Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova
The 6-8 sophomore got out to a slow start for the Wildcats, but when Saddiq Bey got going, he really got going, putting himself in the running for Big East Player of the Year. Bey averaged 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists with a 45.1 three-point percentage in 31 games en route to the All-Big East First Team selection.
The small forward, who’s drawn NBA comparison’s to Kris Middleton, has more upside and would become an immediate upgrade over Kevin Knox. I doubt he would fall into the mid-twenties. But if that happens, Leon Rose draft this man.
Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland
The Terrapins were the biggest enigma in college basketball all season, in the sense that you never knew what team was going to show up. Their one constant was sophomore big man Jalen Smith.
At 6-10 and sporting a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Smith will probably split time between center and power forward. The big man averaged 15.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 31 games. He received Third-Team All-American nods by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Smith would be fun to watch alongside New York Knicks current big man Mitchell Robinson.
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Tyrese Maxey, PG/SG, Kentucky
Doesn’t it always seem Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari products normally go on to successful NBA careers? Out of all the coaches, he’s seemed to have embraced the one-and-done rule. Coach Cal found himself another gem in 6-3 freshman Tyrese Maxey.
The Garland, Texas, native averaged 14 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 31 contests for the Wildcats. Maxey, who may be one of the best shot creators amongst all the prospects, could make a lot of sense in the mid-twenties. The fact that Leon Rose and Calipari are close friends certainly helps.
It’s too bad we never got to see these talented prospects play in the 2020 NCAA Tournament.