Tag Archives: Duke Blue Devils

Top 10 2014 NBA Draft Prospects

     We live in a NBA state of mind where teams are preparing to set themselves up for the future. Whether it is acquiring draft picks in exchange for feature players, or teams “tanking” in order to position themselves for a potential lottery pick for this years upcoming draft.  With many talented prospects preparing for the 2014 NBA Draft, we take a look at the top 10 Draft Prospects.

10. Gary Harris- Michigan State

Gary Harris is a player who can play on both sides of the floor, which is not found in many college players transitioning into the league. He’s not a player who will excite you with athleticism, however, he can score the ball in various ways that will benefit a NBA team in the future. Harris might have been drafted higher a year ago, but he will have less expectations wherever he is drafted. Returning to school may have been the best decision because as he prefers to let his game speak volume.

9. Rodney Hood- Duke University

The transfer from Mississippi State has been an incredible acquisition to Duke this season. Rodney Hood can score the ball at an efficient rate, shooting 51% from the field. He is not the type of athlete who is willing to defend the best perimeter player, but has the opportunity to flourish at the next level with his size and ability on the offensive end.

8. Noah Vonleh- Indiana University

Noah Vonleh is an outstanding freshman who has a lot of promise to his game. While being a raw talent on offense, Vonleh’s athleticism combined with his length and versatility makes him a hot commodity providing defense and rebounding to his team. He will only get better as the season progresses and adjusts to the speed of college basketball.

Southern University v Arizona

7. Aaron Gordon University of Arizona

Aaron Gordon is arguably the most athletic prospect this season. Gordon draws many comparisons to All-Star forward Blake Griffin with his high motor on both ends of the court, posting 5 double doubles thus far. However, Gordon’s true position may be in question in the NBA being undersize as a power forward and perimeter play being a detriment to his game. He hardly handles the ball for Arizona, so the combine and private sessions with teams will determine where he will play.

6. Dante Exum- Australia

Dante Exum can play both guard positions while possessing the combination of athleticism and finesse skills. The Australian point guard is explosive as a scorer and ball handler that many rave about. His perimeter jump shot is still improving, being a huge weakness for Exum. It also helps that he is 6’6 adds an element to his game giving him the advantage to look over defenders at the point guard position.

5. Marcus Smart- Oklahoma State University

Marcus Smart has became the best combo guard in College Basketball. The 6’4″ sophomore guard has exceptional size and strength that will serve him as an asset at the next level. While needing to improve his court vision and jump shot, Smart is a crafty scorer who can also defend both guard positions very well.

4. Julius Randle- University of Kentucky

You can make the argument that Julius Randle may be the most ready to play in a NBA game today amongst these prospects. Having similarities to Zach Randolph, the dominant freshman can score and rebound the basketball with his athleticism and strength around the basket. Standing at 6’9″, Randle may be undersized to play the power forward position in the league. His athleticism, sheer strength, and bulldog demeanor will allow him to contend with the NBA’s big men.

3. Joel Embiid- Kansas University

Joel Embiid is the most coveted center in this season’s upcoming draft. While improving his offense, Embiid has shown flashes in the low post area that has became a lost art in today’s big men. He has also proven to be an anchor on the defensive end with his length, size, and potential drawing comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon. He has a slight frame, but he is young. Working with NBA trainers will allow him to improve his strength and be able to withstand the rigors of an 82 game season.

2. Andrew Wiggins- Kansas University

Andrew Wiggins is the most coveted college player to enter the draft this season. Wiggins has the athleticism and length that has NBA scouts salivating. He is a great defender who can guard both wing positions. His offensive game is predicated on slashing to the rim, but he has also shown that he is able to knock down the three point shot. However, he will need to knock that shot down at a consistent rate to keep opposing players on their heels on defense.

1. Jabari Parker- Duke University

Parker is ready to play in the NBA right now. He is a high volume scorer while being a blue collar hard nosed player who leads by example. He goes through shooting slumps during games, but is never hesitant to rise to the big occasion. On the other end, Parker will not change the impact during the course of the game on the defensive end as he continues to improve as a player. Still, Jabari Parker is one of few players who can have an immediate impact on a NBA team today.

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Class in Session: A Look ahead at College Basketball

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     We have come to a point in the sports calendar where a motion picture can not be scripted this well. Where NBA executives salivate over talent that is being showcased at the amateur level, almost to the point where tanking becomes an option to obtain the future franchise player. While over time, we find our cinderella that matches the lost glass slipper that fits perfect. Welcome, to the 2013-2014 Men’s College Basketball season.

     You can take a spin at the wheel for teams to watch this season that is headlined by an incredible freshman class featuring Andrew Wiggns of the Kansas Jayhawks, Jabari Parker representing Duke Blue Devils, and Julius Randle headlining the Kentucky Wildcats recruiting class that consists of 6 players ranked in the ESPN 100. The freshmen class of 2014 for Men’s College Basketball has fans and NBA GMs excited about what this season has in store.

However, the freshmen phenoms that are playing for their premier schools are facing the challenge of teams with veteran leadership of teams such as: the defending champions Louisville Cardinals, Michigan State, and Ohio State who primarily have backcourt leadership as an asset. In addition, the Creighton Blue Jays are being led by Preseason All -American Forward Doug McDermott. We have seen, late in the season, that talent is not equivalent to experience that takes place in clutch situations.

The hunted will be Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals as they will be led by Preseason All-American Guard Russ Smith as they look to repeat as back to back national champions. On the other hand, fans across the nation will take a look at the comeback of Guard Kevin Ware after the horrendous leg injury that left many appalled from what we witnessed.

All eyes will be on first year player and potentially one and done Andrew Wiggins as he is only the second freshman to become a preseason All-American selection. Wiggins is already looking forward to his last season in school, meanwhile people such as Marcus Smart do not believe in the hype. Wiggins, who is drawing comparisons to LeBron James, has not played against top tier competition in the early part of the season. He will get his chance to showcase his talents against another potential No. 1 overall pick in Jabari Parker and the Duke Blue Devils.

Tis the season to court storming upsets and incredible highlight plays from across the nation as NCAA Men’s Basketball as the season begins.