Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin, Duke’s AJ Griffin and Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis spent the previous season displaying off their NBA potential in entrance of huge crowds on the faculty stage, together with within the NCAA Event.
Shaedon Sharpe ended up taking a special path to subsequent week’s draft.
He by no means performed a second for Kentucky earlier than being a shock exit for the NBA, but he might be the primary identify known as amongst that group of lottery prospects.
This is a have a look at a few of the prime wing gamers within the draft:
The 6-6 sophomore blossomed in his second season to turn out to be ESPN’s No. 8 draft prospect.
STRENGTHS: Mathurin was a second-team Related Press All-American with above-the-rim athleticism and a dependable jumper. He averaged 17.7 factors whereas taking pictures 38.3% on 3-points over two seasons. He had an enormous March second, scoring 30 factors and coming by means of within the clutch to assist Arizona survive an time beyond regulation win towards TCU within the NCAA Event’s second spherical.
“I took benefit of March Insanity to showcase my expertise,” Mathurin mentioned Thursday. “And I felt like there was an awesome likelihood for me, for folks to see what I will do.”
CONCERNS: Whereas his size provides defensive potential, Mathurin might additionally use extra consistency at that finish of the ground, with ESPN faculty basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla noting earlier this yr that Mathurin has room to develop with making reads and dealing with the choose and roll.
The 6-6 small ahead, son of former NBA participant and present Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin, provides outdoors taking pictures, size and defensive potential.
STRENGTHS: Griffin, who turns 19 in August, is ESPN’s No. 9 draft prospect after averaging 10.4 factors. His stroke was terrific, with the freshman hitting 44.7% of his 3-pointers and tallying a dozen video games with not less than three 3s. There have been additionally flashes of skill to take over video games, highlighted by his 27 factors in a February romp towards rival North Carolina.
CONCERNS: There is a restricted pattern measurement to judge a participant who missed most of his final two prep seasons to accidents. He additionally should develop off the dribble to enrich his vary.
The 6-5 sophomore went from function participant off the bench to an surprising star for Wisconsin.
STRENGTHS: Davis performs with aggression and toughness at each ends. Ranked as ESPN’s No. 11 draft prospect, Davis averaged 19.7 factors and eight.2 rebounds to turn out to be an AP first-team All-American whereas proving able to creating his personal shot or appears for his teammates.
His all-around 37-point efficiency in a highway win towards then-No. 3 Purdue in January illustrated his upside, with Boilermakers coach Matt Painter calling him “the definition of a two-way participant.”
CONCERNS: Davis wants to enhance his outdoors taking pictures after making simply 30.6% on 3s, together with 10 of 48 (20.8%) in his final 15 video games.
The 6-5 guard has taken an uncommon path to the draft after a semester-long cease at Kentucky.
STRENGTHS: He was thought-about the No. 1 recruit within the class of 2022 earlier than reclassifying and enrolling with the Wildcats in January, with the acknowledged plan of enjoying the 2022-23 season. Corridor of Fame coach John Calipari raved concerning the Canadian’s athleticism and taking pictures, with Sharpe displaying the flexibility to complete across the rim, rating off the dribble and hit from outdoors within the prep ranks. Ranked as ESPN’s No. 7 draft prospect, he additionally measured simply shy of a 7-foot wingspan on the NBA draft mix.
CONCERNS: Sharpe has not performed since a nationally televised highschool sport in October, leaving little physique of labor to judge towards different prime professional prospects after his resolution to depart faculty.
“My final sport was highschool, so I really feel like there’s curiosity and thriller with me,” Sharpe mentioned Friday. “However like I mentioned earlier than, I am simply within the fitness center preparing.”
OTHERS TO WATCH
– OUSMANE DIENG: The 19-year-old Frenchman spent final season within the Australian Nationwide Basketball League’s Subsequent Stars program for elite prospects. Ranked No. 12 by ESPN, the 6-10 Dieng has intriguing perimeter expertise as a possible lottery choose. However he should develop his outdoors shot (27% from 3-point vary within the NBL) and add bulk (205 kilos).
– MALAKI BRANHAM: The 6-5 freshman from Ohio State averaged 13.7 factors whereas taking pictures 41.6% from 3-point vary and 83% from the foul line. He might go late within the lottery and is ESPN’s No. 13 draft prospect.
– OCHAI AGBAJI: The 6-6 senior was a first-team AP All-American and essentially the most excellent participant on the Last 4 as Kansas gained the NCAA championship. Agbaji elevated his sport final season to common 18.8 factors and 5.1 rebounds whereas additionally proving to be a high quality defender, making him a first-round prospect and ranked No. 16 by ESPN.
– TARI EASON: The 6-8 sophomore and Cincinnati switch introduced a 7-2 wingspan and the flexibility to defend a number of positions to LSU, a part of the rationale he is a first-round prospect and ESPN’s No. 17 prospect.
– JADEN HARDY AND MARJON BEAUCHAMP: Each are first-round prospects from the G-League Ignite developmental program for prospects who bypassed faculty basketball.
AP Sports activities Author Gary B. Graves in Louisville, Kentucky, contributed to this report.
Observe Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap
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