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Arizona State Sun Devils

Former Sun Devil is Bringing the Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder are a young team on the rise. A big part of the reason this team is expected to be better is the play of Luguentz Dort, better known as Lu Dort. Dort played his college ball at Arizona State. Where in his one year there, he averaged 16.1 points and 1.5 steals per game. On his way to being selected to the All-Pac-12 Freshman team, All Pac-12 Defensive team, and All Pac-12 Team.

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This is remarkable for a freshman to be one of the best players in a major division one conference. Even with all of those accolades, Dort went undrafted in 2019. There were concerns about his lack of efficiency and shooting ability on the offensive end. The Thunder saw something in Dort and signed him as a undrafted free agent.

Lock Up!!

Dort’s role with Oklahoma City has increased each and every year. Due to him being an absolute menace on the defensive end. This has led to him guarding the best players in the NBA.

This video does a great job of showing the on-ball defensive prowess of Dort. He does a great job of staying attached to his assignment. The former Sun Devil knows how to navigate through screens and has great hands. Dort’s anticipation is top notch when it comes to knowing exactly when to reach in. He also has great lateral movement. These are all of the tools of a future Defensive Player of the Year.

Is He Self-Checked?

One of the worse things you can be called as a basketball player is self-checked. Which means that the defense doesn’t have to guard you because you provide no threat on the offensive end. Dort has matched that description at different times during his career.

Going into his fifth season in the league, he has made great improvements on the offensive end of the floor. Now he just as to be more consistent. Last season, Dort averaged 13.7 points per game but only shot 38% from the floor and 33% from three.

Last season the Thunder defeated the New Orleans Pelicans in the Play-In tournament. An integral part of that win was the offensive play of Dort. Dort scored 27 points on 8/14 shooting from the floor and 4/8 shooting from behind the three point line.

If Dort can start making his three point shots at least 35% of the time, it will bring his offense to a new level. The Thunder have other players who will take on the brunt of the offensive load. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, and Chet Holmgren will attract most of the attention while Dort will get open three point shots and be able to drive to the rim as defenders are scared to help off of the other players.

Sun Devil fans should take pride in Lu Dort as he will be a very good player in this league for a long time. It’s just too bad that he isn’t on the Suns. He would be the perfect fifth starter to go along with the big four.


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