2013 Small School Conference Preview

The small school prospects that made an impact on the 2012 NBA Draft were Damian Lillard (No. 6) and Andrew Nicholson (No. 19) in the first round making it a light year overall. In the past five drafts an average of at least five players from small schools went in the first round and at least one in the lottery.

Last year was a lighter year to say the least.

Since the small schools range from Conference USA to the diminutive Southwest Athletic Conference (SWAC) that features 10 teams, most of which do not expect to produce NBA Talent.

This season looks to be more promising than last with Tony Mitchell (a Top 5 talent) and C.J. McCollum as well as talented teams in Memphis and UNLV. The talent is there this year to get back to the norm with at least a handful of first round talents.

Small School Top 45 Prospects

1. Tony Mitchell – North Texas

Tale of the Tape: 6-8 220 lbs Sophomore SF/PF

2011-2012 Statistics: 14.7 PPG 10.3 RPG 3.0 BPG 0.9 SPG 56.7 FG% 73.9 FT%

Mitchell would be playing in either the NBA or in the SEC right now with the Missouri Tigers, instead he has made it here in a round-a-bout way. He is the best prospect not on a big six conference roster with elite athleticism, great length, and the ability to play the three and the four like a hybrid of Shawn Marion and Josh Smith.


2. Anthony Bennett – UNLV

Tale of the Tape: 6-7 239 lbs Freshman SF

2011-2012 Statistics: High School

There are few players that play with the energy level that Bennett plays with. At the Nike Hoops Summit (April) he was a little out of shape limiting his mobility and effectiveness. That did not stop Bennett from stealing the show with a game sealing bomb from deep. His game is more the physical grind on the defensive end and on the glass, but has the tools to get better on the offensive end with time.


3. Mike Moser – UNLV

Tale of the Tape: 6-8 195 lbs Junior SF/PF

2011-2012 Statistics: 14.0 PPG 10.5 RPG 1.0 BPG 1.9 SPG 45.0 FG% 33.1 3PT%

Last year Moser had a breakout season showing that he left UCLA early for a reason, and maybe, they should have played him. He is a calculated scorer that is most deadly from beyond the arc as a stretch-four. Moser needs to add significant strength to play the four at the next level, but his ability to rebound amongst the trees is impressive for his size.


4. Jamaal Franklin – San Diego State

Tale of the Tape: 6-5 185 lbs Junior SG

2011-2012 Statistics: 17.4 PPG 7.9 RPG 1.5 APG 1.0 SPG 43.3 FG% 80.0 FT%

He is the most undervalued scorer on the perimeter in the country that can play the two and a little bit of the three in college. Franklin is a physical scorer that gets in the paint as well as getting it done from the perimeter as a quality three-point shooter. At his position he is an elite rebounder with a nose for the ball making him a deeper talented prospect than other traditional scorers that are one-dimensional.


5. Ray McCallum – Detroit Mercy

Tale of the Tape: 6-1 185 lbs Junior PG

2011-2012 Statistics: 15.4 PPG 4.5 RPG 4.0 APG 1.6 SPG 45.8 FG% 76.6 FT%

The point guard is a very deceptive athlete that is very capable of scoring in bunches, in transition, and off of the bounce. He is a pure point guard in the sense that McCallum is always probing the defense looking for the his teammates setting them up to score. McCallum has good size for his position allowing him to get into the teeth of the defense and absorb contact.


6. Adonis Thomas – Memphis

Tale of the Tape: 6-7 220 lbs Sophomore SF

2011-2012 Statistics: 8.8 PPG 3.2 RPG 0.6 SPG 0.7 BPG 48.6 FG% 40.5 3PT%

It was a lackluster freshman campaign for Thomas as he played out of shape and was on a team that was very unorganized. He has the physical and athletic tools to be a very good rebounder and defender for his position, but not if he remains out of shape. Having the discipline to not only stay in shape, but play with high energy on a consistent level will be key to Thomas reaching his potential.


7. C.J. McCollum – Lehigh

Tale of the Tape: 6-3 180 lbs Senior PG

2011-2012 Statistics: 21.9 PPG 6.5 RPG 3.5 APG 2.6 SPG 44.3 FG% 34.1 3PT%

He was the darling of the NCAA Tournament in 2012, but McCollum is much more than that as a basketball player. As a scorer he is adept at getting into the middle of the floor and scoring from there. He is not an above the rim athlete, but more of a cerebral scorer from the perimeter learning the art of efficiency from there. McCollum is not a classic play-maker, but has made strides as a point guard over the past three years.


