Essential The Official ESPN Insider Thread (ESPN+)

Discussion in 'The Coliseum' started by track 1, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. Skooby

    Skooby Alone In My Zone Supporter

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    More picks I liked in Rounds 2 and 3
    • Wide receiver Dyami Brown (No. 82) was getting some top-40 buzz over the past few weeks, but he lasted all the way until the middle of the third round. Washington got a fast deep threat to run go routes for Ryan Fitzpatrick next season.

    • I loved Tennessee going with another cornerback late in Round 3. Elijah Molden (No. 100) has the potential to be a starter.

    • I questioned the Cardinals' passing up a slot receiver in Round 1, but they got a fun player on Day 2. Rondale Moore (No. 49) is only 5-foot-7, but he is absolute dynamite with the ball in his hands. Purdue built its entire offense around him, feeding him the ball on all sorts of routes, and he's going to be exciting catching passes from Kyler Murray.

    • The Packers finally got a receiver, trading up for Amari Rodgers (No. 85) in the third round. He's one of the best slot receivers in this class, and he consistently gets open. Now, will Aaron Rodgers be throwing him passes in 2021? We'll wait and see.

    • Kansas City has done a great job rebuilding its offensive line over the past two months, and I wouldn't be shocked if Creed Humphrey (No. 63) ended up as the Chiefs' starting center in 2021. Terrific value at the end of Round 2.

    • Houston used its first pick of the draft on quarterback Davis Mills (No. 82), and it makes sense given the organization's questions around Deshaun Watson. This is a new regime in the front office, and they have a long rebuild in front of them. There were people in the league who thought Mills would be a surefire first-round pick next year.

    • Denver got a punishing runner in Javonte Williams (No. 35) at the top of Round 2, and I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up as the best tailback in this class. He's that good. He had 723 yards after first contact last season, the second-most among FBS rushers. Williams can help in the passing game, too. He needs to play early and often for the Broncos.

    • New England got the draft's best defensive tackle in Round 2 in Christian Barmore (No. 38). He has some major upside as an interior pass-rusher -- he dominated in the College Football Playoff last season -- and Bill Belichick & Co. will let him get after the quarterback. It's a great fit. The only downside is that the Patriots had to trade up to get him, sending the Bengals picks Nos. 46, 122 and 139. That's a steep price. The Patriots also got edge rusher Ronnie Perkins (No. 96), and he fits the versatility they want on defense.

    • The Vikings had four picks in the third round, and while quarterback Kellen Mond (No. 66) will get the publicity, the one I liked most is former quarterback Chazz Surratt, who is a really productive converted linebacker. He should play early.

    Spencer Brown (No. 93) is a 6-foot-8, raw offensive tackle who will need time to adjust to the speed of the NFL, but he has a really high ceiling. The Bills don't have many needs, so they can afford to wait for Brown's potential.

    • The Broncos also got my second-ranked guard late on Day 3. Quinn Meinerz (No. 98) played at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, but he showed at the Senior Bowl that he belongs with the big boys in the NFL. Let's see if he can create some running lanes for Williams.

    • The Seahawks' first pick of the draft was speedy slot receiver D'Wayne Eskridge (No. 56), who went a little later than I thought. He's a great returner, and he lit up the Senior Bowl in January. Russell Wilson should love this pick.

    • Likewise, the Rams followed the Seahawks with their first pick in the draft, and they took another slot wideout with lightning speed in Tutu Atwell (No. 57). He ranked second in the FBS from 2019 to 2020 with 1,742 receiving yards out of the slot. The knock against him is that he has a really slender frame -- he weighs 155 pounds and is 5-foot-9. Can he take hits against 245-pound linebackers? My comp for Atwell has been the Ravens' Marquise Brown.

    Teven Jenkins (No. 39) should start immediately at right tackle for the Bears. He's a plug-and-play tackle. In fact, I thought Chicago could take Jenkins at No. 20 overall, before the team traded up to take quarterback Justin Fields. The Bears did have to trade picks Nos. 52, 83 and 204 to move up (and added No. 151), but it's a selection that makes a ton of sense. And it's a way to support the new quarterback.


    Questionable picks from Rounds 2 and 3
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    Detroit Lions
    The picks: Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington (No. 41); Alim McNeill, DT, NC State (No. 72)

    Onwuzurike is a good athlete, but Detroit took him more than 50 spots above where I had him ranked. He is No. 99 on my board. Can he improve as a pass-rusher? He showed flashes in 2019 -- he opted out of the 2020 season -- but he needs to be much more consistent. Based on the Lions' next pick, it's clear they think Onwuzurike can play as their 3-technique, while McNeill will be the nose tackle.

    I can respect the rebuilding Lions starting first with improving their line on both sides of the ball, but both of these picks were a little high.

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    San Francisco 49ers
    The picks: Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame (No. 48); Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State (No. 88); Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan

    Banks is a big, 6-foot-5 lineman who has played guard and center, but Quinn Meinerz is higher in my rankings. Banks went a round too early. I don't think he's a surefire rookie starter, which is what teams need to get if they're taking a guard in the second round.

    The running back class this year has been slow to develop, and I have Sermon ranked behind Michael Carter, a diminutive dynamo with more explosiveness than Sermon. The Niners likely could have gotten Sermon in Round 4. We know the Shanahans get production out of late-round and even undrafted tailbacks, so I was surprised they took him this early.

    As for Thomas, I had a sixth-round grade on him, and there were better corners available.


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    Dallas Cowboys
    The picks: Osa Odighizuwa, DT, UCLA (No. 75); Chauncey Golston, DE, Iowa (No. 94); Nahshon Wright, CB, Oregon State (No. 99)

    The Cowboys went a round too soon for their first two third-round picks, defensive linemen Odighizuwa and Golston. They are solid players -- and this organization is going all-in to try to improve its defense -- but I had Day 3 grades on both. Elsewhere, Wright is my 44th-ranked corner. Let me say that again -- the Cowboys took my 44th-ranked corner in the third round. I'm really surprised Wright went here, because I didn't see a starter when I watched his tape.


    More reaches based on my Big Board and position rankings
    • I loved the Chargers' second-round pick (corner Asante Samuel Jr.), but they later took wide receiver Josh Palmer (No. 77) over some really good players. Inconsistent quarterback play hurt Palmer's numbers at Tennessee, so maybe he'll be more productive at the next level, but I would have taken a few others before I got to him.

