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Former Pitt G Bub Carrington Earns Further First Round Hype

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Pitt guard Bub Carrington.

It appears as though Bub Carrington is destined to be the highest-drafted Pitt Panther in the last decade.

Carrington — a 6-foot-5 freshman guard from Baltimore, Md. — declared for the 2024 NBA Draft in April, deciding to test the draft waters following a strong freshman campaign and stronger feedback from head coach Jeff Capel. And now he’s a likely first round selection in June’s draft.

In a recent ESPN 2024 NBA Mock Draft, in which writers Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo based the selections on need and value, Carrington went firmly within the first round.

Jeremy Woo, 16th to the Philadelphia 76ers:

“The Sixers hit big on Tyrese Maxey in 2020 when he fell to them at No. 21. And in much the same way, Carrington has a chance to deliver pretty exciting value outside the lottery. Whether Philadelphia would go this route is fair to ask — they could use more immediate help — but a Carrington-Maxey backcourt pairing would be exciting for the future.”

Jonathan Givony, 21st to Portland Trail Blazers:

“The Pelicans have good depth and might be willing to take a swing on a high-upside player such as Carrington, who has one of the highest ceilings of any prospect in this range. With CJ McCollum approaching his mid-30s, backcourt depth will likely be important for the Pelicans, and Carrington has the type of length and shot-making prowess that could certainly fit with the other rostered players.”

It was a highly successful freshman season for Carrington, as he averaged 13.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, on 41/32/79 shooting splits, and emerged as one of the top true freshmen in college basketball.

Carrington scored in double digits 22 times last season, including four performances of 20 plus points, and he was the only freshman in college basketball who averaged 13.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. 15 freshmen hit that mark since 1992-93, and 10 of those players became first-round NBA Draft picks.

He only improved his stock with a strong performance at the NBA Combine last month, testing well athletically (36.5-inch vertical and 3.28-second 3/4 court sprint) and from the field — shooting well off the dribble (21-of-30), on spot-up opportunities (20-of-25) and the 3-point star (13-of-25).

Carrington said that he finalized the decision to enter the draft and leave Pitt three days before his announcement but thought about the decision as the season went on.

Capel, who heavily prioritized Carrington out of St. Frances Academy, knew very quickly that his point guard wasn’t going to last long at the college level.

“I remember after the fourth game, sitting with his parents and talking to them about how we want to handle this,” Capel said in April. “I knew from past experiences that everything was going to change, and this thing would be pretty fast — or had a chance to be pretty fast. Once the season was over, I spoke to his dad again and put together a plan.

“I started reaching out to NBA teams, general managers, scouts, directors of personnel, just trying to get them accurate information and feedback. The feedback that we got was very, very positive. I thought that went into Lil Bub and his family’s decision to make this move.”

Capel felt like it was the right move for Carrington to make, despite wanting him to return for his sophomore season and push for even greater team success, and he’s just happy to see his now-former star in the position to live out his dreams.

The 2024 NBA Draft will kick off on June 26 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. It’s the first time that the draft will take place over two nights, with the first round on Wednesday and the second round on Thursday.

Carrington would be the first former Pitt Panther to be selected in the NBA Draft since Cameron Johnson (Minnesota Timberwolves, 11th overall) in the 2019 NBA Draft — and the first Panther selected directly out of Pittsburgh since Lamar Patterson (Milwaukee Bucks, 48th overall) in 2014.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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