Zach Auguste
Zach Auguste dribbles against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the Las Vegas Summer League on July 9, 2016.
(Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images)

Latest Laker: Zach Auguste

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

With training camp on the horizon, the Lakers added a frontcourt standout from their Summer League team by signing power forward Zach Auguste on Monday.

The 23-year-old provided 5.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game at the Las Vegas Summer League, shooting 9-of-20 from the field.

Used mainly as an energy provider off the bench, Auguste shined early by going 8-of-13 in the Lakers’ first two games. On a roster including D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance Jr., he wasn’t relied on to score as much as he was at Notre Dame, where his 22 double-doubles last year were ninth in the NCAA and third among players from major conferences.

A Third Team All-ACC selection last year, the 23-year-old was more devastating on the glass than the scoreboard, leading his conference in rebounds (10.7), while ranking 10th in the nation in total rebounds (386).

At 6-foot-10 and 243 pounds, Auguste’s athleticism is the engine behind his penchant for grabbing rebounds, which has also allowed him to barrel through defenses and stay involved through pick-and-rolls.

The Cambridge, Mass., native has always been efficient with his looks, shooting 56.0 percent from the field last year after ranking fifth in the country as a junior by hitting 61.9 percent (109-of-307).

However, while much of this stems from his ability to play above the basket and attack the rim, he has a lot of improvement needed to create a reliable post game and jump shot.

He also needs to work on his free throws, as he hit just 62.8 percent as a senior with the Fighting Irish and went a woeful 3-of-12 at Summer League.

Nonetheless, his athleticism is eye-catching and was on full display during Notre Dame’s two games against Duke last year, when Auguste faced off against new teammate Brandon Ingram.

On Jan. 16, Ingram dropped 25 points for the No. 9 Blue Devils, but Auguste — who shot just 3-of-12 that game — stepped up by grabbing an offensive rebound (one of 14 total) with four seconds left and hitting two clutch free throws to ice his team’s 95-91 victory.

Two months later on March 10, the schools matched up in the ACC Tournament, where Auguste went berserk on the boards, hauling in a career-high 22 rebounds to pair with 19 points, as Notre Dame knocked Duke out with an 84-79 overtime win.

Ingram struggled that game, shooting just 5-of-16, while Auguste had the night of his life, coming just one rebound shy of tying Jim Richter’s 57-year-old ACC Tournament record.

Now, he will try to stand out in the crowded group of bigs featured on the Lakers’ training camp roster, which currently sits at 16 players.

Auguste will need to bring out his best in order to grab some attention among the likes of Nance, Tarik Black, Timofey Mozgov, Julius Randle, Yi Jianlian and Ivica Zubac.

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