WITH the large majority of players having featured in about 10 games so far, we have a pretty good idea of who is climbing draft rankings with their great play. It’s always fun to compare young college stars to past greats, and this year batch of players are no exception.
LONZO BALL, UCLA – JASON KIDD/MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS
STANDING at 6’6, Lonzo Ball has the ability to impact the game in various ways. He has the ability to score in a variety of ways thanks to his athleticism and a developing jumpshot. He is a great playmaker who rebound, defend and set up his teammates with ease, putting him in talks for the #1 pick when it’s Draft time.
HARRY GILES, DUKE – CHRIS WEBBER/AMARE STOUDAMIRE
GILES hasn’t been able to get onto the floor yet thanks to a knee injury, however, he was the top recruit coming out of high school largely in part to his dominant play in high school. The multi dimensional big man is extremely talented and his athleticism helps him play above the rim, leading to comparisons of guys like Stoudamire and Blake Griffin.
DENNIS SMITH, NC STATE – STEVE FRANCIS/ERIC BLEDSOE
ACTING as a lone wolf (pun intended) Dennis Smith has started the season with North Carolina State in great form. His ball handling and play making have him tabbed as one of the most talented ball dominant players in the nation.
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MALIK MONK, KENTUCKY – BRADLEY BEAL/MONTA ELLIS
COMING out of college Malik Monk will be a highly touted prospect thanks to his lethal ability to hit the deep shot. Through 10 games he is averaging three makes a game and shooting over 38%
JONATHAN ISSAC, FLORIDA STATE – KEVIN DURANT/RASHARD LEWIS
ONE of the most intriguing prospects in college basketball, Issac’s stock is rising more with every game he plays. Many are throwing the Kevin Durant comparison at him, yet other think that’s to big a label to put on the freshman. He has the ability to live up to the lofty title though if he continues to develop the way he has been.
MARKELLE FULTZ, WASHINGTON – RUSSELL WESTBROOK/D’ANGELO RUSSELL
PROCLAIMED as the favourite to be the first pick come draft time, Markelle Fultz is in a league of his own. He is putting up impressive numbers (22.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists a game) on a bad Washington team, much like last year’s number one pick Ben Simmons. His incredible play and versatility has him looking like the college version of Westbrook.
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DE’AARON FOX, KENTUCKY – JRUE HOLIDAY/DENNIS SCHROEDER
A great floor general De’Aaron Fox has been leading the Kentucky offense to great levels through the start of the year. Showing poise and control years above his age, Fox is built to be a great point guard in the true essence of the world once he is drafted.
JOSH JACKSON, KANSAS – TRACY MCGRADY/ANDREW WIGGINS
ANOTHER top recruit out of high school last year, Josh Jackson is very similar to another Kansas stud in recent years. He has been labelled as Andrew Wiggins 2.0 thanks to his athletic prowess and his length. He should push towards the top of draft boards much like his fellow Jayhawk alumni.
JAYSON TATUM, DUKE – DANNY GRANGER/PAUL PIERCE
THE second Duke recruit on the list and the second one who hasn’t been able to get on the floor. Much like Josh Jackson, Tatum has been linked to another high draft pick from his school in recent times, with many elements of his game emulating Jabari Parker. Tatum doesn’t have one true strength, but has the ability to develop his entire game into the elite bracket.
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