If you’re as big of a basketball fan as me, sometimes you like to mix your Big Ten viewership with a little bit of NBA action. From NBA veterans to rookies, it’s always fun to see former Big Ten players succeed at the next level.
For this week’s roundup let’s take a look at the top Big Ten NBA prospects according to DraftExpress. This week’s post features OG Anunoby and Miles Bridges, two players who could end up guarding each other in this weekend’s Michigan State-Indiana matchup.
OG Anunoby (Indiana):
OG Anunoby has continued to progress as an NBA prospect after his impressive postseason run last year. Draftexpress has Anunoby ranked as the 9th best prospect for this year’s NBA draft. In his second collegiate season Anunoby has improved on the offensive end, averaging 11.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. One of the reasons why Anunoby’s offensive numbers have gone up is because his offensive feel has continued to grow this season. He knows when to attack and when to move the ball, and he almost never tries to do too much.
Even with offensive numbers spike, Anunoby still struggles to create his own shot — something he struggled with during his freshmen year. His best move is still attacking closeouts, showing off his excellent first step. It’s not only his first step that intrigues NBA scouts, it’s Anunoby’s body control when slicing through defensive traffic and his ability to rise up and throw down spectacular dunks. Those athletic intangibles, along with his defensive ability, give Anunoby a real chance to become a desired prospect in this year’s NBA draft.
Miles Bridges (Michigan State):
With the latest update to DraftExpress coming this week, Miles Bridges is now ranked as the 12th best prospect for this year’s NBA draft. When Bridges has been healthy, he’s put together plenty of YouTube highlights so far this season. Many of Bridges’ highlights are produced when he is at his best running north-south through the lane, allowing him to show off his athletic gifts. Bridges’ ability to play above the rim, along with his power/strength, will be the reason why he’s selected in the first-round of this year’s NBA draft.
But there are still questions regarding what type of player Bridges will be in the NBA. How much of a factor will he be in the NBA half-court setting with a streaky jump shot? So far this season Bridges is shooting 41 percent from the 3-point line. If that number holds up, his stock will continue to hold. There is some concern, his shot still produces some ugly misses. Also, his poor free throw percentage (62%), suggests that his shot might not be reliable enough at the NBA level. A legitimate perimeter shot added to his game would open up more possibilities for Bridges to succeed at the next level.
Check in next week for more Big Ten updates from the professional leagues.