It is an odd time for the National Basketball Association Draft but mid-November when we are in the midst of the college football season will be the time for the 2020 NBA draft to take place. The draft typically is right after the Finals in the middle of June. But that is the case in this COVID 2020 year where the NCAA Tournament was canceled as well as many conference tournaments in early March and the NBA just finished The Finals in mid-October with the Los Angles Lakers taking the title over the Miami Heat.
The NBA will have its draft on specifically this week on Wednesday, November 18th. ESPN will be hosting the event this year within its Bristol, Connecticut studios.
This column will highlight the College Sports Journal’s Top 25 prospects of the NBA Draft that came from what we at CSJ call the High and Mid Major college basketball conferences.
The High-Major conferences include American Athletic Conference, Atlantic-10, Conference USA, Mountain West, West Coast, and Missouri Valley conferences.
The Mid-Major conferences include America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, and Western Athletic conferences.
This list does not include the Power Six conferences of the Atlantic Coast, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12, or the Southeastern Conferences. Nor does this list show any players that solely played in other countries.
Remember such star players such as Steph Curry (Davidson), Damian Lillard (Weber State), Paul George (Fresno State), Paul Millsap (Louisiana Tech), Ja Morant (Murray State), and Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State) played their college ball at a high or mid major school.
Who might be that that next big star that comes from these ranks?
Two players in my mind very well could be household names in the near future in Memphis’ James Wiseman and Dayton’s Obi Toppin. And there very well could be another one or two that many fans may not seen.
The NBA Draft will have two round of 30 picks in each round or a total of 60 selections. The Minnesota Timberwolves will have the first selection in this year’s draft.
Here is my list of the Top 25 Mid and High Major professional prospects with their prospective draft location and highlights from their collegiate days:
1. James Wiseman, Center, Memphis (7’1″, Fr., 240 pounds) (Projected Early First Round)
2. Obi Toppin, Power Forward, Dayton (6’9″, Soph., 220 pounds) (Projected Early First Round)
3. Precious Achiuwa, Power Forward, Memphis (6’9″, Fr., 225 pounds) (Projected Mid-First Round)
4. Malachi Flynn, Point Guard, San Diego State (6’1″, Jr., 185 pounds) (Projected Late First Round)
5. Grant Riller, Point Guard, College of Charleston (6’3″, Sr., 190 pounds) (Projected Late First Round)
6. Killian Tillie, Center, Gonzaga (6’10”, Sr., 220 pounds) (Early Second Round)
7. Justinian Jessup, Shooting Guard, Boise State (6’7″, Sr., 202 pounds) (Mid Second Round)
8. Nate Hinton, Shooting Guard, Houston (6’5″, Soph., 210 pounds) (Mid Second Round)
9. Sam Merrill, Shooting Guard, Utah State (6’5″, Sr., 205 pounds) (Mid Second Round)
10. Nathan Knight, Center, William & Mary (6’10”, Sr., 253 pounds) (Late Second Round)
11. Lamine Diane, Small Forward, CSU Northridge (6’7″, Sr., 205 pounds) (Late Second Round)
12. Jalen Harris, Shooting Guard, Nevada (6’7″, Sr., 205 pounds) (Late Second Round)
13. Malik Fitts, Power Forward, Saint Mary’s (6’8″, Jr., 230 pounds) (Free Agent)
14. Anthony Lamb, Small Forward, Vermont (6’6″, Sr., 227 pounds) (Free Agent)
15. Trevelin Queen, Shooting Guard, New Mexico State (6’6″, Sr., 190 pounds) (Free Agent)
16. Yoeli Childs, Power Forward, BYU (6’8″, Sr., 225 pounds) (Free Agent)
17. Nate Darling, Shooting Guard, Delaware (6’5″, Jr., 200 pounds) (Free Agent)
18. Jordan Ford, Point Guard, Saint Mary’s (6’1″, Sr., 175 pounds) (Free Agent)
19. Sha’markus Kennedy, Power Forward, McNeese State (6’8″, Sr., 220 pounds) (Free Agent)
20. Milan Acquaah, Point Guard, California Baptist (6’3″, Jr., 195 pounds) (Free Agent)
21. Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Shooting Guard, Davidson (6’5″, Sr., 200 pounds) (Free Agent)
22. Osasumwen Osaghae, Power Forward, Florida International (6’9″, Sr., 250 pounds) (Free Agent)
23. Jake Toolson, Small Forward, BYU (6’5″, Sr., 205 pounds) (Free Agent)
24. De’Riante Jenkins, Shooting Guard, Virginia Commonwealth (6’5″, Sr., 190 pounds) (Free Agent)
25. Lesley Varner, Small Forward, Texas Rio Grand Valley (6’7″, Sr., 190 pounds) (Free Agent)
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football is the Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
Reach him at this email or click below: