AJ Griffin draws praise from NBA Draft expert after career night vs. Louisville
Duke forward AJ Griffin is beginning to rise up NBA Draft boards after a slow start to his freshman campaign.
After his latest performance vs. Louisville where he scored a career-high 22 points, Griffin earned praise from ESPN NBA Draft expert Mike Schmitz.
Schmitz noted that Griffin’s shooting is his biggest trait, but he’s improving in other areas as well. Griffin is now in contention to be a top-10 pick in the NBA Draft, per Schmitz.
AJ Griffin's floor-spacing (over 50% from 3 over last 10) is a big reason he's back in the top-10 discussion. But I've also been impressed w/ his feel as a cutter. More than capable on/off ball defender as well, even if he's still a work in progress. Length was impactful vs LOU. pic.twitter.com/EjLZ9k9xXx
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) January 30, 2022
For the season, Griffin is averaging 8.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. However, he’s been more of a factor in Duke’s offense in recent weeks. He came off the bench for the entirety of Duke’s nonconference slate as he was still recovering from an offseason injury.
In conference play, he’s averaging 12.2 points while shoot 52.6 percent from 3-point range. He made all 5 of his 3-point attempts in Duke’s win over Louisville on Saturday.
Griffin’s emergence has been huge for Duke’s offense. He’s provided spacing to allow more offensive creativity for players like Paolo Banchero and Wendell Moore Jr. He’s also not a wasteful player — Griffin has just 9 turnovers in 387 minutes of action this season.
Griffin, Banchero and center Mark Williams are all potential lottery picks in the upcoming NBA Draft. Banchero is in contention to be the No. 1 overall pick.
Duke plays again on Monday night at Notre Dame.