2016-2017 Stats: 13.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 59% FG
Why They Are Here
Nick Ward is yet another Michigan native who looks to be a great four year contributor for Tom Izzo. Coming off a very solid Freshman season, Ward looks to be the key cog in the middle for a loaded MSU squad. At only 6’9” he is slightly undersized, but Ward is a guy who knows how to use his sturdy frame to bully opponents in the post. He showed flashes of utter dominance last year who formed a great 1-2 punch with Miles Bridges. Ward has potential to be one of the best bigs in the nation by the team he is a senior.
Role on This Year’s Team
With the addition of 5* Freshman big Jaren Jackson, Sparty’s frontcourt is looking awfully intimidating with Bridges, Ward, and Jackson. I believe Ward will reap the benefits of opposing defenses putting their best defenders on Bridges and Jackson. Probably the best aspect of having Nick Ward in the lineup is having a guy that you can throw the ball into the post and get an easy bucket. His strength and body positioning should allow him to be uber-efficient in the post the year. Where he needs to improve is at the foul line. If he is able to bring his free throw rate up to 75%, his efficiency in the post will be through the roof.
College Season/NBA Prospects
Being that Ward is an undersized center, I wouldn’t expect him to be a very successful pro. Unless he is able to extend his offensive range and increase his quickness, he will likely be a solid overseas player.