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Names to Know for the 2023 NBA Draft (and Beyond)

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson (left) and Metropolitans 92 forward Victor Wembanyama (right)

In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Tyler Glazier and Alex Brown spend time compiling musings on a group of the top prospects that they have come across, with a focus on those eligible for the 2023 NBA draft (and beyond).

With the 2022-23 college/G League/OTE seasons upon us, it’s time to analyze a group of prospects that project to hear their name called on draft night, whether next June or in future years.

Without further adieu, here are the names to know for the 2023 Draft and beyond (ordered alphabetically).

Terrance Arceneaux

6’6” Wing | Houston | Freshman | 18.9 years old

The first of two Houston freshmen on this list, Beaumont legend Terrance Arceneaux brings a winning pedigree, extremely versatile defense, and shooting prowess to the Cougars. Arceneaux can be best described as a havoc defender with immense ground coverage, and with the length that he has along with the motor and activity, he has monster defensive potential for the next level. While more of a 3&D currently, in some contexts (such as EYBL), Terrance acted more like a lead scorer and creator, which is an interesting historical datapoint to keep in mind considering he initially will be doing a lot of 3&D for Houston (and likely for an NBA team, down the line). Having such an intriguing blend of high level skills has already earned him some fans across NBA front offices, and it’s certainly possible that Arceneaux could go in the first round. Coach Kelvin Sampson even went on to say publicly that “in all my years of recruiting, I don't know if I have recruited a player that can impact winning in as many ways as he can.” While Arceneaux may be renowned for hitting a double buzzer beater to send it into OT and then to win it in the state championship game, he also was incredibly dominant at EYBL in 2021 (see below). All in all, Arceneaux could be just what teams are looking for in a seamless wing fit to upgrade their defense and perimeter shooting.

By the numbers: Terrance Arceneaux finished first overall in C-RAM for the entirety of the 2021 Nike EYBL, scoring a silver 9.9, while also placing in the top-15 for DSI, top-5 for PSP, and top-20 for 3PE.

Anthony Black

6’6.5” Guard | Arkansas | Freshman | 18.8

On a Hogs team loaded with talent such as Nick Smith Jr., Davonte Davis and fellow Texas native Jordan Walsh — Anthony Black is a name many evaluators could be pining over as the draft approaches. Standing at 6.6.5” with excellent lower body strength and somewhat surprising explosiveness, Black possesses the requisite tools to slide up and down positions at the guard/wing spots on both ends of the ball, but especially on defense. Offensively, Black is best suited as a “big guard” who acts as a high IQ secondary creator and playmaker while being able to put pressure on the rim, knock down catch-and-shoot threes and punish defenses as a slasher. A low maintenance and competitive person both on and off the court, Black efficiently tows the line between star and co-star as long as it leads to wins. And while Black is extremely versatile and effective on the floor, the primary swing skill that would take his game to the next level remains his shot consistency. A capable shooter mechanically, Black likely just needs additional game reps and the green light to further build his trust and confidence in his shot beyond the arc and off the bounce. In short, expect Black to be an x-factor for the Hogs this season as they look to challenge Kentucky for the SEC championship and justify their top-10 preseason ranking.

By the numbers: At the U18 2022 FIBA Americas, Black posted a bronze 8.2 C-RAM with an elite 106 DSI and a solid 74 FGS. He struggled as a scorer and shooter, however, only posting a 31 PSP and 35 3PE.

Adem Bona

6’10” Big | UCLA | Freshman | 19.6

A native of Nigeria, Bona wasn’t all that interested in playing basketball as a child since he primarily enjoyed playing soccer. After some convincing by a local coach, Bona opted to give it a try. A few short years later, Bona found himself as one of the more coveted international prospects and a consensus top-25 player in the country playing for Prolific Prep in Napa, California. While there’s a lot of talent in Africa, Nigeria especially, few players are able to accomplish what Bona did in such a short amount of time. Being the only notable athlete in the family, Bona is uniquely gifted with a chiseled 6’10” frame, large hands and long 7’4” wingspan, all of which he routinely puts to good use as a destructive defender. Now at UCLA, Bona will look to anchor Coach Cronin’s defense while also bringing open court speed as a rim runner, lateral quickness as a reactive defender, power finishing as a high flyer, productive rebounding as a glass cleaner and intensity as an energetic tone setter. While he’s still rounding out other areas of his game such as ball-handling, playmaking and interior scoring, Bona has shown signs of encouraging competency in said areas during recent play. And as someone who models his game after Ben Wallace, Bam Adebayo and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bona has both the tools and the drive to be a force of nature and productive cornerstone for the Bruins as they aim to make another deep run in March.

By the numbers: At 2021 Nike EYBL, Bona placed first in Big Man Skills/ATR scoring a 99, finished second overall in C-RAM with a silver 9.8, and placed in the top-15 for DSI and PSP.

Gradey Dick

6’7” Wing | Kansas | Freshman | 18.9

Entering Kansas as the their second ever National Gatorade Player of the Year behind Andrew Wiggins, Dick has both the pedigree and translatable skill-set to make an immediate impact for the Jayhawks his freshman season. At 6’7”, Dick is a polished knockdown shooter who understands his role as more of a complementary star who is comfortable launching from anywhere on the court. He brings the most instant value as a three-point sniper from NBA range, but also does a great job staying active and making defenses work as an off movement threat inside the arc. Dick also has a very high release point on his shot mechanics that makes it difficult to block or contest, which bodes well for further generating clean looks at the college and pro levels. Aside from his shooting prowess, Dick has also shown advanced footwork to generate shooting windows off the bounce as well as the ability to attack closeouts and finish above the rim inside. Defensively, Dick is more than capable of being an efficient team and iso defender, as he showcased during his time at Sunrise Christian. Overall, Dick is more of a high floor prospect who can thrive next to star players or shoulder the offensive load by spacing the floor, acting as a tertiary creator, finding holes in defenses as a slasher and holding his own defensively. Already projected as a one-and-done, look for Dick to climb up draft boards as his usage increases.

