“Deandre Ayton Could Have Instant Impact at Arizona”

Deandre Ayton Instant Impact Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports

Hillcrest (AZ) Prep head coach Kyle Weaver believes senior forward Deandre Ayton could have an “instant impact” at Arizona next year.

“He’s one of the very few kids around the country that can play at this level and not just be on the floor playing but can impact the game,” said Weaver on Ayton. “His ability to score in the paint, shoot the three ball and put the ball on the ground makes it hard. He can also attack the offensive glass, as you saw in the All-American game where he had two tip-in dunks.”

Ayton played in the McDonald’s All-American Game on Wednesday. He finished with 8 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals in 20 minutes of play.

He affects the game on the defensive end tremendously, just with his ability, not to block a shot but to alter it,” Weaver continued. “There are so many times where he doesn’t get credit for a block but guys throw the ball off the backboard or five feet over the rim. Guys will completely miss the basket and people will be like, ‘What was that?’ It was Deandre. They come up to Deandre and get scared, then, the next thing you know, [they think], ‘I gotta throw this over the hoop?’”

With the recent announcement that freshman sensation Lauri Markkanen will declare for the NBA Draft, Ayton is the perfect fit to slide into the role left by Markkanen. Although not as skilled from outside, Ayton has the ability to bang inside the paint, using that 7’0″, 250lb frame to make space downlow.

With the twosome of Ayton and returning 7’0″ senior big Dusan Ristic, who averaged 10.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22 minutes of play last season, the Wildcats could once again have a powerful one-two punch in the paint.

Ayton, who is the number one ranked player in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, is projected by DraftExpress to be the #3 pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

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