Every season around this time of the year following the Final Four, there’s the cutting of the nets, the hoisting of the national championship & most outstanding players trophy, and lastly the verbal commitments of youth announcing what program they’ll play for next season (recruiting).
Yet still, the madness has yet to cease. Why you ask? The one critical process to officially conclude the 2015 college basketball season: The 2015 NBA Draft. 60 players’ dreams will come true and turn reality on Thursday, June 25th in New York. On the flip side of things, there will also be some that won’t be so lucky to hear their name being called (as there always is) but will likely receive a tryout for an NBA organization. The makeup includes 30 selections in the first round in which will receive guaranteed money contracts and 30 in the second.READ MORE: Supply Chain Issues: 'There Really Are Problems Everywhere,' Even For Small Companies
The first 14 names mentioned are considered lottery selections. As poor judgement/advice is often times the leading cause for many early entries to declare who are clearly unprepared for play at the next level, there are also those that are considered ‘steals’ entering the event where young men are instantly entering a league (with the big boys) but before doing so… hugging their loved ones, wiping mama’s tears, putting on their respective team hats and approach the stage for a handshake with Commishioner Adam Silver just before the snapping of the pictures and a brief interview. Here is Tate’s Take on the top 5 ‘steals’ entering the 2015 NBA Draft:
*D’Angelo Russell – Ohio State – Point Guard – Freshman
Tate’s Take: Throughout this particular article, I will make some OUTRAGEOUS predictions, projections, and comparisons (as I do on the regular). Whom else better to start off with here than the most fearless, explosive, determined player in college basketball this past season (with Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell coming in close 2nd)? Does his jersey number look familiar? It should because we’ve seen a similar mold of such before, and recently may I add. A REAL Russell Westbrook clone. U HEARD IT HERE 1st!!!
*Justise Winslow – Duke – Shooting Guard – Freshman
Tate’s Take: So much hype surrounding fellow freshmen and future round 1 selections Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, Winslow flew under the radar for much of the season. Collegiate hoopheads saw early on that Winslow would be a star in the making, whereas the casual campus basketball fan (who I despise holding out to watch until March), seemed alarmed to see what Justise is capable of. If you think Rodney Hood impressed last season, wait until you see the most confident role player in the country on the next level.
*Myles Turner – Texas – Power Forward – Freshman
Tate’s Take: Longevity? Check. Turner played each and every single game this season for the Longhorns (34). Production? Check. Playing barely over a half of a game each contest, Turner averaged 10+ppg, 6.5rpg, and 2bpg on a guard-oriented team while shooting over 45% from the field and more than 83% from the charity stripe. Think Kevin Durant size, with a little less than LaMarcus Aldridge talent although a higher potential ceiling than Tristan Thompson. Do you see the connection? Yep…all former Texas standout that contribute at the next level.
*RJ Hunter – Georgia State – Shooting Guard – Junior
*Tate’s Take: Raise your hand if you knew the name before the Panthers’ second round win of the NCAA Tournament over Baylor… (not everyone rush to raise their hands at once… just as I thought) and sadly as many of you still may have no clue, yes, he’s the kid that scored the go-ahead 3-point basket from nearly half court which ultimately made his pops fall out of his seat after tearing an achillies the week prior. What an amazing Cinderella story that will go down in college basketball history as one of the greatest. Now the heart-felt story that touched sports die-hards around the nation is over and Hunter is back to business with a chip on his shoulder to win over NBA GM’s. Scorers (especially shooters) can always find a home for a lengthy time in it in this league just as RJ plans to do. This is not your ordinary/typical ‘Coach’s Son’, comparison’s from JJ Redick, Reggie Miller, and Evan Fournier as a hybrid. He’s also not bad at pop-a-shot as I took a peep at his skills, followed by a little trash talk during an event at the Final Four.
*Devin Booker – Kentucky – Shooting Guard – Freshman
Tate’s Take: If it’s not Karl Anthony Towns, then it’s Willie Cauley-Stein or the Harrison twins but don’t be the least bit surprised if or when ‘Book’ results in becoming the best pro prospect of all of Kentucky’s 7 that declared to forgo their collegiate eligibility and test NBA waters. The best pure shooter and consistent guy on the roster’s back court. Careful saggin’ off of this silent killer and play too close up and he’ll penetrate around you like a drive-thru. Not a bad perimeter defender either. Remember Klay Thompson at Wazzu?