PODCAST: Looking Ahead to the Draft Lottery

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What are we going to say about Andrew Wiggins four or five years from now?

That was the question I was asked tonight on AM1280TheZone in Salt Lake City, and I prefaced my answer with a few words of caution — keep as close of an eye on Jabari Parker of Duke as you do on young Mr. Wiggins from Kansas via Ontario. Parker may be the better prospect, even if my NBA draft writer has him slotted at No. 2 in our latest Mock Lottery.

More on the draft, the playoff faces in the West and East, and the possibility of Tom Izzo coaching the Pistons in this interview with Spence Checketts and Gordon Monson.

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Mock Draft Lottery: Wiggins back at No. 1 Despite Poor NCAA Tournament


Surprisingly, it has only taken one weekend of the NCAA Tournament to knock out my first four projected picks in the NBA draft. It has been six weeks since I did my last Mock Lottery, so expect to see a few changes in the positioning, but the personnel staying relatively the same.

As I have mentioned previously, it is important to note that this list is purely based on the best overall current prospects. Once we know who is picking where and which players decide to stay in school, things will obviously change.

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NCAA Tourney: NBA Prospects from Little-Known Teams

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Sheridan_hoops_banner (1)Even during the information age when we have search engines filled with highlights, the NCAA tournament still has a few players for which information is hard to come by.

With many mid-majors having taken the NCAA by storm, specifically over the past few years, they again possess some potential NBA gems that will be display over the next few days and maybe weeks.

And with the NBA Development League strengthening year after year, expect some of the seniors in this group to find homes to continue their professional development.

Here’s a list of players you may or may not have heard of who may stand out once the big dance starts rolling.

Aaric Murray1. Aaric Murray
6’10, 245
Texas Southern

After pit stops at both La Salle and West Virginia, Murray established himself as the dominant big man for Mike Davis’ Texas Southern Tigers this season. He said hello to the nation by putting 48 points on his hometown Temple Owls to a tune of 20-for-28 shooting from the field. Despite needing to add a little muscle, Murray has a pretty sound post game and mid range face up and isn’t afraid to step outside in a similar fashion to former West Virginia star Kevin Jones. Another plus for me is Murray’s ability to play close to the basket, draw contact and complete the mission. He can finish at the rim, get to the line and has knocked down his free throws at a 74% clip this season. He’s also a rim protector and intimidator but I don’t expect that to be his calling card. His ability at the rim offensively is next level. He’ll be a handful for Cal-Poly on Wednesday night in the play-in.

tyler haws2. Tyler Haws
6’5 200

Haws is as unique of a player that I’ve seen in some time and projects to be a perfect role player prospect at the NBA level in 2015. He’s a throwback in the sense of not needing the ball to be effective within an offense, which is rare today. He doesn’t always need a ball screen to get free and he has the innate ability to find pockets of open space within the offense and can extend the defense out to 25 feet. Defensively, the only issue that I have is I’m not sure how well he can defend the perimeter or if he can guard multiple position,s but as far as his fit I can see him being a very important piece coming off the bench of a team with a disciplined offense. With another season, I’d expect Haws to jump up draft boards somewhere into the late first or early second rounds.

beamon3. George Beamon
6-4, 175

The 5th year senior has improved every season and has thrived as a scoring threat who can really defend under head coach Steve Masiello. Scouts know about Beamon’s scoring ability and consistency from all parts of the floor, but it’s his perimeter defense and ball pressure that most have taken notice of this year. He’s slight at just 175 pounds but carried a heavy workload in one of the country’s most physical conferences playing at an NBA pace. He’s a gifted scorer but he also has an incredible gift of getting his hands on the ball in other ways, especially rebounding on the defensive end. He reads angles well and knows when to attack all over the floor. A legitimate high level, two-way guard in a very strong conference. Look for Beamon to stand out as the Jaspers take on defending champion Louisville, who Manhattan models their game after thanks to the close relationship between Masiello and Rick Pitino.

