The Returning Prospects Series, Part 2: The Outside Looking In
Examining those who just missed the cut for The Top 59 Returning Prospects in College Basketball
Before reading this piece, please make sure to check out the first installment in this series HERE. In doing so, you’ll have a better understanding of what I am considering when evaluating players. Before we get to The Top 59 Prospects in College Basketball piece, I wanted to go over some players who didn’t make the cut. A few of these omissions may ruffle some feathers, so I wanted to make my case rather than just saying, “I don’t think he’s that good.” Plus, there’s always the possibility I could be proven wrong, and I would like my reasoning to be documented for when one of these guys inevitably makes me look like a BIG STUPID IDIOT. Keep in mind, this is done in a Big Board style, ranking players based on where I would personally select them if there were a draft with this player pool in a vacuum.
So, here we go! All stats are courtesy of Basketball Reference and Synergy.
60. Earl Timberlake, 6-6, Sophomore, Memphis, Physical Guard, 21.
I’ll be honest, I’m incredibly nervous having Earl Timberlake outside the Top 59. Last year, he was a freshman at Miami, but his season was marred by injuries and he only played in 7 games. The early returns were mixed. Timberlake is clearly a high-end defender. He averaged 1.7 steals and .6 blocks per game, making him a true playmaker on that side of the ball. There were glimpses of offensive playmaking as well, as he’ll occasionally throw some awesome passes with ridiculous zip for an easy assist. Back to his defense, his body is well put together, and it leads to him being fearless on that side. He knows guards can’t cook him, and he won’t allow bigs to dominate him. This confidence in his physicality shows up on offense as well, as he loves to initiate contacts on drives in order to get to the free throw line. My concerns with Timberlake are rooted in his shooting and decision making. His shot is far from pretty right now; he shoots a flat, hard ball, and it doesn’t inspire confidence. Timberlake seems to have touch issues in general, as his rim finishing was below what you would expect for a player his size with his athleticism (51.6% in the half court, 39th percentile among eligible players). He’ll be careless with the ball at times, leading to large turnover numbers. I’m also worried about the situation he’ll walk into at Memphis. Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren are prized recruits, and Penny Hardaway is going to want to give them big roles to keep the door open for future top prospects. Lester Quinones, Landers Nolley II, Alex Lomax, and Deandre Williams all return from last year’s squad with reliable skillsets and experience. Timberlake is inexperienced at the college level, and his game isn’t all that complimentary on offense. He can’t run the offense like Lomax, he can’t shoot like Quinones or Nolley, and Williams is bigger and more fundamentally sound while offering similar traits. Hardaway has always distributed minutes generously, and his style of play leads to his bench players getting significant time, so I don’t think Timberlake will be glued to the pine or anything like that. I just don’t see Timberlake factoring in as a starter or closer given his fit issues at this point. Hopefully a healthy off-season has allowed him to hone his craft and make improvements. Memphis is going to be an exciting team, and Earl Timberlake firing on all cylinders would only make them more exciting. However, I see him more as a 2023 prospect has he gets his legs back under him this year.
61. Trevion Williams, 6-10, Senior, Purdue, Interior Big, 21.
When Trevion Williams announced that he was returning to Purdue, it seemed like a few folks in college basketball media were genuinely surprised by the news. To me, *that* was surprising. Williams is a skilled, gifted basketball player, without a doubt; I just never thought of him as an NBA player. I always saw him as a player who would make bank overseas in a league where teams are more likely to play through a post-up big. Williams is powerfully built with a true arsenal in the post; it’s where over 50% of his offensive possessions took place last season. His scoring capabilities are accentuated by his beautiful passing game. Williams is unselfish, and will hit the open man to punish help defenders. My unease about his NBA chances is largely due to his defense. Williams is unimpressive both vertically and laterally; he doesn’t project as a switch defender, and he doesn’t play well in a drop. His rim protection instincts are far from where you would like them to be, and he is easy to fake out of position. The touch he displays around the basket is seemingly limited to that area, as he was 29.4% on jumpers last season, and he’s a 49.4% career free throw shooter. Purdue Coach Matt Painter has talked about Williams working on his jumper and playing the four next to Zach Edey this season, and I am dubious about the spacing that will result from that pairing. My lack of confidence in his ability to adapt to the NBA as a defender and my struggles imagining his fit in an NBA offense keeps him outside of the Top 59.
