Written by: Tre LyDay – Staff Writer (@trelyday03)
There’s an abundance of freshman that you should take time out of your day to watch play. Josh Jackson, Miles Bridges, Jayson Tatum and the list goes on and on. There’s one freshman in particular though that you absolutely have to watch, and if you don’t live on the west coast you might not have seen him play yet. His name is Lonzo Ball, and he is something special.
The UCLA freshman from Chino Hills, California has turned heads, dropped jaws, and it’s not even December yet. It seems Ball was absolutely committed to playing for the Bruins, because he had been committed to them since January of 2014. Even in high school the number four recruit in the country was making people look bad. From helping guys up after he broke their ankles, or your everyday breakaway jam, Lonzo Ball has been the real deal for the past couple years, and now we get to see him on the big stage.
Ball is currently averaging 16 points, five rebounds, and is the nation’s leader in assists at 9.1 a game. Next to maybe De’Aaron Fox, Lonzo Ball has been far and away the best freshman in my opinion. If a freshman is basically averaging a double-double, and has a 3.8 assist to turnover ratio then he’s doing something right. Jay Bilas has even compared him to Jason Kidd.
UCLA has scored 100 or more points three times this year, and Ball has a double-double in two of them. Including a 19 point 8 rebound 11 assist game in the season opener against Pacific. That season opener also included a ridiculous alley-oop that honestly made me feel bad for the guy he dunked on. I’ll never understand why refs hand out technicals for staring people down. If you dunk on someone you are required by basketball law to stare them down, and at that point you own that man’s whole basketball career.
Before the season started, I picked the Oregon Ducks to win the Pac-12, but said to watch out for the Bruins. I may have to just totally rescind that statement, and go ahead and crown the UCLA Bruins Pac-12 champs. It’s become painfully obvious you can’t stay in front Ball, and the fact that UCLA shoots the three ball so well, you’re in a no win situation. He’s a 6’5” guard with a funky shot, and vision like Jason Kidd. I’m not sure how you handle this kid, and that could spell trouble for the rest of the country.
Make a note to yourself, if you ever have a chance to stay up late and watch the Bruins do it.