Memphis' Precious Achiuwa Declares for 2020 NBA Draft

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIApril 24, 2020

Memphis' forward Precious Achiuwa (55) pauses on the court in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Tulane Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)
Karen Pulfer Focht/Associated Press

Precious Achiuwa is moving on from college basketball and declaring for the NBA draft on Friday, according to basketball writer Jeff Goodman.

The forward played one season at Memphis in which he averaged 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.0 assist en route to being named AAC Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year.

A 247Sports 5-star recruit, Achiuwa was part of a monster recruiting class for the Tigers and first-year head coach Penny Hardaway, teaming up with Lester Quinones and James Wiseman in what was supposed to be a new era for Memphis. That didn't quite happen. Wiseman left school early in the season after the NCAA began investigating his eligibility, and the Tigers ended up finishing fifth in their conference.

The native of Queens, New York, figures to become a first-round draft pick soon enough. Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman has Achiuwa going 14th overall, while Sam Vecenie of The Athletic has him a bit higher up at No. 12 in his Mock Draft 4.0:

"Achiuwa in the past has fashioned himself as more of a combo forward, but his measurements are well in line with that of a center. At Hoop Summit last year, he came in at 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan and a 9-foot standing reach. That's well in line with guys like Bam Adebayo. I wouldn't advocate for him to solely play center, but I think that's the best place for him to get a marginal advantage on his skills. He's a good athlete with quick reactivity who consistently just plays at his absolute maximum effort level. He needs to improve his skill level as a passer and shooter, but the physical tools are there for him to be an impact player in the frontcourt."

In what's been routinely described as a weak draft pool, it certainly made sense that Achiuwa would try going pro this summer.

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With most coaches and scouts likely relying on analyzing game film and talking to college staffs as the coronavirus pandemic alters the predraft process, Achiuwa can let his play speak for itself. That should put him in prime position to hear his name called early when the draft kicks off.

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