62. Marreon Jackson, 6-1, Super Senior, Arizona State, Long Range Menace, 23.
Marreon Jackson was a hoot to watch at Toledo last season. He has exceptional range from deep behind the three point line, and has hit 37% of his triples over his college career on 6.8 attempts per game. He uses quick crossovers to keep defenders off balance and excels at turning the corner. His offensive footwork is pristine and makes his attacks exceptionally difficult to read. Jackson isn’t just a gunner, though; he thrived as a positional rebounder and has good court vision, averaging 6.1 RPG and 5.9 APG. He’ll be facing the age conundrum as a fifth year senior, and he’ll also have to deal with a step up in competition as he goes from the MAC to the PAC-12. Most troubling was his rim finishing, which was in the 37th percentile of eligible players. It’s hard to imagine that figure taking a step forward against bigger, better athletes. Still, his polish and motor make me think he has a shot.
63. Kellan Grady, 6-5, Super Senior, Kentucky, Scoring Guard, 24.
This one stings, because I love Kellan Grady’s game so much. He works really well off the ball, he can catch-and-shoot off of movement, and he brandishes a nice attacking package. Grady has some playmaking chops too, and often initiated the offense for Davidson last season. Unfortunately, his career three point percentage is likely a bit too low to click as a specialist (36.6%), and he’ll be 25 by the start of his rookie season. Despite the fact that he’ll get proper recognition for his talent at Kentucky, his age will likely be too much to overcome with regard to making an NBA roster.
64. Grant Sherfield, 6-2, Junior, Nevada, Lead Guard, 22.
Grant Sherfield was one of the best pick and roll ballhandlers in college basketball last season. He keeps the ball on a string, makes nice use of a hostage dribble, and knows the right type of passes to feed his teammates. Though he was horrid at the rim, he has a high-level floater game that compensates for that. He’s welcoming of contact and gets to the line consistently. His transition to a more complimentary role would be smooth, as he’s selfless and a dangerous catch-and-shoot threat. Defensively, he has a knack for poking the ball away from the ball-handler. Off ball, he can get caught watching at times. He’s not a great athlete and he can get beat off the dribble by quicker guards. His turnovers often come from getting to fancy with his passing. Sherfield is a joy to watch, but his lack of athletic pop keeps him out of The Top 59. He’s a crafty enough player that I could envision him overcoming these shortcomings.
65. Paul Scruggs, 6-4, Super Senior, Xavier, Do-It-All Point, 24.
Paul Scruggs stuffed the stat sheer at Xavier last season with 14 PPG, 5.7 APG, and 4.0 RPG. He’s great inside the arc with a unique attacking game. He has the body to absorb contact and a nice first step. His positional size is great, and his rebounding would be of help in smaller line-ups. He’ll be held back by a few factors, primarily his age. He’s also reliant on going left, his passing reads are more basic than impressive, and he occasionally gets stranded on drives. Defensively, he has a poor sense of screens and getting through them.
66. Deandre Williams, 6-9, Senior, Memphis, Modern Forward, 24.
Deandre Williams is the definition of a modern forward. Though the volume is low, he hits his threes. He makes plays on defense and can cover multiple positions. His passing is fantastic for his size, and he reads the floor at a warp speed. On put backs, he embraces contact and keeps the ball high. Still, as a player who will be 25 on draft night, it’s hard for me to seeing him get his name called no matter how well he plays this season. It’s not all sunshine and roses, either. His jumper is strange and mechanically inconsistent. Typically, it’s all on the right side of his body with the ball stopping around his face on the way up, and then he follows through. He can’t do much going left. On defense, he’s prone to bite on fakes. I think Deandre Williams is going to be an elite complimentary player for Memphis this year. He’s the perfect veteran player to pair with Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren, and I hope he gets the appreciation he deserves.
