Welcome to Packlines, our hard hitting analysis and general musings over all things basketball. Tonight is the NBA draft, and though there are no Hoos in the draft this year, that could change very quickly over the next few seasons. In this issue we will take a look at the Hoos currently on the roster who have NBA potential, and when we think they could be making the jump.
Joe Harris (SR)
Joe is a senior this season so obviously he will be making the jump after this upcoming season. In terms of skillset he clearly will be brought into a team to be a shooter. While his jumpshot will get him into the NBA, his other intangibles will be what keep him there. Every player coming out of this system will know how to play tough defense. This is going to be what will separate Joe from other players who can shoot. Typically the second round is reserved for more proven commodities in college, so I would expect Joe to be drafted early in that round.
Justin Anderson (SO)
While Joe will be viewed as the steady shooter destined for the second round, Justin Anderson will be viewed as the dynamic athlete that could develop into a star. This potential in my mind will vault him into the first round whenever he decides to come out. Justin, in my opinion, is going to be viewed to the untrained evaluator as a hustle defender with tremendous athleticism, based on our slow style. However I could very easily Anderson emerge from Joe Harris' shadow and become an absolute stud in 2014-2015 and dominate pace-adjusted statistics. JA should ride that success right to the NBA.
Mike Tobey (SO)
This is the kid that all Hoofans should keep an eye on this season. Tobey has a chance to really make a name for himself this summer and season and has something that few prospects coming out have. Height. Tobey is playing on the U-19 national team which will put him up against some of the best talent in his draft class. If Tobey holds his own on that team, increases his strength, and becomes a consistent low post scoring threat, he could easily become next year's Alex Len. While that is unfathomable for some of us to think about, I want you to try and remember how lost Len looked in the 2012-2013 season, and how unimpressive he was in certain games this year. And now he's being discussed as potentially going #1 overall. Size sells, and size with the kind of post game that Mike Tobey already has, sells very high. I think Mike has a good chance to rocket up some draft boards, and may think about making that jump after this season.
Those are the big three of guys that have high NBA potential at this point. That's not to say that other players won't make it, but at this point in their careers it's not 100%. Current guys on our roster like Malcom Brogdon, Evan Nolte, and Akil Mitchell, still have things to prove to scouts, but could easily become NBA prospects in the future.