NBA projection: Some analysts project Payton as a first-round pick, others rate him a second-rounder.
Payton helped lead Louisiana-Lafayette to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005. He was named national defensive player of the year by CollegeInsider.com and was the Sun Belt Conference's defensive player of the year, too.
Key statistics: 19.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.9 apg, 2.3 spg, 3.6 tpg, 35.9 mpg, .509 FG, .259 3PT, .609 FT
Cool statistic: Payton was one of just 10 Division I players to record a triple-double last season when he torched rival Louisiana-Monroe for 34 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
Reminds me of: Devin Harris
What Insiders Say
Louisiana coach Bob Marlin
“The whole experience he had last summer going to China, going to Prague and playing for coach [Billy] Donovan and the USA under 19 team and winning the gold medal and then going back overseas to Spain with our team was a super experience for him. He's confident in what he can do.”
What Outsiders Say
Creighton coach Greg McDermott
"I don't think that watching Payton on film does him justice until you play him in person. He's got an unbelievable first step, plays with a great pace.”
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Louisiana-Lafayette sophomore Elfrid Payton, on the other hand, will have to earn his keep at that end of the floor. The Sun Belt Conference's Defensive Player of the Year, the junior guard was named to the Lou Henson all-America team, which honors top players from so-called mid-majors, and got the Cajuns to the NCAAs for the first time in nine years.
Some compare Payton with Rajon Rondo, but Payton isn't nearly the playmaker or creator that Rondo is. There's potential there, though. More>>