By Hocine LOUKKAF on 3/19/2021
With Kuminga a bit exposed during the bubble and Cunningham performing at a very high level for a month, I had to put the Cowboy at #1, a position he may never leaves if he keeps playing like that in the NCAA tournament.
#1 Cade Cunningham 6-8 PG Fr Oklahoma State
Stats : 20.2pts 6.3rbds 3.6as
Four of his last seven games with at least 20pts including a 40pt-outburst against then-top10-ranked Oklahoma, a very nice 29pts 3as 1to on 5/12 from three despite the loss against Texas in the Big 12 Final, Cunningham has been clutch for the last month and has improved his offensive efficiency (only one game under 40% FG). As the main ballhandler of his team, he still needs to cut down his turnovers as he had a streak of five games with at least 5tos that he fortunately ended during the last two games.
#2 Evan Mobley 7-0 PF/C Fr USC
Stats : 16.8pts 8.6rbds 3.2bl
After a streak of five games during which he scored at most 13pts (including a poor 11pts on 2/7 against Utah), Mobley bounced back well with identical 26ps-9rbds-5bl against the same Utah team and Colorado. As the only big man projected in the top 5, he will have a bunch of suitors once the draft order will be determined.
#3 Jalen Green 6-5 SG G-League Ignite
Stats : 17.9pts 4.1rbds 2.8as 36% 3pt
While Kuminga seemed to be the hottest prospect in the bubble, he was overshadowed by Jalen Green, who proved to be a better passer and above all shooter than expected (seven games wiçth at least three attempts and 40% from three). Things were not perfect either as Green also had four very bad shooting games (two with 0/7 from three, one 0/6 and one 1/6). he still has that superstar potential that will make him a top five pick for sure in this draft.
#4 Jonathan Kuminga 6-8 SF G-League Ignite
Stats : 15.8pts 7.2rbds 2.7as
Our potential #1 pick for most of the season, Kuminga had an hard time proving his doubters wrong in the bubble. His lack of shooting efficiency (25% from three) and rawness, above all on defense, raised a lot of questions about his real potential. Yet, he has been a very good rebounder (four 10+rbd games) and his motor has not been questioned. A potential steal outside the top five.
#5 Jalen Suggs 6-4 PG/SG Fr Gonzaga
Stats : 14.3pts 5.5rbds 4.5as 2st
Gonzaga’s road to the WCC championship was pretty easy but Suggs had the good idea to play his best game in the Conference Final with 23pts 5rbds 5as on 4/7 from three. Albeit an above average athlete, he may be a bit below his top 5 counterparts in terms of physical tools and skills.
#6 Jalen Johnson 6-9 SF Fr Duke
Stats : 11.2pts 6.1rbds 2.2as 1.2bl 44% 3pt
Johnson shocked everybody as he decided to leave Duke early to focus on the draft, but his combination of talent and physical tools make him one of the prospects with the biggest upside. During his last month of competition, he had one of the most impressive statline in college basketball with 24pts 16rbds 7as 4bl 2sts and 0to against Pittsburgh before ending his college career scoring 8 and 3 during his last two games. If the motor is there, he could be an All-Star in the NBA within 5 years.
#7 Moses Moody, 6-5 SG Fr Arkansas
Stats : 17.4pts 5.9rbds 37.9% 3pt
A solid prospect, Moody is a at the same time a sure thing but with a not-so-high ceiling. Outside of his 5pt-game against Mizzouri, he was impressive recently with three 28pt-game over his last four games shooting a combined13/27 from three during these games.
#8 Scottie Barnes 6-8 PF/SF Fr Florida State
Stats : 11pts 4.3rbds 4.2as
Despite the fact that FSU has lost three of his last seven games, Barnes has been able to display his versatility as he had 8pts 8as against Miami, 17pts 9rbds against Notre Dame and probably his best game in the ACC Final loss against Georgia Tech with 21pts 4rbds 3as (albeit with 6tos) on 2/2 from three, his main weakness. He’s also improved his FT with 9/10 over his last three games, a good sign for all the doubters who question his ability to be a reliable shooter.
#9 Roko Prkacin 6-9 PF 2002 born Cibona Zagreb CRO
Stats : 13.2pts 6.8rbds 39.7% 3pt (Adriatic League)
Prkacin benefits from the fall in term of talent outside the top 8. He may not be the most impressive or athletic prospect but has solid size, bball IQ and an improved shot. With 15pts 8.8rbds and a combined 4/8 from three over his last four games in the Adriatic League, he would deserve to be a lottery pick.
#10 Sharife Cooper, 5-11 PG Fr Auburn
Stats : 20.2pts 8.1as
With only one game played during the last month due to an ankle injury (26pts 6tos against LSU), Cooper may have left the college scene on a bad note. If he comes back healthy, he remains the best pure PG of this draft even if his poor outside shooting and diminutive size could make him fall lower on draft night.
#11 Keon Johnson, 6-5 SG Fr Tennessee
Stats : 11.2pts 3.4rbds 2.5as
After some poor outings against Kentucky and Vanderbilt, Johnson has shot at least 50% in each of his last four games (including 13pts 9rbds 6as against Florida), averaging 17.5pts in the process. Despite his two-way potential, his main flaw remains his outside shot as he’s hit only 2/8 from three during that stretch, something that would limit greatly as a SG in the NBA.
#12 Corey Kispert 6-7 SF Sr Gonzaga
Stats : 19.2pts 4.9rbds 44.4%
Contrary to Johnson, Kispert may have 0 upside but his shooting alone could make him have a long career. He had a bad three-game-stretch in February during which he only shot 2/11 from three but outside of his 0/5 against SMC, he’s hit 13/28 over his last three games.
#13 Franz Wagner, 6-9 SF Michigan GER
Stats : 12.8pts 6.2rbds 2.9as 39% 3pt
The little brother of Wizards’ PF Moritz, Frantz is a far more versatile player who projects as a big SF. He struggled recently against Illinois and Ohio State but at least proved his all-around skills against the Buckeyes with 6rbds as 3bl 3st and oto. The fact that he also averages 1+bl and 1+st per game are good indications of his will to defend.
#14 Juhann Begarin 6-5 SG 2002 born Paris Basket FRA
Stats : 12.6pts 4.4rbds 2.4as 1.3st 0.9bl
14 may seem a reach for the Frenchman but contrary to many other prospects, he doesn’t have any flagrant weakness. He has elite size at 6-5 with a 7ft wingspan and above average athleticism, playing in the solid French Pro B (2nd division) and has averaged 15.5pts 4rbds 3as and 2st over the last two games shooting a combined 4/8 from three. As one of the youngest prospects in this draft, it wouldn’t be crazy to imagine him ending up one of the best guards of this draft.
#15 Isaiah Jackson, 6-9 PF/SF Fr Kentucky
Stats : 8.4pts 6.6rbds 2.6as
Despite Kentucky’s disastrous season, Jackson has been pretty consistent with six 10+pt games before the loss against Mississipi State (7pts on 3/6). During that stretch, he had displayed great improvement from the FT line with a combined 30/40. A raw prospect but with the upside to be a top notch defender in the NBA.
#16 Alperen Sengun, 6-9 PF/C born in 2002 Besiktas TRK
Stats : 19.3pts 9.5rbds 1.7bl
Sengun is the same impressive and consistent big man with 21.6pts 8.6rbds and 3.3as over the last three games including a combined 16/18 FT. He has room to improve his agility and is one reliable outside shot away from entering the top 15.
#17 James Bouknight, 6-5 SG So Connecticut
Stats : 19pts 5.7rbds
Since the last mock, Bouknight had four 20pt games. Yet, he was disappointing in his last two games scoring 10pts and 14pts on a awful 0/7 from three. With many SG hoping to be selected in the first round, Bouknight could slip lower he doesn’t help the Huskies go far in the Tournament.
#18 Jaden Springer, 6-4 S Fr Tennessee
Stats : 12.4pts 2.9as 54% 3pt
Many draftniks have Tennessee’s duo of freshman guards in the lottery but I’m more worried about Springer’s potential. Indeed, he lacks elite size and athleticism compared to Johnson and as talented as he is (two 20pt-games vs Vanderbilt and Auburn), he’s shot only once above 43% FG during the last month in six games while hitting a poor 5/17 from three.
#19 Greg Brown 6-8 SF Fr Texas
Stats : 9.6pts 6.4rbds
Once considered a potential top 10 pick, Brown has completely disappeared, to the point where I wonder if it wouldn’ be better for him to come back for another year or consider transferring. Only three of his last eight games with more than 5pts with 4/22 from three during that stretch. Brown has the potential to be an NBA forward but he will need to find the good team and stay focused to reach consistency.
#20 Josh Giddey, 6-8 2002 born Adelaide AUS
Stats : 10.7pts 6.6rbs 6.4as
An intriguing prospect, Giddey is a true PG at 6-8 and is having a nice season in a championship where two first round picks, including Lamelo Ball, competed last year. Struggling with consistency since the beginning of the year, the Australian prospect has been a bit more productive recently as he had at least 10pts 8as 6rbds in each of his last four games while shooting 8/20 from three. He still needs to add strength and athleticism to finish efficiently in the paint (four of his last ix games under 36% FG) but could be a nice NBA player if paired with the good backcourt teammate (Think Rozier for Lamelo).
