The non-conference schedule for college basketball is in the books. We now have a decent sample size with the majority of the 2016 NBA Draft prospects playing around 10-12 games.
There has been a decent amount of movement throughout the Big Board since version 1.0. Ben Simmons has put up some ridiculous numbers that we have rarely seen in the history of college basketball, pushing him up to the No. 1 spot on our board. After his early struggles, Brandon Ingram has blossomed into the elite small forward that everyone thought he could be. Skal Labissiere has disappointed to a large degree comparative to his expectations.
The further along this draft goes, the harder it is getting to peg which prospects should be included on this list. As we get into conference play following the New Year, it will be interesting to see who begins to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
1. BEN SIMMONS
Austin Peters (@apete1993): Simmons is averaging 19.3 points, 13 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game, which includes nine double-doubles, a triple-double and a 43 point, 14 rebound performance against North Florida. The big knock on him is that he still can’t shoot, but you can’t overlook the insane amount of production he is putting in. Simmons has plenty of skills that should translate to elite level in the NBA and make him worth taking with the top pick.
Chris Stone (@cstonehoops): Ingram’s draft board rise has coincided with him becoming more comfortable with the college game. He’s young, can shoot it and should fill out his 6-9 frame as he gets older. What’s not to like?
Chris: Labissiere has so far had a rather notorious freshman season. He’s struggled to adjust to the pace and physicality of college basketball. But the Haitian native is also still one of the most offensively talented big men in the draft and has a silky jumper. Give him time.
PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
Austin: Bender’s playing time has been in flux this season, but when he has gotten on the court, he has been extremely impressive for an 18-year-old. He has great instincts and feel for the game while also flashing an impressive jump shot out to the Euro 3-point line. Bender is going to be tempting for teams given his age and his room for growth in a lot of areas.
5. JAMAL MURRAY
Austin: Murray has been a bit up and down for this Kentucky team, but he has by far been their best shooter and playmaker from the perimeter. He is averaging 16.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while also shooting 39 percent from 3. He may not blow you away with his athleticism but his skills and overall feel on the court will make him a seamless fit for any NBA team.
6. KRIS DUNN
Chris: As a senior, Dunn has cleaned up his turnover problems a bit. He still hasn’t developed a consistent jumper, but Dunn is an impressive playmaking point guard and an elite on ball defender.
7. HENRY ELLENSON
Chris: The Marquette freshman is a versatile power forward who should develop into a stretch four in the NBA. He hasn’t shot a good percentage from deep yet in college, but the sample is very small.
8. JAKOB POELTL
Austin: Poeltl is a name to watch out for in conference play. His numbers are impressive, averaging 17.9 points and 9.7 rebounds on 71.2 percent shooting from the floor. It wouldn’t surprise me if Poeltl strung together some big games against Pac 12 opponents and moved up higher on the next edition of this board. He works hard on both ends and has a lot of tools to be able to mold into any type of NBA system.
9. JAYLEN BROWN
Chris: Brown’s inability to shoot has been less of a story than Ben Simmons’ failures, but the Cal forward struggles with similar problems away from the basket. If he can develop a jumper, it’ll go well with his 72.1 percent shooting at the rim. That would make him a versatile offensive threat to go along with his defensive potential.
10. FURKAN KORKMAZ
SG, Anadolu Efes
Austin: Korkmaz has been able to show off all of his skills for a pretty good Anadolu Efes team. He has some sneaky athleticism and thrives in transition. If he can consistently knock down a 3-point shot at the NBA level, this guy could have an Evan Fournier type impact in the league.
11. CHEICK DIALLO
Austin: Diallo’s production hasn’t quite been there due to limited minutes that he is getting at Kansas. He sat out the first handful of games due to an NCAA eligibility issue, and it has set him back a bit. The raw upside is there, and Diallo should be a lottery pick based on his physical tools alone.
PG, Notre Dame
Chris: Jackson’s raised his assist rate nearly 10 percent this season, answering some questions regarding whether he’d be able to handle a larger playmaking role after taking over for Jerian Grant.
