NBA Draft Big Board 3.0: Zion Williamson Remains on Top, Ja Morant Moves Into Top Three
The true start of conference play is always a good time to revisit the shape of the draft: much like how Christmas is considered the unofficial start of the NBA season, by the New Year we have a much better sense of who college players are, and the respective identities and contexts of their teams. As such, this Big Board has been expanded to include 80 prospects, which is a less-arbitrary and more representative number that provides a more accurate sense of the big picture. Granted, there is a long way to go, but there’s also a lot to talk about.
Of course, Zion Williamson continues to set himself apart as the draft’s top prospect, but after that, the picture is much more muddled. Right now, Duke teammate R.J. Barrett appears somewhat entrenched as the second-best prospect, but holds that title in large part because nobody has come to take it from him. Although the talent level at the top of this draft is generally thought by teams to be somewhat down, the bigger issue is that many of the most projectable prospects continue to underperform in some capacity. Duke’s Cam Reddish and UNC’s Nassir Little, both considered contenders at No. 3, have been unconvincing out of the gate. Among the biggest risers on this list is Murray State’s Ja Morant, who based on his consistently stellar play has established himself as the top point guard prospect, and has a legitimate case to be selected in the top five.
To make matters worse, four potential Top 10 picks are currently injured: Darius Garland is done for the year, Sekou Doumbouya is dinged up in France, Bol Bol has been out with an objectively concerning foot injury and NBA teams continue to privately wonder whether Kevin Porter Jr. will return from his thigh injury this season. In a feasible scenario where Bol and Porter are both shut down, it all points to a general lack of clarity. By nature, the draft is obviously an uncertain process, but in many cases, lottery teams might have even smaller samples to work with than usual. From the outside looking in, of course, the chaos is objectively going to be a lot of fun.
Between in-person scouting evaluations, reviewing statistics and film, and factoring in word of mouth from ongoing conversations with NBA personnel, the aim with these rankings is to present a picture that helps better understand which prospects should warrant serious consideration for the 2019 draft, in what order and why, and to responsibly gauge and contextualize prospects’ individual outlooks.
As always, this list will be fluid over the course of the season and expand again as things clarify in the spring. And a reminder: unlike our mock draft, the Big Board does not factor in team need or fit.
1. Zion Williamson, F, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 285 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 1
Perhaps the only thing most people around the league can widely agree on with respect to this draft class is that Williamson, our preseason No. 1 prospect, remains on track to hear his name called first. Duke heads into its ACC schedule as the top team in the country, and his all-around play has been at the center of their success. Williamson’s otherworldly athleticism, remarkable scoring efficiency and ability to impact the game as a rebounder and shot-blocker truly make him unique. His ability to grab the ball and create good transition looks via dribble or pass consistently is rare. Playing downhill with his size, finishing and passing skills, he’s almost impossible to defend at the college level. While he is not an outstanding jump shooter, Williamson can simply barrel into the paint, and will draw tons of fouls with the way the NBA game is being called. He has the heft and verticality to defend bigger players, while playing on the perimeter the other way. We simply have not seen a prospect built like him who plays quite like him, and the possibilities are tantalizing.
2. R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 2
It’s been an up and down individual season for Barrett, who many had earmarked as the No. 1 pick coming into the season. His efficiency struggles and shot selection have been magnified playing next to Williamson, but credit Barrett for playing through what has been a slightly unfair amount of scrutiny and turning in consistent effort game to game. Barrett is most effective with a head of steam going toward the basket, utilizing a variety of finishes and understanding the importance of drawing contact. Granted, he is going to have to be willing to adjust his playstyle somewhat to maximize his talent, but what the criticism has missed is how many minutes he has logged, the tendencies of the players around him and how frequently Duke has needed him to take the offensive lead as a function of that. There is something to be said for his struggles creating good looks and his inconsistent jumper, but Barrett’s expectations out of high school were a little lofty due in part to a lack of convincing talent in this draft class. He can be much more selective and make a better effort to get teammates involved going forward, but his competitive makeup and overall room for growth remain promising.
3. Ja Morant, PG, Murray State | Sophomore
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 175 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 10
After turning in a strong performance in his biggest test of the season, a five-point loss to Auburn, Morant’s case as the top point guard in this draft class has crested. With Darius Garland done for the season and Murray State playing a weak conference schedule, it’s pretty clear sailing from here. NBA teams will have to hope the Racers stay on course and make the NCAA tournament in order to get additional looks at him against better competition. Morant’s size, tight handle, impressive playmaking vision and speed in the open floor call to mind D’Angelo Russell and De’Aaron Fox in some facets, and a point guard-needy team near the top of the draft will have to consider investing in his offensive toolbox. He does not shoot well from outside, but his shot doesn’t look broken. He can be turnover-prone, but his mistakes tend to be aggressive ones, and on some level they can be excused as a function of his heavy minutes and offensive responsibilities. By the same token, Morant gets something of a pass for chilling out on defense. Ranking him this high might be aggressive, but he has put together a convincing argument while other lottery-caliber prospects have tread water.
4. Cam Reddish, G/F, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 3
True to form, Reddish remains one of the most frustrating college prospects to scout after two wholly unconvincing months. He has continually floated around the perimeter as Duke dominates lesser opponents, content to shoot volume threes and looking tentative and unconcerned attacking the basket. While Reddish’s all-around talent appears in spurts and continues to tease NBA evaluators, there is a growing level of frustration around the league with his poor play, particularly in his role at Duke which neatly positions him to succeed. Dating back to high school, scouts have wondered whether he is wired to compete night to night at the highest level, and Reddish will need a strong finish to the season to move the needle back the other way. There is still upside in his size and skill set, and he will almost certainly be a beneficiary as other top prospects struggle and deal with injury. Still, the grace period for him to coast on his reputation is coming to an end.
5. Kevin Porter Jr., G, USC | Freshman
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 6
There is presently a substantial level of concern among NBA teams over whether Porter, who has been out more than a month with a thigh injury, will actually return to the court this season. He has essentially built a lottery-level floor for himself regardless, having swiftly risen in these rankings on the strength of his immense individual talent, which many scouts crowed about over the summer. His athleticism and shot-creation skills manifested over the course of a five-game sample to begin the season, at to some extent, he can only hurt his own stock by returning and allowing teams to pick holes in it. He’s a gifted scorer with the ability to freelance off the dribble and an unpredictability to his game, and teams will hope they can harness that ability and turn him into a starting-caliber guard. Some concerns stem from the fact Porter is not particularly polished yet, and the small sample size isn’t helping, but the glimpses have been impressive.
