NBA Draft Prospects

The six College Basketball power conferences look to add to their NBA resumes with this crop of NBA draft prospects

Fans love to show conference pride, and one of the best ways to do so is through NBA success. While many of the big NBA names didn’t go to a power six school (Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard, Ja Morant, Damian Lillard), there are several who represent their conference proud including Joel Embiid (Big 12), Jayson Tatum (ACC), and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (SEC)

This year, while the alternate options (International, G-League, and Overtime Elite) dominate the top spots in the draft, there are still plenty of talented guys in each conference. Let’s take a look at each.


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HM: Isaiah Wong (Miami), Leaky Black (UNC)

5: Jordan Miller (Miami)

4: Hunter Tyson (Clemson)

3: Terquavion Smith (NC State)

2: Dariq Whitehead (Duke)

1: Dereck Lively (Duke)

The ACC’s draft class is… bad. They have one projected lottery pick in Lively, and the only other player projected in the first round is Dariq Whitehead towards the end of the first. Terquavion Smith can outplay his projection thanks to his high-level scoring ability, but for now, it’s not looking like a group of players who are going to have a notable impact in five years.

Big East

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HM: Adama Sanogo (Uconn)

5: Andre Jackson (UConn)

4: Colby Jones (Xavier)

3: Olivier-Maxence Prosper (Marquette)

2: Jordan Hawkins (UConn)

1: Cam Whitmore (Villanova)

Like the ACC, it’s looking like the Big East will only have one lottery prospect in Whitmore. Whitmore could be the second-best college prospect and won’t even be nineteen on draft night, making him very intriguing. He’s followed by several national champion Uconn players, most notably Jordan Hawkins, a terrific three-point shooter who can help a team win on Day 1. 3-5 on the list are a matter of opinion on what order they should go. Don’t be surprised if all three are within five picks.

Big Ten

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HM: Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana), Seth Lundy (Penn State), Jalen Pickett (Penn State)

5: Kris Murray (Iowa)

4: Jett Howard (Michigan)

3: Brice Sensabaugh (Ohio State)

2: Jalen Hood-Schifino (Indiana)

1: Kobe Bufkin (Michigan)

Lots of great middle of the draft players representing the different Big Ten schools. All five prospects are more or less the same height, but provide different abilities for their future teams. Kris Murray, brother of the #4 pick in last year’s draft Keegan Murray provides experience that could cause a team to go for him. The other guys need a little time, but can all develop to be bigger and better than the players ahead of them, specifically Kobe Bufkin.

Big 12

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HM: Marcus Sasser (Houston), Keyontae Johnson (Kansas State), Adam Flagler (Baylor), Mike Miles (TCU), Markquis Nowell (Kansas State)

5: Jalen Wilson (Kansas)

4: Gradey Dick (Kansas)

3: Keyonte George (Baylor)

2: Taylor Hendricks (UCF)

1: Jarace Walker (Houston)

Is it cheating to include members of teams that are now in the Big 12 but weren’t last year? Maybe, but if so this might be the most stacked conference at the top. Walker and Hendricks are locked to go top 10, with Dick and George being at worst Top 15 picks. There’s a drop after that, but expect 2-4 more players from the Big 12 to hear their names called on draft night.

Pac 12

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HM: Marcus Bagley (Arizona State), Drew Peterson (USC)

5: Azuolas Tubelis (Arizona)

4: Jaylen Clark (UCLA)

3: Mouhamed Gueye (Washington State)

2: Amari Bailey (UCLA)

1: Jaime Jaquez (UCLA)

It’s no surprise that the Pac 12, a power conference that has been a disappointment for the last several years doesn’t feature a single player projected by many to go in the first round this year. Of the possible draftees, most come from UCLA as you can see. Can Bronny be drafted this year to boost up the class?


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HM: GG Jackson (South Carolina), Julian Phillips (Tennessee), Jordan Walsh (Arkansas), Kobe Brown (Missouri), Rickey Council IV (Arkansas), Chris Livingston (Kentucky)

5: Noah Clowney (Alabama)

4: Nick Smith Jr. (Arkansas)

3: Cason Wallace (Kentucky)

2: Anthony Black (Arkansas)

1: Brandon Miller (Alabama)

The SEC is the best conference for prospects, no question about it. They have the best overall college player in the draft in Brandon Miller, the best college guard in Anthony Black, and three other players who could be selected top 20. Then, you have GG Jackson, Julian Phillips, and  Jordan Walsh in the second round, three former five-stars. Add on some really productive college players including last year’s player of the year Oscar Tshiebwe and you’ve got yourself a stacked class. It would be fun to see if the SEC 6-10th best players could beat the Pac 12’s 1-5 in a game.

Everyone Else

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HM: Toumani Camara (Dayton), Omari Moore (San Jose State), Jalen Slawson (Furman)

5: Emoni Bates (Eastern Michigan)

4: Ben Sheppard (Belmont)

3: Julian Strawther (Gonzaga)

2: Maxwell Lewis (Pepperdine)

1: Brandon Podziemski (Santa Clara)

You didn’t think we’d forget about the mid-majors did you? Even though the top three are all from the WCC, there is still a decent group of mid-major players that can get NBA minutes at some point next year. The top one is Podziemski, who could really rise on draft night and become an immediate impact player. Emoni Bates is the most intriguing as a former five-star and one of the best high school basketball players ever.