5.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game -- those are numbers many Arizona Wildcats fans will remember of Grant Jerrett, a seventh man on a Sweet 16 team who was lost in a thick rotation of big men. But to say Jerrett doesn't have the most NBA-ready style of play among the Wildcats would be likely wrong.
A stretch power forward to a T, Jerrett flashed more ability to become a key NBA rotation player than either Kaleb Tarczewski or Brandon Ashley. He has a niche, and that's what makes his departure to the NBA -- although premature -- a good distance from being ludicrous.
Jerrett's shooting ability was among the best at the NBA Draft Combine, and that only confirmed why he's viewed as a risk to take in the second round. He shot 40.5 from three-point range in college and proved to be an excellent kick-out option when he teammates looked for him -- and it wasn't all that often. He was used on only 6.8 percent of Arizona's possessions.
A look at the elite company he's with in terms of NCAA shooting this past year confirms the combine results.
He clocked in at a solid 6-foot-10.25 with shoes and a 7-foot-2 wingspan at the draft combine, confirming his length is his biggest physical attribute. Though he has a relatively low release on his three-point shot, he still has the quickness and the height to get it off fairly well.
Defensively, Jerrett has much upside. He's still seemingly growing into his body, but toward the end of Arizona's season started to grow into himself as a shotblocker, the best of UA's big men.
Jerrett's lack of pure strength will be his biggest issue off the bat. He got easily bumped out of position on both ends of the floor and with long legs struggled even more in that regard. He also wasn't a great shooter or scorer overall, shooting 41.3 percent from two-point range. Again, his trouble scoring in the post was due to his strength issues. His rebounding of course was limited because of this as well.
At the draft combine, Jerrett's 10.1 percent body fat was one of the worst among the 60-some participants.
And as a draft prospect, the lack of extended minutes didn't help in terms of scouting Jerrett or giving him the confidence and experience. His unique skillset only showed in flashes, and there's not much proof in the pudding thus far about how he can compete with a bigger role, nor about if he's anything more than a spot-up shooter.
Again, it's unclear because of the small sample size and Jerrett's small role at Arizona.
While taking 8.2 percent of Arizona's shots, 60 percent of his shots were jump shots and 85.1 percent of those were from behind the arc. That means 4.2 percent of Arizona's offense -- and half of his own offense -- was three-point shooting.
How is this prospect perceived on campus, and how will he be remembered?
Arizona fans mostly shook their heads at Jerrett's decision to leave for the NBA, but it wasn't widely believed that he'd potentially be selected before Wildcat senior Solomon Hill. With a deep incoming class of top-5 recruit Aaron Gordon and the returnees such as Tarczewski and Ashley, many said, "Good luck with that." Like most NBA teams probably believed, UA fans will remember Jerrett for being a very raw guy with much upside who made a bad decision.
That said, there's not any bad things to say about Jerrett's character. By all accounts, he was one of the better guys on the team.
What anecdote or story best typifies his time at your school?
Unfortunately for Jerrett, his involvement on the play in the Sweet 16 that ended Arizona's tournament run will probably stick out more than anything. Jerrett got caught up on a pick-and-roll against the Ohio State Buckeyes and was too late to recover as LaQuinton Ross buried a dagger three-pointer to give OSU the go-ahead score.
What parts of the draft evaluation coverage about the prospect do you think is wrong or missing?
The body-fat issue might be more of a good thing than a bad. Jerrett packing on 232 pounds, even of bad weight, means that he can at least pack on pounds. The guess is that a 19-year-old didn't know how to handle prepping for the draft and came in overweight, but it shouldn't frighten NBA teams away from Jerrett if they agree he's capable of hitting the weight room.
What will fans of the NBA love and/or hate about this prospect?
In the new offenses of the NBA where the three-point shot is so important, Jerrett fits perfectly. The easy comparison is to a Ryan Anderson or a Channing Frye, and in that way he could pose a mismatch against teams who play ultra-small ball just to get four shooters on the court. Arguably, he could play some center down the line to really stretch defenses, and his length could make him a capable rim-protector once he gets his body in order.