The college basketball season is in full swing as we're preparing to enter conference play. Now that many of the top prospects have had their chance to make an impact in a big game, how do they stack up in the eyes of NBA scouts?
Previously Ranked: 1
Stats: 17.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.5 bpg
Okafor has proven to be as good as advertised. His game was on full display he outplayed Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky on the road, showing a wide array of post moves. Okafor's lack of lateral quickness on defense was exposed, but he'd not going to be guarding people on the perimeter a whole lot. He's a virtual lock to go No. 1 at this point.
Previously Ranked: 2
Stats: 18.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 6.3 apg
Mudiay would have been leading the SMU Mustangs for Larry Brown this season, but decided to play in China for a year instead. He had been tearing up the league until he was sidelined with an ankle injury, and know might be cut from his team so they can use his spot to sign former NBA veteran Will Bynum as they try to make a run to the playoffs (International basketball, ladies and gentlemen). The injury isn't serious and won't affect his draft stock. Even if he never plays another game, he's done enough to solidify himself as a top-three pick.
Previously Ranked: 3
Stats: 8.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.6 bpg
It takes a lot for someone to stand out on Kentucky's talented roster, but that's what Towns does every time he steps on the floor. He's improving at both ends of the floor, and will only continue to improve. Towns has the potential to be better than Okafor because of his athleticism, but he still doesn't have any consistent post moves he can rely on. His upside and defensive prowess will put him at the top of the draft.
Previously Ranked: 5
Stats: 14.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg
Johnson came to Arizona with so much hype, that he was considered to be overhyped before the season started - yet since they've started playing games, he has delivered on every bit of that hype. He's been the most productive wing player in this freshman class, and has been the defensive force scouts wanted to see. Couple that with his athleticism, and it's easy to see why many think he'll be able to make an impact in the NBA right away.
Previously Ranked: 4
Stats: 12.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Winslow had his worst game of the season against Wisconsin as he dealt with foul trouble, and got lost in the shuffle of a talented Duke team. However, he made several plays defensively, including one steal that led to a sneaky good dunk - a sequence that had pro scouts drooling. Winslow might get lost in the shuffle every now and again on a roster as talented as Duke's, but he can't let it happen too often.
Previously Ranked: 10
Stats: 10.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg
Cauley-Stein is rising on draft boards because he's a sure thing. His defensive impact has been everything scouts want it to be, and he's now really starting to play at a high level offensively.
Previously Ranked: 7
Stats: 9.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg
Porzingis would’ve been a first round pick in the draft if he would’ve come out last year, but decided to wait another year to improve his game. The seven-footer has emerged as one of the more offensively polished big men in this draft, but teams want to see him be more physical.
Previously Ranked: 11
Stats: 11.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Texas went blow-for-blow with Kentucky in Rupp Arena, and Myles Turner was the biggest reason why. He held his own against the Wildcats' front line full of NBA prospects, showing he can match the physicality of pro-caliber players. He only finished with six points and five boards in that game, but that had more to Texas' guards not being able to handle Kentucky's pressure and not giving him the ball.
Previously Ranked: 8
Stats: 5.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Hezonja looks like he could become a great player, but still needs time to develop into his 6’8″ frame. That being said, he is a good shooter and has the length to become an elite defender.
Previously Ranked: 20
Stats: 14.1 ppg, 11.6 rpg
Looney is ahead of the typical freshman learning curve, and his dominance on the glass and ability to score the ball have scouts really intrigued. He was one of the best players on the floor against several of the country’s top teams in the Battle 4 Atlantis, and just needs to keep up that level of play during the conference season to see his draft stock continue to rise.
11) Tyus Jones – 6’1″, 184 lbs, PG – Fr., Duke
Previously Ranked: 13
Stats: 10.5 ppg, 5.8 apg
Jones put on a show in the first true road game of his college career, dropping 22 points, grabbing six rebounds, and dishing out four assists against Wisconsin. In a game full of draft prospects, he was undoubtedly the best player on the court and controlled the tempo of the game. His draft stock as a ceiling because of his small size, but he might be the best pure point guard in this draft.
12) D’Angelo Russell – 6’4″, 175 lbs, SG – Fr., Ohio State
Previously Ranked: 15
Stats: 17.7 ppg, 5.4 apg
Russell has burst on the scene for the Buckeyes and been their best player from day one. It remains to be seen if he can keep up this level of play consistently against good competition - he played well in Ohio State's loss to Louisville only after the Cardinals had a 20+ point lead - but his stock is soaring.
13) Caris LeVert – 6’7″, 200 lbs, SG – Jr., Michigan
Previously Ranked: 14
Stats: 17.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.7 apg
LeVert could be this year’s Zach LaVine, except he’s more polished thanks to three years of college. He can play either guard position and is great both from the perimeter and attacking the basket, but his slight frame will limit his effectiveness in the NBA. Michigan's recent struggles have been no fault of his, but if they continue, his stock will start to slip.
14) Kelly Oubre – 6’6″, 204 lbs, SF – Fr., Kansas
Previously Ranked: 6
Stats: 3.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Oubre’s an incredible athlete and should become an above-average defender. He has seen extremely limited minutes so far and has been buried on Bill Self's bench, but he’s someone who could develop into a very good NBA player.
Previously Ranked: 17
Stats: 16.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg
Kaminsky could be the best player in college basketball this season, but his lack of athleticism make him a mediocre NBA prospect. He did make a big statement to scouts by playing well against Jahlil Okafor, yet he won’t be anything more than an mid-first round pick.
