In his first game playing with the Washington Huskies, freshman Markelle Fultz, a potential No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, scored 17 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer with 32.9 seconds left to force overtime, in Washington’s opener on their Australian tour.
The young Huskies squad would eventually lose in 100-96 overtime to the Dandenong Rangers, but it was the performance of Fultz that has everyone buzzing. He added four blocks and two steals while shooting 14-for-27 from the floor. The only three that he made was the game-tying triple.
David Crisp added 27 points and Malik Dime chipped in with eight points and 14 boards, but Fultz is the story. This is a Washington team that missed out on last year’s NCAA tournament and has since lost first round picks Marquese Chriss and DeJounte Murray as well as Andrew Andrews, who averaged 20 points last season. Fultz could, in theory, be a top five player in college basketball this season.
And if the Huskies are going to be a tournament team this year, they need Fultz to be that guy.
For what it’s worth, the only name on the Dandenong roster that anyone might recognize is Venky Jois, who was a big time scorer on the Eastern Washington team that also featured second round pick Tyler Harvey and was a No. 13 seed in the 2014 NCAA tournament. Daequon Montreal is also on the roster and he played at Boise State a decade ago.