While the San Antonio Spurs had a brutal season that will inevitably lead to a top lottery pick, the collegiate Miami Hurricanes were quite the opposite. They made it to the Final Four, losing to eventual champion UConn. The Canes got there thanks to their offense, which was led by guard Isaiah Wong who decided to come back for another year after securing a nice NIL deal. A 6-foot-4, 184-pound junior, he made the most of his extra year after getting to the Elite Eight last season with the team.
Wong was team leader in scoring and assists on the season for a team that scored 79 points per game and had the ninth-best offensive rating in all of college basketball. His shiftiness, ball handling, and shooting are all going to be attractive to an NBA team looking for someone to plug and play immediately off the bench, and he should be available in the second round.
Isaiah Wong Strengths and Weaknesses
What Wong brings to a bench is a quintessential “microwave guy” who can get hot at any time during a game. He is incredibly shifty, can get his defender off-balance with his dribble. The Miami product is also a creative finisher around the rim. He was named the ACC Player of the Year mainly due to his scoring ability and for his improvement as a passer last season. Though he is likely a second-round pick, Wong should get immediate minutes as an impact shooting guard.
One of the more underrated parts of Wong’s game is that he can make highly contested shots and do so regularly. It’s not even just the level of difficulty on his shots, it’s where he’s taking them from too. He can hit tough shots around the rim, in the midrange, and from beyond the arc. This is obviously a useful skill to have in the NBA and should make him a more valuable draft prospect than people are seeing right now. However, his age (he’s already 22) is likely capping his perceived ceiling. Wong brings more than just tough shot-making to the table though.
Isaiah Wong 2022 – 2023 Averages
- 16.2 PPG, 2.1 TOPG, 3.2 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.4 SPG
- 44.5 FG%, 38.4 3P%, 84.5 FT%
- 21.3 PER, 118.9 ORtg, 106.5 DRtg
Wong was much better this past season about setting up his teammates on a well-balanced Miami squad. His self-creation and teammate setup shouldn’t go unnoticed. He could play some combo guard at the next level, but really shouldn’t be asked to run an offense quite yet. Still, the shot making and the gravity for Wong’s shooting make him a huge asset for any team that may draft him.
While the offense is definitely a plus for Wong, he has a bit to show on the other end of the court. He can be a locked-in defender when he wants to be. He has the athleticism and quickness to do that, but did not spend all year focused on his defense. That was bound to happen as he often times became the focal point of the offense and had to concentrate all of his efforts there. If Wong can show in workouts that he can sustain the defensive intensity and not have a drop-off in offense, he will be golden.