2020 NBA Draft Profile: Precious Achiuwa
6’9 | PF/C | 20.9 | Memphis | FR
Precious Achiuwa is arguably the most athletic player available in the 2020 NBA Draft, and he put his combination of length, speed, and explosiveness to good use as a freshman for the Memphis Tigers.
Moving to the United States from Nigeria in middle school, Achiuwa emerged as a force at the prep level very early on finishing his senior year at Montverde Academy (FL) ranked among the consensus top-15 prospects in the class of 2019. Named a McDonald’s All-American and recording a double-double at the Nike Hoop Summit, he carried significant expectations into his freshman year figuring to play a key role alongside James Wiseman as an important part of the top-ranked 7-player recruiting class signed by Memphis Head Coach Penny Hardaway. Emerging as a key weapon for the Tigers after Wiseman’s early departure, Achiuwa averaged 15.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game to earn AAC Player of the Year honors.
- A tremendously gifted physical specimen, Achiuwa has good size at 6’9 with a chiseled 234-pound frame and a 7’1.5 wingspan to go along with elite agility and explosiveness for his size.
- Doing a bit of everything on the offensive end, Achiuwa made his best contributions applying his physical tools in transition and on the offensive glass. An excellent lob threat who can produce miscellaneous points in bunches when he’s dialed in, he also spent some time creating off the dribble, sliding out to the perimeter to space the floor, and moving the ball though his skill level is still a work in progress.
- The anchor of arguably the top defensive team in college basketball, Achiuwa’s ability to switch onto guards, protect the rim, and finish possessions on the glass shined this season. Becoming a more disciplined defender in his only season at the college level, his potential as a stopper in the NBA is apparent.
- Doing much of his best work using his energy off the ball, Achiuwa’s speed and leaping ability make him a unique threat in transition. Able to push the ball himself some but covering a lot of ground very quickly running rim-to-rim, he scored 1.06 points per transition possession [61st percentile]. Filling lanes like a guard and taking off from the middle of the paint to put his head on the rim as a finisher, his tools were on display when he could get in space last season.
- He was not quite as efficient in the half court as he is still carving out an identity on the offensive end. With his possessions split between cuts, spot ups, put backs, and post ups, he finished pretty steadily averaging 1.20 points per shot around the rim in the half court [64th percentile] while making some spectacular plays corralling rebounds out of his area before slamming him put back dunks. Leaving some points on the rim, his touch is a work in progress inside, but his aggressiveness paid dividends for the Tigers this season.
- With 23% of his shot attempts coming on the perimeter and 10% coming one-on-one in the post, Achiuwa showed enough skill to leave some room for optimism moving forward. Converting open jump shots at a respectable clip in a limited sample of attempts and making some aggressive moves to use his tools to create contact inside, he got a chance to do a bit of everything this season. Even making some nice passes, Achiuwa is still early in his development as a decision-maker but has more to his game than a lot of freakishly athletic players in his mold.
|Spot Up||Put Back|
- Ranked 20th in the NCAA and 2nd in the American in put back scoring (3.0 ppg)
- Ranked 2nd in the American in cut scoring (3.2 ppg)
- Ranked 3rd in the American in roll man scoring (1.8 ppg)
- With all the tools to be an elite defender, Achiuwa made some strides this season as the anchor of arguably the most athletic defense in college basketball. Possessing the quickness to slide with guards, the explosiveness to block shots emphatically, and the strength to play some center, his versatility is intriguing but his consistency stood out this season as Memphis’s defense kept them competitive in all but one game all year.
- Rebounding the ball and using his physicality more aggressively on the defensive end as the year went on, Achiuwa figured some things out in his single collegiate season. Allowing just 0.61 points per one-on-one possession [76th percentile], he is already a very capable individual defender, but there is plenty of room for optimism about his continued development as a stopper.