DRAFT TRADE: Traded to New Orleans Pelicans
About Jaxson Hayes
Jaxson Hayes is a physically gifted big man with excellent tools for a modern center coming off a breakout freshman season at Texas. Growing significantly over the course of his high school career, Hayes finished his senior year at Archbishop Moeller High School ranked among the consensus top-150 prospects in the high school class of 2018. The Norman, Oklahoma native quickly exceeded expectations carving out a major role in Shaka Smart’s rotation that only grew as the season went on until his postseason was cut short due a to a non-structural knee injury. He finished the season averaging 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks over 23.3 minutes per game while shooting a remarkable 73% from the field to earn Big XII Freshman of the Year honors.
Mother, Kristi Hayes, earned Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year honors as a senior at Drake in 1995. Father, Jonathan Hayes, was a second round pick in the 1985 NFL Draft and appeared in 153 games across 12 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers before embarking on a career in coaching.
Chris Dortch feature: Hayes' potential has scouts intrigued
- Possesses tremendous size and very good length for a center already measuring 6’11.5 in shoes with a 7’3.5 wingspan and a lean 219-pound frame, but could conceivably continue growing. Gifted athlete with very good mobility for his size. Has room to get stronger, but was not shy about mixing it up in traffic as a freshman.
- Filled his role as well as any player in the country last season offensively finishing as the 3rd most efficient scoring roleplayer in college basketball. Served as a complementary scorer in Shaka Smart’s ball screen-heavy system but thrived using his physical tools and coordination to finish with tremendous consistency off rolls, lobs, dump passes, put backs, and rim runs. Even showed some touch making basic moves in the post.
- Provides an impressive presence on the defensive end. Could grow into a difference maker on that end as he gets stronger and learns to guard without fouling. Blocks shots, moves his feet impressively on the perimeter, and is active pursuing rebounds. Still looked like an 18-year-old 7-footer at times last season in terms of discipline and fundamentals, but has a lot of tools to work with.
- Plays with enthusiasm covering a ton of ground some possessions. Allowed only 0.600 points per Post Up possession[90th percentile] faring well banging inside despite his lack of great strength.
- 2018-19 Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
- 2018-19 All-Big 12 Second Team, All-Defensive Team, All-Newcomer Team and All-Freshman Team.
- 2018-19 NABC All-District 8 Second Team.
- Ranked 22nd in the nation and third in the Big 12 in blocks (2.22 bpg).
- Ranked second on the team in rebounding (5.0 rpg) and third in scoring (10.0 ppg) in just 23.3 minutes.
- Led the Big 12 in field goal percentage (72.8), which was also a school record.
- A knee injury in the Big 12 Tournament against Kansas ended his season and caused him to miss the Longhorns’ five-game NIT title run.
- Had 15 points and nine rebounds vs. North Carolina (Nov. 22).
- Ranked as the No. 89 overall recruit by ESPN.
- Tremendous physical profile for a big man.
- Exceptionally long, fluid and athletic.
- Light on his feet and has terrific hands.
- Talented shot blocker with superb timing.
- Mother, Kristi, was a star basketball player at Drake University.
- Father, Jonathan, played 12 NFL seasons as a tight end.
- Jonathan was the Cincinnati Bengals’ tight ends coach from 2003-18 and now serves as the head coach and GM of the XFL team in St. Louis.