Karl-Anthony Towns 7-0 250 C Kentucky Fr.
Most freshmen prospects go through ups and down, and Towns is no exception, having faced adversity this season. After struggling for a five game stretch, he’s had four straight games in double figures and is showing the offensive upside that has him considered among the cream of the 2015 NBA Draft crop. He tied a season high with 19 points and looked a lot more confident against Georgia. Than, he hit a key hook shot in crunch time to give Kentucky the lead over LSU and pulled down a big offensive rebound to keep the team undefeated, finishing with 12 points and 13 rebounds. It is great to see him with more confidence in his shooting stroke and he has improved his post efficiency since the season has started. He tends to learn from his mistakes and has seems quite coachable. His size and talent were always there, now he has started to develop some consistency and confidence that he can build upon. He appears to be a lock for the top half of the lottery and is currently mentioned in most scout’s top 5.
Terry Rozier 6-2 190 PG Louisville So.
Rozier has been a potential lottery pick in our minds since the summer in which he showed great leadership and scoring ability from the point position. He proved to be the top PG prospect in both the LeBron James Skills Academy and adidas Nations. Though some still question his ability as a playmaker, it is easy to see he has potential as a scorer from all three levels. He shows tremendous ability to get to the rim, using his great first step and length. His jumpshot has shown very good improvement which only help his ability to penetrate to the basket. Rozier has averaging 20 ppg thus far in ACC play and his athleticism is showing in his rebounding stats. He is also showing great ability as a defender, as he has great length for his size and solid lateral quickness. Rozier may still have a bit to prove as far as running a team, but he shows potential and has improved his decision making since the beginning of conference play. After Emmanuel Mudiay and DeAngelo Russell, the third point guard off the board is up for grabs, and Rozier seems to be the hungriest and possibly best of the candidates.
Willie Cauley-Stein 7-0 240 C Kentucky Jr.
Kentucky’s other starting big man has been considered their most valuable player this year, with his energy and versatility as a defender. His on-ball defense has been a deadly weapon and he constantly locks down the player that Kentucky most needs to stop, be it on the perimeter or in the interior. His lateral speed is really considerable for such a huge guy. The athleticism for his size is glaring, especially with a number of his dunks impressively coming through contact over the past few games. His offense is limited and may always be an afterthought in his game. What he brings right now is fantastic mobility for his size, the ability to protect the rim and guard multiple positions, plus pick and roll and ally oop dunk ability. There is a definite demand for that in the NBA, which has Cauley-Stein as a possible top 10 pick for this year’s draft.
Frank Kaminsky 7-0 240 C Wisconsin Sr.
More than halfway through the season, Kaminsky remains at or near the top of most lists for National Player of the Year. He has been great inside and out, as he was when he became a national favorite during Wisconsin’s Final Four run in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. He has shown a great deal of improvement as a defensive rebounder, along with showing very nice vision. It certainly seems that Frank is making the most of his senior season and while some thought it would be difficult to increase his stock after last March, he has absolutely done so. We feel that lottery is too high, but around late teens teams that run a slower system have to begin to consider what Frank the tank could bring to the table with his great skill level and basketball IQ. His defense and mobility may always be below average, but he’s a strong character/ personality guy that continues to improve and really competes.
Kyle Collinsworth 6-6 210 SG BYU Jr.
It is very difficult to attain a triple double as a college player, something that Collinsworth has now done an NCAA record five times in 24 games this season. With one more, Collinsworth will be tied for the all-time NCAA record since the statistic has been tracked. More of a point forward than a true shooting guard, he is a nice athlete, a great passer and shows a lot of aggressiveness on the boards. He is averaging 13 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 5.8 apg for the season, playing sidekick to NCAA scoring title hopeful Tyler Haws. His lack of range remains a concern for the next level, but if he shows improvement in that facet next season, he has a skill set that makes him an ideal role player and teammate.
Justise Winslow 6-6 225 SF/SG Duke So.
After a tough stretch of games leading up to Coach K’s 1000th win, Winslow has barreled through the freshman wall and become much more an offensive threat of late, which is precisely what the Blue Devils need. He’s averaged 15.5 ppg and 7.8 rpg over the last 5 games, with his increased involvement strengthening the team’s outlook. Winslow certainly has the strength and athleticism that translate to his being a strong perimeter defender at the next level. He has shown some ability from the outside, though he will need to work on his intermediate game to be a more reliable scoring option in the future. With Duke down to 8 scholarship players following the dismissal of Rasheed Sulaimon, it is good to see Winslow step it up lately.
Joseph Young 6-2 180 PG/SG Oregon Sr.
At the beginning of the season, Young was having a really difficult time finding the range that has been his trademark. Since Pac-12 play started, he reclaimed his touch to the tune of 30-68 (44.1%) from three-point range. Few can make long-range shots with the efficiency of Young, who has also shown improvement as a playmaker. He was at his best this past week against the Washington schools, where he averaged 30.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg and posted a 5:1 assist-turnover-ratio. His lack of size and questions about his PG skills still have him on the fence to stick in the league, but he has at least gotten himself back in the discussion with a fresh reminder of what he does well.
Myles Turner 6-11 240 C Texas Fr.
With many choosing Texas as a legitimate challenger to finally unseat Kansas from its perch atop the Big 12, the Longhorns have instead been one of the nation’s most disappointing teams. The play of Myles Turner has been an absolute bright spot for a majority of the season, though he has been taking some lumps lately.
He has been held to single digits over the Longhorns last three games and his lack of activity on the offensive glass is not a positive sign from a post player. He has a lot of upside due to his touch from outside and his ability to protect the rim, it just seems that his comfort level in the post on both ends is something that will need to be addressed. There is some talk that he could be a two year player now, but that remains to be seen.
RJ Hunter 6-5 185 SG Georgia St. Jr.
The son of Georgia State coach Ron Hunter has a good mind for the game, solid size for a wing guard and has a very quick release on his jump shot. He has been shooting well from inside the arc and is shooting a fantastic percentage from the free throw line. The issue this season has been consistency from the long range, as he is currently only at 56-182 (30.8%) from behind the arc this year. With a lithe frame that puts into question how easily he can create shots, it is absolutely crucial to his NBA stock to increase this number. He has shown improvement as a playmaker and he’s had a nice increase in his trips to the line, so he still provides intrigue. He just needsd to start hitting his 3 ball at a higher clip to recapture the first round buzz he had going into the season.
Juwan Staten 6-0 190 PG West Virginia Sr.
The bulldog of a point guard was West Virginia’s heart and soul last season, even posting really impressive rebounding numbers given his size. The rebounding is down considerably and he is also really struggling to finish at the rim. This is not good news at all for a player who is almost relegated completely to playing inside the three-point line. Defense has also been an issue, particularly in conference play. Staten has been shooting a solid percentage from the midrange and definitely shows ability to get to the hoop. It just seems that Staten may have lost a step, which certainly leaves some question marks regarding his draft value.