Prospect Profile | T.J. Leaf

T.J. Leaf

6’10” 225 LBS F

Season Stats:

35 G | 29.9 MPG | 16.3 PPG | 61.7 FG% | 46.6 3FG% | 67.9 FT% | 8.2 RPG | 2.4 APG | 1.1 BPG

Career Highlights:

• In a season during which so much attention was devoted to Lonzo Ball’s work in the UCLA backcourt, Leaf did more than his fair share of damage along the Bruins’ front line. The big man proved to be the top-scoring player on the top-scoring offense in the nation, while also finishing the year as the country’s ninth-most prolific rookie. En route to selections to both the First-Team All-Pac-12 and Pac-12 All-Freshman rosters, Leaf recorded 10 20-point showings, and 11 double-doubles.

• Speaking at the NBA Draft Combine in the middle of May, Leaf made it sound as if he considered versatility – particularly on offense – to be his greatest asset as a pro prospect, and he may very well be right. Throughout his lone collegiate campaign, the 20-year old exhibited superior scoring efficiency at three-levels. He converted 65.4 percent of his chances around the basket, 46.4 percent of his jump shots, and, more specifically, 46.6 percent (27-58) of his 3-point opportunities.

To get a better sense of the variety with which Leaf showed he could put the ball in the basket, check out the work he put in during the opening 10 minutes of UCLA’s December 10th home victory over Michigan. The frosh remained steady throughout the entertaining affair.

• In addition to his offense, Leaf also displayed diversity from a positional standpoint. For most of the season, he assumed power forward responsibilities alongside veteran Thomas Welsh. During a brief period in December, however, when Welsh was hurt, Leaf was summoned to take on center duties, too. Wherever he was on the court, Leaf offered the Bruins a sizable, mobile, multi-faceted presence. He appeared comfortable handling the basketball, managed to maneuver on the perimeter, demonstrated an occasional facilitating touch, and was dependable defensively.

Did You Know?:

Born in Tel Aviv while his father was in the midst of a successful, near two-decade long basketball career overseas, Leaf holds dual citizenship in both the United States, and Israel. He even represented the Israeli national team two years ago during the FIBA Europe Under-18 championships, posting 16.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per tilt.

Quote of Note:

“I’m able to score on three levels, which a lot of bigs aren’t able to do. I think I can do it consistently as well, and I think that’s becoming a premium now in the NBA.” – Leaf, NBA Draft Combine [5/11/2017]

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