Sean Merriman, BTN.com web editor, BTN.com staff, September 26, 2013
A total of four Big Ten players were selected in the first round of this past June's 2013 NBA Draft, and it looks like that number could go up the following year. SI.com recently released a list of the top 20 prospects for the 2014 NBA Draft and four Big Ten products appeared on the big board.
Michigan sophomore forward Mitch McGary is the first Big Ten player to make the list, coming in at No. 11.
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"McGary hustles and plays with relentless energy on every possession," said SI writer Chris Mannix. "He's an avid offensive rebounder with a Tyson Chandler-like knack for back-tapping balls to the perimeter."
Michigan State sophomore guard Gary Harris is the next Big Ten player to appear the list, ranking No. 15 on Mannix's big board. Michigan's Glenn Robinson III (No. 16) and Wisconsin's Sam Dekker (No. 20) round out the list.
All four of the Big Ten players listed are sophomores.
My take: What happened to rewarding seniors for four-year productive college careers? There isn't a single college senior on this list. In fact, North Carolina junior forward James Michael-McAdoo is the only upperclassman on this entire big board. Six of the top-10 players on this list have yet to play a single minute of college basketball, but I guess that's what you get with these type of projections, right?
It makes sense to see McGary, Harris and Robinson on this list. Dekker was a bit of a surprise, but that's not to say he isn't deserving of being there. I'm a little surprised a guy like Adreian Payne didn't make this list over the likes of Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress. Payne's intangibles are off-the-chart and he was much more productive then both Cauley-Stein and Poythress last season.
Overall, this is a solid list, but one that will certainly be altered by the time June's 2014 NBA Draft comes around. Either way, this should get basketball fans excited for another thrilling Big Ten season ahead.
Other Big Ten Players to consider: Adreian Payne (Michigan State), Branden Dawson (Michigan State), Noah Vonleh (Indiana), LaQuinton Ross (Ohio State), AJ Hammons (Purdue).
|About Sean Merriman||BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman covers football and men's basketball and provides original content for BTN.com. You can follow him on Twitter @BTNSean.|