67. Jalen Wilson, 6-8, Redshirt Sophomore, Kansas, Smallball Four, 21.
Jalen Wilson broke his ankle during the second game of his college career and took a medical redshirt for the season, so while he was technically a second year player, last year was classified as his freshman season. Wilson owns a nice first step for his size. He’s slick around the rim, though less efficient there than you would expect given his tools. He competes hard on the glass and uses clean fundamentals to snag rebounds. Kansas had him run a little bit of pick and roll last season, and he did well in those opportunities. His passing is generally solid right now, but there are flashes that show real upside. He’s a switchable defender who does a nice job of staying in front of guards. He shot 33% from three last season, but I don’t truly buy the shot. Sometimes his right foot is way out in front of his body on jumpers, other times it isn’t. He’s not always squared toward the rim, either. He is more of a stabilizing defender than a productive one and produced low block/steal numbers. If he can hit threes well again this season, he’ll get serious looks because when you pair that with his potential on the defensive side and his size, it’s interesting. Otherwise, he’ll need to find one area that he can point to as his NBA skill that gets him on the court. Right now, he doesn’t have one.
68. Jonathan Davis, 6-5, Sophomore, Wisconsin, Wing, 20.
Jonathan Davis is a nose-to-the-grindstone player. He’s a solid rebounder for his size and competes like mad on defense. Davis hustles, and the motor doesn’t shut down. My main concern with him is the frustrating nature of his offensive game. He McDermott’s himself a lot. What does that mean? Well, Doug McDermott used to have an obnoxious habit for positioning himself for twos rather than threes. Davis does that too. He hit 38.9% of his threes but only took 2.9 per 100 possessions. I’d like to see Davis improve his shot profile. Just about everything else is there, and he’ll have a bigger role for Wisconsin, with Brad Davison as the only major returner. In the FIBA U19 games, he cleaned up his shot profile, but his overall performance was underwhelming. I love the idea of him on paper, I just need to see it click in a larger role.
69. Adam Miller, 6-3, Sophomore, LSU, Shooter, 20.
Adam Miller was a highly touted prospect in the 2020 high school class, and he stayed in state at Illinois. Miller did an admirable job as a role player on a loaded squad that earned a top seed in the NCAA tournament. With Ayo Dosunmu headed to the NBA, he appeared primed for a bigger role. Instead, he opted to enter the transfer portal and will play at LSU next season. Miller has built a reputation as a three point shooter, but his percentage was more respectable than amazing last season (35% on 4.9/game). There are moments where the shooting looks real, as he’ll occasionally hit them from way deep or off a step-back move. In the FIBA U19 games, he showed an improved sense of passing and attacking. Last year, he was straight up disastrous at the rim in the half court, only hitting 40% of those shots. He also didn’t get to the basket too often, and he needs to refine his ability to attack defenders that close out with too much momentum. Miller’s defense needs work. He is undersized for a shooting guard and only blocked one shot the entire season. There just isn’t the level of engagement needed for someone with his physical stature. If Miller can improve his long range accuracy, and I think he can, he’ll rise up boards, but the problems with the rest of his game need to be addressed if he’s hoping to have an impactful NBA career.
