Markelle Fultz, the potential No. 1 pick in the 2017 Draft, played his first exhibition as a collegian on Thursday night, and the star point guard for the Washington Huskies … came off the bench.
According head coach Lorenzo Romar, that was simply a result of Fultz being worn down from a long summer of traveling, playing for the national team and discovering the grind of his first college preseason.
“He was getting a little sore so we rested him,” head coach Lorenzo Romar said after a 109-103 win. “He had been out and he missed a number of practices.”
“He’s working his way back up. When we play next week, I’m sure he’ll be able to go 40 minutes, but tonight we were only able to play him the minutes that he played. He makes a difference with our team there’s no doubt about it.”
While it may not be the best sign that Fultz struggled with conditioning during practices, what is a great sign is that he helped lead the Huskies to a win in a game that was far closer than it should have been. He had 14 points, seven boards and five assists and was responsible for a late, 6-0 run that turned an 87-84 deficit into a 90-87 lead that U-Dub would never relinquish.