Bagley doesn’t turn 19 until March and is one of the most physically dominant players on the college level. He has made a seamless transition and if not for Trae Young would be the frontrunner for the Wooden award this year. He plays with great energy, effort and consistency and has some nice face-the-basket and post skills. While he needs to continue to work on his offensive game and expand his range and consistency, his elite athleticism and motor gives him a lot of intrigue among NBA scouts. He remains in the conversation to go first, with a legit chance to lead Duke to a national title.
Thanks to guys like Bamba, Jackson, and Sexton, the mid lotto area possesses a great deal of talent, just like last year. Jackson is a long, fluid big man who fits today’s NBA perfectly with his potential to spread the floor and his speed in the open court. He will need to work on adjusting his shot as it is flat, but he hits it with consistency. With his ability to block shots and play inside and out on the offensive end, the sky is the limit for him. He may need more time than some of the other top prospects, but he will likely be worth the wait.
Carter lacks the speed to play on some of the more high-octane teams in the league. But he’s a highly skilled and hard-working post player who should have a solid career in the league. What he lacks for in foot speed, he makes up for in toughness and skill. He’s an excellent face-up shooter, and has great length and decent leaping ability. He’s probably a long shot to become an All-Star, but can become a highly effective pro and worthy of a late lottery selection.
Bridges is an undersized four but he proved to be a productive scorer as a freshman. He even shot the ball well from 3. He’s one of the most explosive athletes in college. More will be expected from him this season if he is to maintain his status as a potential lottery pick. He shows a lot of determination, but at 6-foot-7 and with a short wingspan, he has an uphill battle playing against bigger opponents.
Williams is one of the most polarizing prospects in this year’s draft. He made the surprising decision to return to Texas A&M despite many feeling he was a potential lottery pick last year. He’s had a rough sophomore year as he has struggled to improve offensively. He is playing in the shadow of the conference’s top big man player in Tyler Davis, so he only has so many opportunities offensively, but he appears content to not be much of a scorer. He seems to play at his own speed, lacking a sense of urgency. He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and has outstanding run/jump athleticism. The talent is obviously there for him to be a much higher pick, but his intensity and energy level has started to worry scouts.
Metu was stripped of his captaincy for a crotch punch that certainly showed a lack of judgment. He’s a talented big, but the knock on him has been maturity and his “incident” certainly illustrated that. Chris Paul had a similar crotch punch while at Wake Forest, but his didn’t include a running start, so Metu obviously can overcome this. Metu’s ability to knock down mid-range shots will be his bread and butter at the next level. Aside from his increase in points per game, his statistics are eerily similar to last year.