June 17, 2014
|Don't see a shooting guard with a ginger beard very often.
, Idaho, Senior, 6'5 202lbs2013/14 stats:
34.5 mpg, 20.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.5 bpg, 3.0 fpg, 2.7 TOpg, 47.7% FG, 32.5% 3PT, 76.0% FT
Madison is an extremely unconventional player. Slow and unathletic, Madison only just about has shooting guard size and has no physical tools in his favour. He produces like he does through skill and will.
A standard Stephen Madison possession involves loafing over half court without handling the ball, then catching it 20 feet from the rim, driving slowly in a defender who absolutely knew he was coming, jumping a little bit, and banking home the shot. Rinse and repeat, repeat to fade. Madison is all about the leaners and the bankers - he is unafraid, tough and aggressive, attacking defenders and shotblockers, knowing full well that he can make the shot even when it is inevitably contested. The vast majority of these finishes are with the right hand, even when driving with the left, yet Madison can finish with both, an amazingly effective finisher around the basket for an entirely below-the-rim 6'5 off guard. He really is the lord of the righty banker and it seems to matter not how obvious it is that it is coming.
Using pump fakes, spin moves and the like, Madison is always finding ways to probe the lane. He has to do it in this way for he really is quite slow. These drives will almost always be with the right hand - when needing to go to the left, Madison will often pass the ball off and reset to have another go, unless the situation demands or is suitably easy for him to go that way. He has a controlled handle in traffic, even though he handles the ball very little on the perimeter, and willingly takes contact, taking a high number of foul shots per game. He doesn't really use a rangy jump shot to open up this aspect of his game, and doesn't really have one - the jump shot he does have has a quick but grounded release, and he rarely shoots off the dribble given that he rarely takes dribbles outside of the above catch-and-drives. But he will take mid-range jump shots quickly and confidently, use a floater, and also plays in the post on occasion, looking for yet more righty bankers.
Madison lead Idaho in every statistical category, even blocks and steals. It does not follow from here, however, that he is a quality all-around player. Indeed, on defense, Madison projects worryingly. Idaho often hid him on defense, feeling they had to considering how important he was for them on offense, and Madison as always assigned to whoever was the weakest link on the opposing offense. He doesn't apply much ball pressure, deflect the ball, demonstrates little hustle on that end and has poor lateral quickness. It won't have helped that Madison had to defend the post in college quite often, where he tried his best to front. But whereas he is slow yet poised on offense, he is merely slow on defense.
Unafraid and tough, Madison attacks defenders, and finishes well despite being a below the rim player. There are many leaners and bankers, putbacks and floaters, pump fakes and spins, and plenty of aggression without poor decision making. But his lack of athleticism will be a significant obstacle at higher levels than Idaho.
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