By the numbers: Gradey consistently scored very highly across the 3PE and DSI categories, including scoring a 104 and 97, respectively, at the La Porte Invitational in 2021.

Keyonte George

6’4” Guard | Baylor | Freshman | 19.0

A native of Texas, Keyonte George is no stranger to the spotlight and has been known on the national scene as a prospect since middle school. And while each player handles expectations or pressure differently, George has never lacked confidence when it comes to matching up against other top players on a big stage. At 6’4” with a naturally strong frame, George is a tough cover for defenders due to his blend of size, burst, tight handle, and three-level scoring ability. He does most of his damage inside the paint as a finisher and in the mid-range as a pull-up shooter, but is a more than capable outside threat who projects to be reliable this season for the Bears and beyond. However, even with a knack for getting buckets, it’s the self-creation at his size that really allows him to tap into his full potential and sets him apart from other prospects in his class. While George is more of an offensively driven prospect, time with the Baylor staff should get the most out of defensive tools, game-to-game consistency and drive to push himself physically. Overall, George is a versatile two-way threat with a star mentality. Watch for him to make the most of his opportunity and he looks to lead the Bears back to the National Championship.

By the numbers: This summer at Globl Jam (U23), George finished with a bronze 7.8 C-RAM with an 82 PSP and 89 3PE.

Baylor's Keyonte George at Globl Jam in July. Credit: Baylor Athletics

DaRon Holmes II

6’9” Forward | Dayton | Sophomore | 20.2

Dayton’s star and the reigning A10 rookie of the year has a chance to take another large step this upcoming season after leading an extremely young Flyers team to a second-place finish in the A10 on a 24-11 season. DaRon is an energy big who excels at finishing from the dunker spot, rim running, and protecting the rim, and even led the Flyers in scoring and blocks in his freshman campaign. Holmes finished in the 97th percentile for overall points per possession (95th halfcourt, 98th transition) with a wild 83 dunks as well — impressive feats for a freshman big on a very young team. Defensively, DaRon does an excellent job at defending without fouling around the rim, and is already capable of playing over 30 minutes a night without getting into foul trouble. While he isn’t the tallest nor the longest (although his length is solid), his overall technique is impressively polished, already. However, in order to stick in an NBA rotation, he needs to make functional athleticism and strength gains (size + weight) to maximize what he is already best at. If he can achieve notable improvements there, there is reason for optimism for an NBA role player future for DaRon.

By the numbers: As a freshman, DaRon earned a gold C-RAM of 10.4, posting a very impressive 91 DSI along with a solid 76 ATR and 73 PSP. In 4 out of 5 events in Cerebro’s database, DaRon achieved gold status.

Jett Howard

6’6” Wing | Michigan | Freshman | 19.2

After two stellar seasons with IMG Academy, Howard had his choice between a number of options before ultimately choosing to be coached by his father and longtime NBA player Juwan Howard at Michigan. While Juwan became the NBA’s first $100 million dollar man due to his prolific inside/outside game, Jett is a much different archetype. At 6’6”, Jett thrives on the perimeter as a smooth shot maker and secondary creator/playmaker, which makes the pairing with talented sophomore guard Kobe Bufkin that much more fun. In addition to his linking guard/wing capabilities, Jett’s easygoing personality off the court and competitive edge on the court also help add to his endearment and reliability as a future NBA prospect. And while Howard is projected as more of a two-and-done at this stage of his career, it wouldn’t be shocking to see his name discussed as a potential first-rounder if things really click for him early on at Michigan this season. However, in large part for that to happen, Howard would also need to show an uptick in his defensive instincts and intensity in order for evaluators to start seeing him as a legitimate 3&D prospect. And while Howard may require a bit more time to bake in the oven beyond this season, he’s definitely a potential draft-riser to be aware of as we officially kick off the college basketball season.

By the numbers: At 2021’s Nike EYBL, Jett posted a C-RAM of 7.2, with a 61 PSP, 62 3PE, 69 FGS, 61 ATR, and 75 DSI. At four subsequent events, Jett posted anywhere between a 76 and 106 3PE, consistently growing as a shooter throughout the season.

Greg “GG” Jackson

6’9” Forward | South Carolina | Freshman | 17.9

GG Jackson has taken an interesting route to the draft conversation after being one of the top-rated prospects in the class of 2023 before a UNC de-commitment and late re-class after 2022’s Nike EYBL. Heading into his freshman campaign with South Carolina, GG brings a baseline of solid defensive tools, rim running, rebounding, and range shooting flashes. His most appealing aspect is that he is incredibly young, as he is two years younger than prospects like Brandon Miller and even younger than some of the top-ranked players in the class of 2024. He has a chance to enter the league at 18 years old, and will debut collegiately at age 17. He will have to prove himself as a shooter, as he will need to answer questions more about the legitimacy of his floor-stretching efficiency, as it is a relatively new skill. Additionally, he needs to pass at a higher level to fit in the modern 4 mold for the NBA. Ideally in a more focal role with South Carolina, he will get the chance to gain reps in both of these areas. At this stage, Jackson is a moldable piece of play with the clear tools and age on his side, making him a prospect NBA teams are accustomed to betting on.

By the numbers: GG posted a silver 9.1 C-RAM at Peach Jam in 2022, scoring well in the DSI and ATR metrics at 96 and 83, respectively. He only had 50.7% TS, however, but the execution/volume was better than 2021’s EYBL, where he only shot 14.3% from deep on less than 1 attempt per game.

