Knicks’ McBride eager to learn from Walker, Rose

The motion offense used by West Virginia’s legendary coach Bob Huggins isn’t rife with pick-and-rolls.

Knicks rookie point guard Miles McBride, who ran the Mountaineers offense for two seasons, is thrilled to have two former All-Star point guards in Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose show him the tricks of the NBA’s most important action.

Selected in the second round at No. 36, McBride said “reading the game’’ is his big NBA adjustment.

“In college I didn’t run as many pick-and-rolls, so trying to do that,” McBride said ahead of Tuesday’s preseason opener versus the Pacers at the Garden. “Obviously the pace is a little different. Obviously Derrick is more explosive than Kemba, and Kemba likes to use angles a lot more. So it’s two different games and mash it into one.’’

The 22-year-old McBride appears in good hands with those veteran mentors. No team has more accomplished point guards on their roster, even if Walker and Rose are past their primes.

“It’s a dream come true,’’ McBride said. “It’s everything I wanted. I worked so hard to get here and being in the gym with these guys that earned their respect — it’s the same thing I’m trying to do, earn my respect on this team first and then in the league. They’re great vets.’’

Miles McBride is thrilled to be learning from Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose.
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Jay Jacobs, who enters his 50th season as the TV/radio voice of West Virginia basketball, told The Post he was happy to see McBride play a lot off the ball during Las Vegas summer league since Immanuel Quickley manned most of the point guard minutes.

“What he did in the summer league was amazing to me,’’ Jacobs said. “We all could see it last year. He was better player off the ball than with the ball. [Huggins] had no choice. We didn’t have a backup point guard. I noticed the Knicks used him off the ball a lot. He can play both, but I’m so happy seeing him off the ball as it gave him more freedom.”

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau pushed for McBride but it looked like they weren’t going to snare him. They selected Quentin Grimes at No. 25 and sources indicated the Nets had given McBride a guarantee at No. 27. But the Nets apparently shifted gears and took LSU scorer, Cam Thomas, who dropped.

The 6-foot-2 McBride, because of his size, fell all the way back to No. 36. The Knicks took European stash pick guard, Rokas Jokubaitis with the 34th pick, but knew McBride would be waiting there at 36.

Several scouts said before the draft they weren’t surprised Thibodeau had a yen for the hard-nosed McBride, the Cincinnati product who played quarterback in high school.

Indeed, if McBride makes it into the rotation, part of the reason is his being a solid two-way player. Despite his lack of size, his strength allows him to stick with ball-handlers and shrug off hard picks.

“Yeah, definitely. I feel like my defense is something I can always lean on,’’ McBride said. “Then offensively I can make shots. I think defense is something that’s going to get me on the floor. Just continue to learn from them and hopefully see my minutes increase.”

McBride had a successful summer league even if in his Vegas debut he missed all six of his 3s tries. He responded to finish 50 percent from 3 (18 of 36). He also averaged 15.2 points, 3.5 assists on 53.2 percent shooting overall in 27.7 minutes in the six games.

But as the 22-year-old McBride may find out as the four-game exhibition schedule commences, he’s not in Las Vegas anymore.

“[It’s] a lot different,’’ McBride said. “You have Julius Randle there, Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker. And going up against those guys. Just learning from those guys as much as I can.’’

Thibodeau isn’t always generous with rookies but Quickley got plenty of action last season. McBride hopes that could be him this season.

“I always have my expectations very high,’’ McBride said. “Obviously this is a higher level so I’m going to take time to learn. It’s different. So I can definitely see myself exceeding expectations and I think that’s what a coach would want for his players.’’


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