With the college basketball season only a few weeks away from games starting, NBA scouts and executives have done some early evaluations as to who they will have their eyes on as the season begins.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s draft gurus Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz released their updated top-100 player rankings, and a couple of Kentucky Wildcats made the cut for the 2022 NBA Draft.
New: Updated ESPN Top 100 prospect ranking and thoughts from early roadtrips for Pro Days, practices and international games https://t.co/2yCb6s7kT3— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) October 12, 2021
Making the list for UK are freshman TyTy Washington at 16th overall, and Daimion Collins at 19th overall. Both players have long been seen as the top draft prospects on this year's team, and that trend continues as the season is about to begin.
For players like Keion Brooks Jr, Oscar Tshiebwe, Davion Mintz, Kellan Grady, and Sahvir Wheeler, this means that if these rankings were to continue, they would not hear their names called at draft night. Everyone besides Grady and Mintz could return for next season, as the two players are entering their last year of eligibility.
After a couple solid days of practice and workouts in front of scouts I’m sure several players have peaked the interest of several NBA teams, who will be watching closely to see how they preform when play begins.
Here is a quick list of the projected first rounders according to ESPN:
ESPN’s projected lottery picks
- Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)
- Paolo Banchero (Duke)
- Jaden Hardy (G League Ignite)
- Jalen Duren (Memphis)
- Jabari Smith (Auburn)
- Caleb Houstan (Michigan)
- Yannick Nzosa (Unicaja Malaga)
- Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Milwaukee)
- Peyton Watson (UCLA)
- Jaden Ivey (Purdue)
- Ousmane Dieng (NZ Breakers)
- A.J. Griffin (Duke)
- J.D. Davison (Alabama)
- Jean Montero (Overtime Elite)
Will other Kentucky players work into the top-100 rankings by the end of the season? If John Calipari allows his team to be a “speed team,” then there should be several other names on this list once it updates later in the season.