LAGUNA NIGUEL – One of the five best players in the national high school class of 2020 won’t be a freshman next season at any of the elite college powers. Jalen Green, who was already a high-profile recruit by…
LAGUNA NIGUEL – One of the five best players in the national high school class of 2020 won’t be a freshman next season at any of the elite college powers.
Jalen Green, who was already a high-profile recruit by the time left Fresno San Joaquin Memorial High after his sophomore season for Prolific Prep in Napa, announced on April 16 that he was joining the NBA G League’s “pathway program”, to prepare for the 2021 player draft.
The 6-foot-4 Green, a McDonald’s All-American rate, had been linked to programs such as Memphis, Missouri, Oregon, USC and Fresno State but the speculation that he could head overseas (Australia’s’ NBL) was always prevalent, too.
What will college basketball – and those who follow it – miss out in not watching Green suit up for any of those aforementioned programs for a season?
He might have been as “spectacular” a player as were a couple of 2018-19 All-Americans, Zion Williamson of Duke and Ja Morant was for Murray State, had he been on a “national stage” (relative competition and media coverage) been in the coming season – whenever that happens to tip off.
Details are still reasonably sketchy in terms of how many actual “G League games” the new Southern California-based team will actually play but it supposedly won’t actually play a “full league schedule”.
Contrary what you may have been led to believe elsewhere, college basketball remains the platform that the vast majority of NBA scouts and “decision makers” (GMs and personnel directors) prefer to use for evaluating prospects.
Green, of course, has been seen by plenty of NBA scouting personnel in person by way of his USA Basketball experience over the past couple of years.
Assuming he polishes his ball-handling and passing and becomes a much better defender over the course of his time within “the pathway program” before late June of 2021 (assuming that draft will go back to the “pre-COVID-19” timeframe.
Projected 2021 draft selection range: No. 5 to 7 in the first round.