70. Michael Devoe, 6-5, Senior, Georgia Tech, Dribble, Pass, Shoot Guard, 22.
Perhaps I’m only listing Michael Devoe out of selfishness, as he was one of my favorite players to watch last season. Still, his production and creativity make him a real deep cut prospect who has a chance to catch on. Devoe has true NBA range, and he can hit off the catch or off the dribble, even in transition. His career three point percentage is at 40.7% on 4.4/game headed into the season. He has a solid ability to read the floor and uses a dazzling array of fake passes to set up great looks for himself and others. His general awareness on offense is sublime; he’s constantly pointing out open passes to his teammates, and he knows where everyone on the floor is at all times. Devoe is a reliable pick and roll operator who can score or dish. Unfortunately, part of why Devoe is so crafty is because he needs to be. He’s a below the rim athlete, and I’m uncertain if he can dunk. He struggles to separate and he doesn’t fly past big men on switches. On the other side of the court, when bigger players get him on a switch, they can push him around with ease. While his savvy has led to him piecing together a commendable floater game and acceptable at-the-rim numbers, I don’t know how much further he can take it.
71. Ryan Rollins, 6-4, Sophomore, Toledo, Scorer, 20.
Ryan Rollins has a few minor things to tweak. It wouldn’t surprise me if he does it all in one foul swoop, or if he makes steady improvements and becomes a serious prospect for 2023. Right now, I lean toward the latter. Rollins can make tough shots and he has a solid sense of the floor when driving. There’s a nice rhythm to his dribbling, and he is a good interior passer with strong finishing craft. He’s an awesome rebounder for his position and soars in to grab them. It spoke volumes about him that players like Marreon Jackson and Spencer Littleson were so comfortable deferring to him at times last season. Still, he needs to real in his decision making with both his passing and shot selection. He has a tendency to force questionable looks early in the shot clock, and he can fall victim to tunnel vision. Defensively, he’s not bad and should be able to hold his own against ones and twos, but he’s not exciting on that side of the ball yet. Like many other players, he also needs to increase his percentage on threes, which was 32.3%, but I like the way it looks.
72. Courtney Ramey, 6-3, Senior, Texas, Sweet Shooting Guard, 22.
Courtney Ramey owns a buttery smooth jumper and hit 41.4% from three last season. Anyone who does that in a power conference is bound to get looks. Still, he’s more of an undersized 2 than a true 1. His assist counting numbers appear adequate, but his turnover numbers add context; he’s not the best decision maker. Ramey has a hard time departing from his initial read and will occasionally throw the ball straight to a defender. He also struggles at the rim (18th percentile among eligible players on half court non-post-ups), so his offensive game is limited to shooting. Ramey will find himself in a competitive back court situation with Marcus Carr, Andrew Jones, and Devin Askew all jockeying for minutes. At the end of the day, there’s still hope for anyone who can shoot like him.
73. Hunter Dickinson, 7-1, Sophomore, Michigan, Post Big, 21.
Hunter Dickinson is an amazing college basketball player, without question. He’s deadly on the low block. Dickinson hit his free throws at a 73.9% clip last season, and his jumper, while it isn’t good yet, has flashed a quick release. There’s a real possibility he ends up being able to provide floor spacing at some point. He keeps the ball high on offensive rebounds. Defensively, he does a nice job of keeping his arms up in drop coverage. Unfortunately, he’ll be limited to drop coverage exclusively. Dickinson is really slow, and I have a hard time imagining that NBA teams won’t be able to play him off the floor. He’s also not as powerful as you would hope given his size. In a world where the jumper comes along and the shot blocking improves, he’s got a chance at the NBA, I just don’t think it happens all in time for the next draft. Think about how skilled Luka Garza is and how much work he had to do to get taken in 2021. Dickinson feels too far off from that right now for 2022.
74. Justin Lewis, 6-7, Sophomore, Marquette, Athletic Forward, 20. There’s a scene in the classic 2008 film Role Models where the main characters are at a table drinking sodas. Danny asks Augie, “Do you like Coke?” Augie responds with, “I like the idea of it more than I actually like it.” That’s where I’m at with Justin Lewis right now. He is a competitor and the type of guy you hate playing against. He’s a plus athlete who is an above average rebounder and shot blocker for his size. Still, on the offensive end, he needs to shore up multiple issues. Currently, Lewis lacks the passing vision and polish needed for a successful high-usage player. He also shot a rough 21.9% from three and 57.7% from the charity stripe. The idea of him as a smallball big or athletic forward meshes with his defense, but offensively, his numbers are under water at the college level. He dealt with injuries last season, and I’m hoping that he’ll come into this year with less physical baggage, allowing him to make meaningful strides. Plus, with Dawson Garcia and Theo John at different schools, he’ll now get to play his most natural position, which is the 4.