6. Nassir Little, F, North Carolina | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 4
Another freshman whose struggles have been pronounced, Little is a better player than he’s shown at North Carolina, but has had some of his weaknesses exposed over the first couple months. He has not established much of a rhythm playing behind Luke Maye and Cameron Johnson, but more concerningly has had a rough time finding quality shots within the flow of the offense, often falling back on pull-up jumpers and relying on transition buckets and interior scraps for his points. This is due in part to an average handle and associated lack of shiftiness. He has also been playing a bit of catch-up defensively in terms of scheme. Little is still a terrific, powerful athlete and a better jump shooter than the numbers indicate, and wings with his body type and positive makeup are still appealing projects. It is not a prerequisite that he starts games, but Little is going to have to make better use of his minutes to give teams confidence as far as a top-five selection is concerned. We went in-depth on his case earlier this season.
WOO: NBA Mock Draft 2.0
7. Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana | Freshman
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 5
In spite of a highly inconsistent three-point shot, Langford has been consistently solid scoring the ball and lived up to billing, helping lead a resurgent Hoosiers team. He’s skilled, smooth and has a nice level of scoring craft, confidently using the glass while attacking the basket and converting at an impressive clip inside the arc. While Langford’s shooting mechanics from distance are a concern, the fact that he’s a good pull-up shooter and has been mostly steady from the foul line suggests there is room for improvement. Wings with his athleticism and body type who can consistently create offense are valuable commodities, and if he can simply become a consistent set shooter, it will go a long way.
8. Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt | Freshman
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 170 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 12
Despite being out for the rest of the season, Garland’s draft range should hold steady provided he recovers cleanly. Notwithstanding, he could have a case slightly higher than this if a team needs a point guard, and seems unlikely to fall out of the lottery given how others have struggled. He is a gifted playmaker and shooter who has consistently gotten the most out of ostensibly average athletic tools, and the NBA success of skilled, high-IQ guards like Mike Conley (or to a lesser extent, even the longevity of someone like Jeff Teague) helps chart the course for Garland to be successful. There is some concern over how his thin, smallish build will hold up, but his quickness and feel for scoring, passing and playing off the bounce all make sense as a whole.
9. Bol Bol, C, Oregon | Freshman
Height: 7'2" | Weight: 235 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 11
Bol is presently sidelined with a foot injury that has teams speculatively concerned about his availability the rest of the season. To be fair, after putting together a strong statistical start, there may not be much for Bol to gain draft-wise by playing again, particularly given the implications of foot injuries for guys his size. His margin for error at the next level is already going to be slim, and health concerns would strengthen skepticism surrounding his ability to play legitimate starting-caliber minutes in the NBA. Nevertheless, if healthy, the potential reward associated with Bol’s uncommon mix of shot-blocking, jump shooting and coordination at his height will make him an early selection. He comes with a ton of risk, with his rail-thin build, likely struggles defending in space and an oft-questioned work ethic. Most importantly, it’s just difficult for the vast majority of players his size to be more than role players in the modern league. We went in-depth on his situation early in the season.
After the publication of this piece, reports came out that Bol might miss the rest of the season.
10. Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech | Sophomore
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 17
Many expected Culver to break out as a sophomore, but now he’s eclipsing expectations with his play. Functioning as his team’s only real shot-creator, Culver has displayed an improved feel for scoring, a consistent set shot from outside and some playmaking vision. It is no small feat that he has the Red Raiders set to contend for the Big 12 title, and his ability to play pick and roll and make teammates better is at the center of it. At his size and with a solid defensive acumen, there’s a lot to like. Culver is not terribly explosive, nor is he a comfortable shooter off the dribble, two factors that may ultimately keep him from ascending to the very top of the draft. But he’s having as strong an individual season as just about anyone, and his emergence after functioning as a role player last season has been impressive.
11. Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga | Junior
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 8
In midst of a breakout season, Hachimura has given teams plenty to chew on, demonstrating a much-improved, buyable jump shot and proving he can shoulder Gonzaga’s offense. He is less explosive than he is strong and smooth, and will be able to keep up physically and ideally stretch the floor as a mobile four-man at the next level. Though reliable, Hachimura does not have an especially diverse offensive game at this point, and will have to keep adding to it in order to consistently create mismatches against better competition. He must also continue to improve defensively, where his effort level has been solid but his conceptual awareness appears to wane at times. There’s a lot to like about Hachimura’s physical profile and recent rate of improvement, and his upside remains substantial.
12. Keldon Johnson, G/F, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 7
Johnson has always been a player whose value lies in his floor more than his ceiling, and he’s been steady as Kentucky goes through some growing pains. His three-point shooting has been encouraging, his competitiveness runs high and there are no glaring holes in his skill set. Johnson is somewhat mature physically and is not extremely explosive or wiggly off the bounce, which points to a more limited ceiling than some of the players ahead of him on this list, but there’s a lot to like about his game, particularly given the demand for wings who play both ends of the floor. He should present bankable value in this range of the draft.
13. Sekou Doumbouya, PF, Limoges
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 230 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 9
Add Doumbouya to the list of walking wounded. A recent thumb injury—which came as he had begun to string together some better performances—will sideline him at least until February. Scouts were hoping to see him in action against quality competition after Limoges qualified for the EuroCup’s Top 16, but his availability for that is now in doubt. It’s another bump in the road in a bumpy adjustment season, but he just turned 18 years old and needs to be afforded some time. With a strong frame and soft shooting touch, Doumbouya is the caliber of prospect teams will be eager to get into their system and develop, although it will take some time. He remains likely to be the first international player drafted, with the hope that he develops into a versatile four-man who can space the floor.
14. De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia | Sophomore
Height: 6’7” | Weight: 225 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: 13
Hunter plays a strong fundamental game and has been a fairly consistent performer for Virginia, particularly on defense, where his strength and agility set him apart. He’s unflashy and doesn’t need a ton of manufactured touches to be effective, and his jump shot has shown some improvement, although he is not a high volume threat from outside. His lack of facility off the dribble as a shooter and creator makes it hard to envision star upside, but his pronounced strengths make him a good bet to fill a role at the NBA level. Athletic, wing-sized players who can guard multiple positions and hit open threes will always have value.
15. KZ Okpala, SF, Stanford | Sophomore
Height: 6’9” | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 25
A toolsy wing player with a clean-looking jumper, Okpala continues to trend upward, and justifiably so—he’s rebounded from an iffy freshman season, and it doesn’t appear he’ll have to hang around college much longer. He’s very slender and has to continue filling out, but has done a lot of growing dating back to high school and has retained some of his point guard skills, including strong vision as a passer. Okpala’s shooting and offensive feel bode well, and coupled with his length and ability to switch screens on the other end, there’s plenty of untapped upside here. After beginning the season as more of a curiosity, he’s become a strong bet for the first round.
16. Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas | Sophomore
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 14
Gafford’s length and fluidity at his size make him a tantalizing prospect to watch, and his coordination and ability to run the floor should allow him to fill a vertical spacing role in the middle at the next level. His slender build can be a help and a hindrance: he’s able to maneuver around slower-footed bigs at the college level, but may also get pushed around a little bit in the NBA at first. He plays hard, rebounds consistently and can impact the game defensively around the basket, checking the key boxes for non-shooting centers in the modern league. He won’t need heavy post-up touches to be effective as a finisher, and is easy to project as a solid rim-runner, provided shooters are placed around him.
17. Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State | Freshman
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 15
Dort has Arizona State positioned to make a run at the Pac-12 title and continues to make his case as a first-round caliber prospect. He’s built like a tank and has been able to overpower college defenders with his heft and explosiveness as a straight-line driver. Dort is not a particularly creative finisher in traffic and doesn’t have a very good left hand, and his approach barreling into the paint will only go so far at the next level, but the fact that he has such an easy time getting there in the first place is still a substantial strength. He’s a streaky outside shooter, but will make set threes. Defensively, his bulk helps him with larger wings, but will also keep him from sticking with quicker guards at the next level. His strengths and weaknesses are fairly pronounced, but with his athleticism, size and passable skill set, Dort remains a quality prospect with a decent floor.
18. Coby White, G, North Carolina | Freshman
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 185 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 28
In midst of an impressive season, White is tracking as a one-and-done caliber prospect, showing improvement as a passer and decision-maker to go on top of his ability as a microwave scorer. He has legit size, and though he’s not a pure point, he can play passably on or off the ball. White is still learning to pick his spots and score efficiently and is not overly explosive getting into the paint, which coupled with a lack of ideal spacing in UNC’s offense has primarily made him into a jump shooter. Defensively, he’s a work in progress. Context considered, White has a knack for scoring the ball, turns 19 in February and has the type of talent that’s worth developing.
19. Jontay Porter, C, Missouri | Sophomore
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 18
Porter remains out for the season as he recovers from tearing his ACL and MCL, an unfortunate turn of events after he surprised NBA teams by deciding to return to school. Although it’s obviously going to be difficult for him to play his way upward in the draft, he has a terrific feel for the game and strong pass-dribble-shoot skill set for a big. Some teams had doubts about his athleticism last season, and Porter will need to use the time off to work his way into peak shape by the time workouts come around in the spring. Because his success has always been more predicated on his skill, the injury may not sap his effectiveness much, but there’s still some risk built in there. He still has a good case as a first-round talent.
20. Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas | Freshman
Height: 6’11” | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 26
Although he’s inarguably a bit of a project, Hayes’s defensive play has been stellar, especially impressive for a true freshman who entered college with zero hype. He’s mobile, light on his feet and a talented shot-blocker with exceptional timing who should be able to pack on muscle comfortably as he matures. That alone should be enough for a team to take a flier toward the back of the first round, even though his defensive rebounding has been inconsistent and sometimes poor, and his offensive skill set is rudimentary. The key with Hayes is projection, and he has a strong baseline and plenty of time to flesh his game out. He could probably benefit from a second year of college, but as long as he keeps performing in conference play, he should be able to test and go.
21. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech | Sophomore
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 20
Alexander-Walker has bounced back nicely from his uneven freshman season and played his way back into first-round consideration. The real test will come in conference play, as Virginia Tech has played a soft schedule, but he’s been more aggressive scoring the ball and shot especially well from outside. Alexander-Walker is an ambidextrous finisher and has an ideal skill set for a combo guard. He’s an opportunistic defender with nice size and instincts. However, he can still be mistake-prone with the ball, and his assist-to-turnover ratio leaves something to be desired. If he continues to stand out, he could play his way higher than this.
22. P.J. Washington, PF, Kentucky | Sophomore
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 19
An essential part of Kentucky’s recent success, Washington has improved his all-around contributions as a sophomore and does a lot of things effectively enough to succeed as a small-ball big at the next level. His rebounding, passing and defensive positioning enable him to impact games even when he’s not scoring, and his overall motor has been much better. Washington has always been a sound finisher, and his jump shot continues to improve. His mobility, athleticism and versatility on both sides of the ball give him a chance to impact winning at the NBA level as a low-usage role player. If he can stay consistent, Washington has a nice case toward the back of the first round.
23. Talen Horton-Tucker, SG, Iowa State | Freshman
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 23
NBA teams continue to track Horton-Tucker closely after a strong start to the season for an Iowa State team that has sneakily looked capable of doing damage in the Big 12. He uses long strides, long arms and soft touch to attack the basket and finish in traffic, has natural playmaking talent off the dribble and is a capable (though streaky) three-point shooter at this stage. Horton-Tucker will need to continue working on his body as he matures, and might be able to unlock more of his explosiveness and agility by doing so, which would benefit his game on both ends. NBA teams are willing to develop players who can create shots, and though his game is somewhat unorthodox, Horton-Tucker will have a chance to succeed in the increasingly positionless league.
24. Luka Samanic, F, Olimpija
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 210 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 22
Samanic is a major talent who has yet to convert his highly-skilled game into consistent pro production. He’s still putting things together and has to get stronger, but his long-term potential was apparent at Basketball Without Borders camp in February. Samanic’s ability to handle, pass and spot up at his size make him ideal for positionless basketball, and after winning MVP for Croatia at the 2017 FIBA U18 Euros, he’s firmly on the map with scouts. He will be worthy of a stash pick at minimum if he enters this draft as a versatile face-up big.
25. Goga Bitadze, C, KK Buducnost
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 245 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 37
Bitadze drew interest as high as the late first-round last season but opted to stay overseas, and has continued to impress as a highly productive pro at his age. While it’s harder for big-bodied, below-the-rim centers in his archetype to log heavy minutes in the current NBA, his improving skill set and strong feel for the game give him a chance to make the leap successfully. He has been extremely productive this season, and recently moved to Buducnost to get a taste of EuroLeague competition. Bitadze is a pretty natural scorer around the basket, capable passer and strong shot-blocker, and is trending in the right direction midseason.
26. Jalen McDaniels, PF, San Diego State | Sophomore
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 195 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 24
If you can get past McDaniels’s extremely slender build, his skill level and flashes of jump shooting potential make him an intriguing stretch-four prospect. He continues to develop in that direction but has been something short of consistent, and the concern is that if his jump shot doesn’t come along, he may not be able to impact NBA games offensively on a regular basis. His shooting mechanics do look solid, but he has a ways to go in terms of getting results. McDaniels is a solid defensive rebounder and has the length to alter shots, but if he can’t add weight to defend fives, finding advantageous matchups for him on that end may be a challenge. Toward the middle of the draft, he remains a flier with some upside.
