UCLA’s Zach LaVine Rising Up Draft Boards Quickly
With so much hype surrounding incoming freshman like Randle, Wiggins and Parker not too many people other than Bruins fanatics had Zach LaVine on their radar.
The 6’5 combo guard from Bothell High School was known as a late-bloomer to scouts, failing to breakout until his senior year when he finished with averages of 28.5 points and 2.5 assists.
Joining UCLA, LaVine was assigned to come off the bench while still adjusting to the offensive schemes of coach Steve Alford. And although it’s early in the season, so far he’s exceeded all expectations providing a huge scoring punch for the team’s second unit.
Through his first 12 games he’s averaging 13.8 points and has an impressive Per 40 of 21.4 points. More importantly he’s shooting extremely efficient from the floor knocking down 46.5% of his perimeter shots and shooting 58.9% on field goals.
Even with the Bruins’ plethora of talented guards like Kyle Anderson (13.8 PPG) and Jordan Adams (21.2 PPG), LaVine continues to find ways to generate points despite playing only 25.8 minutes a contest.
Other than his scoring skills, what has really drawn scouts in is his excellent ball handling ability, extreme athleticism and lightning quick speed.
In a recent game against Nevada he showed flashes of his true potential erupting for 21 points, draining 4 three pointers on 7-9 shooting and slamming down an assortment of high flying dunks. (video)
Virtually nowhere to be found on draft boards to start the season, LaVine is now in the running to be a top lottery pick, ranking No. 9 on Bleacher Report, No. 5 on nbadraft.net and is also listed as the No. 1 shooting guard prospect in the nation by Bleacher Report.
If LaVine can continue playing consistent basketball there’s no doubt at all he will be one of the top picks in an already star studded draft.
Follow Evan Caulfield on Twitter @fieldhoops
*All stats and info from basketball-reference.com/espn.com*