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Ja Morant’s dad says son should go No. 1 in NBA Draft after upsetting Marquette

Ja Morant

Unbounded love is one hell of a drug. Of course, watching Ja Morant play basketball is, too.

In the afterglow of Morant’s epic 17-point, 11-rebound, 16-assist triple-double in Murray State’s upset of Marquette in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, his father was asked by Bleacher Report’s Master Tesfatsion where the First-Team All-American should be selected in June’s NBA Draft.

His answer? Higher than No. 1.

You can forgive the older Morant for being a bit overexcited. After all, his son just put up the eighth triple-double in NCAA Tournament history, introducing himself to a national audience with an instant-classic performance marked by highlight after highlight.

Morant showed off his NBA-ready court vision with a bevy of dimes in the half court and transition. He drained a filthy stepback 3-pointer just before halftime, and threw down what might be the dunk of March Madness when he took a bounce pass from Darnell Cowart with a head of steam toward the rim and rose off two feet for a thunderous poster slam over the top of Golden Eagles big man Joey Hauser.

Ja Morant, to be clear, won’t be the number one pick come June. Zion Williamson has that distinction on lockdown no matter which team wins the draft lottery, and no matter what happens throughout the duration of the NCAA Tournament – barring catastrophic injury, of course. Zion is a rare and transcendent prospect who has rightly commanded top billing the whole college basketball season. In other seasons, Morant might have been in the hunt for the top pick. This year is its own particular situation.

That said, a void exists between Williamson and the other members of this draft class, and it’s a void Ja Morant will be increasingly poised to fill should he lead the Racers on a Cinderella run deep into March.