Projecting who the top prospects are for the upcoming NBA Draft before the college basketball season starts is tough, especially since most of them are coming straight from the high school ranks. As a result, we've seen many more busts in college that were expected to be top picks in the NBA. This year's preseason top five prospects have had their ups-and-downs through the first month of the season, but are they still at the top of the draft? Let's check in:
5) Jamal Murray, PG/SG, Kentucky Wildcats
Murray certainly has the size (6'5", 207 lbs.) that NBA scouts love in combo guards, and he's flashed his all-around game early at Kentucky, averaging 15 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in 32.7 minutes per game. He does need to show some improvement from beyond the three-point line, where he's shooting just 32.4 percent. He's scored 12 or more points in six of Kentucky's seven games this season.
4) Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke Blue Devils
Ingram has been a big disappoint for the Blue Devils early this season, showing an extreme lack of aggressiveness. At 6'9" and 190 lbs., he's had major problems when opposing defenses get physical with him, and that's resulted in him only having four games with double-digit scoring - only one of which came against another major conference team. Still, he has shown flashes of the elite athleticism that has put him at the top of draft charts. Now he just has to prove he can produce consistently.
3) Jaylen Brown, SG/SF, Cal Golden Bears
Brown has played well for the Golden Bears this year, averaging 15 points and 6.0 rebounds through seven games this year. However, in Cal's toughest game so far against San Diego State, he was limited to a season-low seven points. He did deal with foul trouble in that game, but scouts want to make sure that's not an indication of an inability to produce against good competition.
2) Skal Labissiere, PF, Kentucky Wildcats
Labissiere was billed as one of the most offensively polished big men in the country, and while he has shown flashes, the 6'11", 225-pounder still has a lot of room to grow. He is shooting over 60 percent from the field, but has been consistently outmuscled in the paint, shown for his lackluster 4.3 rebounds per game.
1) Ben Simmons, SF/PF/PG, LSU Tigers
Words can not describe how impressive Ben Simmons has been for LSU this year. At 6'10" and 240 lbs., Simmons plays like a point guard trapped in a forward's body, moves like a shooting guard, and has incredible vision to go along with elite ball-handing ability. He's had absolutely no problems transitioning to the college game, averaging 19.9 points, 14.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.4 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game while putting up a double-double in six of LSU's seven games.
He's the most surefire No. 1 pick since Anthony Davis, and may be the best prospect since LeBron James.Back to the NBA Newsfeed
Related Topics: Jamal Murray, Kentucky Wildcats Basketball, Jaylen Brown, Cal Golden Bears Basketball, College Basketball, NCAA Basketball, Duke Blue Devils Basketball, Brandon Ingram, LSU Tigers Basketball, Ben Simmons, NBA News, Skal Labissiere