    • I thought there were better corners on the board when Jacksonville took Tyson Campbell (No. 33) at the top of Round 2, and this pick is one that I'll be watching for the next few years. Urban Meyer had a chance to get Asante Samuel Jr. there, but he opted for Campbell, who is frustrating on tape. Campbell tested like a first-rounder based on his physical traits, but he needs some bad habits coached out of him.

    Jackson Carman (No. 46) is my 13th-ranked offensive tackle, and the Bengals took him over Dillon Radunz, Jalen Mayfield and Spencer Brown. He was just OK as Trevor Lawrence's blindside protector the past two seasons. Carman also had a back issue that I thought might see him drop to Round 3. Could he play guard? I'm not sure he can get on the field early for Cincinnati, which has Jonah Williams and Riley Reiff as its tackle starters.

    • Green Bay took center Josh Myers (No. 62) in the second round, and I see him as more of a developmental prospect, not a clear NFL starter. I'm surprised that the Packers passed on Creed Humphrey, my second-ranked center. Myers ranked No. 117 overall on my Big Board.

    • I actually like defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo (No. 54), and he had a tremendous 2020 season, but he tore his Achilles in January while training for the Senior Bowl. I thought he was likely going to drop to Day 3. Instead, the Colts took him in the middle of Round 2. Is he going to play this season? That's a tough injury for any NFL player. The Colts need edge-rush help now. Ronnie Perkins was among the defensive ends they could have taken instead.
     
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  2. 954UAlreadyknow

    954UAlreadyknow All Star

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  3. ReturnOfJudah

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  4. Skooby

    Skooby Alone In My Zone Supporter

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  5. Skooby

    Skooby Alone In My Zone Supporter

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    College basketball transfer rankings for 2021-22

    In a long-anticipated move, the NCAA announced on April 15 that student-athletes can now transfer once without needing to sit out a year.

    While it could lead to more of a "free agency" feel each spring in college basketball, freedom of movement is something celebrated by the Transfer Rankings. The transfer portal has already seen record numbers in terms of players leaving programs, but much of that has to do with seniors taking advantage of an extra year of eligibility. With the one-time transfer waiver passing, expect the numbers to remain fairly high over the next few years.

    Upward of 100 players per day entered the portal during the NCAA tournament, with this offseason's transfer total surpassing 2019-20 numbers before March had even ended. Things have slowed down some, but commitments and new portal entries have continued to be a daily occurrence. We'll keep track of the top names right here.


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    1. Marcus Carr, 6-2, 195 lbs, PG, Jr., Minnesota

    One of the best scorers in the country last season, Carr earned third-team All-Big Ten honors after averaging 19.4 points and 4.9 assists. He also entered his name into the NBA draft, but it's hard to imagine him getting passed as the top transfer available.




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    2. Walker Kessler, 7-1, 245 lbs., PF, Fr., North Carolina
    Committed to Auburn
    A former five-star prospect, Kessler really showed flashes of his ability toward the end of the season. He had a four-game stretch in February when he scored in double-figures in each one, and he posted 16 points, 12 boards and eight blocks against Notre Dame in the ACC tournament.



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    3. Timmy Allen, 6-6, 198 lbs., F, Jr., Utah
    Committed to Texas
    Allen should immediately boost Chris Beard's prospects in his first year in Austin. He was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection at Utah after averaging 17.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists as a versatile, playmaking forward.



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    4. Tre Mitchell, 6-9, 240 lbs., C, Soph., UMass

    Mitchell was a dominant big man for the Minutemen this past season, earning first-team All-Atlantic 10 honors. He averaged 18.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists, and had three games of 30 or more points.



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    5. Adam Miller, 6-3, 180 lbs., G, Fr., Illinois

    A talented top-50 prospect coming out of high school, Miller was a consistent starter on one of the best teams in the country this past season. He averaged 8.3 points and 2.8 rebounds.



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    6. Garrison Brooks, 6-10, 240 lbs., PF, Sr., North Carolina
    Committed to Mississippi State
    He didn't have a great senior season (10.2 PPG, 6.9 RPG), but Brooks was the preseason ACC Player of the Year after averaging 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds as a junior. He will play at Mississippi State, where his father, George, is an assistant coach.



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    7. Oscar Tshiebwe, 6-9, 260 lbs., PF, Soph., West Virginia
    Committed to Kentucky
    Tshiebwe was one of the best big men in the country as a freshman (11.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG) but struggled through 10 games this season before leaving. He ultimately chose Kentucky over the likes of Miami, Illinois and NC State.



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    8. Earl Timberlake, 6-6, 215 lbs., G, Fr., Miami
    Committed to Memphis
    Projected as a first-round pick entering the season, Timberlake struggled with injuries for most of his freshman campaign. He's a talented and physical playmaker, though, and averaged 9.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists.



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    9. Kellan Grady, 6-5, 205 lbs., SG, Sr., Davidson
    Committed to Kentucky
    Grady has been one of the most productive and consistent players in college basketball over the past four seasons, earning first-team all-conference honors twice and second-team honors the other two seasons. He average 17.1 points this season and surpassed the 2,000-point mark for his career.



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    10. Marreon Jackson, 6-1, 200 lbs., PG, Sr., Toledo
    Committed to Arizona State
    Jackson earned Mid-American Conference Player of the Year honors after establishing himself as one of the best mid-major guards in the country. He averaged 18.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists for Toledo.
     
  6. Skooby

    Skooby Alone In My Zone Supporter

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    11. James Akinjo, 6-1, 185 lbs., PG, Jr., Arizona
    Committed to Baylor
    Akinjo has been a productive and effective player at both Georgetown and Arizona, and had his best season yet in 2020-21, averaging 15.6 points, 5.4 assists and shooting 40.8% from 3. Earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors.





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    12. Qudus Wahab, 6-11, 237 lbs., C, Soph., Georgetown
    Committed to Maryland
    Post players who averaged 12.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in a high-major league don't come around every day. Wahab ended his Georgetown career with a dominant showing against Colorado in the NCAA tournament: 20 points and 12 rebounds.



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    13. Christian Bishop, 6-7, 220 lbs., PF, Jr., Creighton
    Committed to Texas
    Bishop came on strong down the stretch for the Bluejays, with two double-doubles in the NCAA tournament. He averaged 11.0 points and 6.4 rebounds and shot better than 68% from the field.



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    14. De'Vion Harmon, 6-2, 198 lbs., PG, Soph., Oklahoma
    Committed to Oregon
    Harmon was a big name to hit the portal, and will join the Ducks after averaging 12.9 points and starting 45 games in two seasons at OU.



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    15. Sahvir Wheeler, 5-10, 180 lbs., PG, Soph., Georgia

    One of the elite passers in college basketball, Wheeler was a second-team All-SEC player after averaging 14.0 points and 7.4 assists this past season. He led the SEC and ranked fourth nationally in assists.



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    16. Matt Bradley, 6-4, 220 lbs., SG, Jr., California
    Committed to San Diego State
    The second-highest scoring Power 5 transfer, Bradley averaged 18.0 points and earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors for the Golden Bears. He shot 36.4% from 3-point range, and will make a huge impact in the Mountain West.



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    17. Caleb Mills, 6-3, 175 lbs., SG, Soph., Houston
    Committed to Florida State
    Mills entered the season as the AAC Preseason Player of the Year, but because of injuries and other issues, he played only four games this season. He's a big-time scorer who averaged 13.2 points per game in 2019-20.



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    18. Jayden Gardner, 6-7, 235 lbs., PF, Jr., East Carolina
    Committed to Virginia
    One of the most productive players in the country the past three years, Gardner averaged 18.3 points and 8.3 rebounds this season. He was a first-team all-conference selection after getting second-team honors as a sophomore.



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    19. Dylan Disu, 6-9, 220 lbs., PF, Soph., Vanderbilt Committed to Texas
    Disu enjoyed a breakout campaign under Jerry Stackhouse this past season, averaging 15.0 points and 9.2 rebounds. He finished the season on a tear, scoring 29 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in his next-to-last game of the season against Kentucky.





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    20. Marcus Williams, 6-2, 180 lbs., PG, Fr., Wyoming
    Committed to Texas A&M
    Williams started garnering buzz early in his freshman campaign as one of the sleeper newcomers nationally. He was inconsistent down the stretch but has landed with Buzz Williams in the SEC. He averaged 14.8 points and 4.3 assists, earning freshman of the year honors in the league.



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    21. Jalen Pickett, 6-4, 202 lbs., PG, Jr., Siena Committed to Penn State
    Pickett actually had the worst statistical season of his career this past season, dropping to 12.9 points and 4.8 assists after going for at least 15 points and six assists in each of his first two seasons at Siena. But he has size and shooting ability, and he can really pass.


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    22. DeVante' Jones, 6-1, 200 lbs., G, Jr., Coastal Carolina

    The Sun Belt Player of the Year, Jones was one of the best two-way players in the country last season. He averaged 19.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.8 steals last season, while also proving an asset from behind the 3-point line.



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    23. Justin Powell, 6-6, 205 lbs., G, Fr., Auburn
    Committed to Tennessee
    Before getting hurt in early January, Powell was one of the more surprising freshmen in the country. He was handling playmaking duties for the Tigers while also making shots and scoring. He averaged 11.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists while shooting 44.2% from 3.



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    24. Marcus Bagley, 6-8, 215 lbs., PF, Fr., Arizona State

    Bagley had a lot of buzz entering the season after a terrific high school campaign and had 15.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 50% shooting from 3 in his first three games. But he played just nine games the rest of the season due to injuries.
     
  7. Skooby

    Skooby Alone In My Zone Supporter

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    25. Nimari Burnett, 6-6, 220 lbs., G, Fr., Texas Tech
    Committed to Alabama
    A five-star recruit coming out of high school, Burnett struggled offensively early and saw his role diminish as the season progressed. He can play either guard spot and is also solid defensively. He averaged 5.3 points.



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    26. Devin Askew, 6-3, 198 lbs., PG, Fr., Kentucky
    Committed to Texas
    I put a lot of stock in recruiting rankings for freshman transfers, and Askew was a former five-star prospect who started 20 games during his lone season in Lexington. He's a tough, competitive guard but struggled to make shots and was inconsistent taking care of the ball.



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    27. Bryce Thompson, 6-5, 188 lbs., SG, Fr., Kansas

    A former five-star prospect, Thompson came out of high school with a big reputation as a perimeter scorer. But he had some injuries and played in only 20 games for the Jayhawks.



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    28. Emanuel Miller, 6-7, 208 lbs., PF, Soph., Texas A&M
    Committed to TCU
    Miller entered the portal the same day as fellow Canada native and Aggies teammate Cashius McNeilly. He had a breakout sophomore season in College Station, going from 6.4 points and 6.3 rebounds to 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds. He'll remain in the state with the Horned Frogs.



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    29. Paul Atkinson, 6-10, 220 lbs., PF, Jr., Yale
    Committed to Notre Dame
    The co-player of the year in the Ivy League in 2019-20, Atkinson averaged 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds and was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection. He should immediately help the Fighting Irish next season.



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    30. Stanley Umude, 6-6, 210 lbs., SG, Sr., South Dakota
    Committed to Arkansas
    An outstanding mid-major player, Umude was a three-time All-Summit selection during his time at South Dakota. He averaged 21.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists this past season and will start immediately for the Razorbacks.



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    31. Myles Johnson, 6-11, 255 lbs., C, Jr., Rutgers
    Committed to UCLA
    One of the best defensive players in the Big Ten, Johnson will head back to the West Coast for his final season after choosing UCLA over Stanford. He averaged 8.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks.



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    32. Liam Robbins, 7-0, 235 lbs., C, Jr., Minnesota
    Committed to Vanderbilt
    Robbins left Drake to play for his uncle, Ed Conroy, who was an assistant at Minnesota. And in one season, he averaged 11.7 points, 6.6 boards and 2.7 blocks. Conroy became an assistant at Vanderbilt, and now Robbins is off to Nashville.



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    33. Kadary Richmond, 6-5, 180 lbs., SG, Fr., Syracuse
    Committed to Seton Hall
    A former ESPN 100 recruit, Richmond really showed flashes of his ability as playmaker as a freshman. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.1 assists, and is highly regarded for his potential.



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    34. Fatts Russell, 5-10, 165 lbs., PG, Sr., Rhode Island
    Committed to Maryland
    Russell didn't have a great junior season, but he was a first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection as a sophomore and still earned third-team honors this past season. He averaged 14.7 points and 4.5 assists this past season.



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    35. Bryce Hamilton, 6-4, 205 lbs., SG, Jr., UNLV

    Hamilton was second-team All-Mountain West after averaging 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. He's a big-time scorer. Some schools linked to him have been Oregon, Kansas, UConn and Kentucky.



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    36. Tyson Walker, 6-0, 162 lbs., PG, Soph., Northeastern
    Committed to Michigan State
    Walker was one of the best mid-major prospects available after winning CAA Defensive Player of the Year and earning first-team all-league honors. He averaged 18.8 points and 4.8 assists and should step in immediately as a starter at point guard for the Spartans.



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    37. Tanner Groves, 6-9, 235 lbs., PF, Jr., Eastern Washington
    Committed to Oklahoma
    The Big Sky Player of the Year, Groves put up 35 points against Kansas in the first round of the NCAA tournament. He averaged 17.2 points and 8.0 rebounds this season and had a host of big-time programs pursuing him before settling on Porter Moser and the Sooners.



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    38. Xavier Pinson, 6-2, 170 lbs., G, Jr., Missouri
    Committed to LSU
    Pinson was inconsistent shooting the ball toward the end of the season, but he averaged 13.6 points and is capable of huge scoring exploits. He had 36 points against TCU in January, and four other games of 20-plus points.



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    39. Jacob Young, 6-2, 185 lbs., SG, Sr., Rutgers

    Young had the best offensive season of his career as a senior for the Scarlet Knights, averaging 14.1 points and 3.4 assists and shooting 36.9% from 3-point range -- all career highs. The Houston native has been linked to multiple high-major programs.



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    40. Armaan Franklin, 6-4, 195 lbs., SG, Soph., Indiana
    Committed to Virginia
    Franklin is one of the best Power 5 shooters in the portal, making more than 42% of his attempts from 3-point range. He took a big step forward as a sophomore, averaging 11.4 points.



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    41. Darryl Morsell, 6-5, 200 lbs., SG, Sr., Maryland

    Morsell won Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was a consistent four-year player in College Park. He averaged a career-high 9.0 points this past season while also dishing out a career-high 2.8 assists.



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    42. Rasir Bolton, 6-3, 185 lbs., SG, Jr., Iowa State

    A third-team All-Big Ten selection, Bolton averaged 15.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists during his one season at Iowa State. He started his career at Penn State and was productive for the Nittany Lions as well.



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    43. Myreon Jones, 6-3, 180 lbs., SG, Jr., Penn State
    Committed to Florida
    Mike White and the Gators have done exceptionally well in the portal so far this spring, with Jones among the better player they've landed. Jones averaged 15.3 points last season for the Nittany Lions, making nearly 40% of his 3-point attempts.



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    44. Xavier Johnson, 6-3, 200 lbs., PG, Jr., Pittsburgh
    Committed to Indiana
    Johnson left the Pittsburgh program with a few weeks remaining in the season but had been a consistent contributor for three seasons with the Panthers. He averaged 14.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.7 assists this season, and went for 32 points and seven assists in a game earlier in the season vs. Virginia Tech.
     
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  8. Skooby

    Skooby Alone In My Zone Supporter

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    45. Noah Locke, 6-3, 203 lbs., SG, Jr., Florida
    Committed to Louisville
    There were few shooters in the portal better than Locke, and he should immediately address the Cardinals' issues from the perimeter. He averaged around 10 points and shot around 40% from 3 in each of his three seasons in Gainesville.



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    46. Jaemyn Brakefield, 6-8, 216 lbs., F, Fr., Duke
    Committed to Ole Miss
    Brakefield didn't get much extended run during his lone season in Durham, but the former top-35 recruit showed flashes. He had double-figures in three of his first five career games and also went for 11 points and four blocks in a huge February win over Virginia.



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    47. Chris Lykes, 5-7, 160 lbs., PG, Sr., Miami
    Committed to Arkansas
    Eric Musselman needed a point guard, and Lykes will fill that role next season. He played in just two games this past season due to injury but averaged 15.4 points and shot 38.1% from 3 in his last full season with the Hurricanes.



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    48. Rocket Watts, 6-2, 185 lbs., G, Soph., Michigan State

    I'm still high on Watts as a scorer despite an inconsistent first two seasons in East Lansing. He was shoehorned into a pass-first role this past season but would be better suited as an off-ball scorer. He had 21 points in the regular-season finale against Michigan.



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    49. Brady Manek, 6-9, 231 lbs., PF, Sr., Oklahoma
    Committed to North Carolina
    Manek started at least 20 games in all four of his seasons at OU, averaging double-figures and shooting better than 35% from 3 in each. It's hard to find that sort of size and shooting ability on the transfer market from a Power 5 school, but the Tar Heels did.



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    50. Au'Diese Toney, 6-6, 210 lbs., SG, Jr., Pittsburgh
    Committed to Arkansas
    Toney left Pitt shortly after Xavier Johnson, and had a list of 20-plus schools that reached out in the first couple of days following his entering the portal. He averaged 14.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in the backcourt next to Johnson.



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    51. Kyler Edwards, 6-4, 195 lbs., SG, Jr., Texas Tech
    Committed to Houston
    Edwards averaged double-figures in scoring in each of the past two seasons in Lubbock. He left following the departure of head coach Chris Beard, mulled a return, then officially transferred to Houston. He should have ample opportunity as a scorer and playmaker with the Cougars.



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    52. Toumani Camara, 6-8, 220 lbs., PF, Soph., Georgia
    Committed to Dayton
    One of the best pickups of the spring so far, Camara should have a huge impact at Dayton next season. He averaged 12.8 points and 7.7 rebounds in the SEC this past season, including 22 points and 10 rebounds in a late-season win over LSU.



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    53. Zach Nutall, 6-3, 185 lbs., SG, Jr., Sam Houston State
    Committed to SMU
    This was a significant get for the Mustangs. Nutall earned Southland Player of the Year honors after averaging 19.3 points and 5.7 rebounds. He finished his career with 30 points and eight rebounds in a conference tournament loss.



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    54. D.J. Jeffries, 6-7, 215 lbs., F, Soph., Memphis
    Committed to Mississippi State
    Jeffries showed versatility during his two seasons under Memphis coach Penny Hardaway. He averaged 9.9 points and 5.1 rebounds this past season after putting up 10.8 points and 4.3 rebounds as a freshman.



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    55. Micah Peavy, 6-7, 215 lbs., SF, Fr., Texas Tech
    Committed to TCU
    A former top-50 recruit, Peavy started 25 games as a freshman with the Red Raiders. He averaged 5.7 points and 3.1 rebounds and transferred following head coach Chris Beard's departure for Texas.