Sterling “Scoot” Henderson

6’2” Guard | G League Ignite | 18.8

At a rather unassuming 6’2”, Ignite point guard Scoot Henderson plays much larger than his height would suggest due to his reported near-6’9” wingspan, powerful athleticism, raw strength, and dog mentality. Still only 18 years old, Scoot is already in the midst of his second professional season with the Ignite where he routinely outperforms much older pros. Upon joining the Ignite last season, former teammates and current NBA rookies Jaden Hardy [Dallas Mavericks], Dyson Daniels [New Orleans Pelicans] and Marjon Beauchamp [Milwaukee Bucks], were rightfully the top-billed prospects due to their draft eligibility. However, it didn’t take long for Henderson to establish himself as one of the more intriguing prospects on the roster regardless of eligibility. Fast forward a year later and Scoot is now a consensus top-2 pick in the 2023 NBA draft and looks to be the next great guard to enter the league. Aside from the youth factor and unique blend of tools, Henderson is a much improved floor general, all-around scorer, facilitator, and lockdown defender and is seeing his hard work pay off while learning how to fully utilize his strengths to impact winning. In short, Henderson is a rare breed who shares many similar traits of past and present franchise-level guards and whichever team calls his name on draft night will have much to celebrate.

By the numbers: In Cerebro’s 2021-22 G League sample, Scoot posted a C-RAM of 5.8, with a 63 PSP, 45 3PE, 71 FGS, 60 ATR, and 77 DSI. Keep in mind, these are against grown men and professionals at 17-18 years old, against many of which have seen NBA minutes.

Arthur Kaluma

6’7” Forward | Creighton | Sophomore | 20.7

After a standout freshman season, Arthur Kaluma will be looking to make another jump this year alongside a stacked Creighton team boasting the likes of pro prospects such as Ryan Kalkbrenner, Ryan Nembhard, Baylor Scheierman, Ben Shtolzberg, and Trey Alexander. At 6’7” with long arms and a strong frame, Kaluma is a standout athlete in space that would physically look the part on an NBA court tonight. An aggressive scorer, Arthur is not afraid of testing the boundaries of his skillset and asserting himself against top competition, including putting up a career high 24 points against Kansas in March. However, there will definitely be a major change in the shot diet at the next level, and preparing for that will be key. He doesn’t have an elite skill to hang his hat on yet, and the largest areas of improvement to track that correlate with next-level expectations for Kaluma are the shooting progression and defensive polish. The track record of development here hasn’t been ideal, and at only 26.5% on the year from deep (16th percentile catch-and-shoot) and 67.1% from the line as a freshman, he will need to prove that he can consistently knock down a corner 3 to stick in that modern 4 spot. On the defensive end, Kaluma has excellent tools to work with, but needs to improve his technique and defend without fouling. Overall, as far as sophomore returners go, Kaluma has some of the most potential growth out there in this group to pair with the tools, motor, and aggression.

By the numbers: Kaluma finished his freshman regular season with a bronze 7.0 C-RAM, only posting a middling 57 PSP, 59 3PE, 49 FGS, 63 ATR, and 66 DSI. Clearly, no area was a true standout. However, in the two NCAA tournament games Kaluma played, those numbers jumped, posting a 71 PSP, 79 3PE, 56 FGS, 74 ATR, and 74 DSI, turning it on across the board and showing the potential versatility and intrigue that keeps scouts coming back. Can he tap into that all year?

Maxwell Lewis

6’7” Wing | Pepperdine | Sophomore | 20.3

Maxwell Lewis is an interesting sleeper pick out of Pepperdine alongside likely four- year starter and potential pro Houston Mallette. Lewis has taken a unique road to the draft conversation after sitting out his senior year to train for the draft and then committing to Pepperdine, where he missed 11 total games but got a lot of developmental reps and plenty of freedom. With NBA level tools at 6’7” with an approximate 7’0” wingspan, Lewis has some prototypical 3&D traits with excellent perimeter shotmaking and impactful event generation defensively. Additionally, he is capable of getting to a comfortable step-back three off the bounce, finishing well above the rim in space (92nd percentile around the rim on low volume), and plays with supreme self-confidence. Growing as a decision maker, a more willing passer, less premeditated handler, and defensive processor will be important areas to track for the next level with regards to how much responsibility he could eventually carry. He has some catching up to do in those processes from losing that time against quality competition over the last year plus, but the motor is strong and the baseline tools are absolutely there (minus strength, currently). The whole ability to own his space on that end is going to be a curious one to track, especially with his approach and how defense has been drilled into his head all summer, and Pepperdine will look for that to pay major dividends. For now, Lewis is a good bet to find a roster spot due to the baseline of NBA tools, three-point shooting, and defensive potential.

By the numbers: Lewis finished with a bronze 7.1 C-RAM for his freshman year, putting up archetypal highs of 76 3PE and 75 DSI, speaking to the general 3&D foundation. The lowly 49 FGS definitely speaks to his need to grow his basic pass/dribble skillset.

Pepperdine wing Maxwell Lewis. Credit: Pepperdine Athletics

Dereck Lively II

7’1.5” Big | Duke | Freshman | 18.8

Entering Duke as the reigning ESPN #1 prospect, Lively is intriguing as a fluid footer (pushing 7'2") who runs the floor, has some shooting upside, protects the rim, and finishes around the basket. His best skill is by far his defense at this stage, as he consistently changes shots around the basket with his size. With a previously measured 9’4” standing reach, Lively has a good foundation for rim protection, but will need to add muscle mass and functional strength to have a chance to be an anchor 5 at the NBA level, as he is not quick enough to pass as a 4 such as players like Evan Mobley. Offensively, he is solid at the dunker spot, but will need to improve his overall interior creation and aggression, as well as the three-point efficiency, as he has yet to prove that those are NBA-ready tools. Lively has also been described as very coachable, respectful, positive, and an easy teammate to have, and should make plenty of fans in NBA front offices. He still has a lot of room to grow and needs to establish an elite, go-to offensive skill, but the foundation is well set to build upon.