taylorbraun4. Taylor Braun
6-7, 210
North Dakota State

Braun, to me, may be the most interesting mid-0major prospect in the tournament because of his length at his position in addition to the myriad of skills he possesses. This season marked his 3rd straight of 40%+ from three point range while attempting just 3.9 per game. Want efficiency? How’s 7.8 free throw attempts per game at 79% combined with a .54% eFG. That shows me that Braun has the ability to find his shot anywhere on the court including at the basket, utilizing his big 6’7 210 frame with athleticism. I admittedly need to see more, but I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen. He has all the tools to be a power 2/3 in the right system.

davionberry5. Davion Berry
6-4 185
Weber State

For the second time in three years, Weber State boasts one of the nation’s top mid-major scoring guards. While Berry isn’t Damian Lillard, he is an NBA level scorer and his advanced stats validate that. This season Berry has a true shooting percentage of 65% and an eFG of 57%. Those are ridiculous numbers for a scoring guard. He’s turnover prone, but he handles the ball so much that you don’t mind. The Wildcats have their hands full with Arizona as the 16 seed, and scouts will look to see how Berry handles the pace and athleticism. This game could really make him a household name as he pushes for potential draft positioning over the next few months.

devon6. Devon Saddler
6-2 205

I love Delaware as a sleeper against Michigan State, and Saddler is why. Tough, fearless physical lead guards are super dangerous come March and Saddler meets all the criteria. He reminds me of a smaller version of Khalif Wyatt who had a nice appearance for Temple last year in beating N.C. State in the first round. If Saddler can establish his mid-range game early, the Spartans will have their hands full all game and professional scouts will take notice.

jacobparker7. Jacob Parker
6-6, 215
Stephen F. Austin

The model of offensive efficiency, Parker has been an exceptional leader on both sides of the ball for the Lumberjacks, winners of 28 straight games. What I love most about Parker’s game is that he never seems to take a bad shot or never makes a poor decision, thus maximizing every single possession. When he decides to shoot the results are incredibly impressive. Parker boasts an effective shooting percentage (eFG) of 57% and a true shooting percentage of 62%. He boasts a very solid 1.12 points per play this year and, again, willingly shares the ball in the offense despite averaging just 2.7 assists per game. He has the size and athleticism to compete at the next level but I’m not sure exactly at what position as he is a bit if a tweener, and he could use another year of seasoning before taking his shot at the NBA, in my opinion.

whittington8. Shayne Whittington
6-11, 245
Western Michigan

Whittington deserves the attention that he’s getting as a legit double/double threat with the physical tools to make an NBA roster next year. He has very good hands and solid footwork that could use some improvement, but he does understand pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop at a very high level. He possesses a good, solid post game and is adept with both hands around the basket. Not as bouncy as many prospects, but he knows how to get to his spot on the block and is really hard to move, which is a skill that few lack in the NBA nowadays. I think he’s a good solid option for a team patient enough to want to develop him in their affiliate and hope to call up during the season.

Tommy Dee is the Director of Business Development for CHARGED.fm and was founder/executive editor of TheKnicksBlog.com from 2008-2013. He has contributed his scouting notes to Hoopsworld.com and SheridanHoops.com and the NBA Development League.

NBA Draft Lookahead: Five NCAA prospects who may be lottery material

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NBALottery-ping pongThe trade deadline is behind us, and now almost half the league _ and half of the league’s fan base _ starts looking forward to the draft.

By now, we have heard plenty about the much hyped draft class of 2014.  Riggin for Wiggins, Sorry for Jabari, Mishandle for Randle and I’m sure there are many more terms out there acting as synonyms for Tankapalooza.

It’s without doubt the most eagerly anticipated class since 2003, and whether or not it lives up to the hype is a matter of opinion.

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Updated NBA Mock Lottery — Jayhawks will go 1 and 2; Exum 5th

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NBALottery-ping pong

As the All-Star break and Feb. 20 trade deadline draw near, it’s becoming increasingly clear to the neutral observer which teams are going to compete for the remainder of the regular season, and which teams are content on limping to the finish line.

Their hopes will then rest on securing a high lottery pick in this, the much hyped 2014 NBA draft. It’s been a while between mock drafts here at SheridanHoops since Joe Kotoch’s ‘Very Early Mock Lottery‘ was published, and we thought it was about time we revisit this freshmen- dominant cluster of NBA prospects.

As it stands now, in early February, here is how I see things panning out on the 26th of June.

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