Archive - Article
November 17th, 2014
By Lukas Peng
The inaugural season is in the books for the American Athletic Conference, and the UConn Huskies represented the AAC with a national title. Last season was marked by the enormous chasm between the five subpar AAC teams and the five tournament-caliber AAC teams who battled for the conference title all season long. In the end, the regular season conference title, the conference tournament title, and the national title went to three different teams in the conference. But all of that is behind us now, and the conference lineup looks a little different this season.
Last season the Big 12 was regarded as the deepest conference in college basketball. With 7 teams making the NCAA tournament, and 1 qualifying for the NIT, there was virtually never an easy game once the conference season started. This year the mid conference depth takes a step back, but the power at the top of the league is staggering. Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa State are all Final 4 contenders, and Kansas State isn’t far behind. Baylor and Oklahoma State are in the mix for post season play, and even TCU has made major strides when compared to last season.
Karl Anthony Towns has become one of the small handful of candidates to be the #1 pick in the 2015 draft. We were able to catch up with Karl before the 2014 Hoop Summit. He had a reputation to uphold after impressing with his poise, maturity and skill set displayed during the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit. Being the lone returnee came with increased expectations to show the Hoop Summit regulars something new and improved.
2014 NBA draft had a considerable amount (13) of international prospects selected, with 5 first rounders (Dario Saric, Jusep Nurkic, Clint Capela, Bruno Caboclo, Bogdan Bogdanovic) and 8 second rounders (Inglis, Jokic, Tavares, Antetokounpo, Micic, Gentile, Dangubic, Labeyrie), a clear sign that international basketball continues to be growing. With the international competitions just starting, here’s a look at the next batch of top international talents coming from outside the US.
With the season approaching quickly, here is our first look at an extended 2015 Mock Draft 1.0 including descriptions of all of the top prospects.
Last year's sophomore class produced 11 draftees, 8 of whom were taken in the first round. As usual, a number of the top freshman prospects from the college class of 2017 headed to the pros, with no returnee really creating much of shock with their decision to return to school. There are certainly some players with lottery potential and a few who have a chance to blow up with increased responsibility, along with an additional year of off-season training. This is the 15 sophomores we feel show the most NBA promise.
The 2015 NBA draft figures to be headlined by a number of freshmen, just as the 2014 draft saw the first four picks come from the freshman class. That freshman class also consisted of half of the lottery and half of the first eighteen picks. Since 2006, when the NBA did away with high school prospects going straight to the league, this has been the norm.