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Arizona basketball: DeAndre Ayton wants to model his game after Lauri Markkanen

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Who doesn’t want to be like Lauri Markkanen?

CSU Bakersfield v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Big men that can stretch the floor are the new rave in basketball, and the Arizona Wildcats are fortunate enough to have Lauri Markkanen this season.

The 7-footer from Finland is averaging 16.1 points per game while shooting 44 percent from 3.

NBA scouts have taken notice, as Markkanen is projected to be selected eighth in the 2017 NBA Draft, and so has future Wildcat DeAndre Ayton.

So much so that he wants to be like Markkanen.

“The dude from Finland is amazing,” Ayton told Scout’s Evan Daniels. “He’s amazing and that’s the type of player I’d like to model my game after as well.”

The Arizona signee — also a 7-footer — is the nation’s No. 1 recruit in 2017 and is known for being able to shoot from the perimeter too, so Ayton could very well take Markkanen’s role as a stretch big man next season.

That’s not all Ayton wants to do though.

“The word is that I have no motor, so I guess I have to keep getting conditioned, get in shape... and just posting up more,” he told Daniels of the areas of his game he wants to improve in his senior year of high school.

“Putting the ball on the floor in the open court, rebounding...just push the ball when I have the opportunity,” Ayton added.

You know who else can do that? Lauri Markkanen.

If only the two could be teammates next season.


You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire