With conference play either underway or about to get started, it felt like the perfect time for Liberty Ballers' second big board of the 2014-15 NCAA season.
There are quite a few players on this version who weren't on our first big board of the season, and we even have a new face sitting at number one overall. The drill is the same. Ten writers submitted their top 15 players on their big board, which we then turned into a top 20 big board. Players who did not appear on an individual's list were assigned a value of 20.
Once again, these lists were put together with the Sixers needs in mind, not just general talent. You can see everyone's individual big board below.
Honorable mentions just missing the cut include: Justin Anderson (Virginia), Christian Wood (UNLV), Ronade Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona), and Caris LeVert (Michigan).
20. Frank Kaminsky - PF, Wisconsin, 21 years old
AVG: 18.8 Ballots: 2/10
Roy Burton (ranked him #14): "Listen: Frank Kaminsky is seven feet tall, fundamentally sound, and for what it's worth, he'll probably win a truckload of Player of the Year awards at the end of the season. His shooting makes him an intriguing option in the middle of the first round, but his less-than-ideal athleticism begs the question: Will he be a solid defender on the next level? And if not, can his offensive production compensate for his shortcomings on the other end of court?"
19. Trey Lyles - F, Kentucky, 19 years old
AVG: 18.5 Ballots: 2/10
Jake Pavorsky (ranked him #12): "Lyles should be a lottery pick, but he won't, and that's wrong. He's a great face up shooter and super active on the boards. Those two traits should certainly translate to the next level. I think he stays one more year at Kentucky, but if he's available this late in the first round, somebody is getting a steal."
18. R.J. Hunter - SG, Georgia State, 21 years old
AVG: 18 Ballots: 3/10
Jake Fischer (ranked him #15): "At 6' 6" with a 6' 10" wingspan, he's a lanky shooting guard with an unbelievable smooth stroke. Hunter is actually having his worst shooting season of his college career (30.5% from 3PT), but he's shown an improved ability to put the ball on the deck and get to the rim and the line. He'd be considered a little bit of a reach around 19-20 if the Sixers pull the Oklahoma City pick. But I'm convinced he'll end up being one of the 10 best players in this draft solely because he'll be able to fill a role anywhere he plays."
17. Jerian Grant - SG, Notre Dame, 22 years old
AVG: 17.5 Ballots: 4/10
Dave Reuter aka WIBR (ranked him #14): "Are you not entertained by future Sixer Jerian Grant?"
16. Sam Dekker - F, Wisconsin, 20 years old
AVG: 17.1 Ballots: 4/10
Kyle Neubeck (ranked him outside top 15): "Have gone back and forth on him a lot. Love the size and his willingness to post smaller wings, but he's having another disappointing season from three after shooting 39% as a freshman. Add in some free throw woes and troubling peripheral stats, and you have a guy I wouldn't touch early on."
15. Montrezl Harrell - PF, Louisville, 21 years old
AVG: 16.7 Ballots: 5/10
Mike Levin (ranked him outside top 15): "I have written many a word on Montrezl, and none of them have had as much effect as this dunk. Fact is, he's capable of eating teams whole on the court. And that ability -- coupled with his improving jumper -- can not be dismissed come draft time. He'd be an either/or with T-Rob, because playing both players at once would send the earth right off its axis."
14. Bobby Portis - PF, Arkansas, 20 years old
AVG: 16.5 Ballots: 5/10
Jake Pavorsky (ranked him #11): "I'm higher than most on Portis, but many will catch on soon. He's got incredible range, a good post game, and a super active rebounder. Portis is also super agile too, essentially making him the total package. He's everything people want Noah Vonleh to be."
13. Devin Booker - SG, Kentucky, 18 years old
AVG: 16.3 Ballots: 5/10
Matt Carey (ranked him #13): "Say it with me, everybody. He. Can. Shoot. He's cooled a little bit since an absurd middle of the season, but he can shoot the daylights out of the ball. With how much the Sixers like to play in transition, bringing in Booker would be a game-changer. Hello, Heat pick."
12. Myles Turner - PF, Texas, 18 years old
AVG: 12.5 Ballots: 8/10
Derek Bodner (ranked him #8): "Stats have come down from their video game level to start the season, especially from the perimeter, where he's hit only 3 of his last 28 attempts from 3. Still, he presents a skill set that would, in theory, be a great fit next to Noel and Embiid: elite timing as a defensive rebounder, elite timing as a shot blocker, and range (Albeit inconsistent) to create space. The biggest question, besides the inconsistency he's displayed recently, is whether he can move his feet well enough on the perimeter to really be effective playing next to Noel and Embiid. Still, there comes a point where potential outweighs fit concern, especially when talking about taking a gamble with the Miami pick."
11. Kevon Looney - F, UCLA, 19 years old
AVG: 10.9 Ballots: 10/10
Mike Baumann (ranked him #7): "This is the 'please, anyone but Frank Kaminsky' part of my board, but Looney's got length and ball skills, and as a skinny freshman with a relatively late birthday, he's got more physical development left to come than many of the players above him on the list. I'd rather bet on a projectable athlete who's already got some game than a low-ceiling college senior."
