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Preview: The Big 12 in the NBA Draft

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Which Big 12 players are you expecting to be picked tonight?

Coverage for tonight’s NBA Draft will be shown on ESPN at 6pm CST. The Big 12 could see 3-7 (lot’s of guys on the cusp of late 2nd to undrafted) of it’s players taken in this years draft class. Unfortunately, we won’t see any Cowboys drafted tonight (Thanks, Travis), but we can have some conference pride, right?

Last year was a unusually under-represented year, as Myles Turner and Kelly Oubre were taken with the 11th and 15th pick, and were the only Big 12 players called upon. Hopefully we can turn it around this year.

Projected First Rounders:

Buddy Hield had an amazing 4-year career at the University of Oklahoma. 2-time Big-12 Player of the Year. Naismith Basketball Player of the Year in 2016. His career per-game stats were at 16ppg, 5reb, 2ast, and 1.3stls. Buddy was the Belle of Ball this past March as he carried his team all the way to the Final Four. In the NBA he looks to bring consistent scoring, and a deadly accurate 3-ball.

Projected: Mid-Lottery Pick

Another senior from the Big 12, Taurean Prince brought his Baylor team to the tournament and ended on a 22-12 season. Prince showed that he was a complete player in his senior season as his per-game stats were 16ppg, 6reb, 2.3ast, 1.3stl. A NBA ready body, and a complete offensive and defensive game is what Prince looks to bring to the next level.

Projected: Late-First Round Pick

Raw Potential. PF/C, Cheick Diallo has the size, length and motor to succeed in the NBA one day. However, I don’t think that day will be any time soon. This is a guy who could barely get any minutes on the court on his COLLEGE team. Averaging just under 8 minutes per game, Diallo was putting up an average of 3 pts, 3.5 rebs and a block. It’s unknown what Diallo can really do with significant playing time, but we will likely have to watch the D-League to find out. I’m not trying to be too hard on the guy, 6’9, athletic, 7’4 wingspan? Yes, Please!

Projected: Late-First Round Pick

Projected Second Rounders:

This is a guy who stuck around and paid his dues. Receiving somewhat consistent minutes all four years at Texas, Ibeh proved that he could be the defensive presence that Texas needed him to be. Ibeh averaged 2 blocks per game during his senior season, and seems to have a nose for disrupting things down low. NBA teams know exactly what they are getting with Ibeh, a defensive grinder.

Projected: Mid to Late-Second Round Pick

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Man, I love me some Perry Ellis. Experts are unsure if Perry Ellis is going to be picked tonight, but if I were an NBA GM with a late 2nd round pick, I’d pick up my boy Perry rather some 18 year old Czech named Ainifogjjbaosgjn (not a real prospect.) Like Ibeh, GM’s will know exactly what they are getting with Ellis. He’s not flashy, not overly athletic, not a great long-range shooter, but his motor is second to none, and despite all the negatives mentioned above, he has found a way to compete at a high level for a top class program for 4(hundred) straight years. <- Old man Ellis joke.

Projected - Late-Second to Undrafted

The three year starting point guard for UT has chosen to try his luck in the draft. Isaiah is an interesting player because it seemed that every year, he added to his game. His points per game, assists, fg% and 3pt% increased every year. If he can build upon his game every year in college, who’s to say he can’t improve at the next level?

Projected: Late-Second to Undrafted

Georges Niang could find his niche in the modern NBA. The league is trending toward mobile forwards who can shoot the three ball. Lo and behold, Niang is a mobile forward who can shoot the three ball. It’s undetermined if Niang will be drafted, if not, he’ll likely get swooped up real quick. Niang may not be the next Draymond Green, but... you never know.

Projected: Late-Second to Undrafted

Buddy Hield’s partner in crime, Isaiah Cousins can flat out shoot the ball. Cousins shot over 40% from behind the arc in three straight seasons. Cousins was projected as undrafted, but lately I’ve been seeing him on some mock drafts in the latter part of the second round. I mean, every good team needs an Ian Clark type bench guy.

Projected: Late-Second to Undrafted

Wayne Selden Jr. is in the same recruiting class as Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, but has not been the same kind of game changer that those two players have been. However, Selden has shown that he can do a little bit of everything on the basketball court. His junior season, he elevated his game and provided 14ppg, 2.5ast, 3.5reb and shot almost 40% from deep. Selden is a smart player and will likely go to a team late in the second round.

Projected: Late-Second Round Pick

I loved watching Devin Williams play for the Mountaineers. I’m glad he is gone though, because the dude is a straight up bully. Watching Travis Ford’s insanely undersized PF’s and C’s try to rebound around Williams was a joke. Williams was really a bulldog in the NCAA, but I don’t believe he has much of a shot in the NBA. A lack of athleticism and range really restricts what NBA teams can use Williams for. I don’t see Williams’ name being called tonight, but I could be wrong.

Projected: Undrafted