NBA Draft Stars Beginning to Emerge

Staff Writer: Alex Kelly 

The 2018-19 NCAA Men’s Basketball year is a month into play, and there are already talks about this year’s draft. There are a few big names at the top that most people expected, but there are some standout players on some smaller teams that are getting a lot of credit for their skill. Although its still early in the year however, its pretty clear who the top prospects are, and there are definitive reasons as to why they’re the top in the nation.  

The top three draft prospects all come the same school. As assumed, it is from the Duke Blue Devils. The front runner of the three is none other than Zion Williamson. At 6”7, 285 pounds, Zion is arguably the best college basketball player right now, already being compared to one of the greatest of all time, Lebron James. Zion, who is averaging 20.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game, is proving to be the leader on Duke and continues to shine game after game.  

When asked about Zion, Brenden Foo, senior at Woodstock High School, agreed with the ESPN projections. “I don’t see how he won’t go first. He’s too good to be playing college ball right now.”  

Zion

Zion Williamson, star forward at Duke University. 
Photo Credit: si.com 

Along with Zion comes the projected number two pick, RJ Barrett. Although he seems to be in Zion’s shadow, RJ is putting up impressive numbers for Duke this year, along with being rank 12 in the nation in scoring at 24.2 points per game, he is also averaging 7.2 rebounds per game and 4.2 assists per game as Duke’s star guard. Listed at 6”7 along with Zion, he still weighs roughly 80 pounds less, but can get to the rim just as easy. He is an incredibly explosive guard with quick bursts of speed, but also has the ability to pull up and score from anywhere on the court.  

“In my opinion, RJ is an all-around better player than Zion. He might not have the size, but he has better scoring and passing abilities that should make him first overall,” exclaimed Foroutan Gorgi, senior at Woodstock High School. 

RJ

Duke’s star guard, and projected number two overall pick, RJ Barrett. 
Photo Credit: balldurham.com 

However, Duke’s talent doesn’t stop there. Alongside the top two prospects comes their teammate, Cameron Reddish. At 6”8, 218 pounds, Reddish doesn’t have the same numbers as Zion and RJ but is a key factor in Duke’s success. Averaging 14.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game, Reddish’s ability to play is used largely on the defensive end, leading the team in defensive efficiency. His true ability is being shadowed when playing alongside the monsters of Zion and RJ, but his skill and IQ are there, and will soon begin to shine in Duke’s future success. 

“I think he’s a lot better than he’s getting credit for. He might not be the most elite scorer on the team, but he can lock up on D and create open shots for his teammates,” stated Spencer Keefe, senior at Woodstock High School. 

Cam

Duke’s third of the Big-Three, star forward, Cam Reddish. 
Photo Credit: balldurham.com 

The next prospect, projected to be picked fourth, is freshman forward from North Carolina, Nassir Little. He’s played a significantly smaller number of minutes than the Duke stars, but when he’s on the court, he produces what the team needs. On the sluggish looking Tarheels team, Little is averaging 12.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game. Although his numbers aren’t necessarily impressive when looked at, his explosiveness and high IQ when on the court is enough to keep scouts enticed at his ability to play at a professional level.  

“As a UNC fan, it definitely disappoints me to see someone as talented as Little get slammed for his numbers. When he gets drafted everyone will see what he’s capable of. I promise he will impress a lot of people,” remarks Brennan Milone, senior at Woodstock High School.  

Nassir

Star freshman forward out of North Carolina, Nassir Little. 
Photo Credit: theathletic.com 

The last player to cap the top five is freshman from Indiana, Romeo Langford. Typically, a solid shooter, Langford has struggled behind the line this year, but has picked up that slack by scoring inside the arc. Averaging 18.2 points per game, Langford has connected on roughly 60 percent of his two-point attempts, which is an impressively high number. Along with his scoring, Langford has averaged 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, proving he can do more than just score.  

“I didn’t know who he was coming out of high school, but watching how he’s played in college so far, I’d say he’s more than prepared for the big league,” said Carter Maczko, senior at Woodstock High School. 

Romeo

Dunking the ball, star freshman guard from Indiana, Romeo Langford.  
Photo Credit: thedailyhoosier.com

After watching about ten games of each of these players, it’s clear to see why they are the front runners of the pack. Outside of the big-three in Duke, the other two prospects are considered leaders or simply huge keys into their teams’ success. It will be interesting to watch how each of these players develop as the year goes on, as well as showing which of them deserves to keep their name in the spotlight come the end of the season.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: