2019 NBA Draft Profile: Rui Hachimura
Rui Hachimura is a long, athletic forward with a unique background who has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last two seasons. He emerged as a prospect very early in his teens picking the game up late but quickly solidifying himself as one of the most promising players in Japanese basketball history. The Toyama Perfecture native averaged 22.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship, guided Mesei High School to multiple championships, and appeared in the 2015 Jordan Brand Classic International game before committing to play for Mark Few’s Gonzaga Bulldogs ahead of the 2016-17 season. Hachimura played sparingly as a true freshman averaging 2.6 points over 4.6 minutes per game appearing in mop up duty for a team that made it all the way to the National Championship Game but subsequently shined at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship averaging 20.6 points and 11 rebounds per game. He built on that momentum as a sophomore averaging 11.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game to capture All-West Coast Conference 1st Team honors, but took another significant step forward as a prospect showing extremely well in his first stint with Japan’s senior national team before emerging as one of the nation’s most efficient offensive players averaging 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game to earn Consensus All-American 1st Team honors as a junior.
- Has good size for a modern forward listed at 6’8 with a 230-pound frame to go along with a 7’1.5 wingspan. Good all-around athlete whose agility and willingness to be physical gives him versatility on both ends of the floor.
- Teamed with Brandon Clarke to form one of the top mid-major forward pairings ever competing with Clarke for the title of the season’s most efficient volume scorer throughout Gonzaga’s grueling non-conference schedule and dominant WCC run. Played a big role but did a little bit of everything offensively exploiting mismatches from the inside and out, filling lanes in Transition, working off the ball in the half court, and crashing the glass. Had a truly remarkable season as a scorer statistically considering he attempted less than 1 three-pointer per game.
- Found shots in a variety of ways all season within Gonzaga’s high-powered offense getting between 9% an 19% of his possessions from Post Up, Transition, Cut, Spot Up, Isolation, and Roll Man opportunities.
- Made his most efficient contributions using his physical tools in the open floor. 19% of his possessions come in open floor which he converted for 1.308 points per Transition possession [90th percentile]. Flashed the ability to grab and go off the defensive glass with long strides and earned some easy runouts showing good speed and hustle changing ends.
- Also finished very effectively in the half court. Over half of his shots in Gonzaga’s half court offense were finishing opportunities which he converted for 1.332 points per shot around the rim in the half court [84th percentile]. Good catch and finish threat who contributes some Put Backs crashing the glass but generates quite a few of his shots inside driving to the basket. Has a strong first step and has developed his ability to slow down, hang in the air, and finish over length or initiate contact.
- Dramatic improvement as a jump shooter opened up the rest of his game. Got 28% of his shots in the half court from the perimeter split evenly between pull-ups and catch and shoot opportunities. Scores both at almost the same rate averaging 1.019 points per jump shot [70th percentile] as a sophomore. Has been reliable from beyond the arc on limited attempts but takes almost two-thirds of his jump shots inside the arc. Efficiency is truly impressive considering how few three-pointers he attempts as he made turnaround jumpers and mid-range attempts off of jabs at a spectacular clip this season.
- Ability to score inside and from the mid-range gave him significant mismatch potential at the college level with 30% of his possessions coming in the form or Post Ups or Isolations. Matched up favorably with traditional power forwards in terms of quickness and developed several ways to score from the mid-post over smaller forwards. Feel for creating his own shot has improved significantly, but he still has some room to grow as a passer.
- Ranked 16th in the NCAA and 2nd in the WCC in scoring efficiency among players using over 10 possessions per game (1.152 ppp)
- Ranked 1st in the WCC in Transition scoring (4.1 ppg)
- Ranked 2nd in the WCC in Cut scoring (3.6 ppg)
- Ranked 4th in the WCC in Post Up scoring (3.3 ppg)
- Showed the ability to defend multiple positions and make an impact with his length. Slides his feet well enough to defend some guards and has made major strides guarding on the interior but is still learning how to use his tools on the perimeter.
- Held up better in the post allowing 0.767 points per Post Up possession [60th percentile] than he did on the perimeter.