We have already focused in this space on the top 10 American draft prospects. Now it’s time to give props to the top 10 senior prospects.
While the NBA Draft is all about potential – which often hurts those who remain in college for four years – remember that Jeremy Lin spent four years at Harvard before emerging into the global superstar he is now.
1. Tyler Zeller, North Carolina, C
Vitals: 7-0, 250 pounds
Stats: 15.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Skinny: Probably won’t be the highest member of his family picked since younger brother Cody, a freshman at Indiana, will likely go higher. Still, Tyler is an athletic big man who can score and rebound and is projected as a lottery pick.
2. Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas, PG
Vitals: 6-3, 185
Stats: 16.5 ppg, 5.0 apg
Skinny: After a series of off-court incidents throughout his career, the former Bob Hurley pupil appears to have gotten with the program as a senior. Strong, quick, athletic playmaker who must work to cut down his turnovers.
3. Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt, C
Vitals: 6-11, 255
Stats: 10.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.2 bpg
Skinny: After missing the early part of the season with a knee injury and a suspension for accepting improper benefits, Ezeli has returned to provide Vandy a legitimate big man who can finish around the rim. He has shown flashes of inspired play but still needs to improve his rebounding.
4. Kevin Jones, West Virginia, PF
Vitals: 6-8, 250
Stats: 20.3 ppg, 11.2 rpg
Skinny: The likely Big East Player of the Year, Jones is not a flashy player but should end up having a solid 10-year NBA career. A high-character kid from “Money Earnin’ Mount Vernon,” Jones guarantees a double-double every night in the Big East.
5. Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt, SF
Vitals: 6-7, 226
Stats: 17.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg
Skinny: An athletic player who excels in transition, Taylor has improved his draft stock tremendously by virtue of shooting 47 percent from the arc this season compared to 35 percent a year ago.
6. Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette, SG
Vitals: 6-2, 215
Stats: 18.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg
Skinny: A strong, rugged Big East 2-guard, he is shooting 40 percent from the arc this season. That is an uptick from his junior year (36 percent) but not quite as impressive as his lights-out sophomore season (47 percent).
7. Scott Machado, Iona, PG
Vitals: 6-1, 180
Stats: 13.3 ppg, 10.0 apg
Skinny: Leads Division I in assists and ranks second in assists per 40 minutes (11.3). Skilled playmaker and high-character kid who benefited from four years in school and should be a solid NBA player.
8. Jorge Gutierrez, Cal, SG
Vitals: 6-3, 195
Stats: 13.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.2 apg
Skinny: Potential Pac-12 Player of the Year is a terrific driver and passer. Great quickness, takes and makes every big shot. Best defender and toughest player in the Pac-12. Can play the point as well.
9. Orlando Johnson, Santa Barbara, SG
Vitals: 6-5, 205
Stats: 20.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg
Skinny: Confident shooter who likes to take the big shot. Johnson is shooting 40 percent from the arc but is down to 45 percent from inside the arc after 48 percent a year ago.
10. Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure, PF-C
Vitals: 6-9, 250
Stats: 17.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.7 bpg
Skinny: Skilled post man and strong rebounder who has come on strong with back-to-back 30-plus-point outings against Fordham and Rhode Island. Needs to get stronger, cut down on turnovers (2.5 per game) and extend his range.
ALSO: William Buford, Ohio State; Jason Clark, Georgetown; Jae Crowder, Marquette; Marcus Denmon, Missouri; Kim English, Missouri; Yancy Gates, Cincinnati; Ashton Gibbs, Pitt; Michael Glover, Iona; Draymond Green, Michigan State; JaMichael Green, Alabama; Tu Holloway, Xavier; Robbie Hummel, Purdue; Bernard James, Florida State; Scoop Jardine, Syracuse; Kris Joseph, Syracuse; Darius Miller, Kentucky; Herb Pope, Seton Hall; Ricardo Ratliffe, Missouri; Zack Rosen, Penn; John Shurna, Northwestern; Jordan Theodore, Seton Hall; Alex Young, IUPUI; Casper Ware, Long Beach State.