Five Reasons Why Washington Freshman Markelle Flutz Is Ready For the NBA

Credit – USA Today Sports

By Jacob Gottlieb,

One of College Basketball’s stars that hasn’t found his way on to cable television that often this season is Washington freshman Markelle Fultz. Washington might be just 9-9, but last night Fultz led the Huskies to an 85-83 overtime victory against a talented Colorado team. He converted 13 field goals for 37 points in 43 minutes of game action. It’s hard to believe that he’ll be playing ball in Seattle come next fall as some people believe that he might be drafted #1 overall. Here are 5 reasons why Fultz might hear his name get called first on June 22nd:

1. Youth — It seems like you have to be a freshman or an international prospect nowadays to be a top 10 draft pick. In last year’s draft, six of the 14 lottery picks played multiple years for their respective university, 3 did not play college basketball at all, and the rest were one and dones (of this group, the lowest drafted one and done was Marquess Chriss selected 8th overall). Additionally, if you want to find a Division I athlete who was drafted first overall who was not a one and done, you have to go back to 2005 with Andrew Bogut. NBA teams want 18 and 19 year olds with incredible upside more than anything!

2. Good Size for his Position — Very good size for his tradition. He’ll be taller or the same size as many NBA point guards. Shouldn’t have a problem seeing over defenders and down passing lanes at the next level.

3. Passing Capability — It’s not his main attribute, but he can definitely do it. He’s averaging 6.2 assists per game, 2nd in the conference to Lonzo Ball. He’s a big reason David Crisp and Noah Dickerson have turned into double figure scorers for Lorenzo Romar.

4. Draws fouls — Opposing players have to honor his jump shooting capabilities allowing Fultz to blow by defenders and draw fouls from big men playing defense. He’s averaging about 7 free throw attempts per game, but the charity stripe is a place where he can be a little more automatic.

5. 3-point shooting — He’s just a freshman and is already knocking down over 40% of his 3s, ahead of where many past one and dones have been at this point. Inversely to what I said in the last section, defenders must honor his quickness giving Fultz some space to put a 3 up. He can also create his own shot, a trait that has great magnitude when scouting college players.

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