Mark Schanowski's Big Board 5.0 had some movement, particularly around the bottom half of the top 10. We take the time to go over some of the best performances of the week from prospects on Schanowski's NBA Draft Big Board.
RJ Barrett, Duke: 23 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, 0 turnovers
The 18-year old Canadian joined some elite Blue Devil company, netting the first triple-double since Sheldon Williams in 2006. It was also the fourth triple double all-time in Duke basketball history.
We've seen Barrett rack up nice point and rebound totals before, but we rarely see him play under control. On Saturday night, Barrett had zero turnovers in an NCAA game for this first time in his career.
His 3-point shot wasn't falling, but Barrett went 6/6 from the free throw line and flashed the abilty to score from the midrange, a crucial part of his game, especially if it takes awhile for his 3-point jumper to fully develop.
Slow-motion look at RJ Barrett’s shooting mechanics. He’s shooting 33.8% from 3 on 151 attempts and 66.9% from the free throw line this season. pic.twitter.com/bxFAkMtCVg— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) February 16, 2019
Despite Barrett's jumper being maddeningly inconsistent, his ability to get into the lane with allow him to thrive in the NBA. If he beats his man off the dribble—which he does with regularity—a help defender has to commit to getting his way early or else.....
Barrett (vis Basketball Reference) has the second highest assist rate on the team behind point guard Tre Jones and one of the lowest turnover rates on the team as well. If Barrett keeps taking steps forward as a playmaker, then any concerns about his inconsistent shooting or defense take a backseat to that development.
De'Andre Hunter, Virginia: 20 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Hunter is the prototypical 3-and-D small forward prospect. He has great length, strong hands, and is capable of guarding bigger players in the post and holding his own against smaller/faster players on the perimeter. And on offense Hunter is a knockdown shooter who has improved as a playmaker as well. So far in the 2018-19 season, Hunter is shooting a hyper efficient 45.1 percent from the 3-point line and 53.3 percent from the field. In Virginia's win over Notre Dame on Saturday, Hunter came up big time with a 20-point, 10-rebound double double.
His overall steal and block rates have dropped from his (also great) freshman season but make no mistake, he is still the best defender on one of the toughest defensive squads in the nation (that currently ranks third in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency per Kenpom.com).
Whatever team takes Hunter knows what they are getting, though he obviously has tons of room for development. His feel for the game is in question, especially on offense where he can sometimes show a suprising lack of aggression for a player who scores just under 15 PPG.
The most important thing that Hunter did in the win over Notre Dame was getting to the free throw line. Hunter went 6/7 from the charity stripe against the Fighting Irish, the most FT attempts he has had in a game since January 29.
Ja Morant, Murray State: 25 points, 8 rebounds, 14 assists, 3 steals, 1 block
The prospect that the Bulls have been linked to most in recent weeks in none other than viral sensation Ja Morant of Murray State. John Paxson was recently spotted at a Murray State game scouting Morant, and this comes on the heels of the Bulls publicly stating that they are still evaluating what they have at point guard. In his latest game, a win over the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, Morant netted a 25-point, 14-assist double double.
Mmorant was explosive in getting into the teeth of the defense, finishing 5/6 from the free throw line. His turnovers aren't a huge concern, as he obviously is the main (only?) ballhandler on his team. That being said, 9 turnovers are unacceptable, and it is the fourth time this season that Morant has ended a game with 9 or more turnovers.
On the positive side, Morant's teammates shot a combined 63.6 percent from the field in the win over Eastern Kentucky, showing just how vital Morant's 14 assists were to the Racers' offense. Those 14 dimes also helped Morant make some history on the evening.
And on the scoring side of things, he had one his most efficient shooting nights in quite some time, going 9/17 from the field, which included a solid 2/5 (40 percent) shooting from 3-point range. His 3-point percentage for the season is at 32.5 percent. That figure isn't great, but it is better than his freshman year and on a greater volume of attempts, which shows a good amount of growth from the young guard.
https://twitter.com/Mike_Schmitz/status/1083541053351882752His jumpshot form leads me to believe that he will not become an elite off the dribble 3-point shooter at any point inthe NBA, but as we've seen throughout his NCAA career, a lack of a pull-up 3-point shot won't stop Ja from becoming a great scorer at the next level.
Zion Williamson, Duke: 32 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals
There aren't any new developments as far as Williamson's NBA Draft stock goes. He was extremely aggressive and finish with 16 field goal attempts, his third highest in a single game this season. Williamson converted on 75 percent of his shots, which again, falls in line with his absolutely ridiculous 68 percent shooting from the field on the season.
Williamson's final stat line in the win over NC State was 32 points, 6 rebounds, an assist and 3 steals in 30 minutes of action.
And while his dominance over NC State was on Saturday night was superb, NBA fans were already thinking about what Zion's first NBA All-Star weekened will look like.
save us @ZionW32— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) February 17, 2019
Zion is going to score nothing but 50s next year— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) February 17, 2019
Next year's dunk contest with @ZionW32 is going to be CRAZY.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 17, 2019
LaVine, Gordon, Diallo, Zion next year in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/cwxNKJHPz4— Rick Camp (@RickCamp670) February 17, 2019