Brandon Ingram (Freshman, Duke)
Product of…Kinston HS (Kinston, NC)
16.7 points/game, 6.8 rebounds/game, 1.9 assists/game
Brandon Ingram has a legitimate shot to hear his name called first in this June’s NBA Draft. With excellent size, scoring acumen and a real killer instinct, the talented freshman has a ton of star tendencies. There’s no other first-year in the nation with as varied an offensive game as Ingram – can give it to you from deep (40% from downtown), in the post over smaller defenders and is rapidly growing as a ball-handler and shot creator.
Hmm, a 6’9 forward, with great footwork, who can handle the rock and stroke it with the best of them? Sounds a lot like a young Kevin Durant, doesn’t it? Now, Ingram obviously has miles to go in his development but Durant-like abilities are already prevalent in his game. And similar to KD, questions regarding his lack of strength constantly arise.
But as an 18-year old kid handling the pressure playing for Coach K and the Blue Devils, Ingram’s star is set to shine brighter and brighter as we inch closer to draft day.
NBA Skills: Iso scoring, shooting
-Natural-born scorer; not many weaknesses on that side of the ball – loves facing up and driving by slower defenders, cashes quick Js off a live dribble, uses his tremendous wingspan (7’3) to finish in transition
-Good attention to detail; takes advantage of matchups on offense, improved as a defender and leader over the course of 2015-16
-Top DOG mentality: can takeover and score 12-15 straight points; wants the rock in tight situations and delivers more often than not; can get his shot off in almost any situation
-Needs to add muscle (upper and lower body) to become a stronger force on the boards, withstand NBA physicality and the grind of an 82-game season
-Defensive rebounding (goes hand in hand with adding strength), sliding and shot blocking need work; length and IQ should yield far better results on D
-Pretty quick but won’t effortlessly blow by opponents; developing even more counters will help gain the advantage over superior athletes
NBA DOG Status: Top DOG
Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons are neck and neck for the #1 overall pick. Ingram, a smooth scorer with superstar potential, could be favored by teams looking to build a foundation that includes explosive scoring & shooting.
No matter where he lands, however, you’re getting a potential All-Star and franchise cornerstone by Year 3.
NBA Comparison: Kevin Durant