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Draft Deeper's Top Risers and Fallers Part 1: Risers | The Morning Dunk
After some time to study the top NBA Draft prospects during the down period of the holiday season, our own Nathan Grubel returns to provide insight on who is rising and falling on his personal board.
I enjoy the holidays for a number of reasons.
Obviously, the family time, camaraderie, and special moments are all excellent reasons to look forward to the winter months.
I, on the other hand, enjoy the time away from my day job to focus in on some things that I may have overlooked from the first portion of the scouting cycle.
Were there any major matchups I missed live that I need to catch up on? Who are the names buzzing in draft circles that I need to get a better feel for? Are there any deep sleepers out there who should at least be moved further up my database to get a good look at soon?
In between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s a film grind for yours truly, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So I made it my mission, as I usually do, to leave no stone unturned (shoutout to you, Maxwell!) within my Top 100 and to further extend my reach to highlight some names I’ll be watching over the coming weeks to give a clearer picture into the depth of the class.
Well, that time has passed, which means it’s also a perfect opportunity to update my personal big board and evaluate: who are the top risers and fallers?
To be clear upfront, any rankings reflected in this piece come from MY board, NOT the No Ceilings Composite Big Board. These are all my views, notes, and opinions related to these players.
Let’s get into the good stuff and see who has made a noticeable impression since my second update of the year and who has the most work to do in order to get back up where they once were!
This week, we focus on Part 1 of my column: the biggest risers.
* All stats provided courtesy of Sports Reference and Synergy Sports, and are as of 1/7/23*
Jaylen Clark, UCLA
Previous Rank: 39
New Rank: 25
Over the last few weeks, the shooting numbers for Jaylen Clark have regressed closer to the mean. That, however, hasn’t stopped me from ranking Clark just at the tail end of my Top 25. And while these rankings on my personal board are ALWAYS subject to change as new information comes in, I still appreciate his 51.9% mark from the field overall.
What we’ve learned in some of these outings where he’s shot worse from the floor is that he’s not a volume offensive player in terms of getting his own shot. A team can’t always funnel 15-16 looks a night through him and expect him to always hit on half of them or more in self-creation. That’s not the type of scorer he is.
But Clark can provide timely shot-making and transition scoring when called upon in the rhythm of the game. Take the other night against USC, as he was given two chances to hit the dagger three to seal the game, and he nailed his second try from the top of the arc.
Clark has that competitive edge in him to want the ball in the biggest moments, and while he’s not a takeover isolation scorer, there are plenty of ways to get him looks when he’s off the ball. Flash him to the middle, and have him cut along the baseline. When he’s spotting up from the corners or the wings, he’s still holding onto a 34% mark from range. Give Clark chances to catch and shoot or drive, and he can make things happen offensively (91st percentile in total offense).
He plays with high energy, rebounds incredibly well for a guard (19.9% defensive rebounding), and has taken steps forward as a passer off a live dribble. No, he’s not going to always drop dimes over the course of the game, but he’s become a guy where the ball doesn’t stick in his hands. When he gets on the move and doesn’t have a clear lane to score, he’ll kick it out and keep it going, which is exactly what you want from a guard/wing in the NBA.
But you didn’t come here for me to write about Clark’s offense, did you?
Defensively, there may not be more than one or two guys better than him across the entire landscape of college basketball. I’d throw Cason Wallace in the conversation for sure, and there are some big men who do a tremendous job patrolling the paint for their respective clubs.
Clark isn’t ONLY your typical ball-stopping guard, though. As our own Albert Ghim wrote earlier for No Ceilings, he’s a ball-hawking safety who looks to read passing lanes and double opportunities for the chance to come up with the rock and get out in transition. After all, Clark is a lethal scorer on the break, and UCLA overall thrives when the action gets hectic.
In the clips below, you can see Clark taking on multiple defensive assignments while still positioning himself to make plays on the ball. Denying entry passes, looking for tipped balls, using his quick hands to poke the ball free in trap situations—he’s seemingly everywhere at the same time, and his lightning reflexes don’t let opposing players even get the ball in bounds when they should be able to for goodness sakes.
Few guards in the country have the type of reaction speed that Clark has on defense. Those types of instincts can’t be taught, which is why he’s a special prospect on that end. When it comes to guarding his man one-on-one, Clark shuffles his feet incredibly well, keeps his balance, and keeps low in a wide stance, making it difficult for guys to not only get around him but also to get the ball to where it needs to go. Clark keeps his head on a swivel, and he is aware of everything going on around him—even when he has on-ball duties.