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    56. Moussa Cisse, 6-10, 220 lbs., C, Fr., Memphis

    A former five-star prospect in the 2020 class, Cisse reclassified last May and was expected to make a major impact defensively at Memphis. He struggled offensively, however, and ultimately averaged 6.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.



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    57. Michael Flowers, 6-1, 189 lbs., G, Sr., South Alabama
    Committed to Washington State
    One of the truly elite scorers in the country this past season, Flowers averaged 21.0 points, 3.6 assists and shot 39% from 3-point range. Also showed scoring prowess during his three seasons at Western Michigan.



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    58. Boogie Ellis, 6-3, 180 lbs., G, Soph., Memphis
    Committed to USC
    Ellis is heading back home after two seasons filled with flashes of his high-level scoring ability. Ended his Memphis career with a 23-point effort in the NIT Championship game against Mississippi State, and averaged 10.2 points this season.



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    59. David Jenkins Jr., 6-2, 195 lbs., SG, Jr., UNLV
    Committed to Utah
    Jenkins was terrific during two seasons at South Dakota State, followed TJ Otzelberger to Las Vegas and is now on the move again. Averaged 19.7 points and shot 45.3% from 3 in 2018-19, then put up 16.1 points and shot 38.2% from 3 last season in the desert.



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    60. CJ Fredrick, 6-3, 195 lbs., SG, Soph., Iowa

    Fredrick had been linked to a possible transfer for the final few weeks of the season, and he has been mentioned with a move closer to home; he went to high school in Kentucky. Fredrick is a truly elite shooter, making at least 46% of his 3-point attempts in each of his past two seasons.



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    61. Tre King, 6-9, 225 lbs., PF, Jr., Eastern Kentucky
    Committed to Georgetown
    King has the size and scoring ability down low to be an impact player in the Big East. Was a first-team All-Ohio Valley selection after putting up 14.9 points and 6.2 rebounds, and had 25 points and 13 boards against Xavier in the Colonels' one game against a high-major school.



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    62. CJ Felder, 6-7, 230 lbs., SF, Soph., Boston College
    Committed to Florida
    Coaches around the ACC are high on Felder, one of the best defensive players in the league last season. Averaged 9.7 points and 5.9 rebounds, but blocked 2.2 shots per game -- an impressive number given his 6-foot-7 stature.



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    63. Jamison Battle, 6-7, 225 lbs., SF, Soph., George Washington
    Committed to Minnesota
    A name that had been rumored to be on the move for a couple months, Battle entered the transfer portal and immediately heard from the likes of Marquette, Arkansas, Tennessee, Arizona and others before deciding to head back home to the Gophers. Averaged 17.3 points and 5.2 rebounds this past season.



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    64. Storm Murphy, 6-0, 180 lbs., PG, Sr., Wofford
    Committed to Virginia Tech
    Murphy is reuniting with former coach Mike Young in Blacksburg, and should slot in immediately at the point guard spot. Earned first-team All-SoCon honors this past season after averaging 17.8 points, 4.3 assists and shooting 40.0% from 3.
     
  9. Skooby

    Skooby Alone In My Zone Supporter

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    [​IMG]



    65. Phlandrous Fleming Jr., 6-4, 210 lbs., SG, Sr., Charleston Southern
    Committed to Florida
    Fleming was a first-team All-Big South selection and won Defensive Player of the Year honors in the conference. Averaged 20.1 points and 7.4 rebounds.



    [​IMG]



    66. Noah Gurley, 6-8, 210 lbs., SF, Jr., Furman
    Committed to Alabama
    Had an impressive school list following his entry to the portal, but Nate Oats won out for him and Gurley will add some physicality up front next season in Tuscaloosa. Averaged 15.4 points, earned second-team All-SoCon honors.



    [​IMG]



    67. Cheikh Mbacke Diong, 6-11, 235 lbs., C, Sr., UNLV

    Given his size and experience, Diong should generate significant interest. He averaged 8.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 61% from the field. Has a 7-foot-3 wingspan.



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    68. Al Durham, 6-4, 185 lbs., SG, Sr., Indiana
    Committed to Providence
    Durham started 98 games over the last three seasons in Bloomington, but saw career-highs in points (11.3 PPG), rebounds (3.1 RPG) and assists (2.6 APG) this past season. Also shot 38.0% from 3-point range.



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    69. Jay Heath, 6-3, 175 lbs., SG, Soph., Boston College
    Committed to Arizona State
    Heath has been a consistent scorer for two seasons with the Eagles, averaging 14.5 points and shooting 35.0% from 3-point range. He's capable of big games, as evidenced by his five games of 20-plus points -- including 28 in a March loss to Florida State.



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    70. Daejon Davis, 6-3, 190 lbs., SG, Sr., Stanford

    Davis started all but two healthy games during his first three seasons in Palo Alto, but struggled a bit as a senior. He only started eight games and played in 13, but still averaged 10.3 points and 2.9 assists while shooting nearly 36% from 3.



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    71. Oumar Ballo, 7-0, 260 lbs., C, Fr., Gonzaga
    Committed to Arizona
    The numbers (2.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG) won't jump off the page at you, but Ballo did play in 24 games off the bench for a team that lost just one game all season. He's 7-feet tall and has potential.

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    72. Henry Coleman III, 6-7, 229 lbs., PF, Fr., Duke
    Committed to Texas A&M
    A former ESPN 100 recruit, Coleman playing sparingly as a freshman at Duke, but he's still undoubtedly a high-major player. He can play both forward positions and has a high motor at both ends.



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    73. Wendell Green, 5-11, 170 lbs., PG, Fr., Eastern Kentucky
    Committed to Auburn
    Green still has four years of eligibility remaining, and should start immediately for Bruce Pearl next season. He earned first-team all-league honors after averaging 15.8 points and 5.0 assists.



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    74. Parker Stewart, 6-5, 210 lbs., SG., Jr., Tennessee-Martin
    Committed to Indiana
    He earned second-team All-Ohio Valley honors in 2019-20 after averaging 19.2 points and 3.8 assists, and also averaged 9.1 points as a freshman at Pittsburgh. Stewart is the son of former UT-Martin coach Anthony Stewart, who passed away suddenly before the season began.