#21 Usman Garuba 6-8 PF 2002 born Real Madrid SPA
2.5pts 3.3rbds (Euroleague) 4.5pts 4.8rbds (Spain)
Can Garuba be more than a role player and is his ceiling that high? Of course, playing for Real Madrid doesn’t help but he’s scored more than 3pts only once in his last nine games despite playing more than 14min in four of these games. His playing time dipped down even more with less than 10min in each of his last four games.
#22 Ayo Dosunmu, 6-5 SG Jr Illinois
Stats : 20.7pts 6.3bds 5.3as 38% 3pt
I have mixed feelings concernin Dosunmu, one of the oldest guards projected in he first round, He’s a versatile guard who can rebound and create at his size but hit only 4/16 from three over the last month while recording 5tos in eac of the Big 10 Tournament games. Could be selected 20 like not hearin his name called in the first round.
#23 Kai Jones, 6-10 PF So Texas
Stats : 8.4pts 4.8rbds 42% 3pt
An older prospect than his teammate Brown, Jones is far from being a finished product and he could easily be a bust when considering his production compared to his physical tools. He scored at least 10pts in each of his last three games but had only 4pts and 3rbds against Oklahoma, 2rbds in 23min against TCU and is a black hole on offense as he hasn’t delivered any assist in the six games. Someone I wouldn’t draft in the top 20 for sure.
#24 Davion Mitchell, 6-3 PG Jr Baylor
Stats : 14.1pts 5.4as 2st 46% 3pt
Mitchell hasn’t been disappointing for the last month (currently on a six-game-streak with at least 12pts) but he could get picked in the top 20 if he was more consistent from three. Over his last seven games, he had four games with at least four 3pt attempts and less than 30% 3pt while he at the same time recorded three games with at least three 3pts made and 50% or more from three. Nevertheless, he has improved his ball handling as he only had 3tos or more three times over the last eleven games, something that will help him if he can improve his a/to ratio entering the draft.
#25 Yoan Makoundou 6-9 PF 2000 born Cholet FRA
Stats : 7.3pts 3.4rbds 0.75bl 70% FG in 15min (French Jeep Elite)
No game for a month for Makoundou who has suffered from an ankle injury. The size and athleticism is there and he displayed some shooting potential. Hopefully, he will come back soon to prove his performances before his injury were no fluke.
#26 Jared Butler 6-2 PG Jr Baylor
Stats : 16pts 5.8as 45.7% 3pt
Like his backcourt mate Mitchell, Butler struggled against OK State (16pts 4tos 1as 6/15 FG). Moreover, he also struggled handling the ball well as he had at least 4tos in each of his four last games including seven against Kansas State. Some teams may prefer Butler to Mitchell but I go with the stronger one to get picked first.
#27 Ziaire Williams 6-7 SF/SG Fr Stanford
Stats : 11.1pts 5.6rbds 2.2as
Like many other prospects in this draft, Williams is the typical boom or bust pick. He has the physical tools and a good looking shot to be a nice forward but his production has not imporved since the beginning of the year. His potential last games in his college career perfectly illustrate it as he had two 10+pt-games and two 2pt-games.
#28 Isaiah Todd 6-9 PF G-League Ignite
Stats :12.3pts 4.9rbds 36% 3pt
Probably the rawest prospects from G-League Ignite, Todd has been better at the end of the bubble as he averaged 18.3pts and 8rbds over his last three games. He needs to keep working on his outside shot as, over his last seven games, he recorded three games with at least five attempts and 40% from three but had 0/11 in the other four games.
#29 Daishen Nix 6-4 PG G-League Ignite
Stats : 18.8pts 5.3rbds 5.3as 45% 3pt
Nix struggled with his scoring as he shot at least 40% in only five of his fifteen games in the bubble while hitting only 6/34 from three. He will need to work asap on his outside shot and also shed some seight to improve his athleticism and finish more easily in the paint.
#30 Charles Bassey, 6-11 C Jr Western Kentucky
Stats : 17.7pts 11.4rbds 3.1bl
Once projected in the top 10, Bassey has suffered from injury in his sophomore season and may have not had the improvement expected. In in his junior year now, Bassey still is one of the safest centers and could provide solid help inside coming from the bench while consistently hitting his FTs.