Will Harrow shine under Coach Cal? (ksrcollege.com)
By Stan Lloyd
Sunday, September 09, 2012
This class of PGs may be one of the weakest we’ve seen in a few years. Keep in mind, we don't believe any of the guards are ready to step in and lead a NBA today. Below is our list of the top 10 most NBA ready PGs as of today if they were drafted at this moment. Along with our top 10 list, we’ve added a few more PGs to watch for this upcoming season..
Let’s start with a couple of guys that we are listing as “Honorable Mention”. The first PG we want to talk about is Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse. This talented guard only played 10 mins per game last year while playing behind the likes of Dion Waiters, Scoop Jardine, and Brandon Triche. During his time on the court, he did flash some real promise. He may have the most upside as anyone on our list. Keep an eye on him to see how he handles the pressure of major minutes in a high-profile program.
The second guy we want to mention is TJ McConnell of Arizona. McConnell may just be the best returning PG in the class, but unfortunately he will be sitting out after transferring to Zona from Duquense. He had a nice stat line last year, averaging 11.4 pts, 5.5 ast, 4.4 reb, and 2.8 stl while shooting 43% from behind the arc. Keep an eye on him in 2013-2014.
Now, let’s move on to a couple of young men who have yet to step foot on campus. The first of these high-schoolers is Kasey Hill out of Montverde, FL. Scout.com currently has Kasey as the 2nd best PG prospect in the 2013 class. Hill is smooth and in control of the offense. The only thing he really lacks is strength, which he will definitely improve on once he hits the gym at the University of Florida. The second high school standout we want to mention is Anthony Barber out of Hampton, VA. Barber is an extremely athletically gifted young man. He has blinding speed and can handle the rock with ease.
He still lacks the perimeter shooting touch needed to be a big time threat, but whatever school he ultimately decides on will be getting a great one.
The last pairing we want to touch on before getting to our top 10 list is a couple of International stars. Raul Neto of Brazil is a very aggressive PG who can create easy shots for his teammates. The problem is he sometimes is a little too aggressive and tens to make questionable decisions with the ball. Neto is a very capable defender and if he can cut down on the turnovers could be a solid back down the line for an NBA team. Nemanja Nedovic of Serbia has a good combination of fundamentals and size for his position. He possesses good athleticism and is very comfortable running an offense. He is a little bit of a combo guard, but must improve his outside shot to be effective.
OK, so now let’s unveil our top 10 NBA ready PGs.
10. Shabazz Napier, Uconn – Napier had a tendency to take terrible shots last year. Often times he overlooked more talented teammates to create shots for himself. While he does a great job of getting to the rim and is very quick, he must become a much better shooter if he wants to be successful.
9. Ryan Harrow, Kentucky – The NC State transfer has added some much needed muscle to his once pencil-thin frame. While mostly ineffective during his freshman year with the Wolfpack, Harrow has shown flashes of greatness in the past. He has outstanding ball handling ability and a knack for making flashy passes. A year or two under Calipari should do wonders for his development.
8. BJ Young, Arkansas – Young added his name to the NBA early entry list last year, only to later change his mind and return for his sophomore year at Arkansas. He lead his team in scoring last year even though he came off the bench. He has good size and has unbelievable explosiveness. Young has also proven to be a very effective shooter and can score in a variety of ways. The only question is can he facilitate a team or will he continue to be a spark and scorer off the bench.
7. Nate Wolters, SD State – This past year, Weber State PG Damian Lillard became the 6th pick in the NBA draft. Put Wolters in the same mold as a 4 year star from a small college. He was the only player in D1 who averaged better than 20 pts, 5 ast, and 5 reb. The area he most needs to improve in is his 3-point shooting which feel to a career low 24.1% last year.
6. Isaiah Canaan, Murray St – Canaan has a knack for scoring to say the least. He shot a blistering 48% from behind the arc. He runs a lot of pick and roll at Murray State, and will make a defender pay if they choose to go underneath the screen. Canaan needs to a better distributor if he wants to run the point in the NBA.
5. Ray McCallum, Detriot – McCallum was one of the top prospects coming out of high school and had plenty of high major offers, but decided to play under his dad at Detriot. He knows one speed, and that is full speed ahead. He is great in transition. He gets to the rim with ease and finds the open man with regularity when running. The problem is that as effective he was in transition, he was unimpressive in the half-court. McCallum will need to improve his size to be a top-notch NBA guard.
4. CJ McCollum, Lehigh – McCollum showcased his ability during his team 1st round upset of Duke in the NCAA tournament last year. He put up an impressive 30, 5, and 5 in that game. While McCollum did get better as a passer last year, make no mistake about it, he’s game is scoring the rock. He’s quick with the ball, but lacks the strength to be an elite finisher at the rim. He isn’t a great defender and finds himself out of position due to his gambling nature. That being said, his ability to score makes him a top PG.
3. Trey Burke, Michigan – Burke was expected to declare last year but decided to return. He’s very athletic and quick. He has that combination of speed along with an outside touch what will make him very valuable at the next level.
2. Lorenzo Brown, NC State – In baseball terms, Brown is a true 5-tool phenom. He can truly do it all. With the ball in his hands, he is very smooth and in control of the offense. He is one of the better defenders at his position. Brown averaged 12.7 pts, 6.3 ast, 4.5 reb, and 1.8 stl while shooting a respectable 35.1% from 3. He will be surrounded with more talent this year and his draft stock would peak if he takes the Pack deep into the NCAA tournament.
1. Myck Kabongo, Texas – Kabongo is the most hyped of the PGs, and rightfully so. The Longhorns will be in great shape with him running the point. With the departure of J’Covan Brown, Kabongo will be the man and should improve throughout the year. He is the most well rounded PG in the nation and is lightning quick. If he can continue to improve his stroke, he will show the world why we rank him as the top NBA ready PG this season.