There is a reason that everyone was pretty hyped on Rui Hachimura after the Zags secured his commitment. Although at times it seemed like the young forward would be a bit of a project, it really looks like Hachimura is coming into his own.
Gonzaga's Rui Hachimura had another terrific performance today at the U19 World Championship (22+14), including two super clutch pull-up 3s. pic.twitter.com/tm4D8Nbo0b— NBADraftProspects (@draftprosnba) July 5, 2017
Through four games, Hachimura is leading all players with 19.5 points per games, shooting 50.8 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent from long range. He is also second in the tournament with 11.8 rebounds per game. Hachimura plays for Japan, and unfortunately, the Japanese team isn’t very good. But Rui has shown his innate skills, all aspects of it, brightly during this tournament.
It hasn’t been all sunshine and unicorns for Hachimura. Against Spain, he finished with seven turnovers, which is definitely too many. He has only shot 60 percent from the free throw line. Considering driving to the hoop is a decent part of his game, it is something Hachimura will have to improve upon.
However, the first video showcases what makes Hachimura such a tantalizing prospect. He has a distinct ability to create his own shot. That is a talent the Zags don’t necessarily see too often. Gonzaga has always been full of great shooters, but those great shooters have often needed a screen or open space to make their mark. Hachimura doesn’t necessarily need that, and that sort of disruptive playmaking ability is the kind of offense that makes defenses go bonkers.
Now, Hachimura only averaged 4.6 minutes per game last season, largely because the Zags had no room in the rotation for him, but also because he needed quite a bit of time to ease into the game. He went from being the most dominant player in the country to on a team playing in a league with just as many good players as him. There is plenty of room for Hachimura to make a big impact this upcoming season, and, judging from the FIBA U-19s, it looks like he is ready to step into a bigger role.