27. Ignas Brazdeikis, F, Michigan | Freshman
Height: 6’7” | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 27
Brazdeikis continues to be an efficient and potent scorer for the Wolverines, excelling in a role away from the ball and finding himself open looks. He’s a consistent three-point shooter, comfortable attacking closeouts, and does a good job of working the baseline as well as on the wing. His offensive feel and versatility coupled with his ability to thrive without designed touches should translate and make him a useful rotation scorer going forward. Brazdeikis is highly competitive, and though his perimeter defense will create some liability, he should be active enough on that end to stay with some forwards. As long as he continues to shoot threes at a high clip, his offensive strengths have a chance to outweigh his weaknesses.
28. Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State | Freshman
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 170 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: NR
Haliburton was a completely unheralded three-star recruit, and began the season in the starting lineup due only to an injury to Lindell Wigginton. With the way he moves the ball, defends and covers ground, he has more or less been impossible to take out since. Despite a modest single-digit scoring average, Haliburton has begun to build a very legitimate case to go one-and-done. He’s an exceptional passer with elite instincts on both sides of the ball, and will be able to add some muscle and keep up athletically in the NBA. His feel for where the ball should go and ability to enhance transition play is elite, and despite shooting a strictly set jumper, he’s shot the ball convincingly enough from three to think it can work. Haliburton’s strengths in essence mirror most of what pro scouts loved about Lonzo Ball at UCLA—he simply requires some added role projection, given he is not playing as a full-time point guard for Iowa State and does not have keys to run the offense. Granted, we don’t have a complete sense of how he scores the ball yet, but the things he already does well are difficult to teach. With the way this draft is shaping up, assuming Haliburton decides to test the waters, there will be no shortage of NBA interest come spring.
29. Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland | Sophomore
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 235 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 30
Fernando continues to display his all-around progress as a player, which coupled with his strength and coordination has made him a consistent force for the Terps. His physical capabilities have never been in question, and his improvement and maturity after attending the combine and returning to school has been noticeable. Fernando plays hard, rebounds well and has been much more consistent as a shot-blocker, and has looked like the most NBA-ready player on his team. He fits conceptually as a rim-running, mobile center and has also shown some ability to shoot from range, which should eventually be a dimension of his game. His tools and makeup will earn him an opportunity.
30. Admiral Schofield, F, Tennessee | Senior
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 240 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: NR
Consider how valuable P.J. Tucker has been to the Rockets the past couple seasons, and you’ll have a reasonable understanding of Schofield’s appeal as a prospect. He’s strong enough to defend smaller bigs, quick enough to handle wings and has the toughness and competitive makeup to switch screens and be a valuable role player at the next level. He has the skill level to play on the wing or as a small-ball forward, and his three-point shooting can be streaky but has improved. He’s a solid positional rebounder, and his type of skill set seems to be where NBA frontcourts are headed right now. As long as his jumper consistently extends to NBA range, Schofield will have a chance to hang around. Tennessee’s continued team success can only help him when it comes to draft position.
31. Tre Jones, PG, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 185 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 35
As Duke’s season rolls on, it’s become increasingly clear how valuable Jones is to the Blue Devil's operation, and he’s done a good job making the most of a role that is somewhat similar to what he’ll be asked to do in the NBA. He’s unselfish, understands where the ball is supposed to go and doesn’t have to score a lot to impact the game. That said, his shooting percentages haven’t been great, which is worth monitoring. Defensively, Jones has quick hands and is excellent fishing for steals, although more athletic guards can take advantage of his smaller build at times, and he may not be a concrete plus on that end. Regardless, he has the right makeup to help a rotation as a setup guy, and should be in position to leave after one season if he chooses.
32. Zach Norvell Jr., SG, Gonzaga | Sophomore
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: 29
Although Rui Hachimura has soaked up a lot of the Gonzaga spotlight, Norvell has quietly enjoyed a breakout year of his own and been a consistently dangerous three-point threat. His calm approach and ability to continue shooting through his misses has been impressive, and his lack of fear shooting from outside coupled with a consistent stroke gives him a chance to become a high-caliber specialist. He has also shown some encouraging improvement defensively. As long as Norvell continues to develop his guard skills, he may have a chance to play more of a combo role long-term, which would increase his chances of sticking around. He is not an especially creative finisher and has to refine his game attacking the paint, but the all-around package complimenting his potentially elite outside shooting makes him worth consideration in the late first or early to mid second round.
33. Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue | Junior
Height: 6’1” | Weight: 200 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 50
Edwards is a bit of a divisive prospect among scouts, but if you consider him as an undersized two-guard rather than a shoot-first point, it becomes a little easier to buy in. He’s strong, explosive and has a special ability to shoot from outside off the dribble. With the way the NBA game is being officiated, Edwards should be afforded the room to consistently get it off in spite of his height. His turnovers are easier to forgive when you consider how much Purdue is relying on him to attack and score, and his low assist totals are also a byproduct of his role as a scorer. As long as Edwards can use high ball screens effectively at the next level, his offensive utility as a sparkplug in the backcourt makes sense. He likely won’t add a ton defensively. Still, his talent and impressive intangibles have earned him some fans in front offices, and he’ll have a much better draft case this time around.
34. Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 195 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 43
Crucially for Kentucky, which had high expectations for him coming into the season, Herro has begun to pick up his play and his confidence has soared in recent weeks. He might be the Wildcats’ most talented player with his ability to make deep, difficult threes, particularly off the dribble. His body type doesn’t have much appeal from an NBA standpoint, and he might be a liability defensively as such. But given his jump shooting plays in a variety of situations and could be an elite skill, Herro should have a chance to play his way into the first round as long as he plays well down the stretch. Teams are generally willing to take fliers on shooters, and he might be one of the best ones in this class.
35. Jaylen Hoard, PF, Wake Forest | Freshman
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 31
Extracting Hoard’s struggles from Wake Forest’s extremely frustrating team context is a challenge, as the team has done little to put him in great positions offensively and don’t have much of a playmaking element anywhere on its roster. His physical tools are still enticing from a projection perspective, as he should be able to defend multiple positions, can hit set threes and will likely look at least marginally better playing alongside better players. Hoard’s offensive skill set needs a decent amount of work and he’ll turn 20 before the draft, making him a less-enticing project than some of the other freshmen in this class. Still, his best basketball is certainly ahead of him, and he will require some ongoing evaluation even as his team struggles.
36. Jalen Smith, C, Maryland | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 41
Smith has been a big rotation piece for Maryland and mostly held up his end of the bargain with rebounding and effort. While he’s not spectacularly athletic or fluid, his size and skill level are intriguing. While he has real potential to space the floor, he has not gotten consistent results shooting from outside yet. Smith doesn’t have extreme length but has been impactful blocking shots, and if he can get stronger it would help him defensively at the NBA level, but there are also some questions about his lateral mobility and foot speed. He’s not a clear one-and-done case at this point based on performance, but has the talent to be a major factor in conference play and make things interesting.
