‘Get The Ball To Ivey And Everyone Get Out Of The Way’| Purdue’s Jaden Ivey Making Case To Be No.1 Pick In 2022 NBA Draft

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Coming into the 2021-2022 college basketball season, all the talk was about the three freshman bigs (Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith), who many believe were the only players vying to be the top overall selection in the June draft.

That’s not the case anymore as Purdue Boilermakers super sophomore Jaden Ivey has popped on the scene. The 6’4″ combo guard arguably has been the best player in college basketball this season. With averages of 17.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, on 48% shooting and 38% from three, the dynamic playmaker looks NBA-ready.

 

 

In Tuesday’s marquee matchup with Illinois, Ivey went for 26 points, six assists and four rebounds; 22 of those points came after as the Boilermakers pulled away from the Fighting Illini (84-68) to complete the season sweep. His play drew praise from Illini head coach Brad Underwood, who raved about Ivey in his postgame interview.

 

 

“One thing Matt’s done of late is to quit screwing around, get the ball to Ivey and everyone get out of the way,” Underwood said. “Anyone who doesn’t know what pros looks like, that’s what they look like.”

These type performances have become the norm for Ivey. The Boilermakers are currently ranked No. 3 (21-3 overall record and 10-3 Big Ten). One attribute that Ivey routinely displays is his composure. That was the case against Illinois, when he exploded for 22 second-half points. Purdue head coach Matt Painter talked about the importance of Ivey’s play to an NCAA Tournament run.  

“He just let it come to him tonight. He made great decisions and a couple of those pull-ups are shots he hasn’t even really taken this year. He’s come a long way since the start of the season.”

Ivey is a three-level scorer, who’s also very adept at passing the ball. It’s his cool, calm demeanor that jumps off the screen when you watch him play.

 

Ivey’s Maturity And Leadership Is Something NBA Teams Covet: He Knows When To Take Over

Ivey has shown an innate ability to lead as a sophomore, always motivating teammates and calling them out as well. What makes it work is that he also accepts the criticism from teammates. The game has slowed down for the talented soon-to-be very rich guard.

“For great players, especially talented players, the game will slow down at times,” Painter said. “When he goes fast and attacks, it’s gotta be in space. Other times, he’s doing a good job of boxing his man out and playing with poise. He’s learning when he can play off one foot or two feet. He stepped up.”

Ivey’s Parents Were Talented Notre Dame Athletes: Mom Is The Head Coach Of Her Alma Mater

Jaden’s parents are Niele Ivey and Javin Hunter. His mom was the point guard who helped former Irish head coach Muffet McGraw grab her first national title in 2001. She scored over 1,400 points in 132 games. She played five seasons in the WNBA before becoming a college coach. After 14 seasons under McGraw, she was handpicked to lead the program. After going 10-10 in her first season, Ivey got the Fighting Irish to sitting at 18-5. She was primary recruiter for former All-Americans turned WNBA stars Skylar Diggins-Smith, Jewell

Lloyd, Jackie Young and Arike Ogunbowale. All tough gritty guards like herself.

 

His dad Javin Hunter is a former University of Notre Dame football player who played five seasons in the NFL with the Ravens and Niners. He was recruited to ND, by none other than former Irish wide receivers coach Urban Meyer.

The athletic genes are obvious, and Ivey has shown on many occasions this isn’t a fluke; he’s a bonafide option to go No. 1 in the June draft.


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