ST. LOUIS MO - DECEMBER 22: Demetri McCamey #32 of the Illinois Fighting Illini looks to pass the ball against Michael Dixon #11 of the Missouri Tigers during the Busch Braggin' Rights game at the Scottrade Center on December 22 2010 in St. Louis Missouri. The Tigers beat the Fighting Illini 75-64. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The Big Ten has been known throughout the years to plug out solid prospects from the Midwest into the NBA draft. This year is no different. There are over five players that were reliable athletes for their respected teams that will not be drafted. Along with that, there are another five guys that could hear their name called Thursday night.
The list includes the two players from Illinois, a versatile guard from Ohio State, a big shooter from Wisconsin, and a scorer from Purdue. Of course, there is always the possibility that none of them get drafted. The second round is so unpredictable. Last season, I predicted the first 13 picks in the first round correctly. However, I only guessed five total second round picks.
The five prospects are lined up according to my personal draft board. At the end of each player, I will give my own guess of where the player should end up being drafted.
6’7" Small Forward
NBA Comparison: Trevor Ariza
The first prospect on the list is the only underclassman. Richmond committed to Illinois a year ago ready to flourish in coach Bruce Weber’s system. During his freshman season, he average 22 minutes a game with 7.6 points a game. He shoots a very high percentage shot, which is something that pleases general managers. Subsequently, his free throw percentage was dreadful, nailing only 60 percent. His long wingspan and active mind on the defensive end also are huge pluses. But, he is very turnover friendly and lacks a consistent range on his jumper.
Richmond has a higher ceiling than the rest of these prospects. He is still very young and raw at a positioned that always a need in the NBA. If I had an early second round pick, I would take a flyer on Richmond solely for the potential. On NBAdraft.net, they rate his potential a nine of out the possible 10. Also, on the same site, they don’t even have Richmond being picked because many teams are worried about the potential lockout, so they need players that can contribute to a team right away. It’ll take him a few years to develop, so the team must be patient.
Perfect destination: Chicago Bulls at 43
(More prospects after the jump!)
6’11" Power Forward
NBA Comparison: Ersan Ilyasova
Wisconsin produces fairly sturdy players time and time again. Even in a rather boring system that Bo Ryan runs, the players turn out to be quality role players. Leuer has something that most big men don’t possess, and that is a crisp shot. He has a stroke that can be lights out at time. The Badger has progressed each season into a better player, which could mean that he is still budding as a player. Even though Leuer is a lanky fellow, he carries a solid repertoire of post moves to go with his shot. The downside of Leuer is his rebounding and overall body strength. That, of course, is something that can be fixed.
Leuer is no Carl Landry, brother of former Wisconsin Badger Marcus Landry. His game is completely different. Leuer is a guy that should hear his name called on draft day solely because of his shot and height. He is someone that can sneak into the late portion of the first round because of his jumpshot. If the second round is there to fill holes, a seven-footer who can score in bunches can fill it.
Perfect destination: Lakers at 46
6’4" Point Guard/Shooting Guard
NBA Comparison: Jodie Meeks
I have seen Moore play these past two seasons live, and I still cannot predict what he’ll do next. He is a very streaky guard who is a tweener between a point and shooting guard. Moore is a proven winner on the court and makes his teammates around him better. He is smart with the basketball and is able to push the ball up the court with excellent speed. He doesn’t have a high ceiling because he doesn’t have one thing that he is great at including being streaky.
There are many players in the NBA similar to Moore including the person chosen (Meeks) along with Keyon Dooling and many more. Those types of players come around all the time, which allows teams to be choosy when selecting a guy like Moore. A GM wouldn’t be taking a risk on the Boilermaker, but it may just be a pick to fill the bench and get minutes here and there.
Perfect destination: Atlanta at 48
6’3" Point Guard
NBA Comparison: Derek Fisher
Illinois knows how to produce point guards. Dee Brown, Deron Williams, and others back in the day paved the trail for McCamey to be the next one to hear his name called on draft day. The senior point guard has dynamic passing and ball handling skills, a perfect set of traits a backup point guard needs to have if they want to make it in the NBA. He has never been a great scorer at Illinois, but the real issue lies in the fact that he can’t finish at the rim consistently and his work ethic has been questioned by scouts.
NBADraft.net was perfect when describing McCamey in terms of who he is similar to in the NBA. Of course, there’s little chance that McCamey actually gets on the same level as Fisher, but they have similar styles. Many teams are looking for extra help at the point guard position, but it’s expected for McCamey to fall into the laps of playoff contentors. The Lakers are a safe bet for the point guard because of the plethora of picks Los Angeles has late in the draft.
Perfect destination: Philadelphia at 50
6’6" Shooting Guard
Senior: Ohio State
NBA Comparison: Corey Brewer
The final prospect on the list is the pesky Lighty. He did it all at Ohio State, from covering the little guy to the power forward. Lighty is a very smart player when it comes to the necessary skills needed to go onto the next level. The intangible alone should make Lighty a candidate to be drafted. Then, add in a quality jumper with above average defense and you got yourself a pretty good basketball player. Lighty is the perfect example of a slasher. He is able to keep his body low but still has the ability to rise up and finish at the rim.
In a draft that is weak at the shooting guard position, Lighty might be sitting pretty come draft night. A good all-around player like the former Buckeye should have confidence that he can find a team. NBA teams coming off playoff seasons should look at Lighty as a prospect to add to their team. He is NBA ready and can play a crucial role in returning to the playoffs.
Perfect destination: Dallas at 57
Who would you most want on an NBA team?
Richmond (3 votes)
Leuer (10 votes)
Moore (20 votes)
McCamey (4 votes)
Lighty (13 votes)
50 total votes