Duke vs. Michigan State followed by Kentucky vs. Kansas in the Champions Classic may have shown a dozen or more future first-round NBA picks in back-to-back competitive games.
In the first game, Grayson Allen scorched Spartans for 37 points in an 88-81 win. He stole the show that was never meant to be his, surrounded by a full stack of five-star recruits and likely lottery picks. But the senior was nothing short of brilliant, knocking down seven three-pointers and Michigan State could never hold a lead.
The second game saw Kansas survive a poor shooting night to knock off Kentucky, 65-61. Kentucky looked lost at times on the offensive end without much playmaking, and allowed too many offensive rebounds on the other end to capitalize on the off-night from the Jayhawks. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk led the way for Kansas with 17 points on 7-of-18 shooting.
More importantly, the night may have shown the future of the pros. Let’s check in on how the future NBA talent looked (draft projections based on SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell’s mock draft).
Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Michigan State, (projected No. 6 overall pick)
Jackson is 6’10 and extremely long, measuring in with a 7’4 wingspan. He can work a real inside-out game and it showed against Duke. The freshman scored 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including three from deep. He also had seven rebounds and three blocks, having trouble going against Marvin Bagley III before Duke’s best prospect went down after getting poked in the eye.
Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State (projected No. 7 overall)
Bridges had a slower start to the game before he unleashed his range and started a block party on Duke’s inside attempts.
That’s nothing new to the sophomore, who was probably good enough to be a lottery pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
He finished with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting, five rebounds and four assists.
Trevon Duval, G, Duke (projected No. 12 overall)
Duval was brilliant as Grayson Allen’s setup man, finishing with 10 assists. He had 17 points, though it took him 20 shots, but showed flashes of greatness in the open floor. He also had six steals.
He’s the playmaker Duke needs.
Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky (projected No. 16 overall)
Knox is a lengthy wing made perfectly for the pros. He swooshed 3-of-6 threes, and 8-of-13 from the field for 20 points.
Knox is aggressive on the boards, and has elevation to slam down dunks.
He was one of the Wildcats’ few real bright spots.
Hamidou Diallo, G, Kentucky (projected No. 17 overall)
Diallo is Kentucky’s best, and most explosive guard prospect. He showed why against Kansas:
Diallo had 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. Kentucky will really rely on him as one of its few playmakers at any position.
Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke (projected No. 4 overall)
Bagley played all of 10 minutes before he was poked in the eye accidentally by a teammate and had to miss the rest of the game.
He had four points and six rebounds in limited time and showed that he is quite literally ENORMOUS at 6’11. He should be good to go for Duke’s next game, so we’ll have to wait to see him at his best.
Wendell Carter, C, Duke (projected No. 11 overall)
Carter had a fine game with 12 points and 12 rebounds (five of which were on offense), but never really found his way within the Blue Devil’s offense. Which is fine! It’s early.
The ball mostly worked its way between Allen and Duval, and Carter did most of his work hustling on the boards.
He also should probably have been ejected for throwing this elbow, though.
Stock MEH (It’s way too early to say down)
Nick Richards, C, Kentucky (projected No. 24 overall)
Richards struggled to get involved on the offensive end, scoring just two points, but added nine rebounds. Kentucky needs playmakers, and Richards will continue to suffer if nobody emerges.
The biggest concern from Richards was that Kansas was able to snag 18 offensive rebounds. Not all were his fault, but he’ll need to do a better job to keep Kentucky in games.
Gary Trent Jr., G, Duke (projected No. 30 overall)
Trent had just seven points on 3-of-14 shooting. He was 1-of-7 from deep.
It was probably just an off night for Trent, whose poor shooting performance was saved by the hot hand of Grayson Allen.
Source : https://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2017/11/15/16653758/nba-draft-2018-prospects-mock-duke-kentucky-marvin-bagley