Here is a quick look at the top NBA prospects from the ACC.
With one month of the college season in the books, it is time to start looking ahead to the NBA draft. I will be taking a conference-by-conference look at the top prospects in college basketball.
The rankings will be updated throughout the season.
1. Harrison Barnes, G/F, North Carolina (6-7, 215) Fr.
The first-ever true freshman preseason All-American was widely regarded as the best player in his class. Through the first seven games of his collegiate career, Barnes is averaging 11.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 2.0 apg. Against the better competition (losses to Minnesota, Vanderbilt and Illinois) so far, however, Barnes scored a total of 25 points including an 0-for-12 against the Gophers. Barnes is listed by many as the top player in the entire draft — he is an explosive, long, atheltic player who can do everything, has great fundamentals and is a quality member of his community.
2. Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke (6-2, 180) Fr.
If you didn't like this young floor leader before the Michigan State game on Wednesday night, you do now. Irving went off for 31 pts, six boards, four assists, a pair of steals and blocks with only three turnovers in the win over the Spartans. Irving has stepped onto the defending national champion and become the trigger man in only seven games. He is shooting 52.2% from the floor (16.9 ppg) and has a solid 2.3 assist-turnover ratio thus far.
3. Mason Plumlee, F, Duke (6-10, 230) So.
This monster showed flashes of brilliance in the tourney last year and has proven to his supporters early on that he is ready to take the next step. He averaged only 3.7 ppg and 3.1 rpg in only 14 mpg as a freshman last year. In 26.6 mpg this year, the younger Plumlee brother is averaging 10.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2 bpg, 1.3 spg and 1.3 apg. He has three double-doubles already and has a rare combination of size and athleticism.
4. Chris Singleton, F, Florida State (6-9, 227) Jr.
The hard-working, defensive dynamo has been all over the floor early on this season. Sure, his 14.7 ppg, 9.4 rpg and 1.9 apg are nice, but his peripheral numbers are unreal. Singleton is averaging 2.9 blocks and 3.4 steals per game. He posted a triple-double earlier this year against UNC-Greensboro — with steals, not assists, finishing with the nasty line: 22-11-6-10-4.
5. Kyle Singler, F, Duke (6-8, 230) Sr.
The Final Four MOP can do pretty much everything on the court. He can shoot from outside, slash to the hoop, hit the glass, is a leader off the court, can distribute the ball and is a champion. Singler has averaged at least 16-7-2 two years in a row, and with the additions of Irving and Seth Curry, will probably find it difficult to top that line. Still, through seven games, Singler has improved his shooting from the floor (41 to 43%) and the line (79 to 92%) and he isn't turning the ball over as much (2.0 to 1.5).
6. John Henson, F, North Carolina (6-10, 190) So.
Block party master has loads of skill but needs to add power/weight to his wirey frame.
7. Nolan Smith, G, Duke (6-2, 185) Sr.
A bit undersized for the 2, but his quickness, effort and defense will keep him on an NBA roster.
8. Xavier Gibson, F/C, Florida State (6-11, 240) Jr.
There are few players with his size and athleticism and he is an excellent shot blocker.
9. C.J. Leslie, G/F, NC State (6-7, 210) Fr.
Looked terrible against Wisconsin, has made bad decisions with the ball thus far.
10. Malcolm Delaney, G, Virginia Tech (6-3, 190) Sr.
Excellent scorer — both shooting and slashing to the bucket — needs to add strength and consistency.
Other names to watch:
Tyler Zeller, F/C, North Carolina
Durand Scott, G, Miami
Iman Shumpert, G, Georgia Tech
Reggie Bullock, G/F, North Carolina
Seth Curry, G, Duke