Everybody’s favorite mid-major star, Murray State point guard Ja Morant has declared for the 2019 NBA Draft. After arriving at Murray State in 2017 as an unranked recruit coming out of high school, Morant has worked his way from no-name to potential NBA lottery pick.
As a freshman, he finished the season averaging 12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. Not bad numbers from a freshman by any means, but not exactly anything to get NBA scouts riled up. Percentage-wise, he shot 45.7% from the field and 30.7% from three-point territory. What happened the following season gave him a seat at the NBA draft lottery pick table. Morant became the go-to option for Murray State as he improved his field goal percentage to 49.9% and his three-point shooting percentage to 36.3%. He would end up averaging 24.5 points, 10 assists, 5.7 boards and 1.8 steals per game.
Although he played for mid-major school Murray State, he received some national coverage before the tournament in a few nationally televised games. Once March Madness began, more would know the name Ja Morant as he led his team to a first-round upset win over Marquette. In the win, Morant logged a triple-double, scoring 17 points accompanied with 16 assists and 11 rebounds. The only other people to record a triple-double in the NCAA Tournament are Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Gary Grant, David Cain, Andre Miller, Dwayne Wade and Draymond Green. Not bad company. Even though Morant and Murray State could not defeat their second-round opponent, the Florida State Seminoles, 28 points and highlight reel play after play proved that the kid could get it done on the big stage.
Morant was hands down one of the best players in the country last season, and it showed as he recently made the first team All-American team. Morant’s explosive and aggressive play style should translate well to the NBA game. He has been compared to Russell Westbrook and quite frankly I cannot think of a better comparison than that. I am 100% on the Morant bandwagon and look forward to seeing where he ends up at the next level. Whatever team ends up calling his name on draft night will be getting a good one.