Texas Tech basketball alums: Breaking down Jarrett Culver’s rookie season

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Jarrett Culver #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Now that Jarrett Culver‘s rookie season is officially over, let’s take a look at how the Texas Tech basketball alum equipped himself in his first run through the NBA.

The NBA has not yet finalized its plans for a return to the court but what we do know is that if the season resumes, Jarrett Culver and the Minnesota Timberwolves will not be part of the action.  That’s because only the top 22 teams in the overall standings will be taking the floor and the T-Wolves didn’t make the cut.

Thus, Culver’s rookie season is now in the books.  And it was certainly a learning experience for the Lubbock native.

This year, he averaged 9.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 63 games, 35 of which were starts.  Those numbers were good for 10th, 12th, and 9th out of the 24 players that suited up for Minnesota this year.

The reviews of his work are mixed, as they often tend to be when evaluating a first-year player.

“Culver made a decent contribution as a 20-year-old rookie and showed he had the ability to score in the NBA, albeit not in the most efficient manner,” says this article from Fox Sports North …”Still, Culver’s lack of consistency on offense and inexperience on the defensive end limited his overall impact on the team. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard proved himself as a competent NBA player and showed the potential the Timberwolves saw in him, but there is room to grow.”

When the season was suspended in March, Drew Packham of NBA.com released his rookie rankings.  Included were ten players he thought warranted some consideration for the Rookie of the Year discussion but Culver was not one.

Meanwhile, Ricky O’Donnell at SB Nation released his list of the top rookies of the 2019-20 season.  On that countdown, Culver shows up at No. 19.

“He remains a key piece for the Wolves’ future next to D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns,” O’Donnell writes of Culver, “and should have plenty of shooters to kick out to if he can grow into a lead ball handler. Expect him to take a massive leap in value if he can improve his scoring efficiency. It can’t get much worse.”

That’s a fair assessment as there were certainly some holes in Culvers’ game.  But there were also some strengths, as is the case with just about any rookie lottery pick.

So let’s go inside Jarrett Culver’s fist NBA season and take a look at where he is as a player right now and where he needs to grow.  And we will begin with what was his greatest flaw.

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