By Clayton Crowe
Arnett Moultrie (Mississippi State) – After transferring from UTEP, Moultrie finally got his chance to be “the man” and didn’t disappoint. At 6’10, he has a prototypical power forward body that scouts love. He led the SEC in rebounding (10.6) and was fifth in scoring (15.8) and will be playing with a chip on his shoulder after the selection committee left the Bulldogs out of the NCAA’s.
Terrence Ross (Washington) – The Huskies are loaded with talented guards/wings and Ross might be the best of them all. He has tremendous size for his position and has the ability to score in a number of different ways. His jumper is the best and most consistent part of his game but he can also get to the rim and he is an above average rebounder for his position.
Tony Wroten (Washington) – There is no mistaking Wroten’s talent but he is the type of combo guard that often struggles to find their niche in the NBA. He can score with the best of them and has an uncanny ability to get to the free throw line. He has also put any worries about his ACL tear to rest with his stellar freshman campaign. But he still has a lot to work on as an average jumpshooter and turnover prone lead guard.
Herb Pope (Seton Hall) – Pope was in POY conversations for the first 10 or so games of the season but his numbers dipped once the Pirates got into conference play. He averaged a double-double for the season and improved on every single statistical category from a year ago. A strong rebounder, Pope won’t “wow” scouts with any aspect of his game but he has what it takes to be a quality big man off the bench for an NBA team.
Rodney Williams (Minnesota) – Williams is the most athletic guy on this list. He might be the best in-game dunker in college basketball. He has all of the physical tools to be a solid NBA player but he has yet to reach his full potential on the court. He had to step his game up when Trevor Mbakwe went down early in the season and that should go a long way with his development.
Rodney Hood (Mississippi State) – Rodney Hood is a matchup nightmare in college and showed glimpses of how good he can be. He is only a freshman but has a complete offensive game. He can get to the rim, shoot from deep and has a solid mid-range game. If he becomes a better on ball defender and rebounder, the sky is the limit. It is hard to believe that Mississippi State is in the NIT with two of the top 10 guys on this list. Point guard Dee Bost and bigman Renardo Sidney are also prospects to be tracked.
Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee) – Stokes makes this listed based on pure potential. His sample size wasn’t enough for a full evaluation, based on the fact that he enrolled early at Tennessee and didn’t play until January. He did step in right in the middle of SEC play and average nine points and close to eight rebounds so the talent is there. He will be the focal point of the Vols offense next year so expect big numbers.
CJ Wilcox (Washington) – Wilcox seems to get lost behind the big name guys like Ross, Wroten but he was third on the team with 14 points per game. He, like Ross, has good size for his position and is a good shooter. He has decent athleticism and should get the chance make a major impact next year with the likely departures of Ross and Wroten.
CJ Aiken (St. Joseph’s) – Aiken is a long, athletic shot blocker with an average offensive game. He is a difference maker on the defensive end and was fourth in the nation in blocks per game (3.6). He is a skinny kid that could stand to pack on a few pounds of muscle. Shot blockers are always valued in the NBA so even if his offensive game doesn’t develop, there will be a spot for him on an NBA team.
Kenny Kadji (Miami) – Kadji came out of nowhere this year after transferring from Florida. The inconsistencies of Miami’s guards and the early season suspension of Reggie Johnson allowed Kadji to show what type of player he can be. He has above average ball handling skills for a player his size, a decent back to the basket game and an above average jump shot (42.4% from distance). The Hurricanes will be less guard oriented in 2012-2013 which should mean even more opportunities for him.