Ike Anigbogu NBA Draft Profile

Ike Anigbogu, Freshman, Center, UCLA
Ike Anigbogu was just a role player for the loaded UCLA Bruins last season, but scouts took notice of him as an NBA prospect. Despite playing just 13 minutes per game, he showed enough in his limited playing time to put him in the lottery discussion. He won’t turn 19 until October and is one of the youngest prospects with a sky high ceiling. Anigbogu has an NBA body, standing 6-10 with a massive 250 lb. frame and outstanding length. He projects as a high energy center that fits well in today’s NBA.
What excites scouts the most about Anigbogu is his defensive potential. He swatted opponent’s shot attempts away with force, notching 1.2 blocks per game (3.7 per 40 minutes). He’s still very raw as a defender, as he relies mostly on his pure athleticism to block shots. He lacks discipline at this stage of his career. He was called for 7.6 fouls per 40 minutes, an insanely high number. He still tries to block shots that he has no chance at, which puts him out of position as a rebounder. He does show potential to hold his own as a pick and roll defender. He’s athletic and quick enough to contain the ball handler while still taking away the pass to the big man. Pick and roll defense is crucial in the NBA and his ability to cover ground in that area will excite teams.
Offensively, Anigbogu still has quite a way to go to make an impact. Most of his offensive contributions come from his activity on the offensive glass. He grabbed 4.1 offensive boards per 40 minutes, but was a mixed bag once he had the ball. He finished at a high rate, making 56.4% of his field goals. However, most of these attempts were very high percentage shots. He’s quick off his feet and absorbs contact well, but he has hardly any touch with the ball and doesn’t know when he should pass the ball back out. He’s explosive in space and always a threat for a tip-slam, but going against NBA athletes could affect his ability to finish at the rim.
Anigbogu’s most likely NBA role is as a high energy small ball center, similar to how Houston uses Clint Capela. He runs the floor well in transition and makes himself available for easy buckets in the open floor. He’s not very skilled at catching the ball and putting in on the floor, but he can be a weapon in the pick and roll as a lob threat. Anigbogu shows no sign of a jumper that can be developed with his 53.5% free-throw percentage. He also hasn’t developed much of a post-up game yet. He’s lacking most skills necessary to threaten defenses with his limited touch, footwork, patience and awareness. He’s also quite turnover prone with 2.5 turnovers per 40 minutes on limited touches.
Final Projection:
Ike Anigbogu is essentially just a project as a draft pick, but he shows traits that are highly valuable in the NBA. At just 18 years old, teams will expect to be able to refine his skill level and hope he becomes more disciplined with time. With his rim protecting ability and potential to defend the pick and roll, Anigbogu can become an extremely useful defender. Even if he never develops a skilled offensive game, he can be used in an NBA offense as long as he is effective on the offensive glass and a consistent lob threat. Anigbogu may be a high risk, high reward pick, but his young age and high potential makes him well worth a first round selection.