By the numbers: Finished first overall for DSI in 2021 Nike EYBL at an elite 103 and had a solid ATR of 80, but was rather mediocre across the board elsewhere at 59 PSP, 57 3PE, and 51 FGS. The 3PE has never reached above a 77 (which was a one-game event) in Cerebro’s database, which backs up the questions about the legitimacy of his consistent floor-stretching impact.

Brandon Miller

6’8” Wing | Alabama | Freshman | 19.9

Brandon Miller has the entire ‘Bama fanbase excited as the ninth overall prospect for ESPN and five-star wing is following in his father’s footsteps to play for Alabama, just on the hardwood instead of the gridiron. Despite the excitement and optimism, Brandon has a bit of a polarizing pre-season view among scouts. On one hand, he has great positional size, fluidity at 6’8” with graceful movement and coordination, as well as mid-range self-creation chops and defensive prowess. However, he is very old for his class as a 2002-born prospect with questions about the track record of his jumper and the projected efficiency of his game moving forward. Either way, early optimism for Miller as a lottery pick has been mounting due to his preseason dominance in practice play for Alabama. It isn’t hard to see the appeal, but this year will be a proving one for Miller, as he will need to show that he can fill a projectable role that isn’t reliant on mid-range self-creation as a primary means of driving offensive value. Most players in his mold need to build a way to stay consistently impactful off the ball, and Miller will have to do that by proving he can shoot it with the best of them. Overall, the foundation of tools, shotmaking and defensive prowess is very intriguing and he has the chance to be a really special player for Alabama.

By the numbers: At 2021 Nike EYBL, Miller was a standout in DSI, scoring a 97, and finished with a bronze C–RAM of 8.3 along with a 61 PSP, 52 3PE, 60 FGS, 74 ATR. The 3PE is the more worrying part at this stage, as he took less than two three-point shots per game and only executed at a 27.6% clip. In smaller samples, Miller has improved from a volume and efficiency standpoint, but will need to prove it can stick. The volume and efficiency jump will need to be quite notable for his lottery projection to make the most sense.

Leonard Miller

6’10” Forward | G League Ignite | 18.9

The most recent on a long list of Canadian NBA prospects, Leonard Miller has had a winding basketball journey that took him to Utah, Florida, back to Canada and now the G League Ignite. Similar to his brother Emanuel Miller, Leonard is gifted with broad shoulders, plus-length and coveted positional height as a hybrid forward. At 6’10”, Miller plays with a free-flowing style and instinctual approach that is mostly unorthodox, but productive, especially when it comes to breaking down defenses, playmaking in transition and finishing over length. Still developing as a consistent outside shooter, Miller has shown promise of being able to knock down shots as a catch-and-shoot and off-the-dribble option, but is still striving to make defenses pay from outside on a consistent basis. Defensively, he possesses all of the tools and athleticism to defend multiple positions at the NBA level, but has room to tighten things up a bit when it comes to positioning and grit. Although he’ll be turning 19 years old later this month, Miller is still very young in his development as he only recently emerged on the national scene around this time last year. Miller also, like many others in his class, missed valuable developmental reps during COVID-19. And with him still getting used to his improved physical tools and the uptick in competition, it’s best to take a longer and more patient approach when it comes to his NBA development and projection. However, Miller warrants legitimate first round consideration due to his raw upside, versatility and budding skill-set that are primed for today’s positionless NBA. Expect his stock to continue rising, especially throughout the pre-draft process.

By the numbers: Through six games at the ‘21-‘22 Grind Session with Fort Erie, Miller posted a gold 11.6 C-RAM with a 100 PSP, 78 3PE, 49 FGS, 82 ATR, and 82 DSI. In the two Ignite exhibitions against Victor Wembanyama’s Metropolitans 92, Leonard had a 6.2 C-RAM on a 58 PSP, 57 3PE, 73 FGS, 73 ATR, 62 DSI.

Dillon Mitchell

6’8” Forward | Texas | Freshman | 19.1

After going relatively unseen outside of Florida circles until he was an upperclassman, Mitchell later burst onto the national scene while playing alongside current Houston guard Emanuel Sharp and during his time at Montverde. As a hyper fluid and explosive athlete at 6’8” with excellent defensive versatility, it’s easy to see how Mitchell could contribute on an NBA floor early into his rookie contract. The growth and development of Mitchell’s game have been stark over the past few years as his comfort with the ball and court vision have all incrementally improved. In addition to his swiss-army knife qualities on the court, Mitchell’s intangibles as a charismatic personality and positive teammate also help make him a seamless fit for any team. However, the swing skill that will likely determine his NBA role remains his overall ability as a shooter. Mitchell is not a good free throw shooter, nor has he shown the willingness to shoot the ball with volume. He has shown exceedingly rare flashes, but it’s too far and few between for him to be considered anything near reliable or threatening to the defense at this stage. And with his proclivity for getting to the basket, he’ll soon have to start making defenses pay from outside as they sag off and clog the paint. But regardless, Mitchell has both the makeup and tools that will make him both an instant impact prospect at Texas and potentially a coveted forward at the NBA level.

By the numbers: Finished 2021’s Nike EYBL with a silver 9.5 C-RAM. 78 PSP, 61 FGS, 71 ATR, and 94 DSI. The worrying 31 3PE (1 of 5 overall) speaks to just how many levels of volume and execution Mitchell may need to rise to become a serviceable perimeter player. Mitchell has posted a zero 3PE in every event since EYBL, except for the La Porte Invitational, where he was 1/1 from deep. In 47 games, Mitchell has only made two three-point shots in Cerebro’s database.

Mike Sharavjamts

6’8.75 | Guard/Wing | Dayton | Freshman | 20.2

Enkhiin-Od “Mike” Sharavjamts, 2021 3SSB Breakout Player of the Year and the son of former 7’0” Harlem Globetrotter Tserenjanhor Sharavjamts, enters a stacked (albeit young) mid-major squad with Dayton as a uniquely skilled and fluid pass/dribble/shoot guard/wing at just over 6’8”. Rarely do you see mid-majors acquire a player at his size that can act as a lead guard, handle the ball at a high level, orchestrate the offense, and bring creativity in the halfcourt. A capable shooter from deep on impressive volume, “Mongolian Mike” is able to play that big-guard style while maintaining value on the wing off the ball as a spot-up threat. He is an older freshman (2002) like Brandon Miller, but his valuable archetype as a potential connector, second side pick-and-roll handler, spot-up threat, and overall offensive versatility make him a pretty seamless archetypal fit with what the NBA values. Furthermore, he is in a great situation to hone his on-ball process and body to get ready for the next level. Defensively, Mike is mobile and active, keeping his head on a swivel off the ball and uses his size and footspeed to check opposing guards and wings. While he doesn’t have the best length and will need to get stronger to hang with the NBA’s wings, Mike can work in an NBA scheme in time. Expect Sharavjamts to receive lead guard responsibilities in year one, and to thrive in the pick-and-roll alongside star forward DaRon Holmes II.

At 2022’s Flyin’ to the Hoop, Mike averaged a 9.3 C-RAM and excelled in the PSP, 3PE, and FGS categories.

Nick Smith Jr.

6’3.5” Guard | Arkansas | Freshman | 18.6

Leading the loaded Arkansas freshman class is Nick Smith Jr., a prolific scorer from all levels with herky-jerky athleticism and a hot motor. One of the better shot-makers in the class, Smith is able to find his spots without relying on his athleticism or length too much, incorporating NBA moves and pace to his game. He continuously mixes it up with relocation threes, dribble pull-ups, and floaters, as well — showcasing the combo guard niche of being able to play on or off the ball. Nick is a capable passer as a secondary as well, able to break down a defense in pick-and-roll and make a play for himself or others. He has been described as a vocal leader and culture guy, and plays with the type of confidence needed to be the primary option. Defensively, Smith has long arms (6’9” wingspan) and quickness, but needs to get stronger to better handle the guards/wings at the next level. He doesn’t generate events at the level of fellow Hogs Anthony Black or Jordan Walsh, but he will have a chance to be a pesty point-of-attack defender who can disrupt handlers and make plays in the passing lanes with his length. Overall, Smith has the chance to be one of the best scoring guards in the country at the collegiate level, and should get plenty of lottery attention as a potential high option player that could slot in well alongside another star creator.

By the numbers: Finished 2021’s Nike EYBL with an 8.0 C-RAM, leveling out at 80 PSP, 78 3PE, 65 FGS, 59 ATR, and 71 DSI.

Julian Strawther

6’7” Wing | Gonzaga | Junior | 20.6

Returning for a third campaign with the Zags, Julian Strawther is poised to take on a larger role with the departures of Andrew Nembhard and Chet Holmgren to the NBA. At 6’7”, Strawther excels as a movement and off-screen shooter (96th percentile) with the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to his elite floater game (97th percentile). Additionally, he plays within himself and very seldom turns it over, understanding his role alongside other stars. Strawther also has a solid defensive foundation of positional size, mobility, and effort, but needs to become more active as an event generator. The real question Strawther needs to answer is how much he can grow as a playmaker this year, hence showing more of a connector style once he attacks a closeout or gets downhill off screens. Ideally as an upperclassman he will have greater responsibility and freedom to grow here to truly look to fill that dribble-pass-shoot mold. If he is able to show notable improvement, we expect Strawther to get plenty of first-round looks.

By the numbers: Strawther finished with a 67 PSP, 76 3PE, 50 FGS, 66 BMS, and 67 DSI last year. He scored a silver C-RAM for the NCAA season at 8.6, the fourth highest on the team behind Holmgren, Timme, and Nembhard. (He still needs to grow as an event generator and playmaker to fit in more seamlessly within the NBA game. The Archetype does a great job of outlining some of those ideal thresholds in wings).

Amen Thompson

6’7” Guard | OTE | 19.8

The Thompson twins bring some of the most intrigue of anyone in the 2023 draft class, and would likely be candidates for the top selection in the NBA Draft if this were any other year. At 6’7” and roughly 200 pounds, both are 100th percentile functional athletes and outlier defenders that consistently bring a ‘wow’ factor to the court, making plays that very few NBA athletes can make. In transition, both are absolute monsters, needless to say. Amen is more of the connector and creator of the two, capable of making advanced reads with the right timing and reactivity as a playmaker and advantage maintainer. However, he is also a slightly better athlete in certain areas, somehow. He consistently can be seen dominating with his passing vision, ability to knife into the lane at will, elite finishing ability, and his otherworldly ground coverage and movement skills. The main question mark with his game remains the shooting, which simply does not have a good track record of indicators. On the defensive end, he unleashes havoc off the ball with those tools, and can really put pressure up in point-of-attack situations. With a good track record of intangibles, work habits, and approach to the game, Amen’s upside is without a doubt some of the most intriguing in the class, as he could take multiple different pathways to great value with outlier tools to work with.

By the numbers: Last year with OTE, Amen had a silver 9.7 C-RAM, but only shot 50.7% from the free throw line and 27% from 3 (0.5 made per game) with a 51 3PE. The 95 DSI and 70 FGS were high points, but don’t speak to just how dominant he could be in both areas. Also had a 71 ATR and 69 PSP.

The Thompson twins. Credit: OTE

Ausar Thompson

6’7” Wing | OTE | 19.8

Building on the aforementioned positive track record of intangibles and elite athletic tools, Ausar Thompson is incredibly impressive in a different sort of mold when compared to Amen. Ausar is more of a relentless creator and scorer offensively, leveraging his elite tools to hunt advantage creation and get downhill. As a slasher, Ausar brings incredible start/stop movement skills along with excellent body control, contact absorption, and that trademark Thompson above the rim play. He is a slightly better, albeit notably inconsistent shooter that is more along in the shooting process than his twin, but still far behind NBA standards for wings. While not quite the elite (99th vs. 100th percentile, mind you) playmaker or finisher that his brother is, he is very capable in both aspects in his own right. Defensively, Ausar brings a different edge to the point-of-attack, playing with the same relentless energy that he does offensively. With ridiculously quick lateral movement, outlier screen navigation, and exceptionally quick hands, Ausar is able to make life extremely difficult for any guard that dares to try and generate an advantage on him. The havoc and activity that Amen has is definitely present in Ausar as well, as he is capable of making elite rotations and recovering here where other wings simply cannot. The overall motor and workload puts the best of Ausar on display, with multiple paths to significant NBA value.

By the numbers: Top C-RAM at OTE at a gold 10.7 for players that played over 10 games. with a slightly lower 65 FGS when compared to his brother, but a slightly higher 54 3PE, 73 PSP, 80 ATR, and 97 DSI last season.

Jarace Walker

6’7.5” Forward | Houston | Freshman | 19.2

Houston’s Jarace Walker has already earned fans due to his combination of an NBA-level body, defensive versatility, winning intangibles, intensity, and connector skills. Coming out of high school at 6’7.5” with a bruising 235-pound frame, 7’2'' wingspan, huge hands, and excellent mobility, Jarace checks many of the NBA’s versatile modern 4 boxes as someone who can defend multiple positions with strength, quickness, and length. A monster event generator that should see time at the small ball 5, Jarace racks up steals, blocks, and deflections with his constant activity, havoc style, and cognizant rotations, and has landed in a great system at Houston to showcase this skill. Furthermore, Jarace possesses a very solid positional dribble/pass skillset already, and will have a focus on developing the jumper to be more consistent. He does a great job of scoring around the basket, as well, using his length, strength, activity, and athleticism to provide an advantage to his team. Jarace is a modern forward that doesn't need the ball in his hands to impact winning, and brings leadership and a care factor to the floor that was extremely evident in big games (especially GEICO Nationals). Overall, Jarace has a chance to be a lottery pick that can slot in as the ideal starting glue guy at his position alongside other creators, making him a great bet to add winning value. The shooting development will be a major piece of how high he can go come draft night.

By the numbers: Jarace scored gold C-RAMs of 12.4, 10.6, and 11.1 in the 2022 GEICO Nationals, 2022 Metro Classic (session 2), and 2022 La Porte Invitational, respectively. At GEICO, his DSI reached 110 while also scoring above 80 in the PSP and 3PE metrics. At La Porte, Jarace scored a very impressive 81 in floor general skills (FGS).

Cason Wallace

6’4” Guard | Kentucky | Freshman | 19.0

Kentucky is bringing in a guard with a mature, polished game, positional size, and plenty of winning qualities. An excellent defender, unselfish playmaker, strong finisher, and capable three-point shooter, Cason does a lot well with defense being his best skill. With a great frame, strong lower body, and long arms, Wallace is an excellent guard defender who routinely generates events without fouling, an underrated skill that is likely to translate well to the next levels. Wallace is also a great positional rebounder, especially defensively, averaging nearly seven boards per game across EYBL. Offensively, the three-point shot has a very good track record off the catch (but could use additional volume to fill a larger role) and is capable enough off the dribble to punish unders. He can finish well around the rim as well, using his stronger body and control to maintain poise down low. While Cason is very solid across the board, the NBA’s threshold for creators is so high that it will be really worth tracking how adept he can become as an advantage creator. Currently, Cason may project as more of an efficient, poised, and versatile supporting piece that does a lot well (especially defensively) rather than a primary initiator, but with so much polish already, there is a lot to like about his NBA projection.

By the numbers: Cason scored well across the board at 2021’s Nike EYBL, with a fourth-place 9.6 C-RAM and a 71 PSP, 74 3PE, 76 FGS, 72 ATR, and 93 DSI. He had 15 steals and 17(!) blocks in 13 games, there.

Jordan Walsh

6’7” Forward | Arkansas | Freshman | 18.7

One of two highly-touted wing prospects out of Link Academy, Jordan Walsh boasts some of the most impressive physical and athletic tools in the high school class of 2022 at roughly 6’7” with a +7” wingspan along with very impressive mobility and a big time vertical leap. Walsh is poised to have a big year alongside fellow Arkansas stars Nick Smith Jr., Anthony Black, and transfer Trevon Brazile, slotting in as a high motor multi-positional defender who can really finish around the rim as a slasher, cutter, and transition threat. Jordan shines brightly as a competitor as well, bringing a notable edge and motor to any setting. The shot is a bit streaky, and ultimately is his largest swing skill along with the playmaking polish. The willingness to move the ball is not something he lacks, however, consistently showing glue guy upside as a facilitator and ball mover. Overall, Arkansas has a very promising piece here that projects as a versatile complementary option at the next level.

By the numbers: Analytically scored more like a big than a wing, typically scoring higher in the ATR category rather than 3PE. What is more unique about his profile (relative to most of the wings here) is the rather high FGS and very solid DSI combination. Interesting trends to monitor this year during his time in Fayetteville.

