After scouting the Big Ten-ACC Challenge this week, we recap the event and rank the top ten NBA prospects that competed. How did they perform against heightened competition?
1. Jahlil Okafor, Duke
Okafor remains the top collegiate prospect in the country. He had 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting against Wisconsin despite battling some foul trouble. At 6’11”, 270 pounds he is simply too massive for opposing defenders but isn’t just a physical presence. Okafor also has advanced footwork in the post with multiple moves that are very difficult to guard. He even hit a mid-range jumper in the win. Only a couple weeks into his freshman season, Okafor has shown improvements from game to game. He’s the early favorite for the number one overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
2. Justise Winslow, Duke
While Winslow didn’t have his best showing offensively, he showed versatility on the defensive end. The 6-foot-7 freshman can defend the wing effectively due to his quickness, athleticism, and wingspan. Winslow had five points, five rebounds, and three assists on 2-of-6 shooting. He was 1-of-3 from three-point range. The southpaw shows the makings of a versatile defensive glue guy with plenty of upside offensively. He’s shooting 10-of-26 (38.5%) from deep and looks like an elite “3 and D” prospect.
3. D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State
Russell has been a standout this season at Ohio State but struggled with his jumper against Louisville. He was just 6-of-20 from the field and 0-of-6 from three in the loss, but did show some reasons why he’s such a highly touted prospect. His shooting should just be considered an off night, as he was 34-of-65 (52.3%) from the field and 14-of-29 (48.3%) from deep entering Tuesday’s contest. The smooth southpaw was considered primarily a shooting guard coming out of high school, but shows ability to play some point guard. At 6-foot-5, Russell plays with good pace and doesn’t get rattled by pressure. He’s also a solid distributor who contributed all of Ohio State’s seven assists against Louisville. Russell could create his own shot and play in the pick-and-roll, two ideal traits for young prospects. If the freshman can get back to his previous shooting ways, there’s a chance Russell pushes for a lottery selection.
4. Montrezl Harrell, Louisville
The junior had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds against Ohio State. Harrell shot 5-of-8 from the field but missed both of his three-point attempts and was just 3-of-8 from the free throw line. The 6-foot-8 forward is slightly undersized for the power forward position, but has the length and athleticism to help compensate. He has one of the best motors in the country and plays hard on both ends of the floor. Harrell is a monster inside and has shown flashes of a mid-range game. He should be a mid-first round pick.
5. Chris McCullough, Syracuse
A sleeper no more, McCullough is on NBA radars and has made a case as a one-and-done prospect. The intrigue starts with his physical tools, as he stands 6-foot-10 with a giant wingspan. He’s also shown athleticism and flashes of a jump shot that have boosted his stock. McCullough had 10 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists against Michigan on 5-of-8 shooting. As a rare prospect from a physical standpoint, the sky is the limit for McCullough.
6. Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
Kaminsky may have lost the individual matchup against Okafor, but he was among Okafor’s many victims early this season. Kaminsky still had a good showing offensively, with 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting and a 2-of-4 from deep. He also added nine rebounds and two assists. While he’ll never be a standout defender, Kaminsky has shown improvements and looks like an adequate option on that end of the floor. The 7-foot senior is a skilled offensive mismatch that should be a first round pick.
7. Tyus Jones, Duke
Offensively, Jones was the best player for the Blue Devils. The 6-foot-1 point guard scored a team-high 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting. He added six rebounds and four assists compared to just one turnover. Jones knocked down 2-of-3 attempts from three-point range and scored at all levels against Wisconsin. It was an offensive showcase for the freshman. The area he’ll need to improve is on the defensive end. Jones was beat off the dribble on multiple occasions due to his lack of size and athletic ability. He’s a savvy floor general, but may have limited upside with questions on the defensive end.
8. Caris LeVert, Michigan
A well-rounded 6-foot-7 shooting guard, LeVert did show some struggles against Syracuse. He shot just 4-of-14 from the field and 2-of-8 from three en route to 12 points. LeVert did add six assists, two rebounds, and some late baskets to add to his night. The junior has a long wingspan that he uses effectively as a defender, but is still skinny and could add some muscle to his slender frame.
9. Sam Dekker, Wisconsin
Dekker had just five points against Duke, but made them count with a three-pointer and explosive dunk. The 6-foot-9 junior is a tough, athletic wing, but has shown some inconsistency early this season. He added four rebounds in the loss.
10. Zak Irvin, Michigan
Irvin has had a breakout sophomore season early on and continued his strong play against Syracuse. He scored 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting, including a 4-of-11 display from deep. The 6-foot-6 wing draws interest as a shooter, as he’s 23-of-53 (43.4%) from three-point range thus far. Irvin is a solid athlete, but could work on impacting the game in areas outside of the scoring column.
-Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant did it all for Notre Dame in a 79-78 win over Michigan State. The 6-foot-5 senior totaled 27 points, six assists, and four rebounds on 9-of-17 shooting. He had no issues creating his own offense and had some impressive moves to create space. Grant showed savvy and promise as a primary ball handler.
–Denzel Valentine scored 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting against Notre Dame. He was also 4-of-7 from three-point range. Teammate Branden Dawson had a huge 16 points and 18 rebounds.
-While he may not be an NBA prospect, Spike Albrecht looked like the best player on the floor against Syracuse. The 5-foot-11 junior point guard had 11 points and nine assists in the win while shooting 3-of-5 from deep. He attacked the zone effectively and made the difference for the Wolverines.
–Terran Petteway (25 points) and Shavon Shields (21 points) provided a nice 1-2 punch in a 70-65 win against Florida State. They were the only Cornhuskers in double-figures and will be looked upon to carry the scoring load this season.
-Minnesota guard Andre Hollins led Minnesota to an 84-69 victory against Wake Forest. The 6-foot-2 senior scored 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting and a 7-of-10 display from deep. He added seven rebounds in 34 minutes.
Any international players interested in coming to the USA to play in college, prep school or high school can contact us here. We are looking for interns and sales associates. If you’re interested contact us and forward your resume.