Dominic McGuire is extremely athletic; just dont let him catch you calling him a raw athlete.
I can handle the ball, bring it up the court if I need to, grab the rebound and bring it up. I can find open shots for teammates as well as myself, so I really dont feel like Im a raw talent, he said.
Coming out of Lincoln High School in San Diego, McGuire chose to attend Cal, where he spent two average seasons before deciding to transfer. McGuire stated that he wasnt a good fit for the system at Cal, and that was the major factor in his decision to leave.
Several schools were interested in having McGuire play for them, including Georgia Tech, Nevada and New Mexico State, but it was Fresno State that would be his eventual destination.
I knew I wanted to stay in California, so I didnt really read too much into the other schools, he said. Location was one of the big reasons for going to Fresno State. But also, once I met with the coaching staff, I had a real good feeling about them. I took a trip down there also, and from that point on it was pretty much a done deal.
After sitting out a season due to his transfer, McGuire made an immediate impact at Fresno State, proving to be one of the most versatile players in the country. The 68 forward averaged 13.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.6 blocks. McGuire credited his sudden burst onto the scene to the Fresno State system that allowed him to show off his full array of talents.
I was in a great system at Fresno State, he said. The coaching staff had a lot of confidence in me, they let me do my thing there, and I had great teammates. It was a perfect situation there for me basically. It just let me play to the best of my ability.
McGuire really got to show off his versatility this year, playing both on the wing and in the post. Defensively, he was primarily inside due to his length and athleticism, while on the offensive end, McGuire had been on the wing since his days at Cal. Having experience playing inside and outside is something McGuire said he felt would really help him as a pro.
Since the season came to an end, McGuire has been out west in Sacramento training with his brother for the Orlando pre-draft camp. Often times many players get anxious with all of the down time leading up to draft day, McGuire however sees the wait as a positive.
I think its to my advantage, McGuire said. Im getting a chance to work on my game and get faster and stronger. Its a good chance for me to work on the things that need to be worked on.
While he will be working on his all around game, McGuire said he has been focusing specifically on improving his quickness and getting his jump shot to be more consistent. The training has been a new experience for McGuire who is used to the team oriented practices of college life, and now is focusing solely his individual play.
Its a lot different, he said. Im focusing more on myself, rather than on the team aspect. Im just working out a lot, getting up a lot more shots.
Those extra shots are sure to help add another dimension to a player who already brings a lot of the table. McGuire stated that he can already do a lot offensively, whether it is handling the ball, setting up teammates, or scoring when called upon to do so. Defensively his length and athleticism help him tremendously, but he said he hopes that added quickness will improve his ability to close out on shooters.
Still only a junior, McGuire had the option to return to Fresno State for another year before he signed with an agent, but was adamant from the moment he declared for the draft that he fully intended on reaching the pros next season. The full confidence that he brings to the court, coupled with his athleticism and versatility is sure to help him come draft day.
Im all the way in, McGuire said. I fully intend to play in the NBA this upcoming season. Thats what my goal has always been and thats what Im going to do.