When Chance Comanche chose to forgo his final two years of eligibility to enter the NBA Draft, he not only shocked Sean Miller but his own mom too.
It was a surprising decision for the big man, who had only been a backup in two seasons with the Arizona Wildcats.
What was unsurprising is that Comanche went undrafted, and wound up in the NBA G League.
But that has apparently been a good thing for the 21-year-old.
Comanche recently tweeted that he is “having one of my best years playing the game ... in terms of what I’m learning and how much I’m enjoying it all.”
Having one of my best years playing the game...in terms of what I’m learning and how much I’m enjoying it all. #hustle #blessed— Chance Comanche (@comanche2414) February 4, 2018
Comanche signed with the Memphis Hustle, the Memphis Grizzlies’ affiliate, in October and has fared well with them.
In 30 games, the ex-Wildcat is averaging 9.2 points and 5.4 rebounds on 61.1 percent shooting.
And Comanche has turned it on of late, averaging 19.5 points and 10.3 rebounds in Memphis’ last four games.
One of those games included a career-high 33-point performance against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and a 22-point outing against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Comanche’s minutes have increased, though he is averaging 17.1 with Memphis, roughly a minute fewer than he did as a sophomore at Arizona.
But had he returned for his junior season, there was no guarantee he would have gotten an uptick in playing time.
Comanche still would have been behind Deandre Ayton and Dusan Ristic in the rotation and those guys are playing 32 minutes and 26 minutes, respectively.
Not to mention Comanche is now playing against better competition and is getting paid — albeit his salary is likely somewhere between $19,500 and $26,000 over six months.
So was leaving Arizona the right move? Depends who you ask, but Comanche would probably say yes.
The Wildcats sure could use his length and athleticism on defense right now, though.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire