EDITORIAL: NUMEROUS MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL STARS IMPRESS AS PROSPECTS FOR NBA

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The 2014 NBA draft looks promising with so many talented prospects available.

Robert Blaine, Reporter

The 2014 NBA Draft looks to be one of the most talented drafts in recent history—if all underclassmen prospects choose to declare for the draft. With so much talent in NCAA Men’s Division I basketball, March Madness should feature many great programs and players. So, who are some of the top NBA prospects to watch as the season plays out into March?

Andrew Wiggins, G/F, Kansas

Wiggins was one of the most talked about players entering college this season. He’s been dubbed the best swingman prospect since Kevin Durant but has disappointed this season. With his incredible athleticism, he should be one of the NBA’s top picks and a player to watch in March.

Senior Garrett Jones saw a great future for Wiggins, citing that “Wiggins had incredible promise coming out of high school. Some proclaimed him  the next LeBron. [Wiggins] has lived up to those expectations to this point and has shown he has a nice shot.  I expect his game to translate well to the next level, if he gets stronger.”

Joel Embiid, C, Kansas

Embiid has quickly emerged on the national spotlight, as many project him to be the top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Embiid exhibits ridiculous athleticism but is still very raw, so, while he will make many incredible plays in the NBA, his basketball IQ still needs some work.

Jabari Parker, F, Duke

Parker is one of the best scorers, if not the best, in college hoops. He is currently second in the ACC in points per game. While some scouts doubt his athleticism, Parker has shown that he has enough to grab over eight boards a game.

Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona

Gordon is Arizona’s top players and one of the best players in the nation, despite many scouts feeling he doesn’t have a true position going forward. Gordon seems like he could be a small forward or a power forward in the pros.

Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State

Smart was one of the top prospects last season and would likely have gone in the top three of the 2013 NBA Draft. Smart decided to return, but his draft stock might be down after an altercation with a Texas Tech fan, leading to a suspension.

“I can’t imagine that such an altercation could be good for his future,” senior Miten Patel commented.

Julius Randle, F, Kentucky

Randle is one of the nation’s top big men. Randle has averaged a near double-double so far this season and has shown many flashes of brilliance. He is a rare power forward who is a great rebounder and also a capable shooter and ball-handler.

Aaron and Andrew Harrison, G, Kentucky

The twins from Kentucky both seem to have bright NBA futures. While both have struggled, the pair of tall guards has shown NBA potential. Kentucky also boasts numerous other potential NBA draftees.

“That a coach could recruit so many top players year in and year out is amazing. Kentucky has lost so many talented players to the NBA recently too,” remarked junior Reeti Gulati.

Chris Walker, F, Florida

Walker is the top player hailing from a school in Florida. Walker is a borderline first-round pick if he were to be drafted now. Walker was not eligible to play early in the year, which hurt his stock.

Keep an eye on these players moving forward, as they could well be the next group of stars in the NBA.