If Brandon Ingram isn’t taken first overall in next week’s NBA Draft, he’s going to be taken second. Yes, the 6-9, 197-pound Ingram led Duke to the Sweet 16 in his only college season and is already garnering comparisons to Kevin Durant.
On the one hand, that’s quite an honor. On the other hand, that’s a lot of pressure to put on an 18-year-old.
Ingram, however, is focusing on the positives.
“I think that’s a pretty good comparison,” the North Carolina native said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Of course, he’s beyond my years right now, but where I’m trying to get to as a basketball player, I idolized him when I was younger all the way up to now. So to go against him now and try to learn from him and be the best that I can be, it’s like a dream come true.”
Ingram averaged 17.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game at Duke to go with 1.4 blocks and 1.1 steals. A lot of sure-fire lottery picks sometimes don’t give it their all on defense. Ingram did.
He credits Mike Krzyzewski for that.
“He recruits guys with high character and inner drive,” Ingram said. “So we (play) with emotion and we do everything we can on the floor to win the next game and not take advantage of the game.”
Ingram has worked out for both the 76ers and Lakers, who pick first and second, respectively, in next week’s draft. Ben Simmons, who is also in contention for the top pick, hasn’t worked out for either franchise.
“I don’t know why he didn’t work out, but I worked out because I think I have more to show,” Ingram said. “I know they watched me all season, but there’s some different things that I’ve been working on in my game. (I’m) just trying to develop a mid-range shot and get quicker on my feet.”
Whether he goes first or second, Ingram is ready to play in the NBA.
“I don’t think it matters at all,” he said of potentially getting drafted No. 1. “I’m just happy to get drafted. Wherever I land, I’ll play like the No. 1 player.”