13. STEPHEN ZIMMERMAN
Austin: Zimmerman has a lot of tools to like for a modern NBA big man. He can shoot, handle the ball in transition and pass with excellence. The UNLV freshman is an interesting prospect to keep an eye on moving forward.
14. TIMOTHE LUWAWU
SG, Mega Vizura
Austin: Luwawu has hit a little slump as of late, but his production for Mega Vizure this year has been incredible encouraging for the most part. He was shooting over 40 percent from 3 and is one of the more athletic players in the draft.
15. IVAN RABB
Austin: Rabb has really impressed me so far this year. His work ethic and the way he is active in talking on defense really stand out. Cal hasn’t been using him this way, but he could be a nice pick and roll big man in the NBA.
16. DENZEL VALENTINE
SF, Michigan State
Chris: Valentine has done it all for Michigan State during his senior season, but it’s his shooting — both on the catch and off the dribble — that make him an intriguing NBA option.
17. WADE BALDWIN
Chris: As a sophomore, Baldwin has seen an increase nearly across the board in his offensive numbers even with a much higher usage rate. At 6-4 and 195 pounds with a 6-10 wingspan, he has the physical frame to be successful at the next level.
18. CARIS LeVERT
Austin: LeVert’s age may worry some teams, but he is the prototypical 3-and-D wing for the modern NBA. He is the type of player who will be able to be plugged in and play right away for whichever team that drafts him.
19. DIAMOND STONE
Chris: Stone’s freshman breakout came in a 39 point, 12 rebound performance against Penn State earlier this week. He’s shown off a nice offensive game to accompany decent rim protection on defense.
20. DAMIAN JONES
Chris: Jones hasn’t taken the jump that many expected him to as a junior, but he’s still a mobile big man with a solid offensive game that can protect the rim.
21. ZHOU QI
Austin: Qui dropping on our board has more to do with other prospects moving up than his own performance. His frame will worry scouts, but his skill set is nice enough to where some team should take a chance on him in the first round.
22. DOMANTAS SABONIS
Chris: Sabonis has shown a bit more shooting touch this season by drastically improving his free throw percentage so far. He can move well and is an effective option in the pick-and-roll.
23. ISAIAH BRISCOE
Chris: Briscoe hasn’t showed off an improved jumper yet and has been relegated to more of a supporting offensive role next to Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray, but he’s got the size to play the point guard spot in the NBA. His defense on Grayson Allen during the Champions Classic was a good example of his potential on that end of the floor.
24. MELO TRIMBLE
Austin: Trimble’s numbers have dipped this year, but that could very well be due to the talent that Maryland has added to their team. As a result, he is averaging almost twice as many assists this year as he did last year, showing how well rounded of a guard he is.
25. TAUREAN PRINCE
Chris: As a senior, Prince has seen his efficiency numbers drop as he’s become a focal point of Baylor’s offense. However, he likely won’t be tasked with that role in the NBA where his size (6-8 with a 6-11 wingspan) and 3-point shooting (38.7 percent in college) should make him a good 3-and-D option.
26. NIGEL HAYES
Austin: Hayes has dropped on the board due to the realization that he can’t be a stud and lead a team. He still has value as a role player, as we saw last year with how well he played when he had better players with him.
Chris: Mykhailiuk is a sophomore at Kansas and is still one of the youngest players in the draft (born June 10, 1997). He has yet to find his outside shooting touch, but has occasionally shown signs of the playmaking ability that made him an intriguing prospect coming out of Ukraine.
28. BUDDY HIELD
Chris: Buddy Buckets has been on fire this season. He’s posting 50/50/90 numbers while taking 31.9 percent of his team’s shots. His size is a bit of a concern, but the 22-year-old should still find a role in the NBA even if it’s just scoring often versus second units.
29. JONATHAN JEANNE
C, Le Mans
Austin: Jeanne is one of the youngest players in the draft, which means he might not declare for this year. If he does, he is a perfect late first round draft and stash candidate due to his under developed body. His skill set is very intriguing and tall French players have worked out well in recent years.
30. GRAYSON ALLEN
Austin: Allen has had a solid year statistically for the Blue Devils. His consistency may not be there every night, but his ability to make plays off the dribble and shoot it from deep have allowed him to fill up the box score every night.
