2011 Basketball Preview: Trey McDonald

Written October 3rd, 2011 by Eric

Trey McDonald looks ready for business.

This is our first look at one of the incoming freshman for this year’s team. Trey McDonald is an inside player who has improved dramatically over the last several seasons. He still has plenty to learn coming into the program before he’ll be able to make a significant contribution to the team. His great upside should help him achieve that goal.

Hometown: Battle Creek, Michigan
High School: Battle Creek Central
Position: Center (5)
Year: Freshman
Height: 6-8
Weight: 225

High School Awards:
- 2011 All-Conference selection (Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference).
- 2011 All-City selection (Battle Creek).
- 2011 Battle Creek Central MVP.

Trey McDonald is a three star athlete from Battle Creek Michigan, ranked the #18 player at his position in the 2011 recruiting class by scout.com. He averaged 9.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game during his Junior year – both were team leading. He was also a letterman in cross country for three years, and track for a single season.

High School Film:

Strengths:

Given his cross country and track experience, McDonald is known for his ability to get up and down the court. Speed and Stamina certainly won’t be an issue there. He’s a good on-ball shot blocker and will be able to help make life difficult for opposing offenses down low. One of his greatest strengths is rebounding – nearly anything that bounces into his general area he gets his hands on.

He is a back-to-the-basket type player, who has a refined hook-shot that he can hit with either hand. Matta will be particularly happy that he has displayed an ability to knock down a 15-foot mid-range jumper – as the coach prefers centers to have an ability to play while facing the basket.

Weaknesses:

Despite his ability to hit the 15 foot jumpers, McDonald will need to work on shooting the ball in general if he wants to fully round out his game. He’s simply not skilled enough yet with facing the basket while shooting to make him an effective offensive threat. He needs to become more consistent with his back-to-the-basket scoring as well, and needs to improve his passing out of the post while under pressure.

His ball-handling skills are in serious need of work, and he’ll need to work on his strength if he wants to compete down low in the extremely physical Big Ten. At the moment he is very raw talent, but Matta should be able to polish it nicely into a good role player.

Role on the team:

McDonald will most likely play the 5 spot at Ohio State. He could play the 4, but with his current struggles with shooting while facing the basket it’s hard to imagine us going that route. He’s also best as an area rebounder, meaning that parking himself under the basket is just about the best place for him on both sides of the floor.

Considering Matta’s recent history in using his bench, it’s unfortunately likely that McDonald will rarely see the floor this season. Expect to see him in mop-up duty in some of the early season games against weaker competition. If he works hard and shows promise in practice, he may even get some rare minutes in more critical situations with his defensive and rebounding skills, but don’t count on it.

Comment On Article