Fultz is expected to be the top pick in the 2017 NBA draft on Thursday, going to the Philadelphia 76ers. Although the Huskies won only 9 games in his only season, he remembers his time here fondly. “My favorite times (at UW) really had nothing to do with the games,” Fultz said.
As his final days with the Washington Huskies came to an end, Markelle Fultz looked back wistfully on a short-lived college basketball career that isn’t easy to analyze.
He was a subliminal talent who led the Pac-12 with 23.2 points per game while averaging 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds in 25 games for a UW team that finished the 2016-17 season 9-22, including 13 straight losses at the end.
“I wouldn’t change anything,” said Fultz, who sat out six of the final eight games due to knee soreness. “Not a thing. I know God has a plan. We don’t always know what it is, but sometimes you go through hard times to prepare you for what’s about to come.
“This season has been hard. But I know something big is about to come my way, and this year has helped me get ready for that.”
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That something big appears to be a spot with the Philadelphia 76ers, who are expected to use the first pick in Thursday’s NBA draft on Fultz and make him the first UW Husky chosen No. 1 overall.
This week the 76ers completed a trade with the Boston Celtics to move up two spots in the draft to presumably select Fultz and pair the 6-foot-4 point guard with last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Ben Simmons, and promising second-year center Joel Embiid.
During his freshman season at UW, Fultz often bristled at comparisons to Simmons, a 6-10 forward who averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists during his one and only college season in 2015-16 at LSU, which finished 19-14 and missed the NCAA tournament.
Simmons has been critical of the NCAA for its treatment of student-athletes and admitted he stopped…