Sean Merriman, BTN.com web editor, March 5, 2014
The college basketball regular season is coming to a close, which means that it's time for ESPN Insider Chad Ford's annual NBA Mock Draft update. Ford lists five Big Ten stars in his latest Mock Draft 3.0, which was created based on NBA standings through March 4.
Leading the way is Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh, who Ford has going No. 10 overall to the Philadelphia 76ers.
"If the Sixers grab a small forward with their first pick, an athletic, versatile power forward paired next to him seems like a great fit as well," Ford says. "Vonleh is brimming with talent. He can do a little of everything."
Ford also has Michigan State guard Gary Harris pegged as a lottery pick, going No. 11 to the Charlotte Bobcats.
"The Bobcats love Gerald Henderson, but Harris may be a long-term upgrade on both ends of the floor," Ford says. "He too has struggled a bit with his jumper this season, but he's a rare two-way player and can give the Bobcats both scoring and defensive toughness."
Making the biggest jump up Ford's draft board is Michigan's Nik Stauskas, who didn't even appear in either of Ford's first two mock drafts. The Wolverines' sharp shooting guard checks in at No. 15 to the Boston Celtics.
Rounding out the mock draft is Wisconsin sophomore forward Sam Dekker at No. 24 to the Charlotte Bobcats, and Michigan State senior big man Adreian Payne, who Ford has going No. 26 to the Houston Rockets.
Others deserving of consideration: Glenn Robinson III (Michigan), Roy Devyn Marble (Iowa), A.J. Hammons (Purdue), Aaron Craft (Ohio State).