37. Quentin Grimes, SG, Kansas | Freshman
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 16
Not much has gone according to plan for Grimes this season, and it’s evident that he was ranked aggressively on this list to begin the season. Although he has struggled to consistently impact games, he remains part of the starting lineup and will have an opportunity to make his case as Kansas contends for another Big 12 title. While he has not looked the part as a one-and-done talent, based on his size, tools and high school track record, if he were to enter the draft it’s conceivable that a team would still take the dive and offer him some type of guarantee. It was not a secret that he can be somewhat passive on the floor, but Grimes’s ball-handling has looked somewhat suspect and he has had difficulty attacking downhill within Kansas’ offense. He’s talented enough that it’s worth giving him a little more time, but returning to school and taking a swing at the first round next year still looks like the best option for now.
38. Isaiah Roby, F/C, Nebraska | Junior
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 34
Roby has been a key part of Nebraska’s success playing out of position at center. He’s an improving jump shooter and profiles better as a stretch four than a five at the next level, where his athleticism and ability to attack closeouts should play best. Roby can effectively defend multiple positions and block shots, and with the way the NBA is headed, his skill and versatility make sense. Nebraska doesn’t do much to orchestrate touches for him, and he requires a little bit of projection, but as long as his three-point shooting (which looks sound mechanically) translates, Roby does enough things well to fit into a frontcourt role.
39. Brandon Clarke, F/C, Gonzaga | Junior
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 215 | Age: 22 | Last Rank: 40
With Killian Tillie still injured, Clarke has stepped up in a big way for Gonzaga and given them a critical defensive backbone. While his highlight blocks and acrobatic plays have been impressive, there is a bit of split opinion on him as a prospect: his toughness and athleticism gives him a chance to fill a role in spite of his size, but he’s not a terrific shooter or especially skilled offensively, and has struggled a bit as a rebounder and interior finisher against bigger frontlines. Because he can defend multiple positions and has been impressively efficient, Clarke will get an opportunity, but he will need the right team fit to succeed as a rotation piece.
40. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 245 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 21
Bassey’s first-round appeal has dimmed somewhat upon closer examination. It’s hard to knock his production as a finisher and rebounder, but he has to work for much of what he gets and rely more on his motor than his athletic gifts. He has NBA talent and has shown some jump shooting flashes, but he may profile more as a long-term reserve than a starting-caliber center, and that probably places him more in the late-first/early-second round conversation. Some scouts have expressed concern about his heavy build and gait with respect to his conditioning and mobility. Bassey’s rebounding and hustle are nice strengths for a young big, but that type of role is where his ceiling might lie.
41. Ty Jerome, G, Virginia | Junior
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 195 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: 42
Although Jerome isn’t exactly an eye-test player, he has legit size and does a little bit of everything on the perimeter. He can play on or off the ball, shoots it well off the catch and can run a bit of pick and roll. He does an overall good job defensively in Virginia’s system, as well. He sometimes struggles finishing and attacking the paint, but his ability to consistently hit threes coupled with a well-rounded skill set should make him a viable role player. Big guards who can move the ball and knock down jumpers without being a zero defensively tend to be useful commodities.
42. Charles Matthews, G/F, Michigan | Junior
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 205 | Age: 22 | Last Rank: 38
Matthews is having a strong season and has become a stopper for Michigan’s elite defense, using his size and length on a consistent basis and helping set the tone as a leader. His tools have always intrigued NBA teams, and although he remains somewhat inconsistent as a scorer, he does plenty to help the team win and has shown a little bit of improvement as a jump shooter. He’ll likely never be elite from outside, but as long as Matthews can continue to knock down catch-and-shoot threes at a decent clip, he’ll make a nice case for himself as a glue guy who does a little bit of everything. He may not be a first-rounder, but Matthews has certainly helped himself in the eyes of the NBA over the past two months.
43. Eric Paschall, PF, Villanova | Senior
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 255 | Age: 22 | Last Rank: 39
Understandably, Paschall’s individual numbers have taken a dive with less help and more responsibility this season. He still projects as a potential role guy provided his three-point shooting holds up, as his toughness, mobility and motor could play as a smaller stretch four within the right system. Paschall struggles to create his own shot efficiently, particularly against length, but factoring past and present context, he primarily needs to catch-and-shoot and take care of the little things to provide value.
44. Jalen Lecque, G, Brewster Academy | HS Senior
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 190 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: NR
Although he is committed to NC State, Lecque is likely to be deemed eligible for the 2019 draft as a prep school senior who turns 19 in June. He continues to ponder making the leap, and although he’s far from NBA-ready, his explosiveness and upside as a defender would get him drafted, whether it’s late first round or a second-round guarantee. Lecque has to become a more consistent offensive player in most facets, and his three-point shooting in particular is questionable at this stage. He’ll be best off with G League time to begin his pro career. But factoring in his age and athletic toolbox, there’s untapped upside that teams will be willing to develop now if he chooses to enter the draft.
45. Simi Shittu, F/C, Vanderbilt | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 240 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 45
Shittu has been a rebounding presence for Vanderbilt and been able to play meaningful minutes after recovering from his ACL injury, but his offensive contributions have been up and down. He has not been a factor whatsoever as a jump shooter, nor has he been a consistently good finisher. While he is skilled with the ball and is a great passer for his size, Shittu will need to put on a more convincing string of performances in the second half. Granted, losing Darius Garland for the season hasn’t been ideal for anyone at Vanderbilt, and he should be afforded more time to get back to peak physicality, but right now it’s hard to view Shittu as more than a flier. Returning to school should be an option for him based on what we’ve seen so far.
46. Charlie Brown, G/F, St. Joseph’s | Sophomore
Height: 6’7” | Weight: 200 | Age: 21
Presently draining threes at a blistering clip, Brown has established firm NBA buzz with his efficient play and profiles as a useful wing shooter with size in the vein of Allen Crabbe. He’s got a clean, sweet release, can shoot it off the bounce or catch, and figures to translate that skill neatly at the next level. He moves well defensively, has some length to him, and has a chance to become a valuable role player. Brown is an easy eye-test guy and has started to put everything together, and as teams seek shooting help in the middle of the draft, he may have an opportunity to rise from here.
47. Matisse Thybulle, SF, Washington | Senior
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 205 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: 49
Thybulle remains one of the most intriguing defensive prospects in this draft class, with great length and natural ability that should be disruptive even outside the context of Washington’s 2-3 zone. He blocks shots, fishes for steals and makes a tangible impact on that side of the ball—even if he doesn’t lock people down one-on-one, his off-ball defense alone could make him playable. His likely versatility on that end coupled with a buyable if streaky three-point stroke makes him an enticing low-risk, high-reward type pick in the second round. He is not a volume threat as a scorer, but he has a nice-looking shot that may well translate. Thybulle doesn’t hunt or force his own shot and is a willing ball-mover, and could become an effective, if somewhat limited, part of someone’s rotation.
