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Get to know your 2018 NBA Draft Lottery Picks: Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton

Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

College hoops has a name recognition problem.

Every year, the best players in the country make their entry into the sport’s landscape relatively unknown–unless you’re a diehard fan.

It’s kind of like college itself.

Related: Get to know Texas A&M’s Robert Williams

If you’re a freshman just venturing onto campus, you don’t know anyone. You might do a little bit of research about your roommates, stalking them on Facebook or Instagram, but that’s about it.

You walk onto campus for the first time with no idea what’s going to happen.

Are you going to fit in? Is the work going to be too hard? What if you get homesick? Are you going to blow through $100,000 and live in your parents’ basement the rest of your life???

It’s the same with college hoops fans.

Sure, they might know a little bit about their own top recruits–might have stalked them on YouTube or checked out what other people have to say on Scout.com, but around the sport–they have no idea what’s going to happen.

Is your five-star freshman going to fit into the offense? What if the coach rides him too hard? What if he gets homesick? Is he going to transfer, leaving your program in shambles, and they never reach the NCAA’s for the rest of your life???

So, we decided to fix all of this.

Think of us as a Facebook for college basketball prospects. Just slightly less profitable.

In this series, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest names of the 2018 college hoops season that you may not know yet–but will soon.

Check it out.

DeAndre Ayton

Height/Weight: 7-0, 220 lbs.

School: Arizona

Year: Incoming Freshman

Watch this clip of DeAndre, and you’ll swear you see a young KG reincarnated. And not even KG in high school–KG in Minnesota, a couple of years into the league.

Ayton, Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr., and Duke’s Marvin Bagley are considered to be the top three players in this incoming freshman class, and it’s easy to see why. The Bahamas-born big man has a soft touch around the rim, a solid jump shot and developed face-up skills, as well as mature back-to-the-basket moves.

Like KG, he’s athletic, can handle the ball a little bit, and has prodigial length. He’s seven feet tall but can run and defend wings, and he’s an exceptional shotblocker.

When this kid signed at Arizona, the Wildcats shot up Way-Too-Early Top 25 rankings, and were immediately in the mix at No. 1 until Duke signed Bagley, and seemed to universally take over the top spot.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the ‘Cats standing at season’s end though, with this kid, Allonzo Trier (17.2 ppg) and Rawle Alkins (10.9 ppg), both of whom are also considered 2018 draft picks, and fellow big Dustan Ristic (10.9 ppg) all on the squad.

As a junior, Trier will be one of the nation’s best upperclassmen, and this group may have more experience than most of the other national contenders. At the very least, there’s hope that this squad will produce a trip to the Final Four for the first time in the Sean Miller era. This season will be considered another disappointment if the ‘Cats don’t get there.

3 Comments

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