Editor’s note: While the Warriors are preparing for the 2020 NBA draft, which is the first time they have chosen a lottery since 2012, NBC Sports Bay Area will be presenting a series twice a week that features two players who are expected to be evaluated. This is the last contribution of a 12-part series in the next six weeks.
Do you want a perspective with athletics, defensive skills and an evolving offensive game? Look no further than Memphis’ precious Achiuwa.
Achiuwa, a Nigerian native, scored an average of 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 31 games under Memphis coach Penny Hardaway. Against Ole Miss, he scored a season high of 25 points in an 87-86 win and was named American Athletic Conference Player of the Week for his performance. A month later, he had a monster double-double with 22 points, 22 rebounds and five blocks against Tulane.
Before Memphis, he was a McDonald̵
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Basketball was not Achiuwa’s first sport. As a child in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, he played football until his family settled in the Bronx in eighth grade. Shortly thereafter, he started playing basketball and led Saint Benedict’s Prep from Newark, New Jersey to a 28-2 record in his junior season. When he arrived in Memphis, he was part of the country’s best recruitment class and, along with former AAU teammate James Wiseman, was involved with the Tigers.
When Wiseman left school for NCAA violations, Achiuwa became the team’s young leader. On the way he became a dominant rebounder and led the AAC in the category. He was also one of the nation’s best defenders with a defensive rating of 82.5.
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His offense is still growing. In just 1.3 attempts, he shot only 32 percent from the 3-point range. When he put the ball on the floor, he turned it over almost three times per competition. While his defense should be carried to the next level, he will be held responsible for his offensive shortcomings if he does not develop this side of his game.
In most bill designs, Achiuwa is a prospect of the middle of the first round. It would be a reach for the warriors to get him, as his skills would have to be developed over the years to make a contribution.
Valuable Achiuwa profile
Position: Small forward, strength forward
Great: student in the first year
Date of birth: September 19, 1999 (19 years old)
Home town: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Seasonal averages 2019-20: 15.8 points (49 percent FG, 32 percent 3 points, 59 percent FT), 10.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.1 steals
Span: 7 feet, 2 inches
What you say: “I think he will agree with this idea that he is a five. If he does it when he buys himself full, he is a guy who can do all of these things: He has an average of 16 points, 11 boards and a few Blocks, it’s switchable, it’s 6’9 “, it’s explosive …” – NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster