James Bouknight broke out this season as one of the top guards in college basketball while playing for the University of Connecticut. He declared for the NBA Draft at the end of March and is poised to be one of the first guards selected.
James Bouknight 2021 NBA Draft Profile
Bouknight began his freshman career in the 2019-20 season when the Huskies were still in the American Athletic Conference. He stood out as a freshman, averaging 13 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game.
Due to his impressive freshman season, Bouknight started his sophomore season on the John R. Wooden Award watch list. He lived up to his expectations, averaging 18.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Although he averaged nearly three turnovers a game, he also averaged a steal per game. One of the highlights of his year was dropping 40 points versus a tough Creighton team in December.
First off, Bouknight is a very talented scorer. He can create his own shot with ease and can shoot the ball fairly well at times. His offensive game will translate well into the league.
Although his assist numbers aren’t high, Bouknight is very talented with the ball in his hands. He’s very crafty with it, but mostly while creating his own offense.
Lastly, he’s both a strong defender and rebounder for a guard. Score-first guards like him don’t always tend to be, but Bouknight breaks that mold.
Bouknight isn’t a great shooter from deep, which is a very sought-after skill in today’s league. As a matter of fact, he shot under 30 percent from three this past season. This clearly plays a toll on him mentally, as he’s often reluctant to take open threes. Bouknight will have to work on his deep shooting to reach his full potential.
With Bouknight being a score-first guard, he can be streaky and also force shots. This is often the case with guards who are above and beyond the best player on their collegiate team, however. His offensive game is strong enough for him to be a contributor in the league from day one while improving the other facets of his game.
2021 NBA Draft Projection
He may be able to crawl into the end of the lottery, but it’s most likely Bouknight gets drafted in the 15-20 range.