Clark will never be the type of offensive player with a ceiling like some of the best two-way players in the league. That’s just not who he is, and we’re learning more of that by the game. But he’s still highly effective in the right role offensively while providing value defensively that few others can match in this class. That, to me, is worth a first-round pick.
Taylor Hendricks, UCF
Previous Rank: 57
New Rank: 27
When I was reviewing players to add to my preseason database, I noted Taylor Hendricks really because of his measurables. A 6’9” freshman forward usually has me intrigued to some degree, especially if they were an RSCI Top 50 ranked player.
Then I flipped on just a little bit of the high school stuff, and I raised an eyebrow. A stretch forward with his tools could certainly pop up in the draft conversation. However, I was a little skeptical and thought it better to tuck his name away for possibly next year’s draft.
Boy, was I freaking wrong.
Hendricks has been one of the better freshmen in this entire class, averaging basically 15 and 7 on 46.7/39.7/80.9 shooting splits. Oh, and he’s at nearly two blocks per game for UCF, acting as their rim protector defensively.
Whether he grows into the role of playing a small-ball 5 in the NBA as he continues to fill out and get stronger, or he’s a power forward who can cover ground and help from the weak side, there’s some really intriguing stuff here with Hendricks.
In the clips below, you can see how he approaches defending. Hendricks keeps his eye on the action at all times and has the awareness to shift, rotate, and recover, as well as the physical tools to wall off drivers or opposing big men. He impacts the game just by being a rim deterrent, and when he can help another center from the opposite side, it becomes difficult for others to even think about getting to the basket.
I’m not buying YET that I want him always switching and out on the perimeter defensively, but he does move his feet well enough for someone his size and seems to have good control over himself, AKA not racking up a ton of fouls getting too handsy against opposing players.
Overall, Hendricks ranks in the 78th percentile defensively; no matter how you want to chop up his role or positional classification, he’s been effective on a team that isn’t exactly busting the doors down to get ranked. Usually, defensive metrics are tricky to track because the performance of others on the floor technically affects those numbers. There’s only so much defense that can be tracked statistically when a player isn’t quite literally involved in the opposing outcome.
However, the fact that he still sits that high as a freshman forward speaks more to how well he personally has adjusted to college basketball.
Offensively, Hendricks is a spot-up scorer who wants to take that jumper as soon as he catches the ball. There have been a few instances where he’s flashed a little creation on the ball, but primarily he’s been a spot-up shooter, and take him out of that role, and the numbers don’t exactly trend in his favor.
The at-rim numbers are poor, and he’s not exactly a high-level driver or post-up player. His put-back numbers and overall rebounding impact could stand to improve, but at the end of the day, that’s just not who he is right now.
Hendricks isn’t a bully-ball type of forward, and that’s OK because of what he is providing. He is a player who provides real equity as a shooter (82nd percentile on all jumpers) and is a versatile defender. Those guys have proven to be worthy of first-round picks, which is why I’ve jumped the gun and thrust him onto that section of my board. As our own Stephen Gillaspie wrote for No Ceilings, he’s “made” for this and he’s got a little bit of that dawg in him!
Colby Jones, Xavier
Previous Rank: 38
New Rank: 30
Speaking of versatility, what more could you want from Colby Jones out of Xavier?
A 6’6” wing who can dribble, pass, shoot, and defend? How has he not been talked about more as a potential first round pick-up until recently? Well, judging by my prior ranking, I’m also guilty as charged.
But seriously, why has it taken until this past week to where I’m seeing him all of a sudden start to pop up in more mock drafts? Could it be they read this fantastic piece by our own Tyler Rucker outlining Jones’s awesome two-way impact?
On the year, Jones is averaging 14.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 5.6 APG. Those counting averages should demonstrate enough just how he can fill up the stat sheet in a hurry. But they don’t quite speak enough to the uniqueness of his game.
Going back and trying to find true statistical comparisons to Jones isn’t an easy feat. Take a look in BartTorvik’s database at anyone with a box plus-minus over 8.0, 61% true shooting, a 120 or above offensive rating, and an assist percentage greater than or equal to 28, and there are no easy wing comparisons to be had. This type of player really hasn’t existed before at his position.
That’s because he’s taken the leap he’s needed to as a shooter. He’s always been a pretty effective scorer inside the arc, but now hitting 45% of his threes has taken his offensive game a step further.
Defenses can’t sag off him anymore. They have to respect his jumper, and it’s opened up all sorts of driving lanes for Jones to either score at the rim or kick out to an open teammate. Look no further than Xavier’s recent upset win over UConn. Jones got in a rhythm of playing driving angles in relation to opposing defenders having to get up on him because he started canning the outside shots. The way he was able to get downhill in that game really opened my eyes to the fact that there could be more “upside” here than just as a connector piece.
Jones has emerged as a real leader of a team in his junior season. He can guard the other team’s best wing player, generate offense, keep the ball moving, and act as a legitimate catch-and-drive or spot-up threat.
To be completely honest, I may not have moved Jones far enough up. There’s just very little he can’t do on a basketball court, and teams LOVE that about guys who are 6’6” and above. It would not shock me at all to see Jones taken in the Top 20 on draft night, and that may end up being his next destination on my board.
Jordan Hawkins, UConn
Previous Rank: NR
New Rank: 33
The Jordan Hawkins buzz got me to really want to dive back into his tape, and I found myself having to correct for some oversight on my part.
When I was putting together my prior board, I was looking at all the different types of prospects who were still trying to find their footing. I’m usually not one to make any drastic moves on a big board this early in the year, as guys need time to build chemistry with their new teammates and adjust to the speed of a level-up.
So when I came across Hawkins’s name in my database, I thought that he would eventually be someone I would rank when we got a clearer picture as to how many other guys weren’t likely to declare for the draft. In other words, somewhat of an afterthought.
It wasn’t because I didn’t see value in Hawkins’s game. He’s been known as a spot-up shooting guard who can play some defense and add value in the backcourt. What I didn’t see enough of when I was ranking players was the shot-making off the dribble or the extra playmaking/ball-handling chops to make me want to take him over some guys at other positions.
In some of UConn’s early games that I caught, Hawkins was exclusively a catch-and-shoot threat from distance, and I wasn’t fully in love with what he brought defensively. I’m still not to an extent (though as the year has gone on he’s been a really tough backcourt playmaker on that end), but if all he’s doing is spotting up and he’s not providing enough value elsewhere and missing shots, why am I “prioritizing” him with a draft pick?
But to be frank, I underestimated the WHY behind his offensive role. The reason why he’s spotting up all the time is because he’s THAT DAMN GOOD AT IT!
As of the time of writing, Hawkins is at 39% from deep on 7.5 TRIPLES PER GAME! That’s a very high number, and the fact he’s on the doorstep of 40% on eight or more tries per game is astounding. That is the mark of an incredibly consistent shooter, something that an NBA offense can count on whether he’s a starter or not.
Now there’s still some concern, as he’s not a high-level passer or driving threat (only 42.9% on 2P looks). And his body type doesn’t seem like it’s going to fill out in a way where he can scale up a little defensively.
But NBA teams ALWAYS need more spacing on the roster. Whether it’s the fourth option or the ninth, Hawkins can find a way to stick in the league with that level of shooting. Based on his production, I have him in an early second round range which I’m comfortable with as of now.
Donovan Clingan, UConn
Previous Rank: NR
New Rank: 50
Another UConn Huskie has entered the fray, as I’m starting to really come around on Donovan Clingan as a prospect for this year’s draft.
Coming into the year, there were questions about Clingan as a prospect in general, not even for just this season. Yes, he was a dominant big man going back and reviewing the high school tape, but could he get into the type of shape necessary to play up levels in his professional career?
Clearly, there was an emphasis before his freshman year on conditioning. He’s listed at 7’2” and 265 pounds, but Clingan looks MUCH better on the floor than he did from a mobility standpoint.
And that’s really been the main push behind moving him onto my 2023 board. The way he’s able to run the floor now, roll off screens, and get into position to rim deter and block shots all looks legit.
He’s a classic drop big in the NBA, but in a way similar to Walker Kessler, good luck scoring over the 7’2” mountain who isn’t easy to move in the slightest.
Taking a look at how he blocks shots, speaking of Kessler, he operates in a very similar manner. Funneling drivers into his body, staying upward, and timing his blocks carefully allows him to get a swat on virtually everyone. I was very much on board with Kessler’s shot-blocking last draft cycle and talked about it a number of times. He just swallowed up drivers, and Clingan does a lot of the same.