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    75. AJ Bramah, 6-7, 210 lbs., F, Sr., Robert Morris
    Committed to Arizona State
    Bramah was one of the most productive players in the country before leaving Robert Morris in mid-February, averaging 21.0 points and 10.3 rebounds -- second in the Horizon in both categories. Had more than 20 programs reach out to him, but he's taking his time with a decision.



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    76. Brandon McKissic, 6-3, 195 lbs., G, Sr., UMKC
    Committed to Florida
    McKissic briefly entered the portal midseason, then withdrew his name, finished the season and went back into the portal. Was Defensive Player of the Year in the Summit and also earned second-team all-league honors.



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    77. Omar Payne, 6-10, 230 lbs., PF, Soph., Florida
    Committed to Illinois
    Payne was expected to have a breakout campaign as a sophomore, but never quite hit his stride. He did show some flashes, though, including three double-figure scoring games. Will replace Kofi Cockburn.



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    78. Jordan Miller, 6-6, 202 lbs., SG, Jr., George Mason
    Committed to Miami
    Was pursued by multiple high-major programs following his departure from Mason, after earning third-team all-league honors. Averaged 15.8 points and 6.1 rebounds.



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    79. Mason Faulkner, 6-1, 190 lbs., PG, Sr., Western Carolina
    Committed to Colorado
    Was first-team All-SoCon as a junior and third team as a senior, averaging 16.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists during his final season in the league.



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    80. Izaiah Brockington, 6-4, 200 lbs., SG, Jr., Penn State

    Brockington entered the transfer portal in March, then removed his name -- before entering the portal again in late April. The Philadelphia native has struggled from the perimeter the past two seasons, but averaged 12.6 points and 4.9 rebounds this season.



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    81. Elijah Olaniyi, 6-5, 205 lbs., SG, Sr., Miami
    Committed to Stony Brook
    After a season away, Olaniyi is going back to Stony Brook. He left the Seawolves a year ago after averaging 18.0 points in the America East, then put up double-figures for the Hurricanes this past season.



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    82. Nysier Brooks, 7-0, 240 lbs., C, Sr., Miami
    Committed to Ole Miss
    Brooks has now been a solid contributor at two high-major programs, playing in 27 games for the Hurricanes after three seasons at Cincinnati. He averaged 7.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.0 block this past season.



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    83. Cole Swider, 6-9, 225 lbs., F, Jr., Villanova
    Committed to Syracuse
    Swider has tantalizing size and shooting ability, but struggled to carve out a consistent starting spot during his time at Villanova. He shot better than 40% from 3-point range this past season and averaged 5.7 points off the bench.



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    84. Jarrod West, 5-11, 181 lbs., PG, Sr., Marshall
    Committed to Louisville
    West should have an immediate impact at both ends of the floor for Chris Mack's program. He earned second-team and All-Defense honors after averaging 12.5 points, 6.0 assists, 2.5 steals and shot 40.8% from 3.
     
  10. Skooby

    Skooby Alone In My Zone Supporter

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    [​IMG]



    85. David Collins, 6-4, 220 lbs., G, Sr., South Florida
    Committed to Clemson
    Collins was remarkably consistent as an offensive player during his four seasons at South Florida, averaging in double-figures every season. As a senior, he averaged 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists and shot 37.3% from 3.



    [​IMG]



    86. Marcus Weathers, 6-5, 215 lbs., F, Sr., Duquesne
    Committed to SMU
    Weathers seemed to fly under the radar a bit, but SMU landed him and his brother, Michael, a big-time scorer at Texas Southern. Weathers was a second-team All-Atlantic 10 forward after averaging 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds.



    [​IMG]



    87. Jalen Coleman-Lands, 6-4, 187 lbs., SG, Sr., Iowa State

    Coleman-Lands will be heading to his fourth school in seven seasons, but he brings experience, good size in the backcourt and excellent outside shooting. This past season, Coleman-Lands averaged 14.3 points and shot 39.5% from 3.



    [​IMG]



    88. Tyler Kolek, 6-3, 182 lbs., SG, Fr., George Mason
    Committed to Marquette
    The Rhode Island native is heading to the Big East. Kolek won Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year honors after averaging 10.8 points and shooting 35.8% from 3-point range.



    [​IMG]



    89. Jemarl Baker Jr., 6-5, 195 lbs., SG, Jr., Arizona
    Committed to Fresno State
    This should be a solid pickup for the Bulldogs, after Baker averaged 12.0 points through 12 games for Arizona. He suffered a wrist injury that forced him to miss the rest of the campaign.



    [​IMG]



    90. Jamal Mashburn Jr., 6-2, 175 lbs., SG, Fr., Minnesota
    Committed to New Mexico
    A former ESPN 100 prospect, Mashburn Jr. finished his freshman campaign strong, averaging 15.3 points over his final three games of the season. He averaged 8.2 points overall during the campaign, and will now follow coach Richard Pitino to UNM.



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    91. Bryson Williams, 6-8, 228 lbs., PF, Sr., UTEP

    Williams was an interesting entry to the portal. He followed Rodney Terry from Fresno State to UTEP earlier in his career, and now Terry has left UTEP to become an assistant at Texas. The third-team all-league forward averaged 15.1 points and 7.4 rebounds.



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    92. Matt Cross, 6-6, 220 lbs., F, Fr., Miami
    Committed to Louisville
    A former ESPN 100 recruit, Cross showed flashes of his offensive ability during his two months in Coral Gables, but had two DNPs in his final two games before leaving. Cross scored 16 points against both Louisville and Virginia Tech, and shot 40% from 3-point range in 14 games.



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    93. Cam'ron Fletcher, 6-6, 215 lbs., SF, Fr., Kentucky
    Committed to Florida State
    Fletcher, a former ESPN 100 prospect from St. Louis, played just nine games for the Wildcats last season after being asked to step away from the team for a week back in December. Averaged 1.7 points.


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    94. Charlie Moore, 5-11, 180 lbs., PG, Sr., DePaul
    Committed to Miami
    Another well-traveled senior, the Hurricanes will be Moore's fourth school in six seasons. He's been productive the last two seasons, averaging 14.4 points and 4.2 assists in 2020-21 after putting up 15.5 points and 6.1 assists the previous season.



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    95. Theo John, 6-9, 255 lbs., C, Sr., Marquette
    Committed to Duke
    John, the second-leading shot blocker in Marquette history behind Jim McIlvaine, committed to Duke last week. He averaged 8.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks this season and brings some physicality on the interior.