31. TROY WILLIAMS
Chris: Williams is really athletic and plays with a high motor, but he’s still trying to develop all the skills necessary to be an effective perimeter player in the NBA. He’s a quality defender, but has only attempted 61 3-pointers during his three years in college.
32. PAUL ZIPSER
SF, Bayern Munich
Austin: Zipser is a wing who has a lot of athletic attributes to like. The question with him will be whether or not he can develop any elite skills to make it in the league.
33. JUSTIN JACKSON
SF, North Carolina
Chris: As a sophomore, Jackson has proven to be an effective scorer despite not having much of an outside shot. He has the size to play the wing in the NBA and can create for himself and others out of the pick-and-roll.
34. MALIK NEWMAN
SG, Mississippi State
Chris: Newman opened the season with some inconsistency, but he’s scored in double figures each of his last five games for Mississippi State. He may end up needing another year of school, but the weak 2016 draft class may allow him to declare.
35. DWAYNE BACON
SG, Florida State
Chris: Bacon is an effective slasher who could use a more consistent jumper. Even though he’s a freshman, Bacon will be 21 before he plays a game in the NBA.
36. THOMAS BRYANT
Austin: Bryant’s stock has dropped due his subpar play thus far for the Hoosiers. His athletic profile is really impressive, but he has a long way to go in the way of developing his feel on both offense and defense.
37. PETR CORNELIE
PF, Le Mans
Austin: Cornelie plays for the same team that Jeanne plays for but is also a few years older and plays regular minutes. He is a possible pick and pop forward candidate for some team in the late first or early second round.
38. ALLONZO TRIER
Austin: Trier is one of the better attacking guards in the country and has really come on late for Arizona. If he can continue to put up big numbers for the Wildcats in conference play, we could see him push higher into the first round area.
39. GARY PAYTON II
PG, Oregon State
Austin: The only thing that Payton can’t do is shoot, which he happens to be pretty poor at. He plays hard and has an insane awareness on defense that isn’t matched by anybody else in this draft. Some team might be able to steal him in the second round.
40. TYRONE WALLACE
Chris: Wallace has seen his finishing at the rim improve this season, which is a welcome sign. He’s one of the biggest point guards in the draft and could be a versatile defender in the league.
41. DEVIN ROBINSON
Chris: Robinson will be 21 before the end of the season, but he has a great body to play the wing in the NBA. He’s a versatile defender at 6-8 and 180 pounds, and he could use some polish on the offensive end.
42. JAKE LAYMAN
Chris: Layman’s an athletic 6-9 forward who has the potential to defend multiple positions. He’s also a career 35.1 percent 3-point shooter with a nice stroke. The Maryland senior would largely be a spot up shooting option in the league.
43. MONTE MORRIS
PG, Iowa State
Chris: Morris isn’t leading the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio for the third straight season, but he is second at 5.94-to-1. He’s not a flashy athlete, but he’s a smart player who can run an offense and shoot the ball well.
44. DANIEL HAMILTON
Austin: Hamilton has carried the Huskies at times this season, averaging 13 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. He’s had a triple-double this season and has put up some well rounded numbers for UConn, being the lone bright spot for the team this season.
45. KENNEDY MEEKS
C, North Carolina
Chris: Meeks has been a good low post scoring option in college, but his size raises questions about how he’ll translate to the NBA. With a skill set best suited the play the center spot, Meeks may need to improve his shooting range so he can spend time at power forward.
46. MARCUS LEE
Austin: Lee’s athleticism has been on full display in Kentucky’s games this season. It would be hard for a team to pass up on a guy with the frame and raw bounce that Lee has on draft night.
47. DeANDRE BEMBRY
SF, Saint Joseph’s
Chris: Bembry can get buckets and may be able to score more efficiently when he’s not tasked with carrying a heavy load. He’s got good vision (with an assist rate of 23.1 percent) and is a capable defender when engaged.
48. TIM QUARTERMAN
Chris: Quarterman has great size to play the shooting guard spot. He’s a good finisher inside with the potential to be a quality defender, but he lacks the outside shot that would make him a more well-rounded player.
