Before Kevin Durant was dominating on NBA courts, he was one of top prospects in college basketball. The superstar forward spent the 2006-07 season with the Texas Longhorns.
Durant was an impressive force in the collegiate ranks. He was the consensus national player of the year as well as the Big 12 Player of the Year, averaging 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 47.3%, including 40.4% from 3-point range.
In the NCAA Tournament, the Texas Longhorns, featuring Durant and future NBA guard D.J. Augustin, were a No.4 seed. After opening March Madness with a 79-67 win against No. 13 seed New Mexico State, the Longhorns faced the No. 5 seed USC Trojans in the second round. On that team was former NBA player Nick Young.
On “The Starting Five” podcast, Nick Young spoke about going up against Durant in the NCAA Tournament and getting the last laugh as USC upset the Longhorns 87-68.
Durant finished with 30 points and nine rebounds while shooting 11 of 24. Young, who finished with 22 points on 8-for-13 shooting, joked that he “started” Durant’s NBA career.
“I got a chance to put KD out the tournament. I started his NBA career”
Kevin Durant nearing return for Phoenix Suns
With March Madness progressing, it’s always fascinating to look back at the tournament performances from NBA superstars. Kevin Durant blossomed into one of the top talents in basketball throughout his only season in college.
Durant was the second selection in the 2007 NBA draft by the OKC Thunder. Fast forward to today, and Durant is looking to get back on the court for the Phoenix Suns.
Since being acquired by the Suns in a trade deadline deal with the Brooklyn Nets, Durant has played in just three games. In those games, the Suns went 3-0 with Durant averaging 26.7 points per game while shooting 69.0%.
Kevin Durant rolled his ankle in pregame warmups on March 8 before a game against the Thunder. It’s since been reported that Durant is ramping up his progress and could return at the end of March.
The Suns (38-33) are in fourth place in the Western Conference. After winning just five of its last 10 games, Phoenix will look to take care of business on Wednesday night against the LA Lakers (35-37).
Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein