Why UW’s lousy 9-win season doesn’t mar Markelle Fultz and his NBA outlook

The Huskies’ record doesn’t mean squat. The talent Fultz offers should have Sixers fans salivating.

Nine wins.

That’s the stat that gets tossed out when trying to debunk the prowess of Markelle Fultz. That single-digit victory total is the ammunition doubters fire when questioning his ability.

How can the No. 1 pick come from one of the worst Husky teams ever? How can a point guard lead Philadelphia back to the playoffs when he can’t lead Washington past Yale?

These aren’t completely illegitimate questions when you consider how impactful certain basketball players have been for their teams. When LeBron James left Cleveland, the Cavs won 42 fewer games than they did the previous season.

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So people can spit that 9-22 record in Fultz’s face if they choose. But the truth is this: That record doesn’t mean squat.

Barring a Shyamalan-esque plot twist, the 6-foot-4 Fultz will be wearing a 76ers hat Thursday night in New York. He will join Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid on a team that, who knows, could be Cleveland’s successor as the East’s chief power.

Obviously, you never know how draft picks are going to turn out. Even with seemingly transcendent talents, it’s always a guess. But the package Fultz offers should have Sixers fans salivating and opponents shivering. What’s not to like?

For one, you can play him at point guard or off the ball. At Washington, Fultz was second in the Pac-12 in assists (5.9) while playing for a team that couldn’t score. Give him the teammates Lonzo Ball had at UCLA, and he probably would have led the conference. He has eyes in the back of that flat-topped head.

What was more impressive, however was his scoring efficiency. His 23.2 points per game were 4.6 more than anyone else in the Pac-12, and he did it while shooting .476 from the field and .413 from three-point distance.

There’s an advance statistic called…

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