With the 2015 NBA Draft recently wrapping up, Hoosiers fans were left feeling excluded on Draft night. Indiana had three players selected in the 2013 and 2014 NBA Drafts, but now have had had just three players drafted in the last seven seasons. Indiana is looking to get back to putting players into the league on a more consistent basis.
This leads to one question. When will Indiana get back in the NBA Draft? There are numerous barometers for any successful basketball program. These include things like the team's record, championships, individual awards earned, and the ability to put players into the next level. Indiana didn't see any major departures in 2015 outside of transfers, so there should not be too big of a red flag in failing to have a player drafted, but the program will certainly want to see a successful Draft night next season nonetheless.
With that, let's take a look at Indiana's potential NBA Draft picks in the upcoming seasons.
- #1. Troy Williams
If you buy into the mock drafts, Williams is so solid of a 2016 NBA Draft prospect that DraftExpress currently has him projected to go in the 1st Round of next year's Draft. He was actually very nearly bumped into the "virtual lock" category of this series, but since he is projected in the late 1st Round and plenty more could shake up this offseason, he was just short of that distinction. Still, Williams is a very safe pick to be drafted next summer.
- #2. Yogi Ferrell
Coming into next season, Ferrell is sitting in a very interesting place. He has played exceptionally well over his career and many believe he has earned a spot in the 2nd Round next year. However, Ferrell also faces the challenge of likely being a "low ceiling" prospect heading into 2015-16, meaning that he is unlikely to raise his status much. Given Ferrell's great play over the last few years, he appears to be a pretty safe bet to be drafted in the 2nd Round next year, but the margin for error is definitely small. He has to play well and perform well in the Draft process next year.
Solid Potential Selections
- #1. James Blackmon, Jr.
There's no doubt that Blackmon showed plenty of potential in 2014-15, but he also showed significant weaknesses, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Still, despite these concerns, Blackmon was a serious NBA Draft prospect this summer and had a good shot at being drafted if he had opted to declare. Of course, Blackmon decided to return to Bloomington and will now have to improve to build on his Draft stock. Blackmon certainly isn't a guarantee for 2016 or beyond, but he does appear to be in solid shape.
- #2. Thomas Bryant
There's no doubt that Bryant is young and still needs to develop, but there's also a reason he was rated as a 5-star recruit in the 2015 recruiting class. Bryant has exceptional talent and if he can progress while in Bloomington, he could really turn into a serious Draft prospect. His 6'10" size certainly is an asset and his body and athleticism should only add onto that bonus. Again, Bryant will need to improve, but the potential is certainly there.
- #1. Juwan Morgan
Coming into 2015-16, many have high hopes for Morgan, but admittedly, he is a large unknown. He has the size and skillset to compete on the wing and even upront at the college level, but he will have to show the ability to play consistently on the wing to be a serious NBA Draft prospect. Morgan deserves to be listed here, but until he shows fans something this season, he probably won't move much higher.
Overall, the Hoosiers have several prospects over the coming years that appear to be in good position to land in the NBA Draft and when you add potential commits in future recruiting class, Indiana should get back to hearing their players have their names called on Draft night again.