Clingan’s defense is really a lot about him. If he remains disciplined, plays straight up, and avoids getting in foul trouble, it’s hard to attack the basket while he’s on the floor. It takes a real stretch matchup to pull him outside the paint, and not a ton of college teams are running the type of ball screen offenses or have that type of player to always limit Clingan’s strengths.
Teams are left with trying to attack Clingan at full force and get him to bite on fouls. If he’s playing the type of defense I’ve seen him exhibit in a few of the games I’ve watched, that strategy is easier said than done.
Sporting a near-34% defensive rebounding mark and a 14.7% block rate to go along with 75% shooting from the floor, it’s easy to see how Clingan’s two-way impact needs to be appreciated a little more in draft circles. After all, he ranks in the 97th percentile offensively and 89th defensively. There just aren’t too many more clear-cut statistical cases to make for a prospect with real size and positional value in the NBA.
Yes, I said “positional value” for a big man. Even though a number of evaluators have become fascinated with the idea of wings and shooting everywhere, size hasn’t become less important on the floor. Positional size has scaled up, but teams still need 7-foot plus players who can move, rebound, and challenge shots around the basket. If they bring their own level of touch, that’s a bonus. We haven’t seen that quite yet from Clingan, but he knocks everything else out of the park.
While not the super athlete at the center position, Clingan’s roll and lob potential, post-up game, and massive advantages on the glass and blocking shots all point to a legit prospect. He may not be done climbing up my board.
Eric Gaines, UAB
Previous Rank: NR
New Rank: 59
Two more newcomers onto my board to round out this rankings update, starting with the electrifying backcourt terror that is Eric Gaines.
Gaines caught my eye last year at LSU before ultimately transferring to UAB after some program fallout.
That decision seems to have helped his draft stock, as more scouts are talking about him, likely because he has more opportunities both with and without the ball in his hands.
While his free-throw shooting has taken a bit of a dip, he’s taking more shots per game and hitting at better rates inside the arc as well as outside of it, shooting better than 42% from deep.
I would love to see Gaines have a higher mark than his current near 44% mark from 2P territory, but at the end of the day, I’m talking about a late second-round pick at this point on my board. What he brings to the table offensively is outweighing the negatives at this point, which come up on the defensive side as well as the finishing.
His positives as a super bouncy lead guard who can make basic reads in pick-and-roll, pull-up from distance, and relocate and hit shots off the catch are intriguing enough to roll the dice on at this point on a board or possibly even a little higher.
He may never end up developing into a higher-level passer or fill out more of his frame to better withstand contact and finish more effectively around the basket. But there also aren’t too many guards with his combination of shake and speed on the perimeter. Gaines can set up jumpers with the best of them, and now that he’s knocking them in at an above-average clip, it’s getting a little easier to sell him as a guard an NBA team might want to have somewhere on the bench.
Cutting down on his turnovers, continuing to progress reading defenses out of pick-and-roll, and taking better angles to finish at the rim while also finding ways to get to the charity stripe more often would all be parts to his game I would like to see further work on. He’s a junior, so scouts won’t look at him the same way as far as letting him “off the hook” with certain faults as they would with a freshman who is perceived to have two additional years to better some of those types of negatives.
But in looking at a guard like Gaines, he’s coming off a bench to score and then leverage that scoring to make plays for others. If he can make the basic reads and find guys on the move, that could be enough for him in his role. And by the tape, he’s had some games throwing some pretty nice dimes to his teammates for open looks. So the ability is there, and despite him being a little older than some other guards, he’s still continuing to get better at his career progresses.
Even so, Gaines has some really fun film to evaluate offensively, and I wouldn’t be surprised if an NBA team ends up rolling the dice on one of the more athletic isolation options at the guard spot (79th percentile).
Olivier-Maxence Prosper, Marquette
Previous Rank: NR
New Rank: 60
Last but certainly not least (and possibly not done climbing), Olivier-Maxence Prosper was a name I found on a few preseason draft boards at major outlets and didn’t have a ton of knowledge on his game.
To be fair, I wasn’t watching a ton of Marquette last year prospect-wise as there wasn’t a lot of buzz. But not having much of an idea about a prospect preseason is not exactly the position I wanted to be in.
