It was only one year spent at Florida for Bradley Beal, but he’s become one of the late risers in tonight’s NBA Draft. The sharpshooter is in everyone’s mock draft in the top five picks that will be called out tonight in New York City. But how did he get here? Here are his top five plays of his only season in Gainesville.
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5. Beal freezes and sinks the floater
Speed is what makes Beal’s game so dangerous, whether cutting off screens for threes or curling toward the rim. Turns out he can stop on a dime just as fast. At the 2:14 mark against Kentucky, Beal brakes going full-bore into the teeth of UK’s key — shaking Marquis Teague in the process — then finishes with the nice floater.
4. Heat check from deep against Ohio State
Check the :45 mark. Do you see how utterly unafraid he is of pulling from 26 feet on a dude in an opponent’s gym? That’s the mark of an uber-confident guy who can pull from deep but will work to get established inside early on with drives, etc. So that deep three is really the product of the work he did even earlier but it is still just as pretty standing alone.
3. Picking apart Florida State
FSU was a damn good team this year, knocking off Duke at home among others, and yet Beal had the run of the court against the ‘Noles this year. This tape includes the play at the :15 mark where his three-point stroke and hesitation pauses the defender’s close out just enough to swoop right around him for the slam.
2. Slam on Alabama
Listen to the gym after this dunk: Silence. Usually there’s someone who’ll heckle a guy even if he was Jordan in the ’92 Olympics, but there’s not even that person speaking up after this huge dunk on a broken play in Tuscaloosa.
1. The throwdown on South Carolina
Even with Beal’s slashing ability, arguably his best talent is still being able to drain jumpers from anywhere. Of course, we’ve seen his shooting earlier but his best play was another huge slam. Here he yammed on South Carolina in a ridiculous way. I wonder if they even showed new Carolina coach Frank Martin this tape from last season when he took the job.