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Better Know Your New Blazers: CJ McCollum - Pinwheel Empire

Better Know Your New Blazers: CJ McCollum

submitted 5 years ago by in Rip City

CJ McColllum

Image Courtesy of the AP

The Skinny

Full Name: Christian James (CJ) McCollum

Date/Place of Birth: 9/19/1991-Canton, OH
Height/Weight-6’ 3”, 197 lbs

Primary Position: PG/SG

Projected Role: Sixth Man or Starting SG

College: Lehigh
NBA Draft: Drafted with the 10th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by Portland

Honors: Two time Patriot League Player of the Year (2010 and 2012)


College Averages-21.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, 2.6 TOPG, 2 SPG.  12-13 College PER: 33.95


CJ’s Strengths:


As Blazers fans learned with Lillard last year, just because you come from a small school doesn’t mean your game can’t be NBA ready.   McCollum’s certainly is.  CJ is an electric scoring guard with a quick first step, good range on his jumper and someone who excels in transition.  He is a very good rebounder for a guard, important especially as the Blazers will likely be shooting a lot of long jumpers, leading to a lot of possible offensive rebounds for CJ.  On defense, he has a great knack for getting his hand in and forcing steals, which he almost always converts to an easy transition score.  He might not be Lillard-level good but he might be good enough to get the Blazers a second-straight rookie of the year, which is no easy feat.


CJ’s Weaknesses:


First the obvious, McCollum missed most of his senior season when he broke his foot January 5.  The good news is that he appears fully recovered from that.  Besides that, whenever a player from a smaller school makes the jump to the NBA, one of the obvious questions is how they will do on defense.  That is certainly a concern here , especially if CJ ends up matched up with bigger shooting guards.  He lacks elite athleticism and could stand to add a bit of strength if he wants to play successful defense at this level. Additionally, there are concerns that he is a bit of a “tweener”, not a natural PG but not quite big enough to be a SG.  Still, he has a great work ethic and there is reason to believe he will overcome these shortcomings and prove the Blazers were right in selecting him.


Blazer Connections:


Lillard openly advocated for McCollum, although the two have never met in person, first connecting over social media.


Did You Know?:


CJ McCollum is the second player to ever be drafted from the Patriot League, the first was Adonal Foyle (Colgate) drafted 8th overall in 1997.  Mike Muscala of Bucknell became the third Patriot League player drafted later in the 2013 draft when he was picked 44th overall by Dallas.

McCollum is only the third senior since 2007 to be drafted in the top ten, one of the other two is, of course, Lillard.

McCollum majored in journalism in college and says that when his NBA career is finished he wants to be a “Sports Analyst and Broadcaster.”

one comment

skywaker9 (David) is a Portland native and passionate Blazers fan. He currently works as a University fiscal analyst for the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. He also has a PhD in Public Affairs and Policy at Portland State University. David is a former political activist who chose to focus on sports because they made him happy. He primarily writes previews for PWE and one of his primary goals is to inform Blazer fans everywhere about those players on other teams they may not have heard of but should (such as Nikola Vucevic).