UConn freshman star Stephon Cassel enters the NBA draft

After playing a huge role in the national championship, UConn freshman guard Stephon Cassel has entered the 2024 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Friday.

Castle — No. 9 on ESPN's Top 100 Prospects list — is one of the fastest rising players on NBA draft boards and is expected to surge toward the top of the lottery with the momentum of a dominant NCAA performance for the Huskies. Title season.

He said Castle has selected agents Joe Smith and Thad Foucher of Wasserman to represent its players.

Castle averaged 18 points in the Huskies' Final Four victories over Alabama and Purdue and had 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. For the season, Castle — a McDonald's All-American from Covington, Georgia — averaged 11.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

At first glance, Cassel's appeal to the NBA seems readily apparent. He possesses an elite physical appearance at 6-foot-6, long arms and a chiseled 215-pound frame.

Castle is a great goalkeeper who plays with unique speed. He works at alternating speeds and unleashes interesting court vision and creativity with his direct dribbling. He has developed into one of the best defenders in college basketball, often tasked with slowing down the opposing team's best player. Castle used his length, frame and speed to hound opponents with intense ball pressure as the Huskies powered through March Madness.

Among NBA executives, Cassel has received attention for his willingness to embrace his role as the fifth option on one of the best teams in modern college basketball history, providing exceptional high-level defense, facilitating consistent situations in the offensive half-court, and bringing notable toughness on both the offensive and defensive sides. . He should be able to compete for playing time almost immediately in the NBA, thanks in large part to his defense and playmaking prowess in the secondary.

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ESPN NBA Draft analyst Jonathan Givony contributed to this story.

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