Here are the top prospect rankings for this year’s upcoming NBA Draft.
1. Ja Morant, Murray St.
2. Ty Jerome, Virginia
3. Coby White, North Carolina
4. Shamorie Ponds, St. Johns
5. Carsen Edwards, Purdue
We top off a very top-heavy draft class, with Morant leading the pack. Jerome isn’t athletic as other prospects on this list, but he’s 6’5, a great defender, and does everything else well. An experienced prospect that played at a great program in Virginia, Jerome seems like a safer option as opposed to the people below him. White is another big guard, who’s athletic, but Ponds and Edwards look like the better pure scorers. The only problem with Ponds and Edwards is that they aren’t very tall with both standing at about 6’1, but Ponds is the better facilitator.
1. Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
2. Tyler Herro, Kentucky
3. Matisse Thybulle, Washington
4. Admiral Schofield, Tennessee
5. Dylan Windler, Belmont
After being the main part of Texas Tech’s surprising run to the NCAA championship game, Culver cemented his spot as a lottery pick, and the number one shooting guard in this class to most people. Herro’s Kentucky teammate Keldon Johnson may be viewed as the better player on that team, but Herro is more of a smoother athlete and looks like he has more potential as a scorer than Johnson. They’re two favorites of this group and could very well be the best shooting guards out of all these prospects is Thybulle and Schofield. Thybulle’s 3.5 steals per game were first in the nation, but what was arguably more impressive was his 2.31 blocks per game that was eighteenth in the nation, while being a guard and the shortest person on that list standing at 6’5. What’s strange about him is that he shot 40% from three his sophomore year, and then his outside shooting declined and eventually became a non-factor on offense at Washington. Maybe Thybulle already has a shot and scoring potential, especially being that he shot a career high 85.1% from the free throw line his final year. Schofield lives up to his name, as he’s an imposing force as a guard, weighing 241lbs at 6’6. You could say “The Admiral” is a mini-Zion, except that he has a great shot unlike Williamson, with Schofield shooting 41.8% from three in his final season. Windler gets the final spot after his great senior season averaging 21.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, a 54% field goal percentage, and 42.9% from three. Windler could be better suited as a small forward, but nonetheless he’s still steadily climbing up draft boards.
1. RJ Barrett, Duke
2. De’Andre Hunter, Virginia
3. Cam Reddish, Duke
4. Sekou Doumbouya, France
5. Cameron Johnson, North Carolina
There’s not many small forwards in this draft class that can produce right away, but a lot of these prospects do show signs of potential. Even though Reddish should stay at least another year in college, it’ll be interesting to see what he can do when he’s not the third option, unlike when he was at Duke. Doumbouya is just potential and isn’t good at anything as of now, but then again he is only 18. Johnson may not be able to create a shot for himself or attack the basket like his teammate Nassir Little, but he knows how to get open and knock down perimeter shots shooting 45.7% from three and averaging 16.9 a game, while Little only shoots 26.9% from three and averaged only 9.8 points per game.
1. Zion Williamson, Duke
2. Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga
3. Dedric Lawson, Kansas
4. Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga
5. Mfiondu Kabengele, Florida St.
The top two prospects at the power forward position are clear with Williamson and Hachimura, and if they move to small forward in the NBA, they are likely the top two prospects in that group as well. Lawson is a good all-around power forward averaging 19.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 39.3% from three. The prospect with the most energy and defensive ability in this group is Clarke who has a tenacious motor, and lead the nation in total blocks with 117, averaging 3.1 per game which was third in the nation. Kabengele is the biggest prospect on this list besides Williamson, with a 6’10 and 250lbs frame, that can move with most power forwards and can score from either the inside or the perimeter as well.
1. Bruno Fernando, Maryland
2. Bol Bol, Oregon
3. Naz Reid, LSU
4. Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky
5. Jontay Porter, Missouri
Last and possibly least, Fernando is the only true center in this draft. Bol and Porter are the best shooters in this group but are both healing from major injuries. The most interesting prospect out of this group besides Fernando is Reid because he’s a force in the paint, a crafty scorer, and isn’t afraid to shoot from the outside. Bassey was a great all-around center at Western Kentucky that had 14.6 points, 10 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game, while showing a developing perimeter shot. The challenge is to see if he can improve his game at the next level.