Ja Morant is considered one of the best prospects in the 2019 NBA draft class. He showed why Thursday as the 12th-seeded Murray State Racers blew out the fifth-seeded Marquette Golden Eagles 83-64 in the first round of the 2019 NCAA men's basketball tournament.
Morant finished with a triple-double (17 points, 16 assists, 11 rebounds). His stat line doesn't include a mention of the thunderous two-handed jam he threw down on Marquette forward Joey Hauser in the second half.
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Sports Illustrated's Laken Litman noted Draymond Green in 2012 was the last player to have a triple-double in an NCAA men's tournament game. Morant is one of eight players to pull off the feat, per ESPN Stats & Info, joining Green, Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade, among others.
Not surprisingly, social media was buzzing after Morant's performance:
Gil Brandt @Gil_Brandt
What Ja Morant is doing today reminds me of when Steph Curry announced himself to the world in the 2008 NCAA tourney, taking down 7th-seeded Gonzaga, 2nd-seeded Georgetown and 3rd-seeded Wisconsin before falling to top-seeded Kansas. Not the same player, but circumstances similar
Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report
Ja #Morant is a triple-double in waiting. If this is your 1st time seeing him, this is the “normal” Morant performance. His tight handle allows him to maximize an elite 1st step/above-rim finishing ability. But Morant also has a great feel; thrives w/P-R, aka de facto NBA offense
In his most recent mock draft, Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected Morant as the No. 2 pick behind Duke's Zion Williamson.
Supplanting Williamson for the No. 1 overall spot will be next to impossible, in part because the Blue Devils freshman has played on a different level than his competition. He's averaging 22.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 2.2 steals per game.
Still, Morant's draft stock will surge after Thursday's performance.