Ben McCauley and the Wolfpack had a great statement tournament in terms of showing their fight and overall skill. McCauley fits in very well with his teammates because of how fundamental and risk free he plays the game. Its impressive how low McCauleys turnovers were this year considering how much playmaking ran through him in the post. When you factor in the precious few minutes he received as a freshman just a year ago, McCauleys production is more impressive.
McCauley operates almost strictly in the low post as an offensive weapon, though his superior passing ability makes him an excellent facilitator of ball-movement out of the high post as well. McCauley operated out of the left-side, low post for a majority of the ACC Tournament and did some decent damage from there as a playmaker. McCauleys turnovers were higher than acceptable at 3.8 per game, but his seasonal average of 2.3 per contest leads one to believe that McCauley was simply over-anxious to be a playmaker for the Wolf Pack during Tourney play.
As a draft prospect, McCauley is almost assuredly a four year man due to his average athletic ability, though his improvement from first to second year was quite encouraging. McCauleys main problem is his physical tools relative to his skill set. As a seven-footer, McCauley would be one of the most intriguing sophomore big men in the country, but he is not. At 69, McCauley has a power forwards size with the game of a pure center. McCauley hasnt displayed any type of outside shot, taking less than nine percent of his offensive touches off the face-up jumper. His first step and dribbling ability are center caliber quality on an NBA level as well. His rebounding numbers aren't off the charts either, something that is a must for undersized players looking to buck the normal trend and stand out from the pack. Hitting the boards and hitting his free throws (67%) would go a long way toward a successful junior season showing marked improvement. He also isnt the quickest guy in the world and wont ever wow you with the way he explodes off his feet.
Overall, McCauley has a great feel for the game and has improved dramatically over the course of two seasons. As his game and body develop maturity, he should help NC States frontcourt gain the consistency it needs to win games and garner him some attention in the process. His skill set and size point to a pro career somewhere if he keeps developing his game, especially with a solid face-up game from the foul line extended. McCauley should be a fun player to watch develop over the remainder of his collegiate career, as he plays the game the right way and has a winning attitude.