Swedish forward Billy Magarity reportedly committed to Boston College this week, strengthening the Eagles’ front court. Rafal Juc, Director of Scouting for Eurohopes.com, answered some questions on the 6-foot-11, 225 pound forward’s game, including his offensive and defensive ability as well as how quickly he’ll be able to contribute.
The Heights: So to start off, how much have you seen Magarity play and what are your overall impressions of his game?
Rafal Juc: In 2011, William “Billy” Magarity had been considered one of the top European talents of his generation as confirmed by his invitation to FIBA Europe U18 All-Star Game, an associate event to EuroBasket 2011. Back in the day, Swedish talent faced a couple future NCAA-bound athletes, such as Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski, Ohio State’s Amedeo Della Valle and Portland’s transfer Volodymur Gerun. Nevertheless he has never lived up to expectations, trying to make a name for himself in the Italian top division. Standing at 6-11 with a rare package of agility, mobility and athleticism, William Magarity is an intriguing athlete, drawing some resemblance in his play style to Dirk Nowitzki or Andrea Bargnani, because despite his size, Magarity feels the most comfortable outside, taking advantage of his soft touch.
Heights: How much professional playing experience did he get in Europe?
Juc: Having not seeing any more opportunities in his homeland of Sweden, in 2011 Magarity moved to Angelico Biella, an Italian team participating in domestic top division, well-known for developing future NBA players Jonas Jerebko and Thabo Sefolosha. Even though Magarity had been involved in a professional squad and made his debut in Legabasket in the 2011-12 season at an age of only 18, he has never lost his amateur status, not pursuing a pro contract. During his stint in Biella, Magarity practiced and played occasionally with the first team, however was affiliated mostly with a junior team. Unhappy with those circumstances, Magarity came back home in the middle of this year and finished the remaining season in the top Swedish division, averaging 6.9 points on 32.4 percent shooting from 3-point line and 5.3 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per game for Eco Orebro.
Heights: How would you rate his offensive game? Can he create shots and finish using post moves or is that still developing? Is the offensive game more of a project?
Juc: Offensively, Magarity is a really gifted scorer with a soft touch. Given his 6-foot-11 size and 7-foot-2 wingspan, he possesses a great deal of agility, athleticism and body-coordination. On the offensive end, Magarity sees more of his touches on the perimeter in catch and shoot situations, showing a terrific follow-through and mechanics on his jump shot. He possesses deep range around the NBA 3-point line. He’s a modern face-up PF with a versatile inside-outside game. Displaying an ability to put the ball on the court, Magarity is quite creative, occasionally beating his man off the dribble, however, instead of going all the way to the basket, he prefers to pull up and knock it down from the midrange. Down in the post, Magarity struggles a little bit to establish deep post position due to poor strength, particularly in his lower body, however he shows nice footwork and ability to hit a fade-away within 10-15 feet. Having said that, he’s not an elite athlete by NCAA standards with only average explosiveness, which could hurt his creativity off the bounce.
Heights: How do you think he will handle a fast-tempo offense, especially with a lot of pick-and-roll? Is that a good system for him?
Juc: Magarity is absolutely a great fit for a fast-tempo offense with a lot of pick-and-roll. He runs the court well and is a nightmare match-up, creating an edge on the wing with his ability to put the ball on the court and create either for himself or his teammates. Boston College’s latest recruit is an extremely versatile pick-and-roll screener with his ability to pop out. I believe that with better spacing and faster pace, a catch-and-shoot jumper off the ball screen should be his bread and butter.
Heights: And then defensively, how should he stack up with typical ACC big men? Also, how is his rebounding ability?
Juc: Defensively is where Magarity may struggle the most, at least at the beginning. He’s a fine rim protector, taking advantage of his 7-foo-2 wingspan to contest shots and displaying tremendous timing on his shot-blocking skills. Nevertheless, he lacks the highest degree of toughness and often backs away from physical contact inside the paint. He’s only an average leaper, too. Moreover, Magarity possesses a lanky and skinny frame, lacking necessary strength to be a major impact on the defensive boards, given the physicality of the college game, particularly on the ACC level. I expect him having a hard time defending more aggressive and stronger big men on the block, at least at the beginning, however, with his fluidity and mobility, Magarity brings to the table a versatility in the pick-and-roll defense, displaying an ability to hedge aggressively, help on the top and recover or simply switch and contain smaller ball handler.
Heights: Do you think he’ll be able to compete right away or will he need time? Do you see him staying at BC for all four years?
Juc: Magarity still didn’t reach his fully maturity from a physical standpoint and has room to weight up and strengthen, so I believe he will need to put a lot of extra work and effort in that aspect to translate his game to the ACC level. He has had a season full of ups and downs, changing an environment in the middle of the year, struggling mentally to adapt his game to the highest level. Most likely he will be coming off the bench as a role-player in his freshman year. Given the fact Magarity is already 21 years old, I wouldn’t rule out in his case a possibility of skipping his senior year in order to pursue pro career overseas.