Taking a look at the Draft Express top 100 NBA prospects we find several players coming out of the Big East conference who could potentially land on an NBA roster next year. Over the last 48 hrs. the rankings have changed so the back end of the list goes slightly out of order. Most interesting mover on the board is Jakarr Sampson. Two days ago he was at #77 on our list, currently as of this writing he has slipped to #98.
Interestingly enough there is not a center in the bunch, not really even a power forward. But there are an exciting group of players who all excelled in their respective programs. It will be exciting in a few years to look back and see which of these guys was able to achieve the dream of making an NBA roster and playing professional basketball at the highest level for a living.
Without further ado, here are the top players from the Big East Conference who have entered the upcoming NBA draft:
Big East Players/ Draft Hopefuls
#8 Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton - We know all about McDermott, he is the highest rated player in the draft coming out of the conference. He is a pure shooter in a forward's body - kinda sounds like a guy that used to play for the Redmen in the 80's named Mullin. He is projected to be picked by the Hornets who have reportedly showed heavy interest.
#67 Semaj Christon, PG, Xavier - A first team All-Big East point guard as a sophomore, Christon averaged 17 points and 4.2 assists leading Xavier in their first year in the Big East Conference. A very good player who will look to make a solid contribution to an NBA team next season, he has the tools to be starting someday if he puts the work in.
#69 Fuquan Edwin, SG/ SF, Seton Hall - At 6-6 Edwin is an in-betweener. At number 69 on the Draft Express big board he is listed as a small forward, on the Seton Hall roster he is listed as a shooting guard. He's already 22 and tips the scales at just over two bills. Fuquan may benefit from some time in the D-League. (That may be a familiar theme for the rest of the list from here on out.)
#71 Bryce Cotton, PG, Providence - Cotton is a stoic warrior. He single-handedly willed that Friar team to victory more times than they deserved. If you were in Queens the night Providence took SJU to overtime and would eventually win, you know how good Bryce Cotton is. He is constantly disrespected because of his size but no one seems to mention that his heart is bigger than the state of Rhode Island. He is not going to have the career that Iverson had but he will make a living playing professional basketball. He is one of the toughest guards in the Big East and he proved it every time he stepped on the court.
#72 Markel Starks, PG, Georgetown - A senior who once lost his starting job, then battled back to become a solid contributor and floor leader for the Hoyas. Not a pure point guard, Starks did an admirable job when asked to run the offense, he is a capable defender and should garner some attention at the next level.
#81 Sean Kilpatrick, SG, Cincinnati - At 24, he is the elder statesman of the group coming out of the Big East. A bonafide scorer, Sean's game translates at the next level. Draft Express has him at #81 and if you look at the list it's anybody's guess which of these players we'll see in the NBA in five years. He could easily be rated higher, but the fact that he is older gives him potentially less upside so teams will look to go younger first. I understand the logic - if a player is 24 and hasn't gone on to the NBA by that time, the odds are against him. With Sean, we will just have to wait and see.
#98 Jakarr Sampson, SF, St. John's - What we know is Jakarr is an excellent athlete. The former Big East freshman of the Year, Sampson is an exciting player who we have watched throw down vicious transition dunks while running in the open court. He just needs time to develop. If Gregg Poppovich or Jerry Sloan got a hold of him they would mold him into a NBA stud. Let's just hope he doesn't get stuck playing for a coach who doesn't know how to develop a player with this kind of upside. Obviously Sloan is no longer coaching but someone along those lines.
There is no crystal ball and no magic formula. Some of these players will go on to live their dream and play in the NBA and some won't.
Everyone on this list has a chance to play at the next level.
My guess is when we tune in for the 2014 NBA Draft there will be a good number of players selected out of the Big East Conference.
What do you think?
Any future All-Stars in the bunch?
Give me your thoughts on which of these players you expect to see in the NBA next year, which ones you think will need some time to develop in the D League, and which ones you don't think will make it to achieve the dream of life in the NBA?
There's always Europe.