Arkansas wing Jordan Walsh. Credit: Arkansas Athletics

Kel’el Ware

7’0.5” Big | Oregon | Freshman | 18.6

Kel’el Ware possesses a ton of natural talent and top-notch athleticism for a big his size, excelling at running the floor, finishing above the rim, and protecting the rim. He has some projectable value as a shooter as well, with respectable historical free throw numbers and impressive touch from range. While it is still in the process of becoming more functional, Kel’el is a good bet to provide serviceable floor-stretching in time. Additionally, his touch around the basket is quite solid as well, as he is able to use his size and pace to carve out decent angles for his right hand hook/touch shot. The major areas of growth to track this year will be his overall feel, motor, and his ability to grasp all of the defensive responsibilities of an anchor 5. If he can consistently bring a higher intensity and activity level, he could be a really successful NBA player for a long time. Luckily, he is also on the younger side for his class and still has plenty of mental and physical growth left, making him a high-upside bet in this big man group.

By the numbers: Ware was a major piece of the USA’s 2022 U18 FIBA Americas team, finishing with the top C-RAM (10.7) for players that played all six games. Ware also posted a 99 DSI and 81 ATR.

Victor Wembanyama

7’4” Big | Metropolitans 92 | 18.9

Standing at a legitimate 7’4” with a ridiculous 8’0” wingspan and the agility of a guard, it’s easy to run out of superlatives, anecdotes, adjectives or quippy phrases when it comes to describing Victor Wembanyama. He is, and could very likely remain, the best prospect many of us have or ever will evaluate. Wembanyama automatically draws initial comparisons to the all time greats such as Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, etc. when they were all entering the league. And while each was/is spectacular in their own right, none of them were/are as mind-bending as Wembanyama. The blend of insane skill, off-the-charts maturity and true drive to be the best are those shared by the great players mentioned above, but to have all of that packaged within a frame that pushes the boundaries of the tallest and longest league in professional sports is difficult to comprehend. And at only 18 years old, Wembanyama is just starting to realize his full potential. With Commissioner Silver closely monitoring tanking this year, another signal of how special Wembanaya is, non-playoff teams will have to get creative when it comes to strategically losing and maintaining competitive integrity in an effort to gain the slightest edge over their opponents in the Wemby sweepstakes. And no matter how things shake out, the league is going to be in a much better place this time next year.

By the numbers: Against the G League Ignite in two showdown games, Victor scored a gold 11.7 C-RAM while eclipsing 100 in 3 categories with a ridiculous 117 PSP, 107 3PE, 59 FGS, 83 ATR, and 102 DSI. Back in France (Pro A), Wembanyama has thus far accumulated a 80 PSP, 68 3PE, 60 FGS, 80 ATR, and a 94 DSI.

Dariq Whitehead

6’6” Wing | Duke | Freshman | 18.3

One of the headliners for Duke’s number-oneda ranked recruiting class, Dariq Whitehead comes in as the second youngest prospect on this list behind GG Jackson after being a tenured varsity player at Montverde. At an incredibly young age, Dariq already offers that coveted pass/dribble/shoot skillset along with excellent defensive chops and a seemingly dauntless approach to the game. Dariq slots in nicely alongside another creator as a secondary due to his versatile ability to decisively execute advantage maintainer tasks along with possessing advantage creation prowess for himself as a multi-level pull-up shooter and slasher. Additionally, he is an excellent athlete already with a stronger frame and solid wing measurables at 6’6” with a +4” wingspan. His ceiling will realistically be determined by the level of pull-up shooting prowess he can ascertain along with creating more space off the bounce, but with his age and track record of improvement, there is little to be pessimistic about. Overall, Dariq is an extremely promising and versatile secondary creator prospect that is a strong bet to hear his name called in the early to mid lottery on draft night.

By the numbers: At 2021’s Nike EYBL, Dariq showcased his versatility by scoring well across the board with a 9.0 C-RAM, 78 PSP, 71 3PE, 68 FGS, 68 ATR, and 87 DSI.

Cam Whitmore

6’7” Wing | Villanova | Freshman | 18.3

Villanova has its next star wing in Cam Whitmore as one of the youngest available players in this class who already possesses outlier athleticism and a strong NBA-caliber frame. Loaded with upside, Whitmore is tailor-made for generating downhill advantages off the catch, and his shooting is capable enough to consistently demand a closeout. While the free throw shooting execution is definitely an area to monitor, the key to showcasing Cam will be getting him into as many downhill actions as possible and opening up heavier volume free throw generation using that excellent frame and athleticism. Defensively, Whitmore is a solid event generator who projects to be a multi-positional defender due to his blend of strength, quickness, and functional athleticism for recoveries. Additionally, Whitmore’s internal drive makes his upside play all the more interesting and buyable, bringing a dog mentality and pro approach. While we will have to wait on his debut due to a thumb injury and consequent surgery, there is a lot to be optimistic about for Cam as a likely lottery pick.

By the numbers: In the 2022 FIBA Americas (U18), Whitmore led Team USA in scoring and achieved a gold C-RAM of 10.6 (second behind Kel’el), finishing with a 97 PSP, 83 3PE, 55 FGS, 76 ATR, and 82 DSI. Additionally, Whitmore had an 8.4 C-RAM at 2021’s EYBL with a 91 DSI.

Honorable Mentions

Julian Phillips (Tennessee) - Link Academy product in the 3&D mold with excellent tools on a stacked team, likely to be a two-and-done after some role expansion in year two, but depending on how much Tennessee asks from him this year he could be a sleeper one-and-done.

Jalen Hood-Schifino (Indiana) - A strongly built, highly poised glue guy and floor general out of Montverde, JHS has a foundation of great positional tools and a versatile role player skillset that will make him a pro, but the lack of historical scoring and shooting volume will need to be overcome.

