Arizona point guard Kylan Boswell continues building NBA resume

Dec 10, 2023, 6:00 PM

Kylan Boswell, Arizona Wildcats...

Kylan Boswell should see his NBA stock rise as he helps Arizona dominate college basketball. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

No. 1 Arizona basketball continues to dominate, and Kylan Boswell continues to be one of the biggest reasons why.

In Saturday’s win over No. 23 Wisconsin, Boswell scored 10 points and dished nine assists, a balance he’s handled well throughout his Wildcats career.

Boswell is yet to score 20 points in a game this season — or as a freshman when he was the youngest collegiate player in the nation, finishing the year at just 17 years old. But NBA teams considering him on draft night won’t be doing so because of his scoring.

Now, it doesn’t hurt his case that he’s shooting 52.5% on 5.0 three-point attempts per game with at least two 3s made in every game so far this year. Likewise, it doesn’t hurt that he’s shooting 50.0% overall from the field, shooting 9.0 times per game.

But the way Boswell weaponizes that efficiency should have NBA teams foaming at the mouth.

He doesn’t turn 19 years old until April, but Boswell is already showing a mastery of advanced passing, such as live-dribble hook passes to anywhere on the court with pinpoint accuracy.

He’s patient while operating in the pick-and-roll and goes through his progressions like Noah Fifita, his Tucson counterpart on the gridiron.

For example, midway through the second half against Wisconsin, Boswell came across a screen from Oumar Ballo into the middle of the floor and checked where every teammate on the floor was before throwing a no-looker to a cutting K.J. Lewis who slammed it home.

On the next time down, the Wisconsin defense sent more attention Boswell’s way. It was no problem for him, as he calmly bounced off a defender and ripped through another before finding a cutting Lewis again for an acrobatic finish.

By the numbers, Boswell has accumulated 38 assists with just 15 turnovers over eight games this season.

His 2.53 assist-to-turnover ratio is very impressive for a team that runs as much as Arizona does, ranking first in the nation among high-major programs in pace. His consistency has been there as well, never posting a game with more turnovers than assists.

On the other end, Boswell is averaging 1.4 steals and just 1.3 fouls per game. There’s consistency there as well, collecting at least two steals in half his games and never fouling more than twice.

NBA teams have more to like about Boswell than just what he’s doing on the court for Arizona this season.

The draft trends are at somewhat of a crossroads where once teams valued the youngest possible prospects with the most implied upside because of how teams can develop said prospects within their organization.

Now, many teams — with the Phoenix Suns at the forefront of this movement — value quality experience and intellect above all else.

Boswell fits in the middle portion of this Venn diagram thanks in part to his reclassification ahead of arriving in Tucson. Originally in the Class of 2023, Boswell reclassified to 2022 to get a head start on his college career.

Because of this, if he enters the upcoming draft, he’ll do so younger than many of the freshmen entering. So he’ll have the best of both worlds: multiple years of college while still being a malleable teenager.

And even before he arrived in Arizona where they play an NBA-style offense with him as maestro, he played for prestigious programs in high school, Corona Centennial (California) and AZ Compass Prep in Chandler.

In his final year at Centennial, Boswell hit six 3s in the CIF Open Division title game win, the top state title in California. To finish his career at Compass, Boswell led his team to the GEICO Nationals quarterfinals, which was the best finish in program history to that point.

Additionally, Boswell has suited up for the Team USA junior national team twice, winning gold in the 2021 U16 Americas Championship and playing up in age at the 2023 U19 World Cup.

This vast collection of carrying a real playmaking load in high-leverage situations will only make him more appealing to teams at the next level.

ESPN has Boswell ranked 31st on its most recent draft board and the Athletic has him at 50th, but expect him to climb even higher if Arizona continues to dominate like it has.

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