49. CHINANU ONUAKU
Austin: Onuaku’s stock has dropped because of his inability to show any signs of improvement over the course of the season. He still has potential as a rim protecting center who can help anchor a defense.
Austin: Vezenkov is your prototypical combo forward who can step out and stretch the floor from the perimeter. He has been one of the better players in Europe the last few years and could maybe be a poor man’s Nikola Mirotic in the league.
51. MALIK BEASLEY
SG, Florida State
Chris: Beasley’s younger than his freshman teammate, Dwayne Bacon, but doesn’t have the same size. He’s shown nice potential as a shooter and can finish at the rim when he gets there (71.4 percent).
52. KAHLIL FELDER
Austin: Felder has been one of college basketball’s best players this season, averaging 26.8 points, 8.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. If he was six feet tall, he would be a lot higher on this Big Board.
53. TYLER ULIS
Austin: Sticking with smaller guards, Ulis is a tough player who is one of the better floor generals in college basketball. He has struggled to shoot after suffering an elbow injury, but has been able to put the ball in the basket better as of late.
54. DANUEL HOUSE
PF, Texas A&M
Chris: House has become a more perimeter oriented wing over time, attempting 7.5 3-point shots a game, but there’s still some questions regarding his ability to knock those shots down consistently. He’s a solid athlete with good size at 6-7 and 215 pounds.
55. AJ HAMMONS
Austin: Hammons is one of the better defensive centers in all of college basketball and has worked hard to expand his offensive game each year. Unfortunately, he will be one of the oldest players in the draft this year, which will hurt his stock.
56. ALEX POYTHRESS
Austin: Poythress’ stock has decreased each and every year since arriving at Kentucky, but his energy and athleticism has shined for the Wildcats this year. He is candidate to get drafted based on those two skills alone
57. AMIDA BRIMAH
Austin: Brimah’s skills are extremely suspect but his height and length have made him one of the best shot blockers in the NCAA over his college career. There is always a high chance of those types of players getting drafted.
58. GEORGES NIANG
PF, Iowa State
Chris: Niang is not a typical NBA athlete and he’s unlikely to ever be a plus defender, but the senior is the kind of versatile offensive option that could allow him to find his way onto a roster.
59. PAT McCAW
Austin: McCaw has come in under the radar for UNLV this season. He has the type of skills that you want in an NBA wing, and hopefully he can continue to show those skills on a consistent basis.
60. WAYNE SELDEN
Chris: The Kansas junior showed flashes of the potential during the World University Games that made him a highly touted recruit coming into college and his hot streak has continued. He’s knocking down 50.9 percent of his 3s and 58.3 percent of his 2s this season.
Simmons (+2), Ingram (+3), Dunn (+1), Ellenson (+1), Poeltl (+1), Diallo (+1), Korkmaz (+3), Zimmerman (+1), Demetrius Jackson (+3), Luwawu (+6), LeVert (+4), Rabb (+8), Trimble (+2), Mykhailiuk (+1), Allen (+1), Hield (+4), Bacon (+3), Morris (+1), Valentine (+30), Layman (+6), Meeks (+4), Wallace (+15), Poythress (+2)
Labissiere (-2), Bender (-2), Murray (-1), Brown (-3), Newman (-24), Stone (-8), Hayes (-10), Qi (-4), Jones (-2), Briscoe (-4), Sabonis (-1), Prince (-1), Bryant (-11), Justin Jackson (-6), Williams (-1), Onuaku (-14), Vezenkov (-13), Hamilton (-4), Lee (-5), Bembry (-5), Ulis (-6), Brimah (-6), Selden (-8), Hammons (-2)
Baldwin (17), Jeanne (29), Zipser (32), Cornelie (37), Trier (38), Payton II (39), Robinson (41), Quarterman (48), Beasley (51), Felder (52), House (54), Niang (58), McCaw (59)
Malik Pope (29), Vasilis Charalampopoulos (33), Jalen Brunson (34), Antonio Blakeney (36), Derryck Thornton (39), Ron Baker (43), Yogi Ferrell (45), Alpha Kaba (50), Brice Johnson (54), Kyle Wiltjer (56), Prince Ibeh (57), Dorian Finney-Smith (59), Mamdou N’Diaye (60)