Lonzo Ball spent 20 minutes on Sunday reminding everyone watching exactly why he’s a consensus top-five pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. It came in a decisive win, as the UCLA Bruins beat down the Cincinnati Bearcats 79-67 thanks to a nearly flawless second half.
At halftime, Ball had seven points and zero assists. It wasn’t a bad half, but it was a quiet one for the freshman phenom. That changed as soon as the second half began, as Ball took off. On back-to-back possessions, he buried long, NBA-range triples.
Lonzo Ball is heating up. Hits back-to-back 3s from NBA range. pic.twitter.com/sBMqsWTqN9— Derrek Li (@DerrekLi) March 20, 2017
In the second half, Ball scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, with nine assists. It was a classic Ball performance, as Draft Express’s Mike Schmitz pointed out.
Vintage Lonzo Ball game. Feel things out early, float a little bit, go for the jugular in the 2nd half. Playing a diff game than everyone.— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) March 20, 2017
Here’s a beauty of an alley-oop pass to T.J. Leaf.
Ball had one famous admirer watching.
This Ball kid is pretty darn good!!!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) March 20, 2017
In his post-game interview, Ball had none of the headline-grabbing bravado of his dad, nor any awkwardness from being a freshman. He handled the questions well, rattled off the usual cliches and dropped one great quote: “It’s winning time.”
Next up for Ball is a matchup against Kentucky. We’ll see how far he can carry UCLA.