6’10” 210 LBS F
36 G | 35.1 MPG | 14.6 PPG | 55.1 FG% | 41.2 3FG% | 80 3FG | 67.3 FT% | 6.0 RPG | 7.6 APG | 1.8 SPG
• In his first and only campaign for UCLA, Ball certainly cemented his status as one of the top prospects bound for this year’s draft. Voted a consensus First-Team All-American by the Associated Press, US Basketball Writers Association, National Association of Basketball Coaches, and Sporting News, the point guard paced the nation in total assists (274), and assists per game (7.6). Ball was the only freshman in the country to receive First-Team All-America honors, and was recognized as both the 2017 Pac-12 Rookie of the Year and Wayman Tisdale Award winner. The latter prize is presented annually to the country’s top first-year college basketball player.
• Fitting in seamlessly with a talented surrounding cast, Ball served as the head of the snake for a Bruins offense that averaged an NCAA-best 89.8 points per game. Showing elite anticipation and recognition as a passer, he ranked second in the Pac-12 in assist percentage (31.2), and reached double-digits in dimes seven times. While not, perhaps, the fastest backcourt prospect in this year’s draft class, Ball showed routinely that he could play with effective speed and pace. He routinely triggered fastbreak scoring opportunities, and set up teammates for easy baskets.
In UCLA’s final home game of the regular season, a solid win over Washington State, Ball handed out a career-high 14 helpers, surpassing along the way the Pac-12 single-season freshman assist record, which Gary Payton had set 30 years earlier.
By the end of the year, Ball had rewritten UCLA’s single-season assist mark as well.
• One of the NCAA’s most efficient offensive players, Ball generated 1.09 points per possession. Reflecting his proficiency in attacking the basket, the Chino Hills product converted 73.2 percent of his 2-point field goal attempts. He also asserted himself as a dangerous perimeter threat, nailing 80 triples (fourth in the Pac-12), and sinking 41.2 percent of his 3-point heaves (eighth in the conference). Ball’s 66.8 effective field goal percentage was eighth-best in the country.
• Defensively, Ball demonstrated promising potential. Opponents converted only 33.2 percent of shots taken against him, and he placed third in the Pac-12 with 1.8 steals per game.
Did You Know?:
The recipient of the Mr. Basketball USA, USA Today, Naismith Prep, and Morgan Wooten National Player of the Year awards as a senior in high school, Ball showcased his passing prowess in potent form during the 2016 McDonald’s All-American Game. He handed out 13 assists, committed just one turnover, and took only three shots.
Quote of Note:
“I just appreciate all the love from all the fans, my teammates, my coaches. But unfortunately this was my last year. Everybody knew that, though, from the start, so it’s not a big surprise.” – Ball, via commercialappeal.com (3/25/2017)