Monstrous…Versatile…Sensational…These are a few words that summarize what DeAndre Ayton has been able to do on the court this year. The freshman has been nothing short of what people expected from him coming out of high school. He probably has been even better.
DeAndre Ayton was listed #3 on ESPN’s Top 100 list of top high school recruits from the senior class of 2017. He fell behind only Duke freshman star Marvin Bagley and Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr who is currently on the injured list. Because of his outstanding play in high school, he had received an overall recruit grade of 97 out of 100. Coming out of Hillcrest Prep, the top-rated prospect was recruited by many different colleges such as Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, and Arizona.
On September 6, 2017, Ayton decided he wanted to become a Wildcat as he chose to take his talents to the University of Arizona. Fans can thank Coach Sean Miller for that as the monstrous phenom has made an immediate impact on this team.
Even though Ayton’s 7’1 build is usually meant for the center position, he plays at the forward position for this Arizona squad. He makes up the second half of the “Twin Towers” next to 7 foot Center Dusan Ristic.He has been sensational in his first year with the Wildcats averaging a double-double in 16 games this season. He’s currently posting season averages of 20.4 points and 11.6 rebounds. Ayton’s best game this year came in early December against the University of Alabama. He took over that contest by scoring 29 points and grabbing 18 rebounds.
DeAndre Ayton is by far one of the best prospects for the next NBA Draft. But as it is with every player, where he shines, he also has some deficiencies he will need to improve at the next level. Through his first 16 games at Arizona, Ayton has showcased great tendencies and some minor things that will need to be tweaked going forward.
1. Being 7’1 and playing the forward position, it makes it almost impossible for other teams to put a body on him.
2. His bulky shoulders allow him to shake off rebounders from the opposing team. This usually leads to the rival big men committing fouls on him out of frustration.
3. His ability to spread the floor helps him fit in perfectly with this era of NBA big men. This helps him create space for the other inside scorers on his team.
4. He is young and has a lot of potential both on the offensive and defensive end of his game.
1. Playing next to another big man it seems that he is lost on the court. He tries to set screens but ends up getting things congested. This could be fixed depending on what team drafts him.
2. In the paint, he is very predictable. If he is not putting back an offensive rebound it seems he does not know what moves to use in the post.
3. Ayton shows emotion at the wrong times. When you want him to have a mean streak, he seems soft. When you want him to settle down he gets angry. This leads to a lot of stupid fouls for Ayton.
With some help, this monstrous big man could make his weaknesses into strengths.Ayton has been an absolute monster on the college basketball scene this season.
Ayton has led this team to a good start as they are currently 12-4 this season. They are also have started conference play 2-1 collecting two in-conference wins against #3 Arizona State and Utah. In both games, Ayton led the Wildcats in both points and rebounds. It will be fun to see what Ayton can do.