8. Doug McDermott – Creighton

Tale of the Tape: 6-7 210 lbs Junior SF

2011-2012 Statistics: 22.9 PPG 8.2 RPG 1.1 APG 60.1 FG% 48.6 3PT% 79.6 FT%

There is little doubt that McDermott is the best pure shooter that is also a legit NBA prospect in college today. He has the size and shooting ability to score as a three or a stretch-four in spot duty. As an athlete he is lacking, needing to add strength to his frame to defend elite athletes, but has the Basketball IQ to make the jump to the next level.


9. Keith Clanton – Central Florida

Tale of the Tape: 6-8 230 lbs Senior PF

2011-2012 Statistics: 14.5 PPG 8.1 RPG 1.8 BPG 1.0 SPG 46.1 FG% 58.6 FT%

Clanton is an athletic and active four, slightly undersized overall, but plays with a high motor out-working the opposition nightly. He was overshadowed last year by the likes of Marcus Jordan, who is not on the team anymore giving Clanton the opportunity to showcase his skills. Clanton now has the team to himself with the opportunity to showcase his skills nightly without distraction.


10. Elias Harris – Gonzaga

Tale of the Tape: 6-7 245 lbs Senior SF/PF

2011-2012 Statistics: 13.1 PPG 8.5 RPG 0.9 SPG 0.8 BPG 50.2 FG% 41.4 3PT%

It feels like Harris has been in college for the better part of a decade, which is what happens when players are touted as one-and-done talents like he was as a freshman. Harris is a quality athlete that can defend three positions with his combination of size, strength, and quickness. Offensively he has made strides over the years, but has not displayed the explosiveness needed to be a consistent scoring threat inside the paint.


11. Brandon Davies – BYU

Tale of the Tape: 6-9 235 lbs Senior PF

2011-2012 Statistics: 15.2 PPG 7.7 RPG 1.5 SPG 1.3 BPG 51.6 FG% 66.2 FT%

The athletic four can score points in bunches off of his athleticism alone. He is not a polished scorer on the low block, but over his career has added new aspects to his game to develop into a prospect in his own right. Davies is a rangy defender that gets into passing lanes and contests weak-side shots as well as any fours in the class.


12. Matthew Dellavedova – St. Mary’s

Tale of the Tape: 6-4 190 lbs Senior PG

2011-2012 Statistics: 15.5 PPG 3.3 RPG 6.4 APG 0.8 SPG 44.6 FG% 85.7 FT%

Dellavedova has become a complete point guard over the years. Earlier in his career his lack of athleticism held him back from being able to score inside the three-point line, but he has improved in that. He is a high percentage shooter from everywhere on the floor including the free-throw line using his thick build and size to get there.


13. D.J. Cooper – Ohio

Tale of the Tape: 5-11 165 lbs Senior PG

2011-2012 Statistics: 14.7 PPG 5.7 APG 3.7 RPG 2.3 SPG 34.8 FG% 30.7 3PT%

The diminutive point guard is a tough and gritty leader. He gets inside the teeth of the defense with ease using his great ball-handling skills and quickness, once there, he can score himself in the paint, or find an open teammate with good court awareness. As an undersized point guard Cooper has added the three-point shot to his arsenal, not consistent yet, but it is a weapon to balance his attacking style.


14. Kerron Johnson – Belmont

Tale of the Tape: 6-1 175 lbs Senior PG

2011-2012 Statistics: 13.8 PPG 5.2 APG 3.1 RPG 1.4 SPG 51.8 FG% 76.6 FT%

Johnson is a quality point guard with good size for the position. He is adept at scoring in transition and at the rim with his athleticism and craftiness around the basket. As a point guard Johnson can play off the ball as a scorer shooting a high percentage from most spots on the floor, but last year developed into more of a play-maker for his teammates on the ball.


15. Isaiah Canaan – Murray State

Tale of the Tape: 6-0 175 lbs Senior PG

2011-2012 Statistics: 19.0 PPG 3.6 APG 3.5 RPG 1.4 SPG 46.8 FG% 45.6 3PT%

He is a scorer flat out and after last season where he stepped out on the national spotlight leading his team to a great season he is on draft boards. Canaan is strong for his size, compact, and can get in the paint to shoot free-throws at a high rate. As a scorer he balances that with the threat of the deep three that he can hit with regularity in spot-up or off the dribble situations.


