This year’s class of top Big Ten talent is a very skilled group, and many of the players from this group project well as legitimate NBA prospects. To give you an idea of which players are likely NBA caliber guys I will be profiling three players, one that is an NBA lock, one who has some work to do and one player on the outside looking in.
He’s A Lock:
Miles Bridges: 6-foot-7 Sophomore, Guard (Michigan State)
Bridges is the biggest lock of anyone in the conference to make the NBA. He has legitimate NBA athleticism and length. Bridges has a strong body and a polished skill set. He can get to the rim at will and has a jump shot to compliment his extraordinary athletic ability.
Bridges will be the best player on the best team in the Big Ten this year.
Barring any major injuries, look for Miles to dominate the NCAA this season.
2016-2017 Stat Line:
Where He Projects: Bridges will most likely be a top-three draft pick.
He’s Got Some Work to Do:
Isaac Haas: 7-foot-2 Senior, Center (Purdue)
Haas is a big body and the NBA loves a big body. At his height and weighing 290 pounds, he certainly has the measurables to play in the league. Haas is comparable to Meyers Leonard was before going pro — a rare seven-footer with the ability to run and stretch the floor.
Haas doesn’t have much for a jump shot, but he is fantastic with his back to the basket. He is a strong defender in the paint but is plagued by a common problem for guys his size: footwork. NBA scouts will likely want to see him work on his athletic ability and improve his footwork.
2016-2017 Stat Line
Where He Projects: Right now, Haas would likely be a late first-round, early second-round selection, but if he increases his athleticism and quickness he could slide into the top-15.
He’s on the Outside Looking in:
Tony Carr: 6-Foot-5 Sophomore, Guard (Penn State)
Carr’s freshman season was that of the breakout variety for the young Philly guard. Talk about bursting on to the scene, Carr averaged 13.2 points per game last season with just over four rebounds and four assists per game. Not bad for your first season in the NCAA.
Carr has athletic ability and court vision to spare, not to mention an incredibly high motor. He distributes the rock well and is not afraid to shoot from just about anywhere.
That last bit is actually Carr’s biggest downfall — he’s a young guard and needs to shore up his consistency to get a look from the NBA scouts. He isn’t ready for the NBA yet, but don’t sell him short, some experience and maturity will do him well.
Where He Projects: If Carr were to declare for the draft now he would be a very late second-round selection, or he would go un-drafted. This guy has something to prove.