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Sunday Prospect Watch

This is just a quick heads up about the NBA prospects to keep your eyes on during this afternoon's NCAA games.

Georgia State vs. University of Louisiana Lafayette for the Sun Belt title:

Small conference game with big-time prospects.

Georgia State features the #9 ranked prospect in my EWP model, R.J. Hunter.  Amazing sniper with a legitimate NBA 2-guards set of tools.  Hunter's top statistical comparisons include: Kentavious Caldwell Pope, Devin Harris, Gabe Pruitt and Kevin Martin.  He actually looks like a better prospect than any of these players did leaving college.

ULaL has two interesting prospects.  Elfrid Payton is the #10 ranked EWP prospect and a player I am convinced will become a serious NBA player.  His top statistical comps are: Derrick Anderson, John Wall, Derrick Rose, Anthony Peeler, and Jarrett Jack.  ULaL also has big-man Shawn Long who is ranked #38 in EWP and draws comparisons to: Lonny Baxter, Larry Sanders, Rony Seikaly, LaSalle Thompson, and Kyle O'Quinn.

Duke vs. Virginia for the ACC title:

Jabari Parker, #4 ranked EWP is the obvious prospect in this game.  His top comparisons are:  Keith Van Horn, Troy Murphy, Lawrence Roberts, Terrence Jones, and Nick Fazekas... not the sexiest grouping, but I still think he looks like a strong prospect.  Rodney Hood and Rasheed Sulaimon are also considered prospects by many, but I really doubt either will have an impact in the NBA.  Interestingly they both draw former Wolves as their top comparsisons, Doug West for Hood and Malcolm Lee for Sulaimon.

Saint Joseph's vs. VCU for the A10 title:

VCU's point-guard Briante Weber carries a freakish steal rate and looks like a very attractive prospect (#13 EWP rank).  His comparisons include: Charlie Ward, Anthony Goldwire, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, and Jay Humphries.  Juvonte Reddic may also be a decent 2nd round prospect, but he hasn't had a good year.

Kentucky vs. Florida for the SEC title:

Kentucky is deep with heavily overrated prospects, including the Harrison twins, James Young, and Julius Randle.  The Harrisons have nothing going for them outside of high-school hype.  Aaron comps to Austin Rivers, and Andrew comps to Dahntay Jones.  James Young is a "sniper" who is shooting 34% from range and 67% from the line.  Austin Rivers is also his top comparison!  Randle is ranked #28 in EWP and compares to a list of disappointing players:  Mike Brown, J.J. Hickson, Derrick Williams, Charlie Villanueva, and Drew Gooden.

There is one prospect on Kentucky who I really like however.  Willie Cauley-Stein has some big holes in his game, but he is very good at the core center skills which translate nicely between leagues.  Willie is ranked #6 in EWP and draws statistical comparisons to:  Jarvis Varnado, Duane Causwell, Emeka Okafor, Patrick Ewing, and Steven Adams.

Florida is a great team, but they don't have any great prospects.  Hill and Prather are worth keeping an eye on however.

Michigan vs. Michigan State for the Big 10 title

Gary Harris is the top prospect in this game, ranked #24 in EWP with comparisons to:  Voshon Lenard, Gabe Pruitt, Aaron McKie, Rashad McCants, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Right behind him at #26 is teammate Branden Dawson who compares to:  Nick Anderson, Trevor Booker, Andre Roberson, Darrin Hancock, and Latrell Sprewell.  People seem to like Adreian Payne, but I don't really see why.

Without Mitch McGary, the top prospect for Michigan is Nik Stauskas, who looked good early in the season, but has seen his projections drop steadily.  He is now rated as the #48 prospect by EWP.  His comps are: Casey Jacobsen, Tony Snell, Jared Dudley, Trajan Langdon, and Jason Kapono.