Close your eyes. Imagine a world in which James Webb III had remained at Boise State for his senior season.
As much fun as that might be, both Webb and the Broncos are doing just fine.
While the men’s basketball team at Boise State–exceeding expectations–is battling for first place in the Mountain West, Webb is having a solid first season as a pro.
In case you missed it, Webb had an all-star worthy game the other nigh against the Maine Red Claws:
— NBA D-League (@nbadleague) February 15, 2017
The outburst, while not entirely unexpected, was the finest performance of Webb’s first pro season. Not to say he hasn’t been playing with the consistent output Bronco fans learned to love during his years at Boise State.
Webb has played in 34 games this season for the Delaware 87ers, starting all 34 of them. The 87ers, of course, are the D-League team (or the G-League, as recently announced) for the 21-35 Philadelphia 76ers. Webb is only one of two players on the 87ers to play in all 34 games.
A first-year player in the league, Webb is averaging 13.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. He is doing so while shooting 46.7% from the field and 38.6% from three-point range. His prevalence for the double-double–a staple at Boise State–has continued in the D-League. Through 34 games, Webb has reached that milestone in 12 games.
His play has only continued to improve as the season has worn on. In January, Webb had five straight games in which he notched a double-double. January also saw him get four steals in a game and block four shots in another. He twice had games in which he pulled down 15 rebounds.
If not for the logjam in the 76ers frontcourt, Webb might have had a call up by now. Joel Embid, Nerlens Noel, and Jahlil Okafor mostly play power forward and center, but minutes are sparse when you add in other small and power forwards Robert Covington, Hollis Thompson, and Ersan Ilyasova.
With the trade deadline fast approaching, the 76ers are a team to keep an eye on, especially with the flurry of rumors around their frontcourt.
Might Webb have been better served by sticking around his senior season? One can argue he might have improved his draft stock, but with this season’s loaded class, he could have easily ended up in the same situation.
Though he is missed at Boise State, college basketball life goes on. And for Webb, the success he’s having is validation enough he made the right choice. For him, the dream of making an NBA roster continues to grow, one double-double at a time.