Usually around this time of year we are at a lull in the basketball world, but just like everything else in 2020, basketball was on hiatus for months and now we are two weeks away from the draft lottery.
It is about this time when I start to look at mock drafts, and over the past decade or so I have always done deep dives into the players that are eligible to be selected, past the lottery, because these days those players that have illustrious college careers are completely overlooked going into the NBA. Sometimes it is because of age, and other times it is because of a lack of measurables. In both cases for better or for worse those are both out of the players control. But for as often as teams seem to focus on getting young, projectable, high-potential players. There are still the great college players that are overlooked, and end up finding their way onto NBA rosters and have productive NBA careers. Guys like Isaiah Thomas, Fred Vanvleet, Devonte Graham, Jalen Brunson are all guys that played multiple years in college and stars, but given their lack of size and potentially age were either drafted in the second round or went undrafted. Sure, it might be too early to tell with Graham and Brunson since they are still both on their rookie contracts, but I’m sure a few years from now when Bill Simmons does the redraftables on the 2018 draft they are both taken much, much higher than they were on draft night.
This year will have two more guys who will probably get overlooked just like the undersized guards before them. Myles Powell and Markus Howard. Both were two of the best scorers the Big East has seen ever, and in most mock drafts are either going in the 50-60 range or not at all. Now I’m not saying these guys should be lottery picks, but I am saying that if you take these guys in the second round, or pick them up if for some odd reason they go undrafted, you are probably getting a guy that will be able to give you buckets and in the right situation can play serious mintues for you.
Myles Powell is one of the swaggiest players in college basketball in the 2000s. Pulling up from deep, the smile and of course the legendary phrase, “What Trenton Makes. The World Takes”. He has a certain aura around him that you know if he is given the opportunity can be a good NBA player.
Just running through his accolades from his senior season, it’s impressive.
- 2020 NCAA CONSENSUS ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM
- 2020 JERRY WEST NATIONAL SHOOTING GUARD OF THE YEAR AWARD
- 2020 ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM
- 2020 SPORTING NEWS ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM
- 2020 USBWA ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM
- 2020 NABC ALL-AMERICA SECOND TEAM
- 2020 WOODEN AWARD ALL-AMERICA
- 2020 HAGGERTY AWARD METROPOLITAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- 2020 BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- 2020 USBWA DISTRICT II PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- 2020 USBWA ALL-DISTRICT II
- 2020 NABC ALL-DISTRICT 5 FIRST TEAM
- 2020 ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
- 2020 JOHN R. WOODEN AWARD TOP 5 FINALIST
- 2020 NAISMITH TROPHY TOP 5 FINALIST
- 2020 OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY MIDESEASON WATCH LIST
- 2020 SENIOR CLASS AWARD TOP 10 FINALIST
- 2019-20 ASSOCIATED PRESS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA
- 2019-20 BIG EAST PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Over Powell’s 4 years at Seton Hall he went from 6th man, to starter, to superstar and is one of the reasons why Seton Hall is now a formidable team in college basketball after being a team that was close to the bottom of the Big East every year. He is a bucket and after being shown his body transformation every game last season, I would not want to bet against him being a solid NBA player. Sure, he won’t be a home run pick, but why take a draft and stash guy who may never come over to the NBA when Powell can probably contribute to your team from day one.
In the same breath as Myles Powell there is Markus Howard. Howard was Marquette basketball for the better part of the past four years. Still only 21, he played four seasons at Marquette and was the leading scorer in college basketball last year with 27.8 PPG. He scored over 2,700 points in his college career and is 21st ALL-TIME in scoring. Yes, all-time, and he would have been even higher if the season was not cut short.
Oh and Howard has the recognition accolade wise too
- Consensus First Team All-American (AP, Sporting News, NABC, USBWA) – fourth in program history
- Associated Press First Team All-American
- Sporting News First Team All-American
- USA Today First Team All-American
- John R. Wooden Award All-American
- USBWA First Team All-American
- NABC First Team All-American
- All-BIG EAST First Team (unanimous)
- USBWA All-District V Team
- NABC All-District 3 Team
- Senior CLASS Award for Men’s Basketball winner
- Watch Lists: Bob Cousy Award (finalist), Lute Olson Award (midseason), Citizen Naismith Award (midseason), Oscar Robertson Award (midseason) and Wooden Award (finalist), AAU James E. Sullivan Award (finalist)
- Five-time BIG EAST Player of the Week (BIG EAST record 13 career honors)
- Dwyane Wade Legacy of Leadership Award
- Marquette Most Valuable Player Award
It’s wild in Howard’s case that teams are probably going to overlook him. He played against great competition in the Big East and dominated. He showed for four years that he is one of the best scorers in NCAA history. Just like with Powell, it makes no sense to draft a draft and stash guy when this guy can come into the right situation and compete from day one.
Whether it is their age, measurables or projected lack of defense that is hurting them going into the draft. Stop overthinking it @ NBA Teams! These guys are the easy picks, especially once the second round comes around. Sure, they might not be home run picks, more of the single or double type, but you know when you draft these guys you won’t be striking out.