75. Isaiah Wong, 6-3, Junior, Miami, Scoring Guard, 21.
Isaiah Wong is another 1/2 tweener. He’s an electric scorer who thrives off the bounce. He can get low while dribbling and has a surprising amount of vertical pop. Wong can score out of the pick and roll, and does a nice job of using his fakes to get to the free throw line. This season, he’ll be best served to improve his playmaking for others and show off better passing vision. While he’s not bad on those fronts, he’s actually a disappointing off-the-catch shooter, which means he’s not valuable without the ball in his hands offensively. If he’s going to have the ball, he’ll either need to get even better at scoring it, or work to become a legitimate distributor. Wong also struggles around the basket due to his lack of size, and I could see him struggling to cover 2s at the NBA level.
76. Ben Vander Plas, 6-8, Senior, Ohio, Stretch Four, 23.
Jason Preston soaked up much of the conversation around Ohio last season, but Ben Vander Plas had an awesome year too. He was elite around the basket, converting 66.7% of his non-post up looks there in the half court. His three point percentage also took a substantial jump, up to 34.7% on nearly 6 per game. Vander Plas has defensive chops too, with a 2.4% steal rate and 2.0% block rate. If Vander Plas can improve his three point shooting yet again, his floor stretching ability paired with his acumen on defense could get him some looks, even though he’ll turn 24 before the start of the 2022-2023 NBA season. Vander Plas could also stand to improve his rebounding, as it’s at a level that’s respectable, but not impressive in a mid-major conference.
77. Jalen Pickett, 6-4, Senior, Penn State, Do-It-All Guard, 22.
Jalen Pickett is transferring into Penn State from Siena, where he left his fingerprints all over games. Pickett is good three point shooter (36% career), fundamentally sound passer (career 6.1APG to 2.2 TO), strong positional rebounder (6.3 RPG last season), and productive defender (career 1.4 SPG, 1.0 BPG). At 6’4”, he boasts fantastic size for the point guard spot. He should work as a complimentary player, as he graded in the 83rd percentile for catch-and-shoot jumpers. Pickett will have to adjust to higher levels of athleticism in the Big Ten. He’s average in that regard, and he doesn’t get to the basket very often. How he deals with higher level players will tell the tale for his draft stock.
78. Justin Powell, 6-6, Sophomore, Tennessee, Deep Threat, 21.
Justin Powell put up big counting numbers in his 10 games at Auburn; 11.7 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 4.7 APG. He’s a great shooter with a sneaky ability to get open on the perimeter. He grades out as an above average passer and rebounder for his size. Unfortunately, he’s a step behind athletically with minimal burst and little lift. He had 0 blocks as a freshman, which is always a red flag. Powell did hit 44.2% of his threes on 4.3/game, though, so his size and skill could allow him to catch on as a bomber.
79. Orlando Robinson, 7-0, Junior, Fresno State, Stretch Big, 21.
This is going to sounds completely bananas for a guy I ranked 79th out of returning college players, but if you squint really hard, you can see some Karl Anthony Towns in Orlando Robinson. I’m not saying he’s anywhere near as good, but their play styles are similar. Robinson is a fluid athlete who can operate off the bounce. He’s a respectable shooter, hitting a third of his threes on nearly 2 a game. He’s a smart positional defender who posts solid steal numbers, and he gets after it on the glass. There’s a selflessness and willingness to pass in his game that I find commendable. Like many young bigs, part of my concern focuses on his frame. He’s thin, and gets pushed around in the post and around the basket. While I complimented his willingness to pass, he can still be inaccurate with his targets. He’s also behind where you would like him to be as a rim protector despite his height. Lastly, there were times where it felt like he mentally took himself out of games, which was discouraging. Should Robinson build his body up, there’s a really interesting player here, but without strength and rim protection, he’s a tougher sell.
80. Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, 6-8, Redshirt Junior, Baylor, Smallball Defender, 23.
Jonathan Jchamwa Tchatchoua has a real chance to stick because he’s such a monster on defense. He’s a smart positional defender who forces offensive players off balance, and he’s a tremendous shot blocker for his size. He moves his feet exceptionally well, which allows him to switch with ease. On offense, he’s best in transition and as a screener who rolls to the basket with snap. He’s a stellar athlete. Still, his size could make it difficult for him to stick at the NBA given his offensive limitations. Tchamawa Tchatchoua needs polish on that end of the floor, and against NBA size, he could struggle as a true 5. His difficulties usually came when facing off against stronger bigs, and he’ll have to do that often at the NBA level.
81. DeVante Jones, 6-1, Senior, Michigan, Scoring Guard, 24.
DeVante Jones has been putting up big stats at Coastal Carolina for the past three seasons, and he’s headed to Michigan this coming year. Jones boasts a tremendous motor, and he’s a freaky rebounder for his size; he averaged 7.2/game last season. Go look at his height again. 7.2/game! Jones is also a pest on defense and put up 2.8/steals a game, usually via reading passing lanes as a team defender. He has scoring moves with the ball and is a threat off of screens. His totals make him look more selfish than he is, and there are occasional high-end passing flashes. Jones is also totally comfortable playing without the ball, so I’m not too concerned about role adjustment as he transfers up. As far as NBA fit, he’s not overwhelmingly quick, and he’s not a great rim finisher. On top of that, he’s 24. I see him more as a player who will have an awesome season for Michigan and then play professionally overseas than as a true NBA prospect.
82. Andre Curbelo, 6-1, Sophomore, Illinois, Playmaking Point Guard, 20.
Simply watching Andre Curbelo run an offense gets me fired up. He’s wildly creative, and flummoxes defenses with his unconventional passing angles. Curbelo has absurd vision and the ability to deliver difficult passes. When he gets the defender on his back hip, it’s curtains, either via a lay-up or dish to a teammate. He has good burst with the ball, but he’s not blinding or anything. His motor is off the charts, and it comes across as if he’d be a blast to play with. I love how he plays bigger than his height, too, crashing the glass and finishing fearlessly. He has a nasty floater game, and can launch super high ones over big defenders. I see Curbelo as more of a 2023 draft prospect because his perimeter shooting has a long way to go. Last season he was 16% from three. A player like Sharife Cooper had a poor three point percentage, but he was much faster than Curbelo, less mistake prone, and more productive by almost any metric you can think of. The shot has to get better for him to be able to get into the paint at the next level. Defensively, he fouls a lot, and doesn’t show much energy or fight when he needs to get around screens.
83. Kenneth Lofton Jr., 6-7, Sophomore, Louisiana Tech, Paint Beast, 20.
There has never been a man less bothered by contact than Kenneth Lofton Jr. He does an amazing job of clearing space on the glass. Junior is a skilled player who processes the game quickly. He’s great at hitting his teammates for open looks, and he has lightning fast hands to generate steals on the defensive end. Lofton Jr.’s post game is polished, and his first step is outstanding for a player his size. Conditioning is going to be his biggest battle. Though he was the most talented player on his team last season, his fitness limited him to 23 MPG. Still, he’s immensely talented and he showed in the FIBA U19 games that he can be productive against top level talent. He just needs to find a way to stay on the floor longer. I also have worries about his NBA fit as a ground-bound 6’7” player. Is there room for a Chuck Hayes type in the modern game? I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t like to bet against skill and intellect, and Lofton Jr’s game has shown both.
