Auburn basketball: Jimmy Butler praises former Tiger Isaac Okoro

Auburn basketball Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn basketball Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Auburn basketball star Isaac Okoro may have started off the season pretty poorly, but over the weekend he earned the respect of Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler, the very guy that Okoro models his game after, according to Chris Fedor. Though the Cavs lost the road matchup 115-101 in Miami, Okoro made his mark.

Okoro scored a career-high 17 points in the game, shooting 5-7 from the field and also 5-7 from the free-throw line. He also recorded a steal, a block, and three rebounds, per the Akron Beacon Journal, which also reports that Cleveland’s head coach knew that Okoro was tired after making the switch to the professional level of play:

"“There was a point where we talked to him and he was tired. When you go from playing 20-something games, we play that in about six weeks nowadays. That’s difficult,” Bickerstaff said on Zoom."

For a couple of weeks, Okoro’s shooting has been seriously lacking, but he picked it back up versus Miami to reach double digits after doing so just once in the eight games prior to Saturday’s. Okoro could be elite if he keeps increasing his shooting percentage, especially after proving himself on the defense after guarding players such as James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Lebron James.

After guarding Heat star player Jimmy Butler in Saturday’s matchup, the veteran athlete praised the rookie’s performance, calling his potential “out of this world.”

Isaac Okoro was the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft to the Cleveland Cavaliers and became the first one-and-done in Auburn basketball history. He’s the second player to be drafted from Auburn in as many years after Chuma Okeke was picked 16th by the Orlando Magic.

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