In continuing to profile the potential picks of the 2019 NBA Draft, Ja Morant is next in that series. He is a 6’3 point guard playing for Murray State University. Morant was born in Dalzell, South Carolina. His father Tee Morant also played basketball and was a high school teammate of the great NBA Champion Ray Allen.
Morant went to Crestwood High School in Sumter, South Carolina. By the time he graduated, he was the school’s leader in scoring with 1,679 points. Morant averaged 27 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists per game over his final two years in high school. He was also named All-Region MVP during his time in high school.
Morant was not highly recruited coming out of high school. He received offers from NCAA Division one schools like South Carolina State, Wofford, Maryland Eastern Shore and Dusquesne.
Ultimately he chose to attend Murray State University and is a standout there. In 32 games last season on an average of 34 minutes per game Morant averaged 12.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game in his freshman season. He shot 45.9 percent from the field, 30.7 percent from behind the arc and 80.6 percent from the free throw line.
He has improved dramatically. Now in his sophomore year, he is averaging 22 points, 9.9 assists and 7 rebounds per game through his first 12 games this season.
He has become a bigger part of the Murray State game plan averaging 34.8 minutes per game and he has doubled his shots made to 8 per game and taking 15 shot attempts compared to the 9.1 he took per game last season. Murray State University head coach, Matt McMahon, had the following to say about Morant:
"It's critical to our success when you can add a player of his calibre. I like his unselfishness, competitiveness and he's always putting the team first. It's contagious within the team."
Morant is listed as a potential top 10 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft come June, therefore, let us take a look now at his strengths and weaknesses.