C.J. Massinburg is a 6’3” senior combo guard for the Buffalo Bulls. Massinburg, a returning First-Team All-MAC selection, has propelled his team to the strongest start in modern program history (16-1). No stranger to the limelight after leading the Bulls to a first round upset over Arizona in last year’s NCAA tournament, Massinburg has continued to excel in prime time, notching his two highest scoring performances in victories at #13 WVU (43 points) and at Syracuse (25 points). Massinburg, an emerging senior prospect, will look to parlay continued team success into increased exposure and buzz amongst NBA evaluators.
Tale of the Tape
Three-Point Shot Diversity
Functioning primarily as an off-ball guard, Massinburg thrives at finding open space beyond the arc to spot up in transition and provide a weak side skip pass outlet in the half court. The Bulls frequently run sets with the primary intent of off-ball actions leading to Massinburg getting off-movement looks from three. Massinburg, a career 38.6% shooter from deep on 581 attempts, has shown gradual improvement in three-point shooting efficiency over the course of his college career, shooting a career-best 41.5% on a career-high 6.6 attempts per game.
Massinburg thrives as a transition shooting threat, ranking as a 93rd percentile transition scorer at 1.431 PPP. A great deal of that success can be attributed to his three-point shooting as a trailer/lane-filler in transition. Massinburg is also an efficient scorer from deep in the half-court, ranking as an 80th percentile three-point shooter at 1.2 PPP.
In the clips below, we highlight Massinburg’s ability to knock down threes from a variety of situations. He is an adept shooter from deep on the move, in transition, and pulling up over high-hand closeouts.
One unique aspect of Massinburg’s shooting repertoire is his knack for drawing fouls and converting four-point plays from deep. This is an interesting quirk to Massinburg’s game at the collegiate level, and is, in part, due to the unconventional timing/rhythm of his shot mechanics. Massinburg has a very late release, when he is seemingly almost on the way down on his jump shot, with a slight hitch, unconventional follow through movement with his off-hand, and abnormally high arc. Despite the atypical, non-fluid look of his mechanics, Massinburg is an extremely consistent shooter with high-level footwork as he gathers into his shooting motion. Although these mechanics are some cause for concern from the perspective of projectability to the next level, the year-to-year efficiency on a large sample size from deep helps to alleviate some of the mechanical concerns.
Massinburg’s height limits his defensive versatility and switchability, however, his defensive activity, instincts, and core strength help overcome his lack of positional length and athleticism. He maintains an impactful mix of activity and discipline as an on-ball defender. Massinburg reads and anticipates opponents’ actions, and is typically well-positioned to force difficult looks or deferrals to secondary options. In 125 possessions as the primary on-ball defender this season, Massinburg ranks in the 84th percentile, allowing a mere 0.688 PPP.
In the clips below, we highlight Massinburg’s fluid hips, ability keep the ball in front of him, core strength to stand his ground against physical drivers, and active hands.
C.J. Massinburg is one of the all-around best players in college basketball this season. He’s tough, intelligent, works hard, and steps up in big moments. Massinburg projects to receive a Portsmouth invite come springtime, and will likely get a legitimate opportunity to prove himself on a Summer League roster. He will most likely have his choice of carving out a role in the G-League and chasing an eventual shot at an NBA call-up/two-way, or pursuing a career as a high-level overseas player.