So I got an idea as to what his game was about, and what I wanted to see from him this year to rank him as a potential draft pick. I noted the size and length combination for a forward who clearly had some multi-positional traits by the tape, but I wasn’t in love with the lack of an average jumper. There were other tools to buy into, which still positively prop up his case, but in today’s NBA, jump shooting is such a major component of everything that happens on the floor.
I had some people in my ear though with the right words about what they’ve heard about his work ethic and that he was going to show real signs of improvement this season on the shooting front.
And what do you know, that’s exactly what Prosper has done.
Sitting at 36.2% from deep on 2.9 attempts per game, Prosper is showing legitimate outside touch that has helped to accentuate other parts of his offensive game. It’s opened up driving and passing lanes for him to operate in. Prosper was already capable of getting to the basket and finishing off a line drive. He has a fun little post-up game that he can go to, not to mention Prosper crashes the offensive glass and likes to rebound on both ends.
Those improvements from deep, along with 75% at the free throw line, and I’m buying into him as a real prospect. I’m not CATAPULTING him up my board just yet, but given how effective he already was as a finisher on 2P looks, and now he’s mixing in more of the perimeter game? Say less for me to lock in on you as a potential rotation guy in the NBA.
It’s safe to say Prosper, rating in the 97th percentile on offense and 72nd on defense, isn’t done rising up my board as we get closer to the draft. His ability to cover ground, rotate, keep with perimeter players, and also offer help defending around the basket couples well with his offensive attack at 6’8”.
I’ve been saying for a while in this column to pay attention to Marquette basketball this year. At this point, I’ll stop begging because hopefully you’ve at least become intrigued with what I’ve written here.
In-Person Scouting Notebook: Kris Murray (Rutgers vs. Iowa)
On Sunday, Corey Tulaba and I got to check out Kris Murray and the Iowa Hawkeyes up close against Rutgers in New Jersey.
As he and I have talked about numerous times, we love when we get to see prospects play at the “Trapezoid of Terror” because it’s a madhouse the whole time. There will be possessions where I can’t even hear myself think, let alone get a few words about a guy off to Corey and expect him to hear what I actually said.
So seeing Murray go up against a legit Big Ten defense was on my radar because of the type of buzz he both has and hasn’t generated this season.
Murray’s draft stock has not exploded in the way his brother Keegan’s did last year. Kris, if anything, is projected as a pick in the mid-to-late first round or lower, depending on the scout you talk to.
What Murray lacks in creativity, he makes up for in substance, and that point was as evident as ever against the Scarlet Knights.
In a 76-65 win for the Hawkeyes, Murray put up 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. He also canned 3-of-7 triples on his way to another efficient outing.
The game just kept coming so easy to Murray because all he really had to do outside of a few possessions where he handled on a drive or in transition was spot up and make a quick decision to either move the ball or shoot it, which he did the latter more often than not.
When Murray does decide to pull up, he’s as good of a wing shooter as any others in the country when he’s on. As of this point in the year, Murray is shooting 38.2% from deep on over six attempts per game. Overall, he’s putting up over 21 points a night to go along with 9.8 RPG. His efficiency ratings aren’t borderline historic like Keegan’s, but I’ll take a very projectable wing with size sporting a 29.5 PER as a potential first round pick.
While his game isn’t a carbon copy of Keegan’s, his approach is the same: do what must be done within the flow of the game, keep a head up and read the floor, and give the effort to position for timely rebounds and catch-and-shoot or drive opportunities.
Maybe that’s why Kris hasn’t been discussed in the mainstream enough. His game isn’t flashy; it’s about showing up to work and getting the damn job done.
Against Rutgers, he put himself in the right place at the right time. A projectable, repeatable stroke, defensive awareness, and appropriate ball movement helped him have a great outing this time, but those skills have been the story all season long.
NBA teams want 6’8” wings/forwards like Murray who play the game the right way, don’t hold onto the ball too long, and can let it fly and hit from deep on a number of different shot types: spot-up looks, offense out of the post, cuts, put-back opportunities. Per Synergy, Murray rates out as “Very Good-Excellent” on all of them, AND rates out in the 95th percentile offensively and the 94th percentile defensively.
Murray doesn’t gamble or make a ton of mistakes that lead to piles of turnovers or fouls. He’s measured, poised, and freaking good at what he does.
So expect Murray to be on every team’s radar, whether it’s known or not. After all, good players tend to get drafted high because, well, they’re good.