48. Naz Reid, C, LSU | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 46
Few are questioning Reid’s skill level or offensive talent, but the concerns about his competitive makeup have persisted, and he could certainly use a more convincing string of games against quality competition to help himself. He’s capable of doing it, and his ability to shoot from outside, pass and handle make him a cosmetically intriguing prospect, but Reid has not always been a factor in LSU winning games, and his iffy motor manifests itself in his poor rebounding totals. Moreover, his slower foot speed on defense and inconsistent rim protection raise questions about his actual fit as an NBA five-man. He continues to trend in a concerning direction.
49. Dedric Lawson, F, Kansas | Junior
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: 53
At some point, Lawson’s productivity can’t be ignored, but there are fair questions about what parts of his game translate to the NBA. He has been dominant at times for Kansas, owning the glass, jump-starting the offense with his passing and showing improvement finishing inside. But the long-term concerns persist surrounding his athleticism, outside shooting and defense. If he can’t space the floor, defend the perimeter or protect the basket consistently, it may be a challenge for Lawson to last at the next level. But analytics models will likely value his productivity, and he has certainly put himself in good position to get an opportunity, particularly as the Jayhawks keep winning games.
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50. Shamorie Ponds, G, St. John’s | Junior
Height: 6’1” | Weight: 180 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 52
Ponds’s ability to take over as a scorer and improved playmaking has been a big part of St. John’s resurgence this season. It’s important to note that the Red Storm played a remarkably thin non-conference schedule, and Ponds will be put to more of a test in the Big East, (even though the quality of teams there is also down this season). He is not physically imposing in any way, but has a good level of craft to his game and can score creatively. Ponds’s jumper has always been streaky, and that makes him difficult to project aggressively as a shooter, but he knocks down enough shots to think there’s a chance it translates. Still, his auxiliary counting stats are somewhat inflated by his heavy on-ball minutes and the lack of other passers on the roster. Ponds’s productivity and ability to create his own shot off the dribble will appeal to some teams, but his style of play and on-ball defensive concerns will turn off others.
51. Louis King, F, Oregon | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 32
King has started slowly after returning from a torn meniscus, and so has Oregon, who are now without Bol Bol and Kenny Wooten going forward. The whole operation seems to be trending in the wrong direction, and while King’s length and tools make him a long-term person of interest, barring a huge second half, he may have a hard time rejuvenating his stock. King has size and a translatable perimeter skill set that still warrants close attention: he’s a solid ball-handler, passer and shooter and isn’t lacking for talent. He also has a reputation for being inconsistent with his effort and focus. Perhaps he trends back closer to the first round, but he might benefit from a second college season to maximize his position.
52. Killian Tillie, PF, Gonzaga | Junior
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 44
Thought to be close to returning from a preseason ankle injury, Tillie’s rebounding and elite positional shooting have kept him on the NBA’s radar. He has obvious potential as a specialist with size and an elite skill to sell. NBA scouts understandably have concerns about his extremely thin build, but Tillie is an underrated athlete, which helps a bit. That said, he may be too thin to defend centers, and not quite agile enough to guard on the perimeter, limiting him to bigger forwards from a matchup perspective. He’s one to watch upon his return, particularly if the threes fall at a high clip again.
53. Juwan Morgan, PF, Indiana | Senior
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 230 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: NR
Morgan has been among the most consistent, offensively versatile bigs in the country and an underrated force for the Hoosiers, doing damage in the post, facing up and as a set shooter. He’s a strong defensive rebounder and passer, and will be an interesting investment for someone as a small-ball big who can help teams effectively run five-out offense. Morgan’s outside shooting will be a key assessment and there’s some reason to question it: he’s shooting a career-best percentage from three, but his free throw percentage has bizarrely decreased in each of the last four seasons. He may not be able to defend many wings, but he blocks shots and racks up steals defensively. Morgan has a strong case to be drafted.
54. Zylan Cheatham, F, Arizona State | Senior
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 220 | Age: 23 | Last Rank: NR
Quietly, Cheatham has been Arizona State’s second-best player, and his unorthodox but effective skill set has made him an impact piece after his transfer from San Diego State. He’s a plus athlete who is versatile on defense, with the length to defend inside and on the perimeter, and is a strong positional rebounder at either forward spot. He can handle and pass well for his size and finishes around the rim nicely, as well. Cheatham’s Achilles’ heel is a highly questionable jump shot, which won’t do him many favors, but his offensive role is otherwise malleable. His all-around impact still makes him a good candidate for a second-round dart throw.
55. Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina | Senior
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 210 | Age: 22 | Last Rank: NR
After playing through much of last season with knee and hip issues, Johnson is healthy and thriving as one of the deadliest perimeter threats in college hoops. With legit height and perimeter skills, his release is difficult to contest, and he has to be accounted for at all times with his catch-and-shoot prowess. That alone will give him a chance to be a specialist. Johnson sometimes looks tentative going into the paint and finishing, and teams would like to see him play with more grit at times. Defensively, he can be a little stiff and could end up exposed somewhat against pros. But thanks to his lanky frame, Johnson could conceivably space the floor at a high level from either forward position, and that alone has him in great position to be drafted.
56. Max Strus, G/F, DePaul | Senior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 215 | Age: 22 | Last Rank: 57
It’s been hard for Strus, a former Division II transfer, to gain a foothold in the national discussion due to his situation at DePaul, but NBA teams continue to track him as a potential role player. The key is understanding how poorly he has been utilized at times: DePaul has trouble consistently getting him easy looks, and his efficiency dips as a direct result. Strus has deep range, a clean release and can bury threes off movement, and he’s an underrated ball handler and passer. He plays with enough toughness and effort to be competent defensively with his size. To his credit, he’s not just hunting shots on a middling team, but if you played him with better guards and screen-setters, his percentages would probably spike. Strus remains a sneaky second-round play, and has a chance in the same way Joe Harris had one coming out of Virginia.
57. Jarrey Foster, SF, SMU | Senior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: 33
Foster was a surefire draft pick as a junior prior to an ACL injury that ended his season, but has yet to get back to top form with a month of games now under his belt. He has the athleticism and savvy to fit neatly into the NBA game as a high-end role player, but is probably more of a wait-and-see situation with respect to the draft right now. Smart teams will value his versatility, and he might end up available as somewhat of a bargain as a result of the injury depending on what type of season he puts together from here. His three-point shooting remains an area of concern, but Foster can do pretty much everything else effectively, and could still play his way back closer to a first-round eval.
58. Aric Holman, PF, Mississippi State | Senior
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: 54
Mobile bigs who block shots and shoot threes with natural touch are hard to find, and while Holman has not been markedly consistent scoring the ball, he’s a draftable prospect with some untapped potential. His build probably makes him best suited as a stretch four, and he’s playing alongside some trigger-happy guards who situationally reduce some of his opportunity to break out. Holman is a good rebounder and can finish enough inside despite not being vertically explosive, but scouts do have questions about his physicality and how he’ll hold up at the next level. Still, his overall profile gives him a chance to fill a need at the NBA level.
