Three players to keep an eye on in college basketball
College basketball is always worth watching, the level of talent that’s on display is utterly incredible. What makes it so impressive is the sheer number of players who end up being “one and done” and making the switch to the NBA.
We’ve looked at three players we think are likely to end up spending just a single year playing college ball before progressing up into the big leagues.
Read on to find out more about three up-and-coming college basketball players.
There is something quintessentially American about the name Chet but there is nothing ordinary about Chet Holmgren. He is part of a stacked roster at Gonzaga that makes them a candidate for one of the the best college basketball bets today if you want to lock in a sure win.
It’s safe to say that when March Madness rolls around, Holmgren will have a good chance of making their way to the finals. It’s something that many sportsbooks have been anticipating with Gonzaga looking as though they will be the favorites at some outlets.
In terms of what Holmgren has to offer, he is the standout player in an incredibly strong roster. Standing at an incredible 7 feet tall, he automatically holds everyones attention. Although his frame might not look as though he is suited for basketball, the moment the ball is thrown into play, Holmgren comes alive.
He can protect the rim like no-one else, in fact there are many that feel he’s ready to step into the NBA now and he doesn’t even need a year playing college ball. Holmgren is the kind of player that can block 3 pointers as they come in, his ability is without question.
You should watch Holmgren playing college ball while you can, because barring a huge shock taking place, he will almost certainly be drafted into the NBA next year. This is a kid that could go right to the very top. Before that though, he’s looking to take Gonzaga as far as he can.
Jabari Smith Jr.
This is a young player that has a pedigree within the game; he’s the son of an ex-pro and that means he instantly makes an impression. While his dad might not have made it to the pinnacle of the sport, Smith Jr. is certainly looking like a hot prospect. He’s playing for Auburn and he is hoping to have a strong year with a good showing during March Madness.
Obviously, there are never any guarantees when it comes to sports, but Jabari Smith Jr. has all the tools needed to surpass what his father achieved in the sport. To put it simply, Smith Jr is a player who can do it all. He’s big, standing at 6’10, he’s quick and he has a lot of ability with the ball. He can score from most positions, and he is able to defend to a high level.
Smith Jr isn’t just a player that looks as though he will be picked up in the draft, but he could potentially see a lot of minutes in his first season in the NBA. He has so much quality that it wouldn’t be going over the top to state that he is the kind of player you could build a franchise around. Look out for Smith Jr next year, he’s going to be a big name in the future.
At 6’11 and 250 pounds, there is no doubt about the fact that Memphis freshman Jalen Duren was built to play in the NBA. The other two players on this list will have to put on a little bit of muscle before they can show off their talents in the big leagues, Duren looks like he could play there today and wouldn’t be out of place or intimidated at all. In fact, he could well be dominating seasoned players by the time he makes it to the draft.
Duren is currently expected to be a top 5 pick in the 2022 draft, which is very impressive for a player with less than a month of college ball under his belt. He comes from being the top player in high school to the top player in college. Despite this there are a few things that he will need to work on before we could genuinely anticipate him dominating in the NBA.
Firstly, his mobility isn’t the greatest. This is something he will have to show signs of improvement in if he wants to be brought in as a top 5 pick. Secondly, he needs to show more drive when bursting forwards. He can sometimes appear a little sluggish when attacking spaces, which hinders his scoring ability somewhat. If he works on these two small areas, you can expect to see him grabbing a lot of minutes next year.