A new offseason means a new weekly column post NBA Draft Deadline!
Check out below for this week’s installment of “Weekend Brunch”, which started a year ago and is published every week in June, highlighting all the latest happenings in the world of college basketball.
This week’s focus is on the 2022 NBA Draft.
5 Questions Entering the 2022 NBA Draft
1. Who should be the top overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft?
There’s no clear cut answer. Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, and Duke’s Paolo Banchero have been the three players consistently mentioned for the top overall spot, but choosing between those three for many is the equivalent of splitting an atom. The 6-10 Smith is tailor made for today’s NBA game with his ability to stretch the defense while Holmgren’s unique skillset at 7-feet has made him both intriguing and polarizing due to his frail frame. Banchero meanwhile, is a known scoring commodity at 6-10 who averaged 18.8 points and 7.6 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field in five games during the NCAA Tournament last spring.
2. Which player not being mentioned for the top spot could wind up being the best player in the 2022 NBA Draft?
Purdue’s Jaden Ivey. The 6-4 guard has cheetah like speed in the open floor and should flourish in the NBA when he’s aided by better shooting and more space on offense. Ivey wasn’t Purdue’s primary point guard during his two years of college basketball, but he should be able to transition to being a primary ball handler in the NBA. It’s not fair to compare to Ivey to Ja Morant, but much like Donovan Mitchell, he’s got the ability to affect the game as an elite combo guard at the next level.
3. Which lottery pick is not receiving enough attention?
Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin. Armed with great length and an NBA build at 6-6, Mathurin is rising up draft boards and is in position to be the second perimeter player selected behind Ivey. Wired to score and elite in catch-and-shoot situations, Mathurin had eight games last season with 25 or more points. This kid instantly projects as an NBA starter.
4. Which college program could standout from the rest?
Arizona. Duke may very well wind up having four or five first-round picks with Banchero, AJ Griffin, Mark Williams, Wendell Moore, and Trevor Keels, but the Wildcats aren’t far behind. In addition to Mathurin, two other key contributors from the Wildcats’ program — Christian Koloko and Dalen Terry — could wind up being selected in the first round. Arizona is a great program, but it is not Duke. Having three players picked in the first round of the NBA Draft would be a major coup and a tremendous recruiting card for the Wildcats’ staff to play moving forward in Tucson.
5. What will the New York Knicks do?
I’m not going to act like I follow the NBA each and every day like I do college basketball, but here are the facts: No team in the NBA has swung and missed over the last decade and a half with marquee free agents as much as the Knicks. What does that mean for New York? Securing top shelf talent via the draft is critical to this franchise’s rebuilding process, which has been going on for over 20 years. Unfortunately for the Knicks, missing on draft night has been just as common as missing in free agency. In 2017, New York selected Frank Ntilikina ahead of Donovan Mitchell and Bam Adebayo. In 2018, the Knicks selected Kevin Knox ahead of Mikal Bridges, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Miles Bridges. Yikes! New York is currently slated to pick eleventh the 2022 NBA Draft..
Top-10 Big Board
1. Jabari Smith, Auburn
21-22 College Stats: 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds
Comparison: Rashard Lewis
2. Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
21-22 College Stats: 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks
Comparison: Evan Mobley
3. Jaden Ivey, Purdue
21-22 College Stats: 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists
Comparison: Donovan Mitchell
4. Paolo Banchero, Duke
21-22 College Stats: 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds
Comparison: Blake Griffin
5. Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona:
21-22 College Stats: 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds
Comparison: Terrence Ross
6. Keegan Murray, Iowa
21-22 College Stats: 23.5 points, 8.7
Comparison: Boris Diaw (Phoenix version)
7. Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky
21-22 College Stats: N/A
Comparison: Paul George
8. A.J. Griffin, Duke
21-22 College Stats: 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds
Comparison: Chuck Person
9. Jeremy Sochan, Baylor
21-22 College Stats: 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds
Comparison: Derrick McKey
10. Johnny Davis, Wisconsin
21-22 College Stats: 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds
Comparison: Josh Hart
- Jalen Williams, Santa Clara: Averaged 17.3 points, six rebounds, and 4.3 assists in six games last season versus high-major opponents.
- Christian Koloko, Arizona: Many well embedded moles feel that the 7-1 Koloko is just as capable around the rim as Duke’s Mark Williams.
- Dalen Terry, Arizona: Has the ability to be a key NBA role player in a winning situation.
- Jaylin Williams, Arkansas: Elite level intangibles.
- Collin Gillespie, Villanova: At worst, he’s somewhere in between Ryan Arcidiacono and TJ McConnell.
Where To Eat
L’Osteria, 83th and Lexington
This old school italian haunt makes you feel like you’re dining in Rome or Milan. A loaded pasta menu is highlighted by the fusilli with pesto and the caprese ravioli, which both go well with a fresh Moretti from the bar. L’Osteria isn’t as well known as other italian spots on the Upper East Side, but it’s worth adding to your rolodex.
- Episode 349 — Davidson’s Matt McKillop
- Atlantic 10 Offseason Breakdown
- Weekend Brunch: Pac-12 basketball hanging in the balance, Michigan State’s non-conference schedule, Derek Kellogg deserved better from LIU Brooklyn
- San Diego State, Saint Mary’s to play in Phoenix on 12/10
- Auburn, Memphis to meet at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on 12/10