Jarrett Culver Can Be as Impactful as Joe Johnson

AMES, IA - MARCH 9: Jarrett Culver #23 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders takes a shot as Talen Horton-Tucker #11 of the Iowa State Cyclones blocks in the first half of play at Hilton Coliseum on March 9, 2019 in Ames, Iowa. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

Jarrett Culver is being labeled as one of the top wing options in the 2019 NBA Draft. Culver is a lock to go in the top 10 of the NBA Draft and could go as high as number four overall to the Los Angeles Lakers. He has the same traits that made Joe Johnson such an impactful and effective scorer during his prime.

Jarrett Culver’s Game Can Have a Joe Johnson Like Impact

College Career at Texas Tech

As a freshman Red Raider, Culver was a role player, albeit, a very good role player. He averaged 11.2 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game, and 1.8 assists per game. He did this while shooting an impressive 51 percent from the floor, including 38 percent from three. Entering his sophomore season Culver would go from a very good role player to star. Texas Tech saw their top two players leave after Culver’s freshman season. Zhaire Smith declared for the NBA draft and became a first-round draft pick. They also lost top scorer, Keenan Evans to graduation. Culver picked up the slack in a big way. As a sophomore, he averaged 18.5 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, and 3.7 assists per game. He did this while sporting an incredible player efficiency rating of 25.1. Jarrett Culver led the Texas Tech Raiders to the national title game, where they fell to the Virginia Cavaliers.

Jarrett Culver Is a Smooth Wing Scorer

Culver is a smooth wing scorer and possesses excellent length. He handles the basketball extremely well for someone with his size at 6’6”. His ability to see the floor and draw the attention of the defense combined with his passing ability, make him a potentially great distributor. Perhaps the greatest strength to Jarrett Culver’s game is his defense. He is long, always in a superb defensive position, and is a good athlete. Throughout his sophomore season, Culver showed the ability to put the Texas Tech Red Raiders on his back, which shows he can be a go-to guy down the stretch of a tight game.

Jarrett Culver Struggles at Times with Shooting

While Culver can get scorching hot at times, he is a very inconsistent three-point shooter. Culver has a solid form on his jumper but occasionally goes awry when letting it fly from deep. He needs repetition because he has the potential to be a very good shooter. However, the biggest red flag in relation to his jump shot is his poor free throw percentage. In his two years at Texas Tech, Culver shot just 68 percent from the charity stripe. Free throw shooting is typically a good barometer to a players actual shooting ability. Another question mark for Culver is while he has solid athleticism, it is nowhere near an elite level.

Player Comparison

Jarrett Culver’s game coming out of college is very reminiscent of Joe Johnson’s when he came out of the University of Arkansas. Both are slashing wings with great size who had the offense run through them in their last years in college. Johnson wasn’t considered an elite level athlete, nor a great shooter. Culver will need to improve on his jump shot, just as Johnson did, once he gets to the NBA. His athleticism will always be what it is; solid, but not great. Culver should be a lock to go in the top 10 of the NBA Draft.

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