Arizona one-and-done freshman Lauri Markkanen is a multi-talented sweet-shooting big man that will make noise in the NBA.
“His shot-preparation, body control and range are almost unheard of for a player his size,” reads Draftexpress.com analysis of Markkanen. “And the fact that he is a threat in spot-up situations, pick and pops, and dribble hand-offs helps keep the floor spaced perfectly for Arizona.”
“With the added spacing of the more distant NBA 3-point line, it’s not a stretch to wonder how much more room Markkanen will have to get clean looks,” adds the website. “He already ranks among the best shooting 7-footers in NCAA history in terms of volume of 3-pointers made.”
Hardwoodhoudini.com’s Michael DePrisco also raves about Markkanen’s prowess from behind the arc.
“Markkanen is an excellent shooter for his size, as he fits the mold of the modern NBA big man,” wrote DePrisco. “His stroke is effortless, and smooth. Markkanen will be able to stretch defenses at the next level.”
The sweet-shooting 7-0 forward led Arizona in rebounds and was second in scoring this season, averaging 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds, guiding the Wildcats to a 32-5 record and the NCAA’s Sweet 16.
Markkanen shot 42.3 percent from three and scored the second most points all-time in a season for a freshman in school history.
He also finished in the top five all-time for a frosh in rebounding, made three-point field goals, made free throws, and free throw percentage.
The Finnish star was named to the All-Pac-12 First-team and was an AP Third-team All-American this year.
Markkanen was the top scorer at the 2016 FIBA U20 European Championship in Helsinki, averaging a whopping 24.9 points per game for Finland during the tournament.
The explosive Markkanen was also the top scorer at the 2015 U18 European Championships in Greece when he averaged 18.2 points along with 6.3 rebounds, including a monster 27-point, 10-rebound double double in a win over the Ukraine.
According to Draftexpress.com, Markkanen is expected to be the No. 6 pick in the 2017 Draft.
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