16. Nate Wolters – South Dakota State

Tale of the Tape: 6-4 190 lbs Senior PG

2011-2012 Statistics: 21.2 PPG 5.9 APG 5.1 RPG 1.7 SPG 44.8 FG% 24.1 3PT%

The big point guard is a very talented and adept scorer from the perimeter. He can score from behind the three-point line as well as through the offense moving with (and without) the ball. Wolters has proven that he is a very good shooter and is balancing scoring and play-making every year to become more of a complete point guard.


17. Zeke Marshall – Akron

Tale of the Tape: 7-0 235 lbs Senior C

2011-2012 Statistics: 10.4 PPG 5.4 RPG 2.8 BPG 54.2 FG% 70.6 FT%

As an athletic center Marshall is a shot-blocker through and through. He does not offer much on the offensive end and is a very average rebounder for his size, but can block shots with his length, size, and athleticism.


18. Justin Edwards – Maine

Tale of the Tape: 6-3 185 lbs Sophomore PG

2011-2012 Statistics: 13.9 PPG 3.3 APG 5.6 RPG 1.4 SPG 42.5 FG% 75.7 FT%

As a freshman Edwards exceeded expectations stepping up as the teams second leading scorer and distributor, as well as the third leading rebounder on the team as a point guard. Edwards is a highly skilled one, but hidden in the American East Conference up in Maine. He was offered scholarships from only Buffalo, Fresno State, and Maine, but didn’t garner the hype as a lower key prospect from Canada.


19. Adjehi Baru – Charleston SC

Tale of the Tape: 6-9 225 lbs Sophomore PF

2011-2012 Statistics: 7.8 PPG 6.3 RPG 0.7 SPG 0.7 BPG 48.3 FG% 20.9 FT%

Baru is a combo forward that can defend the three and the four with his length and athleticism. He is still coming along as a basketball player with little skill as a scorer and rebounder.


20. Alec Brown – Wisconsin-Green Bay

Tale of the Tape: 7-1 212 lbs Junior C

2011-2012 Statistics: 13.8 PPG 8.2 RPG 3.0 BPG 45.6 FG% 77.1 FT%

He has a lot of strength and weight that needs to be added to his frame to be able to play with elite level athletes on a nightly basis, but Brown has made major strides in his two years in college. He is a great shot-blocker, primarily from the weak-side, and has improved considerably as a scorer and rebounder. Still very raw as a prospect with lots of upside.


21. Deonte Burton – Nevada

Tale of the Tape: 6-1 185 lbs Junior PG

2011-2012 Statistics: 14.8 PPG 4.2 APG 2.6 RPG 1.1 SPG 40.2 FG% 79.7 FT%

Last season Burton came on strong and is garnering buzz as a potential first round pick. He is more of a scoring point guard with good size. As a point guard he is very athletic for the position and can get up and down the court. What he needs to work (or prove he can do consistently) is running an offense in the half-court. He is not a good three-point shooter, so in the half-court Burton is limited to a smaller arsenal offensively.


22. C.J. Aiken – Saint Joseph’s

Tale of the Tape: 6-9 192 lbs SF/PF

2011-2012 Statistics: 10.9 PPG 5.1 RPG 1.2 APG 3.5 BPG 53.6 FG% 72.0 FT%

Aiken is another athlete at the three/four spot that needs to add strength or a perimeter game to make the jump to the next level. He is a very talented shot-blocker off of the weak side with his length and athleticism, but can be overpowered in the paint. As a perimeter scorer Aiken has a long way to go as an average shooter from just about everywhere.


23. De’Mon Brooks – Davidson

Tale of the Tape: 6-7 223 lbs Junior SF

2011-2012 Statistics: 15.7 PPG 6.2 RPG 1.0 SPG 0.5 BPG 53.0 FG% 72.1 FT%

Easily the best athlete in the Southern Conference and a big time scorer in an efficient way is Brooks. He can score from most everywhere on the court — the three is still inconsistent — but he is an aggressive wing with big time potential.


24. DeShawn Painter – ODU

Tale of the Tape: 6-9 231 lbs Senior PF

2011-2012 Statistics: 6.2 PPG 4.3 RPG 0.6 BPG 42.3 FG% 71.8 FT%

The numbers are deceiving as he is transferring from the deep N.C. State Wolfpack team that didn’t have any minutes for Painter. He is a big six conference talent that comes into a system known for efficiency and defense. If he can pick up those skills while there to add to  the already athletic and wiry game Painter is a draftable talent in 2013.


25. Chaz Williams – UMass

Tale of the Tape: 5-9 175 lbs Junior PG

2011-2012 Statistics: 16.9 PPG 4.4 RPG 6.2 APG 2.2 SPG 41.0 FG% 41.9 3PT%

The water-bug point guard is not big in stature, but is as quick as they come playing full-court defense all game and pushing the pace on  the offensive end. He can score inside the teeth of the defense with his quickness and handle, then balances that with a consistent three-point shot.