59. Ky Bowman, PG, Boston College | Junior
Height: 6'1" | Weight: 190 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 48
Bowman has been off to a mostly positive start while handling a huge dosage of minutes and offensive possessions, although it’s worth noting BC has played a relatively soft schedule. His jumper has been very hot and cold, but his athleticism, ability to attack downhill, and penchant for stuffing a box score places him among the better available point guards in the second round. His team context and inflated minutes give him a bit of a pass when it comes to turnovers. There are some questions about his ability to finish in traffic, and he’s not a pure setup man, but Bowman competes hard on both ends and has fans in NBA front offices after last season. If he can lift the Eagles into the middle of the ACC pack, he’ll help himself.
60. Grant Williams, PF, Tennessee | Junior
Height: 6’7” | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: NR
By playing his way onto the early shortlist for National Player of the year, Williams has demanded consideration as a legitimate NBA prospect in spite of his height. He’s built like a brick, has been a load in the post and on the glass, and has started adding spot-up jumpers to his arsenal. From an intangible perspective, he checks every box for teams. The issue is how much of Williams’s game translates to the NBA level, as he does struggle at times to score over long defenders and likely won’t command significant post-up touches or double-teams in the pros. He’s a good passer, but his impressive assist totals do tend to derive from those opportunities. With Tennessee having a strong year, it’s easy to see him getting drafted in the second round, but teams are going to be split on where his upside lies.
61. Darius Bazley, F
Height: 6’9” | Weight: 195 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: 59
Bazley made headlines with a string of decisions that led him out of his commitment to Syracuse and his plans to play in the G League, instead accepting a year-long paid internship with New Balance as he works out and angles for a spot in the draft. Scouts were less than impressed with his showings at All-American practices and the Nike Skills Academy last year, and there’s some legitimate long-term concern here given his lack of an offensive skill set. Bazley will likely be drafted, but he’ll have to give teams a more legitimate sense of what he can be going forward in his workouts.
62. Alen Smailagic, F/C, Santa Cruz Warriors
Height: 6’10” | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last Rank: NR
As a true 18-year-old facing older players in the G League, Smailagic has produced nice numbers in limited minutes for Santa Cruz and emerged as a buzzy, draftable prospect, combining size, skill and surprising fluidity facing up on the perimeter. After identifying him overseas, the Warriors traded up to acquire his rights in the 2018 G League draft and bring him over. Because he doesn’t turn 19 until May, Smailagic can’t be called up to the NBA yet. There is some suspicion around the league that Golden State aims to try and acquire his NBA rights this summer, whether as a second-round selection or as a free agent. That was further bolstered by their decision to hold him out at the G League showcase, ostensibly hiding him from rival executives in attendance. His situation bears monitoring.
63. Markus Howard, G, Marquette | Junior
Height: 5’11” | Weight: 175 | Last Rank: NR
It’s difficult to ignore the numbers Howard has been putting up, including a recent 40-point half against Buffalo. While Big East teams are sure to gameplan for him and try to limit his effectiveness, his elite volume shooting numbers suggest he has a legitimate chance to succeed as an NBA player. Howard can struggle against defensive length, but he also doesn’t play alongside any legitimate secondary shot-creators at Marquette, and placed within a better team context, he could easily provide instant offense as a reserve. Due to his size, he’s always going to give something up defensively. But Howard has a legitimate pull-up game and deep range, and looks like a worthwhile second-round option for a creative team.
64. Jordan Poole, SG, Michigan | Sophomore
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 195 | Age: 19 | Last Rank: 51
Poole has made some positive strides in terms of consistency as a sophomore, improving his outside shooting and individual defense and playing a key secondary role. His offensive contributions have mostly been as a catch-and-shoot guy, and he doesn’t have much of a slashing component to his game, but Poole has NBA-type talent. He must continue to expand his offensive game, and it may take another season for him to fully show it off, but with Michigan’s track record for developing players it’s easy to see him being a factor in the draft down the line. It’s totally possible he steps up big in March, tests the waters and forces the issue.
65. Lagerald Vick, SG, Kansas | Senior
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: 60
Vick is still a wild player who likely won’t be more than a shooting specialist at the next level, but there are teams who value his toughness, athleticism and potent jumper and will look at him closely in the second round. He’s even surprised Kansas with how well he’s shot the ball, and has stepped up as a heat-check factor in the team's offense. Vick is still built very thin and could be a better defender. In his best games he looks like an NBA-caliber shooter, but his highs and lows tend to be pronounced.
66. Jordan Caroline, F, Nevada | Senior
Height: 6’7” | Weight: 230 | Age: 22 | Last Rank: NR
Caroline’s ability to effectively defend inside and play functional offense on the perimeter makes him an intriguing fit for where the league is headed. He has flown under the radar a bit amid Nevada’s success as the Martin twins have garnered more of the spotlight, but has developed a case as the team’s best pro prospect provided his improved three-point shooting is for real. The son of former NFL star Simeon Rice, Caroline has a strong frame and is quick off the floor, making him a dynamic rebounder in spite of his height, and is regarded as a strong leader with positive intangibles. He doesn’t provide much in the way of rim protection, profiling more as a forward, but Caroline may have a chance to succeed in the P.J. Tucker mold if he can space the floor at a good clip.
67. Ty-Shon Alexander, SG, Creighton | Sophomore
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 195 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: NR
After breaking out in the fall with big games against Clemson and Gonzaga, Alexander has demonstrably made a big leap as an older sophomore, capable of getting hot from outside, playing pick-and-roll and supplying some secondary playmaking. He’s long, athletic and has developed a useful perimeter skillset, with a quick trigger off the dribble from range. At this point he may be more of a name for next season, but as one of the better guards in the Big East, he will have a platform to make a case and test the waters, particularly if he can help get Creighton into the tournament.
68. Kris Wilkes, SF, UCLA | Sophomore
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 195 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 56
Once pegged as a 3-and-D type prospect, Wilkes hasn’t improved much in either area this season, making him more or less a scorer who hunts shots with some athletic-based upside. UCLA has been a mess, with Steve Alford now out, which has to be taken into consideration. But his feel for the game is underwhelming, he doesn’t play all that well off the dribble, and the ball sticks in his hands as he looks to score a bit more often than is palatable. His tools make him a viable second-round flier, but Wilkes has lost most of his All-American shine, and his big scoring totals have not always had much to do with his team actually winning games.
