On Wednesday afternoon, freshman forward Harrison Ingram announced that he would be declaring for the 2022 NBA Draft, making him the third Stanford freshman in three years to declare.
Ingram began his time on The Farm as a highly-touted player, entering college as a consensus five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American.
The 6-foot-7 forward backed up his strong high school resume in his freshman campaign, in which he averaged 10.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Such a stat line is indicative of his unique, versatile play and earned him the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Award. Ingram also garnered six Pac-12 Freshman of the Week awards, the second-most in conference history. In addition, his All-Pac-12 honorable mention status made him the second Cardinal in school history to be recognized on all-conference and all-freshman teams in the same year, joining Casey Jacobsen ‘02.
Ingram started the year off hot, averaging 18.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game and shooting 54.0% from the field and 50.0% from behind the arc through his first three games. Towards the end of the season, when the team closed Pac-12 regular season play on a five-game losing streak, Ingram’s scoring output fluctuated. But even when his shots weren’t falling, his playmaking and defensive ability made him among the most dangerous players on the court at any given time.
Such a skillset will make the Texas native attractive to NBA teams. Coupled with his long frame, Ingram’s ball-handling and passing ability will entice scouts that have witnessed the rise of the “point forward” in recent years. Throughout the year, the freshman was also tasked with — and thrived at — guarding multiple positions, which is a skill necessary for success in the league.
Current mock drafts have Ingram slated towards the end of the first round. In previous years, drafted Stanford players have found themselves in many different positions. Most notably, Ziaire Williams ‘24 was drafted 10th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft. Tyrell Terry ‘23 was drafted with the first pick of the second round in the 2020 NBA draft, and KZ Okpala ‘21 was drafted with the second pick of the second round in the 2019 NBA draft.
Ingram currently maintains eligibility with this decision and could still return for a sophomore campaign next season. Whether or not he does will undoubtedly change the landscape of the program.
With the departure of senior forward Jaiden Delaire, who entered the transfer portal in mid-March, Ingram’s absence would accentuate a scoring void on the team. Although junior forward Spencer Jones picked up the scoring load towards the end of the season, opposing teams often keyed on Ingram and Delaire as the focal points of the offense.
Stanford welcomes two new recruits — Ryan Agarwal, from Coppell, Texas and Jaylen Thompson, from Oakland, Calif. — both lengthy forwards that bring two-way abilities to the court. If Ingram ultimately leaves, they will have to step up to fill his absence on the perimeter during their freshman season.