On January 27, Oregon defeated Washington State 78-58. The matchup featured three big performances from 3 NBA draft prospects in Robert Franks, Kenny Wooten, and Louis King.
Robert Franks has been on an absolute tear since conference play started/ after he returned from injury. He has been shooting just under 50% from 3 in 9 games. Against Oregon he put up 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists on 8/13 shooting and 2/4 from 3.
The reason I am so fond of Franks’ game is because of how quickly he operates without ruining spacing at the college level. All but one of the clips shown were in rhythm, efficient shots, and were one dribble or less. Also, every make of his was a perfect swish, which against defensive pressure shows he will be able to shoot well and that his shots aren’t just luck. Another important note is that in the first and third shots in the clip were both from NBA distance, and it was an easy shot for him.
Kenny Wooten put up a statline of 20 points on 8/10 shooting, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks in what might have been his best game of the season vs Washington State in mid-January. It showed everything he is or has as a prospect: interior presence, explosiveness, and shot blocking. Despite being just 6’9, Wooten might be the closest athlete in terms of sheer explosiveness to Zion Williamson in the country. In the last clip shown, Wooten nearly dunks from halfway to the free throw line with one step of momentum. In the second to last clip, he uses a quick move to create space, where most players would normally do a soft layup. Instead, Wooten goes up for an explosive one-handed dunk from a standstill.
Defensively, he showed he has elite recovery ability with elite athleticism and elite timing, which gives him potential to be one of the best shot blockers in the game. Due to his quick feet, he is able to quickly attack any drive that he quickly recognizes, which makes driving with him near the basket almost impossible.
Louis King has been excellent in conference play this season, which backs the eye test that he finally looks fully recovered from the injury that kept him out for the first month of the season. Against Washington State, with Robert Franks guarding him a majority of the time, King recorded 22 points on 8/11 shooting (4/6 from three), 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. King’s output had more to do with his skill than Franks’ defense- which is not a weakness for Franks.
In the clips, King shows off his offensive tools- shooting and athleticism. In the first three videos, he makes clean catch & shoot shots, including two NBA three pointers. In the last video, he shows how explosive he can be in the open court with a big slam. Due to Oregon’s offensive structure, being one of the slowest teams in the country (ranked 310 in pace), King rarely gets to showcase his skillset in either one-on-one situations or in transition- both areas he thrives in.
As the end of the season and NBA draft approach, look for King to continue climbing. He is a first round talent, but should he be available in the second round, any team with the chance to select him should take him and run.