26. Khyle Marshall – Butler

Tale of the Tape: 6-7 210 lbs Junior SF

2011-2012 Statistics: 9.8 PPG 4.3 RPG 0.3 SPG 0.7 BPG 55.3 FG% 55.3 FT%

Marshall is a great athlete, elite for his position and that translates to transition offense, rebounding, and defense. He can guard three positions on the defensive end and knows who is on this team as a defensive stopper.


27. Chris Braswell – Charlotte

Tale of the Tape: 6-8 235 lbs Senior PF

2011-2012 Statistics: 15.8 PPG 7.6 RPG 1.2 SPG 1.2 BPG 51.1 FG% 77.6 FT%

As a four Braswell is a bit undersized, but a great athlete that can score inside-out. With his lack of traditional size Braswell is not a great defender for his position, but very active, athletic, and plays with a high motor.


28. Tarik Black – Memphis

Tale of the Tape: 6-8 220 lbs Junior PF

2011-2012 Statistics: 10.7 PPG 4.9 RPG 1.5 BPG 0.6 SPG 68.9 FG% 59.4 FT%

Black is more of a five when you look at his skill-set as a defender, rebounder, and athlete. His limitations on offense made for an inconsistent, up-and-down first two years in college, but Black has the potential to be a quality defender in the paint at the next level.


29. Shaq Goodwin – Memphis

Tale of the Tape: 6-8 245 lbs Freshman PF

2011-2012 Statistics: High School

As a two-sport athlete Goodwin has the physical tools to dominate in the paint. He was always knocked for maturity, but seems to have put that behind him becoming a very good basketball and football player. As a post player Goodwin has great length, strength, and athleticism to be an impact player right away.


30. Patson Siame – Loyola Marymount

Tale of the Tape: 6-11 215 lbs Freshman PF/C

2011-2012 Statistics: High School

He is very raw as a basketball player after picking it up in Zambia and getting courted to come over to a small school like Loyola Marymount. On the offensive end Siame is a dunker and relies solely on athleticism to get buckets. Then on the defensive end he is a raw shot-blocker that can turn away drivers with his length and athleticism, but is not an instinctual defender at this point.


31. Joe Jackson – Memphis

Tale of the Tape: 6-1 164 lbs Junior PG

2011-2012 Statistics: 11.0 PPG 3.8 APG 2.2 RPG 1.2 SPG 42.0 FG% 83.7 FT%

Jackson is an enigmatic player that has all the talent in the world, but plays inconsistent and at times doesn’t see the smart play as a point guard. He is more of a scorer at the point guard position, but not an elite shooter or penetrator makes his lack of size a glaring issue. This season he has the talent around him to prove he can be a facilitator at first and an opportunistic scorer to compliment that.


32. Andrew Smith – Butler

Tale of the Tape: 6-11 240 lbs Senior C

2011-2012 Statistics: 10.9 PPG 5.2 RPG 0.8 SPG 0.7 BPG 52.5 FG% 35.2 3PT%

The offense will revolve around Smith this season which will give scouts the opportunity to see what kind of offensive player he can be. Like the Butler team in general, Smith is methodical, and scores points in a cerebral way. He is not a particularly great defender or rebounder, two categories a near 7-footer needs to have.


33. Chase Tapley – San Diego State

Tale of the Tape: 6-3 195 lbs Senior PG/SG

2011-2012 Statistics: 15.8 PPG 4.3 RPG 2.3 APG 1.8 SPG 45.5 FG% 43.3 3PT%

The evolution of Tapley has been very interesting over the years as a defensive stopper, to a three-point specialist, and now to a complete basketball player on the perimeter. He is built more to play the one, but is not a great play-maker for others and is best suited as a scorer off the ball. As a defender Tapley has the potential to be a lock-down prospect on the perimeter against point guards or twos.


34. Rotnei Clark – Butler

Tale of the Tape: 6-0 190 lbs Senior PG/SG

2010-2011 Statistics: 15.2 PPG 3.0 RPG 1.6 APG 0.8 SPG 43.9 FG% 43.8 3PT%

After sitting out last season for a transfer the best shooter in college basketball according to CBS Sports Jeff Goodman steps into an offense that is predicated on making situational threes. He is a very one-dimensional player as a shooter, not a point guard, but also not big enough to play the two with consistency.


