Welcome Draft fanatics and College Basketball degenerates, we've missed you. As the Hoops season continues down its glorious path, that also means we continue to inch closer to the upcoming NBA Draft. For now, it's time to take a look at some names in College Basketball that you should start to pay attention to.
Zeke Nnaji, Forward, Arizona
The big man Freshman for the Wildcats has been nothing short of spectacular since the opening tip-off of the College Basketball season. Zeke plays with ferocious energy on both sides of the floor and has been shooting an absurd 73.4% from the field so far this year. In a draft class that will be so thin on big men, Zeke Nnaji looks to be the benefactor and is looking like a potential solid first-round selection if he keeps this up. So far this year, in 9 games for Arizona Zeke is averaging 17.1 PTS and 6.8 REB.
Obi Toppin, Forward, Dayton
We recently talked about the Dayton forward in our latest Film Room installment (you can find here), but Toppin deserves all of the attention he can get. Obi is skyrocketing up draft boards right now, and we highly recommend trying to watch as much of him and Dayton as you possibly can. This Dayton basketball team looks like a potential extremely deep tournament team, and Toppin looks to be their leader in command. The 6'9 Forward is a big bully inside that can also hurt you from deep. Think of Toppin as a big scoring forward that can do a bit of everything at a high level. He'll need to continue to prove his ability to defend more athletic wings on the perimeter, as well as proving a consistent attacker off of the bounce, but Toppin is a serious one to keep an eye on.
Isaiah Joe, Guard, Arkansas
While the Arkansas guard might be struggling from outside when it comes to a percentage-wise, I've still been impressed by the potential in Isaiah Joe. He's got a beautiful shot and can get it up in a hurry. You could argue that Joe might be one of the best shooters in the nation. The 6'5" wing shot over 40% from the field and downtown in his Freshman season, so let's wait to see if his numbers this year (36.2%, 34.4% 3P) improve. The positive? Isaiah Joe has also seen an increase across the board.
Nico Mannion, Guard, Arizona
If you have watched Arizona at all this year, you know that Mannion is also a major reason why this team is currently sitting at 9-0. Mannion won't wow you with his on-court measurables, but he's efficient and has a great feel for the game. Nico has been projected as a Top 10 selection throughout the year, and he's solidifying that with impressive guard play for the Wildcats. So far this year, Mannion is averaging 15.3 PTS, 2.0 REB, 5.8 AST, 1.1 STL and is shooting 52.2% from the field and 43.2% from downtown.
Tyrese Haliburton, Guard, Iowa State
I've been on this train for a LONG time (Humble brag) and Haliburton is one of my favorite prospects to watch in this upcoming draft class. After a strong summer playing for the USA U19, Haliburton has hit the ground running for Iowa State with his impressive play. Haliburton is a long lengthy ball-handler that has RIDICULOUS court vision. He makes some reads that have you actually laughing while you are sitting on your couch. The sophomore Iowa State guard is going to be one of those sneaky good players that just slowly keeps getting better and better each and every year at the next level. In conclusion, Haliburton is just a very good basketball player.
Isaac Okoro, Forward, Auburn
If you're interested in a Forward that can be a potential nightmare with his defensive versatility, then Auburn's Isaac Okoro is probably going to gain your full undivided attention. Okoro has been fantastic for the undefeated Tigers and has been gaining some serious steam in NBA circles. Personally, I might be a bigger fan of Okoro offensively than some might. I see a serious potential diamond in the rough here, and you should monitor Okoro closely for the rest of the NCAA season. In 7 games, Okoro is averaging 13.3 PTS & 4.3 REB.
Jordan Nwora, Forward, Louisville
Nwora caught my attention last year with his play for Louisville down the stretch and I was personally excited to see him announce that he'd be returning for another year. He hasn't let anyone down with his decision either, as the versatile wing with size continues to be a strong force for the Lousiville Cardinals who were named the #1 team in the AP Poll earlier today. A big showdown is on deck for Louisville against #4 Michigan Tuesday night, and plenty of NBA eyes will be on Nwora. The 6'7" Forward is currently averaging 21.9 PTS, 6.9 REB, and is shooting 50.8% from the field as well as 50.0% from 3P.