Porter is arguably the most talented draft prospect to come along in a number of years. He combines high character and work ethic with an elite skill set. His skill package is reminiscent of a smaller KD, as he’s already a skilled outside shooter with high level athleticism. His shooting and high character gives him the edge over mega-talents Bagley and Ayton, making him the top prospect in what may end up an even stronger draft class than 2017, despite, at the moment, having less hyperbole.
Knox has the talent to be a Top 5 pick. Does he have the focus and desire to improve his weaknesses is the question. He has great size and fluidity and oozes potential as a hybrid forward. But he still needs to harness his talents and learn better shot selection and decision making. Whether he can improve his efficiency and become a well-rounded player will be the key.
Hachimura didn’t contribute much as a freshman as everything was new to him, and he was adapting to American culture and learning English. But with a number of key players gone, he should have a much bigger role with the team. If his performance for Japan at the U19 World Championships in Cairo is any indication, he’s pretty close to being ready for the big stage.
Tillie showed flashes in his freshman year but was overshadowed by fellow freshman Zach Collins. With Collins now in the NBA, it’s Tillie’s time to shine along with import Rui Hachimura. Tillie was a highly-touted European player who made a solid impact as a freshman and will look to build upon that this year. He runs the floor well and plays with confidence and energy. His versatility to play both on the inside and out gives him a lot of intrigue.
Alize is Mr. Versatility. He shows the ability to score, rebound and defend multiple positions. Maybe most surprising is his tremendous passing ability. Despite playing at a small basketball program in Missouri State, he’s a big talent. Expect to hear his name frequently around draft circles this year as he plays with tremendous passion and energy, and his skill set has really developed. Let the Draymond comparisons begin!
Vanderbilt will not be back on the floor until early January, an obvious blow to his one-and-done hopes. He showed his full package of skills in the Nike Hoop Summit. He’s a high-level athlete with a versatile skill set who battled the injury bug in high school. He also had some consistency issues, particularly with his offense, but if he can get and stay fully healthy and address those main concerns, he could follow in the Kentucky pattern of being a one-and-done.
Kurucs is one of Europe’s brightest hopes. While he may not have the same hype as others such as Isaac Bonga or Dzanan Musa, he has a lot of intrigue in his own right. He’s an aggressive scorer who can get to the rim as well as knock down shots from the perimeter. He’s had some knee injuries in the past few years. So staying healthy and having his knees check out in physicals will be key.