Memphis Coach Penny Hardaway Expects Precious Achiuwa to Thrive With Miami Heat

Memphis coach Penny Hardaway says the Miami Heat were the team that needed to draft Precious Achiuwa
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Much has been said by NBA pundits about first-round draft pick Precious Achiuwa and the Miami Heat being the perfect match. 

Now, his college coach is chiming. While speaking to Brendan Tobin of 790 The Ticket, Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said the Heat were the team Achiuwa "needed to get chosen by." 

“When Precious got chosen by the Miami I was so excited for him because I played in that organization, a first-class organization,” Hardaway said. “He’s built for that culture.”

Achiuwa, who played just one college season, is already drawing comparisons to Heat center Bam Adebayo. Both have versatile offensive games and have a defense-first mentality. Last season Achiuwa averaged 15.8 points and 10.8 points and has improved his outside shooting the past few months. 

It took just three seasons in the Heat organization for Adebayo to develop into an All-Star. Last year he averaged career highs in points, rebounds and assists, helping the Heat advance to the NBA Finals. 

They drafted Achiuwa with the same thinking. He will have to learn from playing alongside Adebayo while also playing in an atmosphere that suits his playing style. 

“It’s a defensive franchise,” Hardaway said. “They want you to go out there and defend and knock people down and be nasty and that’s what he can do.” 

The full interview can be heard here.

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