Gonzaga Basketball star Jalen Suggs, may have had the best freshman performance over the course of the NCAA tournament.
After helping bring his team to their first undefeated regular season in school history (26-0), his Bulldogs fell short to Baylor in the NCAA championship game.
Suggs may be known for his miraculous buzzer-beating shot in the Final Four game against UCLA, but it is his playmaking and basketball IQ that separates him from this 2021 draft class.
The Gonzaga point guard averaged 14.4 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, and 4.5 assists per game this season.
In high school, Suggs attended Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He played both football and basketball. As a senior, he was the first athlete ever in Minnesota to win Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball in the same year. He was also chosen as the 2019-2020 MaxPreps Male Athlete of the Year.
For football, he was the No. 2 ranked player in the state of Minnesota, and No. 15 ranked Dual-Threat quarterback according to 247Sports. In his senior season, he threw for 2,213 yards and 25 touchdowns. On the ground, he rushed for 978 yards and 12 touchdowns. To top things off he totaled nine interceptions, two that he returned for touchdowns on the defensive side of the ball.
After a successful fall season, Suggs went straight to the court. As a senior, he averaged 23.3 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, 5.1 assists per game, and 3.8 steals per game. He won three straight state 2A titles which ultimately led him to be the highest-ranked recruit in Gonzaga basketball history.
Suggs looks to be a top-3 pick in this year’s 2021 NBA Draft. According to ESPN NBA Draft analyst Jonathan Givony, he has Suggs going third to the Detroit Pistons.
Suggs is an elite point guard who can play the one and two. He has good size with his 6’4 frame. He’s extremely explosive and has a quick first step. Gonzaga went 31-1 which helped Suggs continue his leadership from high school.
Suggs can be aggressive on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. He likes to drive to the rim and can explode over any defender that comes his way.
Suggs has drawn many comparisons: Brandon Roy, Russell Westbrook, and Jason Kidd.
NBA Comparison for Suggs: Jason Kidd
After watching Jalen Suggs in high school and college, his NBA comparison is Jason Kidd. Suggs is a great ball-handler and has a tremendous basketball IQ. He can drive on any defender and create space for himself. If he draws a mismatch on a big man, Suggs will beat him and move the defense. He reads passing lanes and has quick hands-on defense.
As Kidd did in the NBA, he is an offensive leader, knows when to turn it up, and gets his team going at the right time. Suggs has room for improvement and is a coachable player. At only 19 years old he is ready to make noise in the NBA.
My Prediction: Top-3 draft pick