Despite a slow game for the leading scorer of the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Jarrett Culver, Culver was able to come up with some big shots down the stretch to help seal up an upset Final Four victory over Michigan State. Culver has had an incredible sophomore season and his March Madness run has him shooting up 2019 NBA Draft boards. A shooting guard with great size (6’6″), athleticism, and natural scoring skills, Culver has come into his own as a defender too and looks to be one of the most well-rounded prospects heading into the upcoming draft.
More than just a big athletic guard who can easily attack the rim, Culver is a skilled shooter from both mid-range and deep. Extremely capable of creating his own shots off the dribble, Culver’s shooting percentages will likely improve over time at the next level as he refines his basketball IQ. Most of Culver’s misses aren’t due to being a poor shooter but simply the fact that he is extremely confident in taking contested jump shots.
Jarrett Culver NBA Draft Profile: Latest Mocks & Projections
Although Culver was mostly quiet in the Final Four matchup against Michigan State, he came alive at the end and showed off why his name has been jumping up draft boards and mock drafts across the nation.
Most mock drafts have him going at the very top of the first round. Our own mock draft by Jonathan Adams has Culver pegged as the 4th overall pick to the Hawks. NBAdraft.net has him also going 4th to the Hawsk, both major improvements from his previous standing. ESPN also still has Culver going off the board at 7th.
More than just a promising scorer, Culver has flashed an elite defensive upside during the NCAA tournament. Adept at jumping passing lanes and using his size well to block shots, Culver looks to be an extremely promising defender at the next level as well. While he can be occasionally prone to making mental mistakes on that side of the ball, those are coachable things that can be addressed at the next level.
Jarrett Culver NBA Player Comparison
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I think that Jarrett Culver looks a lot like Will Barton on the Denver Nuggets. Just with a MUCH better shot. Barton is one of the most slept on, yet talented, players in all of basketball and can impact a game without necessarily putting the ball in the basket. Both have very solid size and athleticism, allowing them to harass any position on the perimeter and have a legitimate two-way impact.
Both are plus rebounders for their size and extremely comfortable sharing the basketball but the fact that Culver is an elite scorer from all three levels is the main differentiating factor between the two. Barton definitely scores a decent amount but a lot of that can be attributed to playing in a dynamic Nuggets offense where he has playmakers like Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray feeding him the basketball for easy cuts to the rim or open threes.
Barton significantly outplayed his second round pick status in 2012 and has ended up having himself a solid, and extremely promising career. At his worst, Barton looks like he will contribute solid minutes to any NBA rotation for years to come given his skill set and versatility. Expect a similar career path for Culver, except for the fact that he can – and most likely will – develop into a much more reliable scorer.