This list is not about who are the best players right now. It is about who translates best to the next level, regardless of when they will turn pro. This could mean a shot at the NBA for some guys. But we all know there are plenty of opportunities and money to be made in Europe and other overseas leagues. Feel free to make your own Top 10 list by commenting on this post. Let the debates begin!
- Paris Bass Detroit Mercy R-So. Guard/Forward. Click on the “Detroit Mercy” category to read my extensive scouting report of Bass. Bass is so efficient at getting to the basket with his long strides and he protects the ball well all the way to the hoop. He is a pure scorer and can be tough defensively with his long arms. Talent-wise, Bass is a bit of a late bloomer, which makes him even more intriguing to NBA scouts. It will be a bit of a risk to whomever drafts Bass, but one that really could pay off mightily.
- Dikembe Dixson Illinois-Chicago Fr. Guard/Forward. With reported offers from power conference schools, some may consider it surprising that Dixson chose UIC. But why be just another guy, when you can be the guy? He is not shooting the ball well right now, but you have to love how hard he plays. Dixson will continue to improve with his decision-making and shooting. The extensive game experience he is getting is so valuable for a true freshman. He is super athletic and is a very good offensive rebounder. He has a very high ceiling.
- Kay Felder Oakland Jr. Point Guard. Is there anything that Felder cannot do on a basketball court? Felder is a terrific ball distributor who always keeps his teammates involved. He is so quick at surveying the court and reading his options of what to do with the ball, just like a quarterback would. He absorbs a lot of contact on the court, especially when he drives to the basket. But you have to love how it never seems to faze him. He also has a tendency to rise to the occasion in big games, but sometimes plays down to the level of lesser opponents too.
- Alec Peters Valparaiso Jr. Forward. Flash is not part of Peters’ game. He is an ‘old reliable’, blue-collar type of player who can rebound and score from inside and out. His versatility is unique for a player of his size. His ability to play the perimeter and in the post is what is very appealing to NBA scouts. Guards are usually too small to defend him properly, and most big men lack the athleticism to stop him.
- Vashil Fernandez Valparaiso R-Sr. Center. Athletic 6’10” Centers do not come around every day. Fernandez is one of the best defenders in league history, and does a lot of things that disrupt the offenses of opponents that do not make it in box scores. Fernandez is even a bit underrated as a scorer around the basket. But any pro team he makes will because of his defensive prowess and shot-blocking abilities.
- Bobby Hain Youngstown St. Sr. Forward/Center. Despite his injury that has kept him off the court recently, one cannot forget about Hain, one of the best big men in school history. You cannot teach his size of 6’10, 240 lbs. Couple this with being good around the basket on both ends of the court, Hain will be playing for years to come, assuming he can stay healthy.
- Cameron Morse Youngstown St. So. Guard. What a recruiting find Morse has been for the Penguins! His points per game have increased three-fold from last season. Morse is a pure scorer and good decision maker. He takes care of the ball and is also a good defender. Although he is a very good player, there are lots of prospects around his size who can score. That is why he will have to continue to work on his defense, passing, and fine-tuning his already good jump shot.
- Tevonn Walker Valparaiso So. Guard. Walker is a very good ball handler and defender. He is the consummate team player who fits perfectly into Valpo’s system. There is no doubt that Walker would be putting up more impressive numbers at many other schools. He can drive to the basketball and finish with the best of them, and his shot in continually improving.
- Mark Alstork Wright State R-So. Guard. Alstork is an aggressive two-guard who can really stretch out defenses with his shooting. He has adjusted really well in his first season in the Horizon League, having initially played at Ball State. If he can improve his ball handling even more, that will make him more appealing and multi-dimensional to pro scouts.
- Carrington Love Green Bay Sr. Guard. Good things come to those who are patient…and work hard. That is what Love did a lot of behind Kiefer Sykes. Now, Love is shining for the Phoenix. He is an excellent ball handler who would do a great job handling point guard duties coming off of the bench for some good teams overseas. At the next level, he is likely more of a role player.
Honorable Mentions (in ABC order): Jalen Billups, NKU, Sr.; Jordan Fouse, Green Bay, Sr.; Tai Odiase, UIC, So.; Matt Tiby, Milwaukee, Sr.; JT Yoho, Wright State, Sr.