Kansas basketball: Udoka Azubuike draft predictions all over the place

Kansas basketball (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kansas basketball (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Kansas basketball star Udoka Azubuike will likely be taken in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft.

Udoka Azubuike was the most dominant player in the Big 12 last season and he was rewarded with the Big 12 Player of the Year award as a result. His play helped earn Kansas basketball the 2020 conference championship, and now he’ll enter the NBA Draft after graduating.

While Azubuike was dominant with a 74.8 field goal percentage, basically all of those shots were either dunks or within a few feet of the basket. That worked for Azubuike in college as a seven-footer, but the average height of centers in the NBA is significantly taller than those in college.

Plus, Azubuike’s poor free throw shooting was a major weakness that could be exploited by teams using a hack-a-shack method (or poke-a-Doke). The fact that Azubuike is so one-dimensional on offense probably lowers his stock a little bit, but one area NBA teams won’t have to worry about is Azubuike’s defense.

Azubuike was an elite rim protector for the Kansas Jayhawks blocking 2.6 shots per game over the course of the season. For his incredible play, Azubuike was awarded the NABC Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Many of the major draft outlets are split on when an NBA team will jump on Azubuike. NBC predicts Azubuike to be the last pick in the first round and go No. 30 overall to the Boston Celtics. NBADraft.net thinks Azubuike will go late in the first round at No. 28 overall to the Toronto Raptors.

Sports Illustrated, on the other hand, puts Azubuike midway through the second round at pick No. 44 to the Portland Trailblazers. Tankathon has Doke going even farther back in the draft at No. 51 overall to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Based on the range of these predictions, it sounds like nobody really knows for sure when Azubuike will be drafted. Whoever decides to give Azubuike a chance though won’t be disappointed with how hard the big man will work to prove that he can make it in the League.