USC's Evan Mobley has high expectations for himself going into the 2021 NBA draft next Thursday.
"I think I will be a generational player that no one has seen before," he said, per Mark Medina of USA Today. "That's what I aspire to be. I'll keep working and stay in the gym until I get there."
While that is quite the bar for the 7-foot big man, he thrived during his only collegiate season.
Mobley was a consensus All-American and the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year while leading the Trojans to the Elite Eight.
He averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and 2.4 assists per game and posted a double-double in two of USC's three March Madness victories. One of those double-doubles came in the team's second-round stunner over the powerhouse No. 3-seeded Kansas Jayhawks.
Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham is widely assumed to be going No. 1 overall to the Detroit Pistons, but Mobley is someone who could be in contention for the second overall pick or at least a top-five selection.
Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected him as the No. 3 pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers and called Mobley "a defensive centerpiece with budding perimeter skills."
That may not be "a generational player that no one has seen before," but it is high praise for someone who will be expected to contribute right away with those defensive skills as a high draft pick.