Much to the chagrin of Gopher fans, Daniel Oturu was only wearing maroon and gold for 2 seasons. The local product exploded in his sophomore season and earned himself the right to leave early and enter the NBA Draft.
As a freshman, Oturu played alongside Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey in the frontcourt. With those to garnering much of the opposing defense attention, he enjoyed a very good season averaging 10.8 points, 8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. When those two left the program, there were questions as to how Oturu would adjust and grow as a sophomore.
Well he absolutely dominated. Oturu became the centerpiece of the Gopher’s in 2019-20 averaging 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. Significantly increasing all three of those categories while also increasing his FG%, his assists and making 19 of 52 three pointers. He was a third-team All-American and second-team All-Big Ten selection.
So what does Oturu bring to the NBA? I’ll start with a basic list of strengths and weaknesses.
- athletic with
- great mid-range shooting
- excellent hands
- finishes at the rim
- elite timing on blocked shots
- footwork both in a pick-n-roll situation and on the block
- good handles for a big man
- gets his production within the flow of the game, not forced
- good instincts when rebounding
- needs added muscle/strength, especially at the NBA level
- may struggle around the rim against NBA big men
- passing to the open man when double-team is coming is often slow to find the right guy
- can be deliberate at times
He is a very skilled big man who has great instincts around the rim with an improving jump shot. The Gophers often used him in a high pick-n-roll where he was able to use his athleticism rolling to the basket and finishing at the rim.
His reactions to the defense and quicker decision making on offense will help him tremendously at the next level. The overall outlook for Oturu is likely a solid contributor off the bench with upside to be more if lands in the perfect system and his range continues to get better.
Earlier in the spring, many mock drafts had Oturu doing late in the first round but currently the outlook seems to land Oturu early second round.
- NBA Draft. net projects Oturu 34th to Philadelphia.
- NBA Draftroom has him going 46th to Portland.
- The Athletic says he will go 32nd to Charlotte, right before the Timberwolves at 33.
- ESPN suggests 38th to Utah.
- CBS Sports also has the Jazz at 38.
We will find out tonight, but Gopher fans will greatly miss Oturu this season. Best of luck to the young man in the NBA.