Games To Watch This Week
Tuesday 1/10, 7pm EST: Kentucky vs. South Carolina - GG Jackson will continue to be tested in the SEC, and Kentucky still has the defensive personnel to make his life incredibly difficult. Cason Wallace has been SCORCHING hot from three over his last few games, playing as one of the most efficient guards in the country. Not only has he played with poise and pace, but his tenacious point-of-attack defense and smooth touch have scouts pegging him as a guy with one of the safest floors in the 2023 draft class. And don’t forget about Oscar Tshiebwe and Jacob Toppin manning the frontline for the Wildcats.
Wednesday 1/11, 7pm EST: Marquette vs. UConn - A showdown of a number of prospects I considered sleepers a few months ago, but not so much now. UConn is loaded with top talent, as Jordan Hawkins, Andre Jackson, and Donovan Clingan have all soared up draft boards. Adama Sanogo is one of college basketball’s best centers, and Alex Karaban plays an interesting role as a stretch forward. But Marquette has talent of its own. Olivier-Maxence Prosper and Oso Ighodaro form a dangerously versatile frontcourt, and Kam Jones can fill it up from the outside. This should be an excellent Big East matchup.
Wednesday 1/11, 7pm EST: Arkansas vs. Alabama - While this game would’ve been even more exciting with Nick Smith Jr. and Trevon Brazile in the fold, it’s still a top-tier SEC clash. Brandon Miller has been arguably the best freshman in the country, with plenty of intriguing pro talent around him in Noah Clowney, Jaden Bradley, Rylan Griffen, and Charles Bediako. As for Arkansas, there’s still enough firepower to give teams a run for their money. Ricky Council IV has been a leading scorer for the squad, and Anthony Black and Jordan Walsh have plenty of upside of their own.
Wednessday 1/11, 9pm EST: Texas vs. TCU - After a masterful performance last week against Baylor, Mike Miles is looking to double down on his status as arguably the best guard in the Big 12. He could certainly hold a tighter grip on that debate, as Tyrese Hunter and Marcus Carr are a dangerous tandem in their own right. I’m still waiting for a true Dillon Mitchell breakout game, and this would be a good time for it, as the Horned Frogs don’t have anyone on their front line capable of checking Mitchell from an athleticism standpoint. If he’s active early, he could open up a bunch of opportunities for the guards.
Thursday 1/12, 7pm EST: Iowa vs. Michigan - Jett Howard has legitimate star potential as a wing in the NBA, so getting to see him take on test after test in the Big Ten is excellent for scouts and fans alike. On the other side, though, he has his work cut out for him against Kris Murray. Keegan’s brother has also been quite the effective combo forward, and he can score from the perimeter, the post, and everywhere else in between. Hunter Dickinson will obviously be a factor down low for the Wolverines, but keep an eye on a No Ceilings darling Kobe Bufkin. The 6’4” sophomore guard has shot the ball better than expected this season, and he has the playmaking chops and scoring potential to still break out onto draft boards everywhere.
Saturday 1/14, 12pm EST: Tennessee vs. Kentucky - This defensive showdown could get UGLY in a hurry, but that’s why we all love college hoops, right? So much veteran talent all over; it will take some real tough shot-makers to bring home the win. I’ve already touched on the Wildcats earlier, but Julian Phillips does deserve mention here to make this a game to watch for evaluators. The 6’8” freshman has plus athleticism himself, great length, and a competitive motor; he’s also improving his offensive repertoire by the game. Even when he’s not getting it going from deep, Phillips has a nifty pull-up game in the lane and can hit some floaters and push shots that suggest there’s more to unlock with his touch from further out.
Sunday 1/15, Time TBD: Rutgers vs. Ohio State - Rutgers has had a number of wins over top Big Ten programs, it’s as if every team that plays them should be on upset alert. That’s exactly where the Buckeyes are, as this could be an “L” for Ohio State when all is said and done. But there are a number of talented freshmen lacing up in this one who will fight to get the win for OSU. Brice Sensabaugh is one of the nation’s best scoring wings, Bruce Thornton and Felix Okpara have also stood out as guys who were ready to contribute sooner than expected, and don’t forget about experienced forward Justice Sueing who can get a bucket from anywhere on the floor. Cliff Omoruyi, Caleb McConnell, and Cam Spencer are the main names to track for the Scarlet Knights, but I also have my eye on 6’3” frosh Derek Simpson who could become a player down the road worthy of attention for the NBA.