Best NBA Prospects in the Final Four
The NCAA Tournament this far has consisted of nothing but surprise and excitement. While ISH is covering predictions and analysis of the remaining NCAA tournament (See Hank Stichter’s piece), here we will take a look at the remaining college players on NBA big boards that have carried their teams to victory thus far.
Willie Cauley-Stein / sophomore/ 7-0 / C : 6.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.9 BPG , FG 59,6%
Willie Cauley-Stein’s numbers are anything but flattering to his draft stock, but it his intangibles that make him stand out. His blocking and rim protecting ability have him as one of the top true centers in the draft behind KU’s Joel Embiid. His draft stock can only climb here in the Final Four as he returns from injury.
James Young / Freshman / 6-6 / SG SF: 14.2 PPG , 4.2 RPG, FG 40.6 %
James Young has had an up and down freshman season. Returning to Kentucky next year could prove to be to his benefits. An NBA team could use his versatility as a wing reserve, but maybe waiting until next year to grow his game and become a better scorer would improve his draft stock, especially in such a loaded draft.
Julius Randle / Freshman / 6-9 / PF: 15.1 PPG, 10.7 RPG 1.4 APG FG 49.9%
Julius Randle has killed it this tourney, posting games of 19,13,15,16 points in each of his NCAA tourney games. Randle’s draft stock has spiked this tournament, and probably has secured a top 5 draft place barring a huge setback. If Randle does in fact lead UK to a championship, Randle could climb into the top 3, replacing Joel Embiid.
Harrison Twins / Freshman / Aaron G 6-6 : 14.1 PPG, 2.9 APG, FG 42.4% Andrew G 6-6: 11.0 PPG, 3.9 APG, FG 37%
The twins are being assessed as a group because the two brothers play very similarly. The guards have shown abilities to perform well on the big stage, assisting UKs run to the Final Four. Aaron Harrison hit a huge shot last night over Michigan to send them to the next round, and I am sure Andrew could have done the same. These guards are looking like early second round picks in the draft this year, but next year could end up in the lottery.
Sam Dekker / Sophomore / 6-8/ F : 12.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, FG 46.6%
Sam Dekker is the driving force on this Wisconsin Badger team, but his success may not translate into the NBA. Projected to be a mid-second round pick at best, Dekker will need to prove a lot to NBA scouts during this Final Four and the combine. Scoring 10 or more points just twice this tourney (11 and 10), Dekker’s value has not improved that much this season. Maybe another year in school would benefit this Badger forward.
Frank Kaminsky / junior / 7-0 / C : 14.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, FG 52.7%
Kaminsky has really impressed this season, mostly so in the tournament. He scored 28 points to go with 11 rebounds vs Arizona, and scoring over 18 in 3 of the 4 games this postseason. NBA scouts will see more at the combine, but Frank Kaminsky has real potential to be a starting center in the NBA if he continues to develop at an accelerated rate.
Shabazz Napier / Senior / 6-1/ G: 18.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 5.9 APG FG 42.6 %
Napier has had a hell of a run this postseason, and he looks to continue it against Florida. Despite being a senior which cuts his upside severely, Napier has real NBA potential at the guard position. Projected to be a late first rounder, Shabazz could fall to a team like San Antonio where his career could really prosper behind someone like Tony Parker.
Patric Young / Senior / 6-9 / C : 10.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, FG 54 %
Patric Young is very raw for a senior, but being selected in this years draft is not out of the question. His round selection will depend on one thing. That is if the Gators win the National Championship game. Getting through UConn and Napier will be tough, as well as beating the winner of Wisconsin vs Kentucky. But if Patric Young leads the Florida Gators to a NCG victory, His selection could fall into late first round.
Stats courtesy of espn.go.com
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