10 NBA Draft prospects who can rise or fall in Big 12 Tournament

Here are the prospects to watch in the Big 12 Tournament.

Johnny Furphy, Kansas
Johnny Furphy, Kansas / G Fiume/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 5
Next

4. Kansas' Kevin McCullar is ready for his one shining moment

Fifth-year senior Kevin McCullar, in his second campaign with Kansas, has fully broken out. He's averaging 18.1 points, well in excess of his previous career high set last season (10.7). He's shooting more 3s than ever, coverting 33.3 percent of his 4.5 attempts per game. Not necessarily elite, but a far cry from where McCullar began his collegiate career back at Texas Tech.

McCullar has fully won over scouts with his more industrious workload, showcasing never-before-seen competence as a slasher and self-creator in the halfcourt. He's not going to operate as a No. 1 option in the NBA, but his ability to beat closeouts, attack seams in the defense, and supply connective passing goes a long way toward projecting a comfortable fit with just about any team. Now, he gets a chance to lead Kansas through March Madness as a top option.

Even with the rapid growth on offense, McCullar butters his bread on defense. He's one of the top wing defenders in college basketball, a label he should carry over to the next level. His activity level has not wavered (1.5 steals) despite the increase in offensive responsibilities, a positive sign. There are natural red flags tied his McCullar's advanced age (22), but he's a legitimate top-20 candidate.

3. Baylor's Yves Missi can anchor an NBA defense

Baylor freshman Yves Missi has quickly ascended NBA Draft boards, to the point where a top-10 selection isn't entirely out of the question. Especially if he can put on a show in March. The 19-year-old is the centerpiece of Baylor's defense, averaging 1.5 blocks in 22.9 minutes. He projects well toward the next level, offering an appealing blend of 7-foot size, brute-force physicality, and mobility in space.

He won't guard switches on the perimeter necessarily, but Missi can step up against pick-and-rolls and effectively contain drives. He clogs the paint, blessed with quick leaping ability, a 7-foot-6 wingspan, and an impressive nose for the basketball. There is a crowded selection of bigs projected around the middle of the first round, but Missi stands out in a unique light due to his athletic profile.

On offense, Missi mostly feasts on simple finishes around the restricted area. He's a productive rim-runner and lob threat. Almost half his rebounds come on the offensive glass. While he doesn't shoot 3s, there are appealing flashes of perimeter skill from Missi, too. He will regularly face up at the elbow and attack fluidly on straight-line drives. His ability to navigate traffic and evade shot-blockers with footwork hints at upside beyond his role player trappings.