Dariq Whitehead- Duke
Kyle Filipowski- Duke
Ricky Council IV- Arkansas
Terquavion Smith- NC State
Jalen Hood-Schifino- Indiana
Out of Duke’s five or six potential 2023 NBA Draft picks, Filipowski and Whitehead stand out as the best of the crop in Durham. The former is a 7’0 tall big with wing-like movement and ball handling skills and the outside shot of a guard. The latter is a bulldozer of a 6’6 wing with three-level shot creation flashes beyond his years. Filipowski and Whitehead have an opportunity to turn scouts’ heads nationally as the Blue Devils are peaking at the right time and look ready to make a deep run.
The other three on the honorable mentions list are guards, each with their own unique package of talents. Council is a two/three hybrid positionally who uses his athletic gifts to punish teams off the drive and can hit a variety of tough shots off the bounce. Hood-Schifino is a point guard with 6’6 size with an excellent handle and feel for how to attack defense in the pick and roll, especially with a lethal mid-range jumper. Smith is the lone sophomore out of the pack but has improved his finishing around the rim to pair with his already deadly pull-up shooting from three point range.
10. Jordan Hawkins- UConn
One of the superb sophomores of the class, Hawkins took a massive year one to year two leap that vaulted him into top 20 pick conversations. After taking three shots from behind the arc as a freshman, Hawkins rocketed his volume up to over seven three point attempts and improved his percentage from deep from 33% to 37%. He’s an excellent off ball player that projects to fit well next to other ball dominant stars in the league.
9. Colby Jones- Xavier
In his third college season, Jones has polished up the rough patches to lead the way for a third-seed Xavier squad that could make a bid to the elite eight. Jones shot over 57% from two point range while improving his outside shot and developing into a nice passer as well. His blend of stellar shot creation mixed with a nice desire to share the ball makes him one of the most well rounded offensive players in the Big Dance.
8. Noah Clowney- Alabama
Clowney came into the draft cycle thought to be a long, athletic energy guy who makes insane highlight plays. While Clowney has done that, he’s also overshot those expectations by turning into one of the most intriguing two-way upside bets in the class. Clowney has a mixture of unreal athletic talents that he’s maximizing by generating offense with his drive, size, and finishing touch as well as knocking down shots off the catch from long range.
7. Gradey Dick- Kansas
Given Kansas is one of the best teams in the tournament, Dick can become a household name if he cooks on the big stage. He’s a remarkable three point shooter, hitting 40% on over five attempts per game. Dick is also more than a shooter. He’s one of the smartest off-ball players in the class, relocating and cutting seamlessly without the ball to keep the Jayhawk offense flowing. Dick is the start of the lottery level prospects on this list.
6. Keyonte George- Baylor
Equipped with eye-popping traits of an alpha-scorer, George has one of the highest ceilings of any prospect not just on this list, but in the entire class. His ability to smoothly create his own shot off the dribble and make plays for others give him a leg up on other score-first prospects. George uses slippery athleticism and acrobatic finishing as his primary weapon while hitting defenders with a knockdown jumper as a counter.
5. Nick Smith Jr- Arkansas
Of all the two-guards geared towards scoring, Nick Smith looks like the most talented and NBA ready of them all. Smith is ridiculously quick with the ball in his hands, making it hard to stay in front of the 6’5 swingman. Smith can be a scoring threat from all three levels as he can hurt teams with a C&S three point jumper and eloquently rises for jumpers in the mid-range. Smith will have his shot to loom large in a potential second round game vs Kansas.
4. Cason Wallace- Kentucky
Let’s cut straight to the chase; Cason Wallace is one of the best guard defenders in recent memory. Wallace plays perfect perimeter defense on all different kinds of opponents from quick guards to lanky wings. His strength, lateral movement, knack for passing lanes away from the ball, and nonstop motor make Wallace a special talent on that end. Offensively, Wallace is a secondary shot creator who can score and pass well , making him a top 10 pick.
3. Anthony Black- Arkansas
In recent draft history, teams have salivated over the jumbo sized playmaking point guards. Anthony Black brings shades of that archetype and elite perimeter defense to the table. Black has the size, length and quick hips to matchup with positions 1-3 defensively. On the other end, Black is a fantastic playmaker who manipulates defenders at will and delivers dimes in hard to find windows. Black isn’t a big box score guy, but his impact will always be felt.
2. Jarace Walker- Houston
Call Jarace Walker Mr. Versatility because the two-way phenom has broken out into a potential top five pick in the class. Walker has next-level feel for the game that shines defensively when tracking when to help off the ball. With impressive shot blocking skills and the ability to defend 2-4, Walker is one of the best defenders in the class. Offensively, Walker is a terrific passer, can act as a roll-man and handle the ball as a mismatch in different areas.
1. Brandon Miller- Alabama
On the court, Brandon Miller is simply the real deal. He’s an elite shot making prospect who’s money from behind the arc and hits tough jumpers off movement and off the dribble. Miller has flashes of a smooth handle that create a nice drive and finish game to equalize the defense. Additionally, Miller gets after it on the defensive end. His length, timing, and good hands make Miller a strong defender and the best prospect in college hoops.