10. Kelly Oubre - SF, Kansas, 19 years old
AVG: 10.6 Ballots: 10/10
Kyle Neubeck (ranked him #11): "Don't know if he'll get to where I thought he could entering this season, but the talent is there. He impacts the game as a rebounder even if he's not shooting well; crazu wingspan and has a scorer's instinct, if not the skills. Needs to get away from Bill Self."
9. Willie Cauley-Stein - PF, Kentucky, 21 years old
AVG: 10.1 Ballots: 10/10
Dave Reuter (ranked him #11): "Elite rim protector who is projected in one area of the draft where the Sixers won't have a pick."
8. Justise Winslow - SF, Duke, 18 years old
AVG: 9.4 Ballots: 9/10
Tanner Steidel (ranked him #7): "Son of Carl, Justise falls right in line with my love affair of super athletic wing players. Even better, he's shown the ability to shoot the three ball but still needs to fine tune it. Plus his cop procedural tagline is already written. *Sunglasses off* 'Once again, Justise has prevailed.' *Cue opening credits*"
7. Kristaps Porzingis - F, Sevilla (Spain), 19 years old
AVG: 7.4 Ballots: 9/10
Derek Bodner (ranked him #4): "Plenty of uncertainty about whether his rail thin frame will fill out as he matures, and some will question his toughness, but he has a world of talent. His shooting, which is already at NBA three point range, and ability to hit tough, contested shots could really open up an offense, especially one based around Joel Embiid. He also can contribute on the defensive end, not only as a shot blocker but also because of how well he moves his feet when cutting off a pick and roll. Not the safest pick, but worth taking a chance on."
6. Mario Hezonja - SG, Barcelona (Spain), 20 years old
AVG: 6.4 Ballots: 10/10
Mike Baumann (ranked him #6): "A 20-year-old 6-foot-8 wing who can shoot and slash, who's already been blooded at the World Championships and for Barcelona, which is about as close as you can come to the NBA without actually playing in the NBA? I'm so in. I don't think he's the best player in this class, but he's the player I like the most."
5. Stanley Johnson - SG/SF, Arizona, 18 years old
AVG: 5.7 Ballots: 10/10
Matt Carey (ranked him #6): "He's one of the few guys at the top of this draft I really don't have an obscene love for, so naturally I got picked to write this particular bit. I like him just fine, and I think he's the best wing in the draft, but he's the top of the 2nd tier for me. Solid B+."
T-4. Emmanuel Mudiay - G, Guangdong (China), 19 years old
AVG: 3.1 Ballots: 10/10
Mike Levin (ranked him #3): "I ranked Mudiay ahead of Russell at the behest of my head rather than my heart (<3 D) because it's about superstar-ness. To me, Emmanuel's physicality makes him worthier of a potential superstar pick at the top of the draft. This beautiful Danny Chau article makes me yearn for the Wall/Westbrook-esque defense-breaking abilities of Mudiay. I've been accused of gambling on upside before, and this is another one of those times. Give me the athlete, we'll teach the shot. My only reservation is that Larry Brown supports this pick."
T-4. D'Angelo Russell - G, Ohio State, 19 years old
AVG: 3.1 Ballots: 10/10
Jake Fischer (ranked him #2): "I've actually become more of a fan of Emmanuel Mudiay since I filed my big board for this exercise, but I'm still a huge supporter of Russell. Any time a players' best case scenario is a leading MVP candidate (Stephen Curry) crossed with wearing the same number as the most polarizing player in the league (Russell Westbrook) there's obvious reasons to buy in on his prospects. The fit is obvious too: he's a hot-shooting point guard (43.2% from 3PT) that does far more than bomb away from deep, unlike Isaiah Canaan."
2. Jahlil Okafor - C, Duke, 19 years old
AVG: 2.1 Ballots: 10/10
Roy Burton (ranked him #1): "In terms of 'fit' (at least when it comes to the Sixers), it's hard to make a case for Jahlil Okafor over Karl-Anthony Towns. However, Okafor is widely considered to be the best prospect in college basketball, and it's unlikely that the 6' 11", 275 lbs. center is lower than No. 2 on any team's draft board. Okafor already has an NBA-caliber post game - once he improves his defense and conditioning, he could (and should) be a perennial All-Star."
1. Karl-Anthony Towns - PF/C, Kentucky, 19 years old
AVG: 1.9 Ballots: 10/10
Jake Pavorsky (ranked him #1): "I think I've made my love for Karl Towns well known. His post moves are average now but should improve with age, and the effort is always there for putbacks. He hadn't shown it off much until late, but Towns has got some serious shooting range. He can space the floor with both Embiid and Noel, and if he's on the board when the Sixers are up, selecting him is a no brainer."
|Lyles||Justin Anderson||Booker||Looney||Dekker||Looney||R.J. Hunter||Turner||Looney||Turner|
|Oubre||Christian Wood||Cauley-Stein||R.J. Hunter||Looney||Hollis-Jefferson||Harrell||Booker||Oubre||Booker|
|Jerian Grant||Looney||Portis||Portis||Hunter||Jerian Grant||Booker||Dekker||LeVert||Harrell|