10 College Players Who Could Start In The NBA Tomorrow

03.04.14 4 years ago
Gary Harris

Gary Harris (Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports)

March here and as much as we love the madness, it means that we will no longer be able to see some of these stars play at the college level again. This year’s freshmen class has brought us some incredible moments already and it will be remembered for years to come. This year’s draft class has big time potential. A lot of players coming out can be dominant NBA players and future NBA stars.

Below are ten college basketball players that will succeed in the NBA in the future.

Honorable Mention:
Doug McDermott
Marcus Paige
Dante Exum
Dario Saric
Glenn Robinson III

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10. Nik Stauskas
G, Michigan
The Michigan shooting guard has been the center point for the Wolverines this season and is a big reason why they sit atop the Big Ten. Stauskas is just so versatile on offense and can fill it up at will. He is 6-6, very good size for the shooting guard position and has good leaping ability. He isn’t the greatest athlete in the world but he knows how to get his shot off. Stauskas is an excellent shooter, averaging 17.1 points a game this season for Michigan. He shoots 48.1 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three-point range. He also is a fantastic free throw shooter.

He doesn’t have great athletic ability and definitely will need to add size to play in the NBA. He reminds me a little bit of J.J. Redick. Once Redick realized he needed to become a better defender, he became an impact player in Orlando. Stauskas will have to pick up his game on the defensive end if he wants to have an immediate impact. If he can do that, with his ability to shoot the ball, he will earn a starting spot right away in the NBA. Players who can spread the floor because they are so dangerous from behind the arc are very valuable in the NBA. Stauskas has good handles and will need to improve them a little more in order to be able to create his own shot at the next level. But if you can knock down shots, there will always be a spot on an NBA roster for you.

9. Gary Harris
G, Michigan State
The Michigan State guard is a solid prospect but is a little undersized for a shooting guard heading into the NBA. Harris is a strong, physical guard that can get to the basket and finish around the rim. Harris definitely improved his game off the dribble this year after lacking that in his arsenal last year when the Spartans slipped up in the Elite Eight. He is a very good athlete and handles the ball very well.

What I like about Harris is he is always in attack mode. He is a little bit of a streaky shooter but can light it up at times. He averages 17.9 points per game for the Spartans but only shoots 42 percent from the field. Harris is also shooting 34.7 percent from three this year, after shooting over 40 percent last year. I don’t think that will cause his to drop in the draft, but he will need to improve other parts of his game in the NBA. Harris isn’t much more than a scorer but I think he’ll be a reliable option in the league. A little bit of an improvement on defense and Harris will instantly find himself in a starting role.

8. Tyler Ennis
G, Syracuse
Tyler Ennis has been huge in big moments this year and is a main reason Syracuse got off to its best start in school history (25-0). He hit a miraculous buzzer-beater to escape an upset bid from Pittsburgh on the road, and had nine assists and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line in their win verse Duke. Ennis is averaging 12.1 points and 5.5 assists a game, along with 2.0 steals in his freshman season for the Orange.

Ennis definitely has proven he has top ten talents this year and has the type of game that can transition over into the NBA. Ennis has great vision for a point guard and is a great passer in space. He’s very quick when handling the ball and is great at driving and finding the right pass to make. Ennis has been great at Syracuse this year, recording a 3.3 assist-to-turnover ratio.

As good a drive-and-kick player as he is, he’s also a solid shooter. He isn’t great, shooting 36.5 percent from long range and 41.2 percent from the field, but he has only taken 279 shots, which is fourth highest among starters. One knock I hear on Ennis is that he isn’t a great athlete but Ennis is very young. He is only 19 years old and at 6-2 and 180 pounds, he can build onto his frame. If Ennis can improve his jump shot and get a little bit stronger, I think he can come in and start for an NBA team.

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