35. Anton Grady – Cleveland State

Tale of the Tape: 6-8 215 lbs Sophomore PF

2010-2011 Statistics: 8.5 PPG 6.4 RPG 0.9 SPG 1.4 BPG 53.3 FG% 62.9 FT%

Grady is another potential breakout scorer with the producers in front of him now gone. He was very efficient in a small sample last season and has the ability to score inside-out with consistency.


36. Alan Williams – UC Santa-Barbara

Tale of the Tape: 6-7 240 lbs Sophomore PF

2011-2012 Statistics: 6.9 PPG 6.5 RPG 1.3 BPG 0.5 SPG 51.0 FG% 59.5 FT%

Williams has a chance to step out of Orlando Johnson’s shadow, something he began to do last year as an avid rebounder on the offensive glass and as an efficient scorer.


37. Jerrell Wright – La Salle

Tale of the Tape: 6-8 240 lbs Sophomore PF

2011-2012 Statistics: 9.8 PPG 5.6 RPG 1.1 BPG 0.9 SPG 57.3 FG% 61.7 FT%

The athletic four has the chance to be a major riser as a sophomore. He is a great rebounder on both ends of the floor and scores the ball in a variety of ways when the ball is in his hands.


38. Treveon Graham – VCU

Tale of the Tape: 6-5 215 lbs Sophomore SG

2011-2012 Statistics: 7.0 PPG 3.2 RPG 0.8 SPG 38.9 FG% 31.3 3PT%

Graham will be tasked with replacing the production of graduating senior Bradford Burgess. He is a similar player as a quality offensive rebounder and defender, but also has the ability to get to the free-throw line at a high rate to score points.


39. Doug Anderson – Detroit Mercy

Tale of the Tape: 6-6 212 lbs Senior SG/SF

2011-2012 Statistics: 9.2 PPG 4.6 RPG 1.2 APG 1.1 SPG 52.2 FG% 80.9 FT%

Another case of a great athlete that could compete on the bigger stage that fell through the cracks to the Titans. He is one of the best athletes in the country and can finish over just about anyone with amazing strength. If he can mix in some perimeter shooting into his game then Anderson will be a fast riser with point guard Ray McCallum feeding him the ball.


40. O.D. Anosike – Siena

Tale of the Tape: 6-8 241 lbs Senior PF/C

2011-2012 Statistics: 15.0 PPG 12.5 RPG 1.1 SPG 1.0 BPG 52.4 FG% 56.1 FT%

He is undersized as a five man, but is not the offensive threat that a four needs to be. Anosike is arguably the best rebounder in college basketball today. Most of his offense comes off of the offensive glass where he averaged 4.3 offensive rebounds a night. It will be interesting to see his progression on the offensive end while maintaining the rebounding because his calling is as utility garbage man at the next level.


41. Danuel House – Houston

Tale of the Tape: 6-6 185 lbs Freshman SG

2011-2012 Statistics: High School

The Cougars have a steal in Houston who is a legitimate top level prospect that can play the two and the three on both ends of the floor. He is a great athlete that can get up and down the floor finishing with strength and finesse. As a play-maker he has improved, but is more of a scorer in transition rather than the half-court.


42. Robert Upshaw – Fresno State

Tale of the Tape: 6-11 250 lbs Freshman C

2011-2012 Statistics: High School

Physically there are not many that come in as a freshman built as well as Upshaw as a near 7-footer with great strength and quality athleticism. He has the polish already to be an impact defender around the rim.


43. Kevin Pangos – Gonzaga

Tale of the Tape: 6-1 180 lbs Sophomore PG

2011-2012 Statistics: 13.6 PPG 3.4 APG 2.7 RPG 1.2 SPG 43.1 FG% 40.1 3PT%

Pangos is the consummate scoring guard from the one with his range on his jumper. He is a very smart basketball player that seems to take the smart shot more often than not, but also keeps the offense flowing to his teammates. As a point guard he is not the best play-maker, but has a good handle and finds his teammates in good spots.


44. Melvin Johnson – VCU

Tale of the Tape: 6-3 175 lbs Freshman SG/PG

2011-2012 Statistics: High School

Johnson is a complete scorer on the offensive end as an elite level shooter from three and a quality penatrator with the ball in his hands going at the basket.


45. Jordan Burgess – VCU

Tale of the Tape: 6-5 195 lbs Freshman SG

2011-2012 Statistics: High School

The younger brother of Bradford Burgess who had a great career here will put some pressure on Jordan. He is a big, strong, physical wing that knock down the three and should be a good rebounder for his position.

Related Blogs