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    96. Emmitt Matthews, 6-7, 215 lbs., SF, Jr., West Virginia
    Committed to Washington

    Given that Matthews started 55 games the last two seasons for a top-25 team, it stands to reason he should be a top 100 transfer. Averaged 7.8 points and 4.0 rebounds this season and will help the Huskies.



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    97. Jeriah Horne, 6-7, 220 lbs., F, Sr., Colorado
    Committed to Tulsa
    Horne is headed back to play for Frank Haith at Tulsa, where he spent two seasons in 2019 and 2020. This past season, he was a key contributor for a top-25 Colorado team, averaging 10.8 points and 5.8 rebounds.



    [​IMG]



    98. Collin Smith, 6-11, 240 lbs., PF, RS Jr., UCF

    Smith opted out of this past season but should be a good interior pickup. He averaged 12.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in 2019-20, and brings size and physicality up front.



    [​IMG]



    99. Jamir Harris, 6-2, 198 lbs., G, Sr., American
    Committed to Seton Hall
    A first-team All-Patriot selection, Harris put up big numbers in 10 games for American this season: 20.5 points and 3.5 assists. He will slot into Seton Hall's backcourt right away.



    [​IMG]



    100. Jordan Hall, 6-8, 210 lbs., PG, Fr., Saint Joseph's

    A really intriguing addition to the portal, Hall has terrific size and was named to the Atlantic 10's all-freshman team. Averaged 10.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists and finished the season strong. Shooting is the concern.





    Next in line: Mike Nuga, Kent State (UNLV); Ahmed Ali, Portland; Steffon Mitchell, Boston College; Wynston Tabbs, Boston College (EAST CAROLINA); Koby McEwen, Marquette (WEBER STATE); Davion Warren, Hampton; Cameron Shelton, Northern Arizona (LOYOLA MARYMOUNT); Joel Soriano, Fordham (ST. JOHN'S); Joseph Yesufu, Drake (KANSAS); Parker Fox, Northern State (MINNESOTA); Brandon Horvath, UMBC (UTAH STATE); Jack Nunge, Iowa (XAVIER); Rollie Worster, Utah State (UTAH); Gabe Kalscheur, Minnesota (IOWA STATE); Alexis Yetna, South Florida (SETON HALL); Rich Kelly, Boston College (UMASS); Jabri Abdur-Rahim, Virginia (GEORGIA); Alfonso Plummer, Utah (ILLINOIS); Deivon Smith, Mississippi State (GEORGIA TECH); Jake LaRavia, Indiana State (WAKE FOREST); Miller Kopp, Northwestern (INDIANA); Stef Smith, Vermont (ST. JOHN'S); Jaylen Butz, DePaul; Marvin Johnson, Eastern Illinois; Teddy Allen, Nebraska; Tyrn Flowers, Long Island; Alterique Gilbert, Wichita State; Naz Bohannon, Youngstown State
     
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  11. Flight

    Flight Superstar Supporter

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  12. CarltonJunior

    CarltonJunior Veteran Supporter

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  13. Skooby

    Skooby Alone In My Zone Supporter

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    What's next for Emoni Bates after Michigan State decommitment?

    High school basketball phenom Emoni Bates, perceived within the industry as a strong candidate to become the top pick in the 2023 NBA draft, decommitted from Michigan State last week to raise questions about the future of the 17-year-old star. If Bates isn't attending Michigan State in the fall of 2022, where is he headed? Will it be college basketball, the G League path or another route for Bates?

    Beyond his next destination, Bates' recent play has also elicited some questions about the particulars of his game. What elements of Bates' play have NBA scouts and other evaluators worried? What parts of his game has he delivered on -- or even doubled down on -- since Bates burst onto the scene as a 14-year-old? Has the supporting cast Bates has played alongside since transferring from Lincoln High School in Ypsilanti, Michigan, to Ypsi Prep -- a school created by his father, Elgin -- helped or harmed Bates' growth? ESPN basketball reporters Jonathan Givony and Jeff Borzello honed in on these questions and others, including a road map for what the next year could look like for the Michigan native.


    What elements of Emoni Bates' game have impressed evaluators?
    I spent the last weekend in April getting a thorough look at Bates at the Made Hoops Midwest Mania event in Indianapolis, where I saw him play live three times. Though Bates didn't perform up to expectations, struggling to score efficiently while his team lost all three contests by an average margin of 20 points, there was no question in my mind that he's a huge talent.

    The most impressive aspect of Bates' game is definitely his shot-making ability, especially when paired with his size -- somewhere between 6-foot-8 and 6-9. He has incredible range on his jumper, and is extremely versatile and dynamic with the way he gets into it, showing the ability to pull up sharply from implausible vantage points, while dribbling full-speed with outstanding balance.


    The footwork Bates shows getting into step backs as well as coming off screens in small doses is extremely impressive as well. You simply can't give him any space on the perimeter. Synergy Sports Tech has 10 high school games logged this season where Bates made 38% of his 3-pointers, which is very impressive considering the extremely high degree of difficulty of many of his attempts -- 78% of his shots have come off the dribble.

    Bates also has a polished arsenal of ball-handling moves for a 17-year old. He loves to operate off double crossovers to create space to get into the lane and he has a really soft touch on his floaters. He's a fluid athlete who can use or reject a ball screen skillfully and shows some glimpses of court vision and playmaking ability off a live dribble in very small doses.

    Bates also plays the game with a major chip on his shoulder, as he's an aggressive, emotional and competitive player who is wired to use his exceptional scoring instincts to their fullest for every minute he's on the court.

    -- Jonathan Givony
     
  14. Skooby

    Skooby Alone In My Zone Supporter

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    What elements of Bates' game have caused evaluators to worry? What skills does he most need to work on?
    The first time I saw Bates was nearly three years ago at a USA Basketball camp. Then a 14-year-old, he put on a show against players much older than him and raised eyebrows not only with his incredible scoring instincts but also the fact that he measured 6-8½ in shoes, with a 168-pound frame.

    Fast-forward nearly three years, it doesn't appear that Bates has changed much physically. He's now listed at 6-9 and a perhaps generous 190 pounds, while sporting a lean, narrow frame that may struggle to put on weight long-term and reminds me somewhat of Brandon Ingram at the same age. While Ingram has a 7-3 wingspan, Bates' wingspan was measured at 6-9 at several events, which is a completely different ballpark. Another player with whom Bates draws comparisons, Jayson Tatum, weighed 206 pounds when he was 17 and measured a 6-11 wingspan.

