12 - Ja Morant

6-3, 175 Point Guard
Murray St. Sophomore
08/10/99 (24.2 yrs)
Dalzell, SC
High School
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison: DeAaron Fox

Strengths: Dynamic athlete and playmaker, adept at creating offense for himself as well as teammates … Has ideal size for the lead guard position with a 6’3 frame and long arms … Possesses high level passing ability, even for a point guard (as evidenced by his NCAA leading 9.3 apg) … Shows great imagination to make creative passes, and seems to lead teammates into easy scores with his anticipation and vision … Plays with an edge and shows excellent competitiveness and moxie … Has a fearless style and is willing to put his body on the line and initiate contact in order to make plays … A high level athlete for a point guard with elite speed and quickness, as well as explosive leaping ability … Has great defensive upside with his long arms and great ability to move laterally … Shows a lot of leadership and determination, developing a great rapport with teammates and natural leadership skills … Very difficult to stay in front of as he puts a lot of pressure on opponents with his quickness off the dribble … Incredibly slick and polished with the ball in his hands. His ball handling might be his most advanced skill right now as he goes behind his back and crosses over like the ball is on a string … His ability to change directions and set up drives gives defenders fits … While still an area of concern, the form on his shot actually shows solid promise … Has shown the ability to hit deep three balls … Has made a habit of rising to the occasion in big games, had 38 pts, 9 reb and 5 ast against Alabama and led a big 2nd half comeback against Auburn finishing with 25 pts, 8 reb and 7 ast … Makes his teammates better … Pushes the ball extremely well up the court … Has a lot of shake and bake, juke moves to set up defenders for the blow by and finishes well around the rim … Shooting efficiency should improve in time … Good shooting motion, very solid release and follow through … Plays with a swagger … A solid defender who gets 1.8 steals per game and doesn’t gamble too often or reach and pick up unnecessary fouls … Does a good job of getting to the line (7 times per game) and capitalizing … Career 80% free throw shooter is indicative of  quality shooting ability and gives him promise as a perimeter shooter … Tremendous rebounder at 7 per game, following up a great freshman season (6.5 per) … Has developed in his game management and ability to run the offense in a half court set, though this is an area he must improve upon … Utilizes the finger roll well to finish off drives … Very shifty. Can stop on a dime and has the ability to stop/start and change speeds at an elite level, making him extremely difficult to contain … Precision passer. Really adept at making accurate lob passes for ally oops from all over the court … Shows a great feel for the game, exhibiting the ability to dribble right through double teams and pressure, as he did in the Racer’s late December match up with the top 10 rated Auburn Tigers … Has a ton of upside left to develop and is very young for a sophomore, having turned 19 just a few months ago, in August …

Weaknesses: Developing the ability to consistently knock down the three point shot is one of the few hurdles left in his development … The form on his shot looks decent, but the results haven’t been there yet on a consistent basis … Shot shows nice potential, even from behind the arch, but he needs to put in hours of work shooting both mid range and 3 point shots in order to develop the muscle memory and ability to hit shots in rhythm with consistency (currently shooting 30% from 3 on the year) … Can get overly aggressive with passes at times … Also forces the issue on drives and gets stripped or loses the ball, but for a player with his ability, learning through mistakes is the natural progression … Must cut down on turnovers (4.9 per game) and learn to value the ball a little better … Growing pains. He has such an immense amount of ability and is still figuring out how to utilize his physical gifts at the point guard position … Needs to become more adept at facilitating the pick and roll … Has a tendency to telegraph outside shots at times and get them blocked … Body is very thin and will need to add some strength and muscle over the next few years in order to better finish drives and absorb contact, as well as not get bullied by the more physical guards at the next level … Level of competition may cause some teams to be skeptical … He has proven it against solid competition, performing exceptionably well against Auburn and Alabama as a sophomore, but some may question whether his prolific stats are more of a result of his lack of competition throughout much of his sophomore year …

Outlook: Despite being from a small (mid major) school, Morant has the potential to become a superstar at the next level a la the Portland Trailblazer duo Damian Lillard (Weber State) and CJ McCollom (Lehigh) … Figures to not only be the first point guard selected in 2019 but could end up one of the top three overall selections  …

Notes: Full name is Temetrius Morant … Made a name for himself at the 2018 Chris Paul Camp … Considered somewhat of a late bloomer who was under-recruited out of the State of South Carolina … Drew some interest from University of South Carolina, but ultimately opted for Kentucky based Murray State … Put up 38 points, 9 boards and 5 assists on November 29th against Alabama, one of Murray State’s biggest games of the season … Scored 47 points in a high school game … Averaged 27 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists as a senior at Crestwood HS in Dalzell, SC …

Aran Smith 12/30/18

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