16) Montrezl Harrell, 6’8″, 230 lbs, PF/C – Jr., Louisville
Previously Ranked: 12
Stats: 17.0 ppg, 10.4 rpg
Harrell has been dominant against lesser competition to start his junior season, but he’s showing exactly what NBA scouts want to see from him. He’s athletic, a great rebounder and finisher, and tough defender. The Kenneth Faried comparisons are warranted.
17) Cliff Alexander – 6’9″, 264 lbs, PF/C – Fr, Kansas
Previously Ranked: 9
Stats: 8.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg
Alexander has been an athletic force around the rim, but he hasn’t been anything more than that. He needs to expand his offensive game from something more than dunks and alley-oops, yet he’ll go in the first round because of his outstanding potential.
18 ) Sam Dekker – 6’9″, 229 lbs, SF – Jr., Wisconsin
Previously Ranked: 18
Stats: 11.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Dekker has played fairly well this season and has the potential to be a star, but he has yet to capitalize on that potential. He needs to make a more consistent impact on the Badgers to continue rising up on draft boards.
19) Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – 6’6″, 212 lbs, SF – So., Arizona
Previously Ranked: 16
Stats: 12.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg
Hollis-Jefferson is an elite defender, but an expanded role this year has shown his limitations as a player. His offensive game is limited, and he’s not overly athletic. Still, he knows what he does well and always plays within himself.
20) Dakari Johnson – 6’11″, 263 lbs, C – So., Kentucky
Previously Ranked: 19
Stats: 9.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg
Johnson has been overshadowed by the emergence of Towns, but he’s still a good prospect in his own right. He’s an elite rebounder first and foremost, and is still developing on both offense and defense. That said, once he figures it out, Johnson will a good NBA player.
21) Delon Wright – 6’5″, 179 lbs, PG – Sr., Utah
Previously Ranked: 22
Stats: 16.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.5 apg
Wright has done it all for the Utes in his career, and has continued to do so this year. The senior was among the Pac-12 leaders is points, rebounds, assists, and steals last season, and could turn into the Shabazz Napier-type hero in college basketball this year. He's already led the Utes past Wichita State, and nearly pulled off a 21-point comeback win over Kansas.
Previously Ranked: 21
Stats: 18.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Vaughn can score from anywhere on the floor and is a good defender, but he’s not very athletic, doesn’t have elite size, and he struggles to finish against bigger opposition. That being said, he’s been extremely effective so far this season – now he just needs to contintue to do it against good competition.
23) Bobby Portis – 6’10″, 235 lbs, PF – So., Arkansas
Previously Ranked: 23
Stats: 15.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Portis has an NBA-ready body and is athletic enough to make an impact for a team off the bench. He probably won’t develop into a high-level starter as he doesn’t have a great offensive game, but his athleticism and effort make him an intriguing prospect.
24) Brice Johnson – 6’9″, 185 lbs, PF – Jr., North Carolina
Previously Ranked: 24
Stats: 11.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg
Johnson reminds me a lot of former Tar Heel Ed Davis. Both are incredibly efficient around the rim with their left hand and have above-average athleticism for a big man. Johnson is a better rebounder and is more polished due to spending three years in college, and should be an effective bench player right away in the NBA.
25) Chris Walker – 6’9″, 205 lbs, PF – So., Florida
Previously Ranked: 26
Stats: 7.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Walker was supposed to be a one-and-done guy, but a suspension buried him in Florida’s rotation last year. Scouts are waiting for him to break out this year, and it hasn’t happened yet. His athleticism is undeniable, but that’s all he has going for him right now.
26) Ron Baker – 6’4″, 222 lbs, SG – Jr., Wichita State
Previously Ranked: 29
Stats: 19.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Baker is a true combo guard that can do everything on the court, but he’s limited due to his size and athleticism. He continues to produce at a high clip at Wichita State, which is what will keep him in the first round of the draft.
27) Aaron Harrison – 6’5″, 210 lbs, SG – So., Kentucky
Previously Ranked: 27
Stats: 10.3 ppg, 2.0 apg
Harrison made his name in the NCAA Tournament last year with his three game-winners in consecutive games, but he’s a tricky prospect to evaluate. He’s shown flashes of a complete offensive game, but Kentucky’s wealth of talent makes it hard for anyone to stand out. Harrison’s lack of elite athleticism also hurts him.
Previously Ranked: 28
Stats: 7.8 ppg, 3.6 apg
Harrison took the brunt of the criticism following Kentucky’s slow start last season largely due to his lack of aggressiveness. Like his brother, he’s shown flashes of a complete game, but his lack of athleticism and passiveness have his draft stock falling.
29) Alex Poythress – 6’8″, 239 lbs, SF/PF – Jr., Kentucky
Previously Ranked: 30
Stats: 5.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Poythress has middled around Kentucky’s lineup during his three seasons with the Wildcats, but it’s hard to deny his elite physical ability. That’ll be enough for him to get drafted in the first round despite his lack of offensive skill.
30) Wayne Selden – 6’6″, 223 lbs, SG – So., Kansas
Previously Ranked: 25
Stats: 9.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Seldon is going through a terrible shooting slump right now, but he’s typically a good shooter and is athletic enough to play both guard positions. NBA teams what to see him be more consistent this year – which his slump isn’t helping.
Who’s overrated? Underrated? Tweet your thoughts to @brauf33 and leave a response in the comments!Back to the NBA Newsfeed