Position: C
Height/Weight: 7'0" / 230 lbs
School/Club: Creighton
Status: Freshman
Birthday: June 14, 1997

DRAFT TRADE: Traded to Minnesota Timberwolves

About Justin Patton

From June 2015, when Creighton coach Greg McDermott gave Patton the first scholarship offer he had received, and Patton quickly accepted, through a redshirt year, then early in his redshirt freshman season, Patton’s rise, said McDermott, was as fast as anyone he’d seen, including his own son Doug, the No. 11 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Little wonder. Patton’s story is rare, but familiar—a player who started out playing in the backcourt until a growth spurt dictated he moved to the frontcourt, where his perimeter skills gave him a distinct advantage. Capable of putting the ball on the floor, scoring from the perimeter or finishing at the rim, Patton is a multi-skilled big man who’s just scratching the surface of his potential.


  • Length
  • Mobile
  • Good ball skills
  • Can score off the bounce
  • Effective finisher
  • Capable of making face-up jumpers out past the 3-point line
  • Solid passer
  • Good shot blocker


  • Has to get bigger and stronger
  • Will need time to continue to learn and develop
  • Free-throw shooting needs work

NBA projection: Most Draft analysts think Patton will be chosen among the top 20 picks in the first round, but some believe he can slip into the lottery.

2016-17 Season
After redshirting in 2015-16, Patton was ready to roll this season. He was Creighton’s second-leading scorer and led the team in rebounding and blocked shots. Patton was chosen the Big East Freshman of the Year, and was also voted second-team All-Big East and to the league’s All-Freshman team after helping leading the Bluejays to a 25-9 record, a run to the Big East tournament finals and a trip to the NCAA tournament.

Key statistics: 12.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.7 tpg, 1.4 bpg, 25.3 mpg, .676 FG, .533 3PT, .517 FT

Career Highlights: Had the highest field goal percentage of any freshman from a major conference in NCAA history. One of 10 candidates for the 2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, and one of 12 finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award.

Cool statistic: Patton finished second in the nation in field-goal percentage (200 of 296).

Reminds me of: Brendan Haywood

What Insiders Say
Creighton coach Greg McDermott

"I haven't coached many young men with the talent and potential that Justin has. It's amazing to think of the strides he has made in the last few years, and I'm excited to see where he'll be a few years from now. Justin's best basketball is ahead of him.”

What Outsiders Say
St. John’s coach Chris Mullin

“[After Patton racked up 25 points and nine rebounds at St. John’s]. He reminds me of Marcus Camby. He has great hands and even banged a 3. Especially tonight, he looked All-NBA.”


Chris Dortch is the editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. You can email him here, follow him on Twitter and listen to the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Hour.

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