69. Tyler Cook, F, Iowa | Junior
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 250 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: NR
The thing you hear frequently with Cook is how good he could be with a consistent jumper: he’s a high-energy interior presence for Iowa and has been one of the top performers in the Big Ten this season. He’s an above-the rim athlete and finisher with a strong sense of the floor, and has been plugged in much more often than last season. He probably doesn’t protect the basket enough to anchor an NBA lineup at the five, but his rebounding should still translate. He’s somewhat similar conceptually to Montrezl Harrell, who was a better jump shooter in college but provided many of the same things he now does in the NBA. Cook is regarded as a hard worker, and if he does add some type of face-up game, it will help his chances of sticking around.
70. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville | Sophomore
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 215 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: NR
Oftentimes, Nwora has been Louisville’s only consistent source of points this season, and while that leads to some frustrating shot attempts, he does have a smooth jumper and a natural talent for scoring. He’s a strong rebounder but does not provide much defensively on the interior, meaning he will likely have to defend forwards at the next level. Nwora’s deep range and ability to catch and shoot could make him dangerous as a stretch-four, though he could do to eliminate some of the wild midrange pull-ups he takes. His talent level is apparent, though he may end up having to return for another year of school.
71. Milik Yarbrough, G/F, Illinois State | Senior
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 230 | Age: 23 | Last Rank: NR
Yarbrough has had some eye-opening lines playing point forward for the Redbirds the past couple of seasons, and should have a chance to succeed with a club that favors positionless lineups. He’s used to having the ball in his hands and making plays, and could conceivably be even better in a situation where he didn’t have to eat up a third of his team’s possessions. Yarbrough has to improve his catch-and shoot game to have a chance, particularly at an advanced age, but he’s athletic, skilled and has made big strides the last couple of seasons. Legitimate playmaking forwards are hard to find, and he could be an interesting lineup piece with shooters around him.
72. Xavier Sneed, G/F, Kansas State | Junior
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 210 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: NR
Though unlikely to ever be an impact offensive player in the pros, Sneed’s toughness, ability to defend multiple positions, defensive rebounding and spot-up shooting make him a very effective jack-of-all-trades. He’s long and athletic enough to guard in the NBA, and with teams ever-willing to find value on the wing, Sneed will deserve an opportunity to make a difference. He does not have a terrific handle, nor is he great at creating offense, but he was a key to Kansas State’s Elite Eight run last year and won some people over. It wouldn’t be a total surprise if he continued to overachieve.
73. Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | Junior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: NR
In many ways it feels like Battle has plateaued at Syracuse after returning to school, and though he has a good build and has been a useful college scorer, he does not project with a ton of upside moving forward. Other than attacking the basket, drawing fouls and scoring from midrange, there is not a ton of substance to his game, and Syracuse’s recent history of producing quality pros has been spotty. He also has a bit of a hitch in his jumper that hinders his ability to shoot from outside. In addition to the jumper, Battle will have to prove he can defend at the NBA level, and hidden in the Orange’s 2-3 zone, he may not have an opportunity to show it until after college. His long-term fit looks spotty based on everything we’ve seen.
74. Lindell Wigginton, G, Iowa State | Sophomore
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 185 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: 58
Wigginton has just returned from injury, and has work to do in the second leg of the season. He’s athletic and a quality slasher and shooter, but was was extremely turnover prone last season, to the point where he looks more like an undersized two-guard than anything else. Iowa State has put together a great team around him, and if he can refrain from too much ball-stopping, he might be able to improve his stock. Wigginton needs to be more efficient and patient going forward, but being that he turns 21 in March, turning over a new leaf may prove difficult.
75. Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn | Sophomore
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 230 | Age: 20 | Last Rank: NR
Auburn is a guard-driven team, but Okeke has emerged as their best long-term prospect. He can knock down threes, blocks shots and has impacted the game on both ends, showcasing nice mobility for a bigger forward and stretch-four potential. He has the length and build to do it at the pro level, although his production can run hot and cold and he leaves something to be desired as a defensive rebounder at times. The immediacy of his draft case will be determined by how quickly he can get his jumper to a consistent place, but for a player who isn’t featured often offensively, he’s put together a good start to the season. Okeke has a nice amount of upside and will be tracked closely by teams long term.
76. Brandon Randolph, SG, Arizona | Sophomore
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 175 | Age: 21 | Last Rank: NR
Randolph has NBA-caliber springs and has been a key player and active scorer after spending most of last season in Sean Miller’s doghouse. He’s smooth off the dribble and has the athletic tools to play at the NBA level, but as a 21-year-old sophomore, it’s difficult to see him improving much physically. Concerns stem from his slender frame, lack of playmaking feel and streaky outside shooting. He has stepped up a bit defensively this season, and if he can turn himself into a more selective, consistent jump shooter, Randolph could make an interesting case.
77. Kerwin Roach, SG, Texas | Senior
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 180 | Age: 22 | Last Rank: NR
Roach’s entire Texas career has been somewhat Jekyll-and-Hyde, but when he’s good, he tends to look extremely good. He has nice size, elite speed and quick-twitch ability, and can be an extremely tough defender when locked in. However, he has never quite taken the leap many hoped he might. Roach is so athletic that he will be worth bringing in for looks no matter what. But as second-round fliers go, he may not be at the top of everyone’s list right now.
78. Dylan Windler, SF, Belmont | Senior
Height: 6’7” | Weight: 190 | Age: 22 | Last Rank: NR
It’s worth noting that Windler has struggled a bit against better competition, but he’s having a strong season shooting from outside, and his overall skill level on the perimeter is solid. He’s somewhat stiff athletically though, which makes projecting him a bit difficult — he may not be quick enough to defend wings, and isn’t big or strong enough to guard inside. Windler is a good positional rebounder and passer and will make open threes, and has potential to be of use in the right type of system. Still, he has a bit of work to do to strengthen his case as a second-rounder.
79. Cody Martin, G/F, Nevada, Senior
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 205 | Age: 23 | Last Rank: NR
Cody remains the more intriguing of the Martin twins from an NBA perspective with his ability to facilitate and switch defensively. He effectively plays point guard for Nevada, and if not for his continued struggles shooting three-pointers (and advanced age) would be a much more impressive prospect. At this point, Martin sort of is who he is, and if his catch-and-shoot skills don’t come around, it may be hard for him to stick on the floor. But his all-around ability may create a chance to thrive situationally.
80. Caleb Martin, SG, Nevada, Senior
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 205 | Age: 23 | Last Rank: NR
Like his brother, Caleb Martin more or less is who he is at this stage: the twins turn 24 this fall, and are literally men among boys in a lot of matchups. They performed poorly at the draft combine last year, and are more or less the same players, still on the fringes of the second round at this point. Caleb remains a potent college scorer, but his funky three-point mechanics and regression shooting from outside leave reason for skepticism. If Martin can cut it defensively and impact the game in auxiliary areas (ironically, more like his brother), he can make the most of whatever opportunity he gets.