Pitt’s Justin Champagnie’s breakout sophomore season has led to talk and speculation on his possible NBA future?
Champagnie, who was named on Monday to the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 Watch List, is averaging 20.1 points and 12.1 rebounds this season. This stat line has him currently as only one of three players in the NCAA this season to be averaging 20+ points and 10+ rebounds per game.
The New York native obviously is a talented player but how does his skillset and 6-foot-6 frame translate to the NBA?
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz released their latest NBA Mock Draft and Champagnie’s name appeared in the first two rounds. They project him going in the second round, No. 36 overall, to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Part of their evaluation of Champagnie, he “has excellent shooting mechanics, with a quick release, deep range and plenty of confidence that suggest his recent shooting hot streak will continue despite hitting just 66% of his free throw attempts thus far this season. He is very reliant on teammates to generate good locks for him, as Champagnie is an average ball-handler and creator who almost never shoots off the dribble and seems most of his one-on-one touches in the post with his back to the basket despite his lack of size. That’s one of the main questions scouts will ponder as he projects to become more of a wing in the NBA, as he isn’t much of a passer, either.”
The review went on to compliment Champagnie for his defensive rebounding ability and defense around the rim but went on to bring up another concern currently with his game: “his intensity level and technique leave a lot to be desired, at times, as he can be very casual off the ball, gambling for steals excessively and getting scored on by bigger and smaller players more than you’d like.”
The topic of Champagnie leaving after the season for the NBA hasn’t been discussed publicly by the sophomore, but he’s obviously a player on the radar of some NBA franchises.