    With his peers having caught up physically, Bates' lack of strength was apparent all weekend long. He struggled to finish through contact in the lane and wasn't physical enough looking to draw fouls and get to the free throw line. He shot just 4-of-15 inside the arc in his matchup with No. 2-ranked Jalen Duren and Team Final in the showcase game of the weekend in Indianapolis, not getting to the free throw line and posting just two assists compared with seven turnovers. Bates did shoot 6-of-16 from 3 (38%) in that game, though. Things looked fairly similar in the two other contests we took in last weekend as well.

    Like Ingram, Bates is a good athlete, not an exceptional one, and he struggled to create space with his first step at times and often needed quite a few dribbles to get his shot off, usually a midrange pull-up or a difficult double-clutch floater. Team Final (and Each 1 Teach 1, which also did a good job of slowing him) took a similar approach to some of the best teams Bates' high school faced this season, putting a tall, quick-footed defender on him on the perimeter, forcing him to shoot over length all game long and then crowding him with help on his drives and forcing him to beat them with his passing. At times, he had a double-team sent his way as soon as he crossed half court.


    This is the area where Bates has the most room for growth, as he made questionable decisions all weekend in terms of shot selection and wild forays to the rim that resulted in a considerable number of turnovers. Going up against some of the best grassroots teams and players in the country, it's important to note that Bates' squad was considerably overmatched talentwise every time they stepped on the floor, forcing him to shoulder a very heavy offensive load that certainly contributed to his inefficiency. At times, his competitiveness and incredible self-belief worked against him.

    Just how good is Bates' feel for the game? How does his style of play project to contribute to winning down the road? Has he missed opportunities to develop his knowledge of the game due to the lack of high-level coaching he's received thus far and the poor level of talent surrounding him? These are all fair questions being asked by evaluators. Becoming less predictable with his moves, developing counters when cut off, learning to simplify the game, read the floor better and not just settling for the first shot he can find will be major priorities for him moving forward to reach his sky-high potential.





    Bates also has work to do on the defensive end, where his effort ranged from disappointing to downright dreadful at times. He mostly stands around off the ball, rarely getting into a stance or showing any type of fight getting over screens or back into plays after being beaten off the dribble. He's not very physical getting on the defensive glass where his lack of length and bulk shows. It's not rare for players this age to show little effort on the defensive end, but it's certainly something he can address to become a more well-rounded player who contributes to winning when his tough jumpers aren't falling.

    -- Jonathan Givony
     
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  15. Skooby

    Skooby Alone In My Zone Supporter

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    Bates turned 17 on Jan. 28. How does he compare with other players you evaluated at the same stage? Is he still on track to be a No. 1 NBA draft pick?

    Bates is ahead of or just as good as any wing player I've seen at this age, and I've yet to see a better long-term prospect than him in the 2022 class thus far, although there are several players I have yet to get fresh eyes on in a while due to the circumstances of the pandemic -- for example Scoota Henderson, who is drawing rave reviews for his play.

    It's important to note that every top player I've watched since I started evaluating the draft in 2003 has gone through ebbs and flows in their development where people questioned the development path they are on, including Zion Williamson, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Andrew Wiggins and others. That comes with the territory and was bound to happen for Bates as well. These type of feedback loops -- where it's not simply smooth sailing from start to finish -- can actually be very positive if channeled the right way, as every young prospect has many things they can improve on.


    It's actually easier to be the type of prospect who "sneaks up" on people as their career unfolds -- think Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Steph Curry, Joel Embiid, Brandon Ingram and others -- as opposed to being anointed from an early age. In some ways, Bates is a victim of the extremely high bar he set for himself as a 14-year-old, generating accolades and expectations that were always going to be incredibly difficult to live up to and hinged partially on things he doesn't control, like physical growth. I'm not sure any prospect has ever faced more scrutiny from an earlier stage than Bates has, and that's an enormous amount of pressure to put on someone that age.

    It's also important to note that we're coming off a very difficult year development wise for all high school prospects due to the lack of gym time and the fact that so many events were canceled. Every team Bates faced in Indianapolis was gunning for him and looked extremely prepared with their game plan for how to defend him.

    If I were Bates, I would cut out the noise and focus every waking moment of the next 26 months before becoming NBA draft-eligible on executing a long-term development plan that is 100% focused on basketball, including strength and conditioning, nutrition, film study, ironing out the mental aspects and plenty of work on things beyond his incredibly advanced shot-making ability, including defense, passing and generating high-percentage offense. He's probably not going to end up being the generational talent that some hoped he would become when he was 14, but I think he's got a great chance to be the best player in his class still and an NBA All-Star if he can get his development back on track.

    -- Jonathan Givony

    What is the latest with Bates' college vs. pro decision? Are there any indicators for how that decision is trending?

    Bates' decommitment caught plenty of industry people by surprise. He announced his decision to attend Michigan State last summer. At the time, the Spartans were really the only school recruiting him. Tom Izzo was the only coach to call Bates on June 15, 2020, when colleges could contact high school sophomores directly, and he consistently went to Bates' games when everyone else seemed to avoid his recruitment.

    That's no longer the case. Texas offered Bates almost immediately after reopening his recruitment, and several schools have followed. Tennessee offered him over the weekend, as did Memphis. That's already more offers than he had before committing to Michigan State. Sources have indicated there's at least some interest on Bates' side of going to college.


    In terms of a college vs. pro decision, it's still very much a wait-and-see situation with Bates. One could point to his decommitment and say that he didn't need to decommit from Michigan State just to turn pro or go to the G League. One could also cynically look at his decommitment and wonder whether it's simply a move to get more coaches at his team's games when the recruiting period opens back up.

    His next decision is not as simple as it once appeared, though. Bates just turned 17 years old in January. The age limit for the NBA hasn't changed, meaning Bates has to be one year removed from his high school graduating class and turn 19 in that calendar year in order to go into the draft. So he can't just reclassify into 2021, spend a year in college or somewhere else, and then go pro. While the age limit for the G League is 18, the G League Ignite team is different, so there's a chance he could go that route if he graduated high school this spring. But Bates would have to spend two years there due to the NBA draft's age limit. The new Overtime League could be another option.

    But it stands to reason that Bates will spend another year at Ypsi Prep, which is also in Ypsilanti, and then have a decision to make: go to college, go to the G League, take a year off to train or go play in the NBL or another international league.

    -- Jeff Borzello
     
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