Just two former Illinois prep athletes were in action on Monday. Below is the box scores and videos/tweets from Jalen Brunson and Fred VanVleet’s performances.
Best of the Day: Jalen Brunson
The Jazz-Mavericks Series is now tied thanks to Stevenson grad Jalen Brunson and his career-high 41 points. Not only that but he became first player in Mavericks history with 40 points and 0 turnovers in a playoff game. With superstar Luka Donic being out, someone needed to step up and Brunson rose to the challenge. Thanks to him the series is looking much different than what many expected.
And if you ask me, few ever expected Brunson to even contribute. This came as a surprise considering he won on every stage prior to the NBA and improved each season. But it was not enough in the eyes of some which can be seen in various comments from the below Twitter post of mine from right after his 2018 title run with Villanova.
Looking back now, the “deserves to be a top-15 pick in the NBA draft” claim is not far off and is rather valid. And some even saw it coming.
A Twitter user shared the perfect image with me yesterday which much like my post, it is also coming true. The post was a screenshot from The Ringer’s 2018 NBA Draft Guide. The described Brunson as “A classic point guard prospect that’ll fall in the draft because of his age, then play 10-plus years in the NBA.”
No surprise to see a list of applauses from around the sports world after a performances like his from Monday. Applauses are not the only happening this year. Expect a big day coming for Jalen Brunson come summer.
- Jalen Brunson (Stevenson/Dallas Mavericks)- 42 minutes, a game-high 41 points, 15/25 FG, 6/10 3PT, 5/7 FT, a team-high 8 rebounds, 5 assists, a team-high 2 steals (tied with Spencer Dinwiddie), and +15 in a 110-104 win over the Utah Jazz.
Rest of the Day’s Performances:
- Fred VanVleet (Auburn/Toronto Raptors)- 44 minutes, 20 points, 7/23 FG, 5/16 3PT, 1/2 FT, 4 rebounds’ team-high 7 assists, a game-high 3 steals (tied with James Harden), a team-high 2 blocks (tied with Chris Boucher), a team-high 4 turnovers, and -17 in a 112-97 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Proviso East’s Sterling Brown did not play but did make a couple of Dallas Mavericks’ social media posts.