Brice Sensabaugh (Ohio State) - A bruising 240-pound wing with excellent movement and scoring chops, Sensabaugh has a chance to leave school early depending on how quickly he can grow into that primary option for the Buckeyes.

Baba Miller (Florida State) - After a difficult suspension verdict, we won’t get to see Baba play in a game setting for some time, but with the baseline of tools, athleticism, and recent physical growth, Miller has notable upside worth tracking.

Tucker DeVries (Drake) - An intriguing pass/dribble/shoot wing with positional size and lethal three-point shotmaking, DeVries is one of the bigger sleeper bets in the nation with a chance to have a really special season with his hometown school.

Ernest Udeh (Kansas) - A strong big who is built like an ox, Udeh uses his 6’11” 250-pound frame to punish defenders as a strong finisher offensively while efficiently protecting the rim defensively.

Rayan Rupert (NZ Breakers) - Rupert has tremendous tools on the wing at 6’7” with a reported 7’3” wingspan, and has been growing as a perimeter threat to fill that 3&D mold in the future.

Tyrese Proctor (Duke) - A smooth guard with excellent positional tools at 6’5”, Proctor operates adequately both on/off the ball and can be a productive scorer when aggressive.

Terquavion Smith (NC State) - A microwave scorer off the bounce and off the catch, Smith will be looking to reassert himself into the draft conversation by growing as a playmaker and a defender this year while leading the Wolfpack in scoring.

Andre Jackson (UConn) - A premier connector with an abundance of passing and defensive chops, Andre is a winner that has had the jury out on his shooting development for a long while, and if he can make strides this year he could see himself drafted.

Amari Bailey (UCLA) - A power athlete who thrives at generating paint touches as a secondary creator and frustrating opponents as a disruptive defender.

Trevon Brazile (Arkansas) - A Mizzou transfer slotting in alongside the star-studded core mentioned above, Brazile is an athletic 4 who can protect the rim and has both perimeter and interior play finishing prowess.

Judah Mintz (Syracuse) - A shotmaker with incredible craft and angle choices, Mintz carved up some of the best competition available at the high school level, and if he can grow as a perimeter shooter there is a potential NBA future for him.

Mark Armstrong (Villanova) - An electric guard who is willing to buy into the Villanova way while bringing excitement as a scorer and pesky defender.

Efe Abogidi (G League Ignite) - After an up-and-down career with Washington State, Abogidi looks to anchor the Ignite’s defense while thriving as a rim runner and lob finisher on offense.

Mo Gueye (Washington State) - Entering his sophomore season after testing the ‘22 draft waters, Gueye aims to have a more featured offensive role with the Cougars as a versatile inside/outside scorer.

Eric Gaines (UAB) - Formerly at LSU, the dynamic guard is looking to showcase more of what he can do playing alongside Jordan Walker at UAB this season.

Terrence Shannon Jr. (Illinois) - With solid size and defensive prowess on the wing, TJ Shannon will have a chance to make the NBA jump as a wing defender and capable shooter after having a larger role with Illinois.

Nolan Hickman (Gonzaga) - After playing more of a complementary role off the bench last year, Hickman will look to showcase his IQ as a floor general and three-level scoring threat with full control of the offense this season.

Chris Livingston (Kentucky) - A strong and athletic wing at 6’6” and 220 pounds, Livingston has the tools to be a productive two-way player and running mate next to Cason Wallace for the Wildcats this season.

Sidy Cissoko (G League Ignite) - A native of France, Cissoko was able to make a positive first impression at the Nike Hoop Summit and now looks to continue boosting his stock as a potential 3&D option with the Ignite this season.

Matthew Cleveland (Florida State) - A versatile defender at 6’7”, there’s a lot to like about Cleveland, but he needs to show he can score the ball efficiently in order to be considered anything more than a draft flier.

Coleman Hawkins (Illinois) - A uniquely skilled 6’10” forward with some defensive versatility, passing, and shooting ability, Hawkins has the potential to grow into an NBA player if he continues to hone his BBIQ and strength.

Kris Murray (Iowa) - Looking to follow in his twin brother Keegan’s footsteps to take the reins for Iowa this year, Kris is a rangy 6’8” forward who excels as a floor-stretcher and defensive event generator.

Marcus Sasser (Houston) - After averaging 17.7ppg before having his season cut short due to injury, Sasser returns to further boost his draft stock by leading a talented Cougar squad to the NCAA tournament.

Caleb Love (North Carolina) - After putting on a show during the NCAA tournament last season, Love looks to build on his strong play by proving he can be a consistent lead guard at the NBA level.

Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky) - Coming off a monster season where he averaged 17.4 points and 15.2 rebounds per game on 62.6% TS, Tshiebwe is a force inside who will be tough to ignore if he sustains his 2021-22 production.

Ryan Kalkbrenner (Creighton) - An analytically efficient big with great size, excellent defense, and play finishing prowess, Kalkbrenner has a chance to really make a case for himself as an NBA prospect on a stacked Creighton roster.

Baylor Scheierman (Creighton) - Another pass-dribble-shoot wing and analytics darling, Baylor will be stepping into a more competitive conference and environment with plenty of March expectations.

MJ Rice (Kansas) - Currently sidelined by a lower back injury, Rice will need to wait to make his freshman debut, but he could be a key contributor for the Jayhawks as an energy wing, powerful athlete and versatile defender.

Seth Trimble (North Carolina) - Flying slightly under the radar in high school, Trimble has the chance to be a sneaky-good pickup for UNC as he adds creating, shot making, playmaking and a solid feel for the game to the roster.

Adama Sanogo (UConn) - Although he’s more of an undersized center by NBA standards, Sanogo has the ability to dominate a game as a double-double machine and could work his way up draft boards due to sheer productivity.


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