The ACC regularly produces some of the top talent in the NBA draft, with powerhouse programs such as Duke and North Carolina pumping out NBA talent on a yearly basis. Last year, the ACC had five players picked in the lottery, led by Jayson Tatum, Jonathan Isaac and Dennis Smith Jr.
This year, a third team, Miami, could sneak into the ACC’s elite and have multiple first round picks.
Trevon Duval, PG, Duke- The freshman guard from Delaware will get first round looks based on his athleticism and length. However, his porous shooting stroke could keep him out of the lottery. If he can fix his two-handed release and knock down perimeter jumpers, he could be the first point guard off the board.
Omer Yurtseven, C, North Carolina State- The sophomore from Turkey got off to a tough start as a freshman, missing the first nine games of the season. He struggled to find minutes, and thus struggled from the floor all year long. He’s a good rebounder and plays with his back to the basket, so he still holds NBA role player value.
Bonzie Colson, PF, Notre Dame- The senior from New Bedford, Mass may only be 6’6”, but he plays like he’s 6’10”. Colson is the Preseason ACC Player of the Year, and for good reason after averaging a double double as a junior. Look for him to carve out a Glen “Big Baby” Davis role in the NBA
DISCLAIMER– The N2K jury is still out on Brian Bowen, who hasn’t played a game for Louisville following the “pay for play” scandal.
- Grayson Allen, SG, Duke- Grayson Allen is the most hated player in the nation, and wants to be JJ Redick so badly. If he keeps playing the way that he has in this season, he could very well follow those footsteps.
Allen shined against Michigan State, especially after Marvin Bagley (more on him later) departed after getting poked in the eye. Allen played all 40 minutes and dropped 37 on the #2 team in the country. He knocked down 7/11 three pointers he took. The senior from Florida regressed in his junior year, seeing his scoring dip 33%. Doubled with his off the court issues, Allen had no choice but to come back for his senior season.
If Allen can prove that he’s past his childish ways and continues to show off the shooting stroke and athleticism, he holds value as a shot maker off the bench at the NBA level.
- Bruce Brown, SG, Miami- The sophomore from Boston had a solid freshman season, but came back as a sophomore to tighten up his game and prove he can be more consistent as a shooter and playmaker. Brown is a standout athlete with NBA size and length for a 2-guard. His size and quickness also makes him a quality defender when he’s locked in.
Through three games this year, Brown has shot abysmally from all levels, shooting just 41% from the field, 22% from three and 22% from the line. However, his rebounding and assist numbers are exponentially higher than they were a year ago.
It’s still early, so expect those numbers to flatten out and his shooting numbers to improve. If he can show that he can be consistent and bump up his shooting numbers to close to 40% from three, he could sneak into the back part of the lottery.
- Gary Trent, SG, Duke– The first freshman on the list hails from the Blue Devils. The son of a former NBA player, Trent has good basketball IQ and plays with poise.It doesn’t hurt to be 6’6” and a decent athlete, either.
Trent won’t wow you with above the rim hops, but he can fill up the bucket from all three levels. That lack of athleticism also leads to slow foot speed, which projects him to be a less-than-good defender in the NBA.
His ability to knock down shots will drive his stock up. He takes smart shots, and should shoot a high percentage from the floor and from three. He’ll be one of the top three options for Duke.
Trent should wind up in the top 20 of the draft.
- Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Freshman– The #13 recruit in the class of 2017, Lonnie Walker brings top tier hops to the Hurricanes. He’s a lot like Bruce Brown, in the fact that he can kill you from three, but can also take the ball to the basket.
When attacking, Walker shows an ability to hang in the air, draw contact, and still maintain body control while finishing.
Walker tore his meniscus over the summer, which is something scouts will no doubt look at and consider when looking at Walker. He also twisted his ankle in his last game, so injury concerns may hold teams off. However, if he can show that he still has that bounce, there shouldn’t be too much concern over Walker.
But teams will want to make sure his jump shot has translated to the college game, and will translate to the pros. Scouts will also be looking at Walker’s defense on the perimeter.
Expect Walker’s ceiling to be in the top half of the lottery.
- Marvin Bagley, PF, Duke (featured)- Not only is Marvin Bagley the best prospect in the ACC, he might be the best in the entire country. Bagley will likely hear his name called in the top three.
Bagley checks all the boxes scouts are looking for in modern day forwards. He’s 6’11”, 235 with good length and is mobile. Bagley shows good handles and foot speed for a kid that big. The freshman from Arizona is an absolute matchup nightmare. Smaller forwards can’t guard him in the post, and bigger forwards (there aren’t many) can’t handle his ability to drive.
Bagley is also a capable three-point shooter. The stroke is there, he just needs to find consistency with it.
Even with his skills on offense, his best trait may be his rebounding. He recorded double doubles in his first two games for Duke, and was on pace for a third against Michigan State before he got poked in the eye by his own teammate, Wendell Carter, and did not return to the game.
Bagley is a top player in college basketball, and could wind up winning Player of the Year before it’s all set and done. He doesn’t have to add much to his game, he just needs to polish off his skills before being yet another one and done freshman under Coach K.
Cover Photo via Sporting News
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