Five things to know about NBA Draft prospect Evan Mobley
Evan Mobley showed all his skills against Kansas.
The USC big man had 10 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and three blocks as the Trojans beat the Jayhawks 85-51 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Mobley followed with 10 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two blocks in a Sweet 16 win over Oregon.
Gonzaga sent Southern Cal home in the Elite Eight, but Mobley ended his brief college career with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists against the domestic finalists.
For much of the country that Mobley missed out on dominating the Pac-12 game in freshman, the NCAA tournament gave Mobley the chance to shine on the national stage.
Our streak of potential Thunder rookies continues with Mobley, a consensus among the top four picks OKC should trade to select.
Here are four other things to know about Mobley:
Mobley was born in San Diego and attended high school 60 miles north of Rancho Christian School in Temecula.
Mobley played guard before high school, but then came a massive growth spurt that turned him into a 7-foot center with guard skills.
Mobley won back-to-back Gatorade Player of the Year awards in California in his junior and senior seasons. He joined Jrue Holiday (2007-08) as the only California winner of the award twice.
While Holiday signed with UCLA, Mobley chose his rival USC.
Mobley was the third ranked prospect in the 2020 category, according to the 247Sports composite, behind Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green.
Mobley, Mobley and Mobley
Evan Mobley had good reasons for choosing USC.
His father, Eric, has spent the last three seasons as an assistant on Andy Enfield’s team. Eric Mobley was a longtime AAU coach before he was hired by USC.
One son succeeded another.
Isaiah Mobley, Evan’s older brother, was a five-star prospect in the 2019 class who was committed to the Trojans.
Isaiah averaged 9.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in sophomore last season.
He declared himself for the NBA Draft and competed in the combine, but Isaiah announced last week that he had retired from the Draft and will return to USC for his junior season.
Evan Mobley, who turned 20 last month, naturally kept his name.
First year phenomenon
Mobley was a Day 1 force at USC.
He averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and 2.4 assists per game. He shot 58% from the ground.
Mobley became the first player in Pac-12 history to win Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and First Year of the Year awards.
Only one other major conference player has accomplished this feat – Anthony Davis at Kentucky in 2011-12.
Deandre Ayton (Arizona), Kevin Love (UCLA) and Shareef Abdur-Rahim (Cal) are the only other players to have won the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year titles in the same season.
How Mobley integrates with Thunder
Mobley would be an ideal pick-and-roll partner with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who runs the ball more than any player in the NBA.
Mobley can roll to the brim for lobs or go out for midrange riders. He’s not some old school big who’s comfortable flaunting himself, but he’s a good ball handler and distributor out of the high post.
Mobley shot 12 of 40 (30%) in a 3-point range in the first year, and some draft experts are optimistic about his advantage as a 3-point shooter.
On the other side of the ball, Mobley’s defense makes him an ideal modern big man.
Mobley averaged 2.9 blocks and 0.8 steals per game while committing just 1.8 fouls per game.
He swallows the punches on the rim and has the speed and agility to pass on the guards. There shouldn’t be a situation where he has to be benched against small ball formations.
Mobley would bring a skill set that Thunder lacks. He could be the starting center for years to come in Oklahoma City, but many believe he will play the power forward first.
Listed at 7 feet and 210 pounds, Mobley is all arms and legs with a gangly frame.
He’s been pushed around in college at times, and the same will likely happen in the NBA until his body grows.
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