Butler’s Shelvin Mack Testing NBA Draft Waters


shlevin mack

Butler’s Shelvin Mack has officially submitted the necessary paperwork to declare for this year’s National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft. He has not hired an agent and has followed all of the guidelines to retain his eligibility.

“I’m exploring my options and gathering information to see what opportunities might exist for me,” said Mack, who completed his third season with the Bulldogs.

“I’ve always had a dream to play in the NBA, and I want to make an informed decision on that possibility.” Mack sparked Butler’s run to a second consecutive national championship game. He averaged 20.3 points in Butler’s six NCAA tournament games, and he led or shared the team lead in scoring in five of the six tournament contests. The 6-3 guard had 30 points in Butler’s victory over top-seeded Pittsburgh, and he tallied 27 points in the Bulldogs’ win over second-seeded Florida.

He set a Butler NCAA tournament record with 122 points in this year’s Division I National Championship. “It’s really exciting any time you have a player and person of Shelvin Mack’s calibre who is in a position where we can do the research on what his NBA opportunities might be,” said Butler head coach Brad Stevens. “We look forward to helping him through every step of this process and gathering information to help him with his decision.”

Mack, who started 37 of 38 Butler games this past season, was Butler’s second-leading scorer in 2010-11 with a 16.0 average. He led the Bulldogs in assists (131) and finished third on the team in rebounds (4.5). He was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Southeast Regional, and he was picked to the All-Tournament Team at the Final Four for a second consecutive year.

After the Bulldogs won at Loyola earlier this season, Butler Coach Brad Stevens articulated why Shelvin Mack struggled early in the season and he sounded like a prophet in predicting how Mack would react to it.

“I think everyone’s keying on him, everyone’s going to be keying on him the entire year, and I think in January he’ll be a different player because of it, because I think that’s a really a good thing to go through,” Stevens said.

In business school, I had to do a lot of S.W.O.T. Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). But when you apply those methods towards college basketball players, and NBA Draft prospects, it’s much more fun; and interesting. And perhaps no one has more “league” potential on the Butler Bulldogs than junior guard Shelvin Mack.

Mack has learned and grown from the threats opponents posed to his game. He’s making the most of his opportunities by playing his best ball at the time that it matters most.

By Paul M. Banks and David Kay

Go here for our NBA draft stock analysis of Matt Howard


Mack scored 27 in the Elite Eight win over Florida, 30 in the second round victory over Pittsburgh.  But he still can’t give you that performance every night. Your girlfriend may dress up as a naughty schoolgirl for you on your birthday, but she likely won’t put on the plaid skirt, pigtails and knee-high socks for you every weekend.

Shelvin is a streaky volume shooter, with only average athleticism/quickness, not explosive enough around the rim and he’s more of a scoring point guard than a true distributor.

He counteracts those weaknesses with his numerous strengths including his: outside shooting, catch and shoot ability, pull up jumper, strength in getting to the basket, body control in the lane, pick and roll situation efficacy, physicality, toughness, and hustle.

Mack has received a ton of national expsoure the past two seasons due to Butler’s runs to the Final Four which should give NBA scouts a good feel for his potential at the next level. He is the definition of a combo guard who will need to learn how to be more of a true point guard if he wants to maximize his opportunity in the NBA. He should get late first round looks but could fall into the early second.

Mack was a member of the USA basketball select team chosen to train against the US National team last summer.  Mack talked about how he spent his summer vacation.

“On that team I really didn’t have to score a lot, my job was to help get other people open shots. It really helped my game a lot,” he said. When the “return of the Mack” occurred (sorry, I couldn’t pass that up) he developed more of a distributor mentality, and augmented the fundamentals of his game.

For more on Mack’s experiences guarding Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and more go here

Player Comparison: Willie Green. Green is an undersized off guard in the NBA who has never been able to grasp his opportunities as a point guard. He and Mack both rely on their strength to help them on both ends of the floor. If Mack can work on his pure point guard skills, he should be able to run an offense in the NBA rather just be an undersized two.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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