’s. Because of that fact, Bridges could become a top 5 pick instead of simply a lottery pick.
Last year, Bridges showed us how he was able to assist on both sides of the court. He had a OBPM of 4.8 and a DBPM of 4.9 that certainly proves how effective he was on both ends. But, instead of letting the stats do all of the talking, let me show you some tape that proves how great he really was.
In the play below, you can see his impact on the boards offensively:
Just watch Bridges for the entire video. You can see how he keeps his eyes on the ball and moves into the perfect spot after it hits the rim to get the put-back dunk. We saw this A LOT last season from Miles Bridges and you should expect to continue to see a lot of plays like this one next season at Michigan State.
In the following play below, we get a little sense of his defensive impact:
Now, I’m not too fond of how he is just ball watching and loses his man in the beginning of the video, but his quick reactions and elevation allow him to get up for the rejection.
Miles has a little Paul Pierce in him. He’s not necessarily quick by any means and isn’t one of the taller 3s/4s you’ll see, but he’s a smart player. He can score if he wants to, but can also help in all other facets of the game.
Bridges’s decision to stay was ultimately the best decision for himself and his family, but I can GUARANTEE you that it was not one that other teams in the NCAA were happy about. Miles Bridges is going to be a feared player next year and should already be considered a heavy favorite for the Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award.