84. Qudus Wahab, 6-11, Junior, Maryland, Dive and Block Big, 22.
Qudus Wahab played his best ball at the end of last season, as he was a big part of Georgetown’s Cinderella run to the Big East Championship. This year, we’ll see him in a new environment at Maryland. Wahab is big and strong, which makes him an imposing defender. His 1.6 blocker per game don’t tell the full story; he’s good positionally and his mere presence deters looks around the basket. Wahab is a powerful presence on the offense glass. An NBA fit offensively could be problematic for Wahab, as he’s disappointed as a roller on screens, and his hands aren’t great. He’s also a bit slow footed, and struggles to recover in space. There are times where he’ll surprisingly shy away from physicality, namely when setting screens and positioning himself for rebounds. He’ll occasionally stand under the rim and hope the ball will fall to him, which he’s not going to get away with as a pro. Wahab has instincts, he just needs to polish up his athleticism and willingness to engaging in contact.
85. Nate Laszewski, 6-10, Senior, Notre Dame, Stretch Big, 22.
Nate Laszweski is beyond efficient, posting 58.9%/43.4%/71% shooting splits for Notre Dame last season. He’s comfortable shooting it from anywhere. His motor is solid, and he runs the floor hard every trip down court. He has passing ability and reads the floor well. Right now, he’s a bit of a mess on defense. His athleticism gives him problems against smaller players, and he’s so skinny that he gets pushed off his spot against run of the mill college players. If he shoots it as well as he did last year, or if he shoots it even better, I imagine front offices will still have interest given his size. Personally, I’m just not that interested in bigs who struggle defensively, especially when I can’t project them making it work as a center.
86. Gaige Prim, 6-8, Senior, Missouri State, Production Machine, 23.
Despite starting his career at a Division II school and transferring to a junior college before making it to Missouri State, Gaige Prim was one of the best players in the Missouri Valley last season, posting 16.7 PPG, 91. RPG, 3 APG, 1.3 BPG, and 1.2 SPG. He’s got a strong body and he knows how to use it. Prim is automatic around the basket and an excellent rebounder. Every time he sets a screen, he’s hitting somebody. His touch is top notch around the basket. He has a great feel for the game on both sides of the ball, allowing him to make quick, decisive passes and rotate for steals and blocks. He’s a good free throw shooter, hitting 73.4% of them last year, but he doesn’t even take threes at all right now. Prim was definitely in much better shape last year, but he still isn’t switchable levels of fast. There are two ways Prim could work his way into the mix: one is by taking threes, which I could see given his touch and free throw shooting ability. The second is to continue to build on the athletic improvements he made last season. Right now, he thinks the game well defensively, he’s just held back by his physical capabilities. If he can line those two up, there’s a really intriguing package here.
87. Antoine Davis, 6-1, Senior, Detroit Mercy, Bucket Getter, 23.
Since enrolling at Detroit Mercy, Antoine Davis has gotten buckets. His career average of 24.9 PPG is almost silly. He loves to launch threes, and has taken over 10 per game every season, hitting 35.8% of them. Despite the gaudy numbers, there are some real issues that hold back his game. Davis has good dribble moves, but doesn’t have a great first step. His passing arsenal is respectable, but he’s prone to missing his targets. He’s small and thin, and it’s easy to imagine him struggling against better athletes. Davis also lacks awareness when attacking, and many of his turnovers are the result of him driving straight into traffic. His willingness to launch and ability to connect are still enticing, though.
Alright, that does it for the fringe *of* the fringe. In our next piece, we’ll examine The Top 59! If you enjoyed this article, please consider subscribing (it’s free!) or following me on Twitter (@BaumBoards). If you REALLY enjoyed this article, I’d happily accept a Venmo donation (@MaxwellBaumbach), as I do this as a labor of love. I’ll see you again tomorrow!