2023 NBA Draft: Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson impress in No. 1 vs. No. 2 prospect battle

With dozens of NBA stars, executives and reportedly around 200 scouts all in attendance Tuesday to watch 7-foot-1 super prospect Victor Wembanyama take on Scoot Henderson — both of whom are currently the two clear-cut prospects in the NBA 2023 Draft class — the reality somehow exceeded even the hyped expectations.

Henderson’s G League Ignite beat Wembanyama’s Metropolitans 92 122-115 in an exhibition game in Henderson, Nevada, but the final score didn’t matter much. All eyes were really on what the two main attractions would do, and let me tell you: all eyes had to be impressed with what they were treated to inside the Dollar Loan Center Arena.

The highlights fun started early in the game with Wembanyama, who has a reported 8ft wingspan, scoring two blocks within the opening minutes of the game. The first was a key element of what makes him such a lethal center: he just drops down to help and can cover so much space around the paint.

His second, a swat after dropping screen coverage, was more of the same as he again highlighted how much space he can cover and how much his length affects shooters.

As had been the case all night, Henderson matched Wembanyama’s energy in an incredible blow-for-blow battle that boiled down to a shootout. Henderson went right to his counterpart early, attacking Wembanyama first on the perimeter with a step back from 3-point range.

Later in the game, Henderson went straight at Wembanyama and scored again. (Another time in the fourth quarter, it should be noted, Wembanyama hit Scoot’s shot to the next century.)

At halftime, Henderson had 18 points, Webanyama had 9 points and a pair of blocks.

Then came the fun.

Wembanyama stepped it up a notch in the third and fourth quarters despite persistent foul trouble in what might have been his most impressive shooting performance of his young career. He delivered dagger after dagger from beyond the arc, finishing with seven threes in a hotly contested loss. He finished with 28 points in the second half to go with 37 on the night, while Henderson had 28 points in the win.

Wembanyama fouled out late on, with the game poised. He shot 11-of-20 from the field and made seven of his 11 three-point attempts on the night. Henderson, who had nine assists in the game, made two of his three 3-point attempts and finished 11 of 21 from the field.

The G League Ignite and Metropolitans 92 will play again on Thursday.

With the numbers

Wembanyama Henderson
Points 37 28
FG 11-20 11-21
3-FG 7-11 2-3
Rebound 4 5
It helps 0 9

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