Lonzo Ball probably is not a name that most sports fans, or even college basketball fans, recognize yet but he made an incredible first impression on Friday night. UCLA’s highly-touted freshman guard exploded out of the gate with 19 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in his collegiate debut and he added an earth-shattering dunk for good measure in helping to lead the Bruins to a lopsided 119-80 victory over Pacific.
As you can tell by Ball’s assist total, he is normally the one that will be on the passing end of alley-oop dunks, but the 6-foot-6, 190-pound guard also displayed the monster athleticism that helped to make him a top-flight recruit. Ball, while playing at Chino Hills High School, averaged a triple-double with 23.9 points, 11.3 rebounds and 11.5 assists per game as a senior, and while there have been some concerns about his high school playing style translating to the Pac-12, those worries were eased with his first performance and his physical tools are jarring.
The 2016-2017 college basketball season is only one day old at this point, but we have a strong front-runner for dunk of the year consideration, and it seems likely that Lonzo Ball will submit another nomination at some point during his freshman campaign in Los Angeles.