Top 5 Syracuse NBA Prospects
With basketball season right around the corner, let’s take a look at the top five NBA prospects on the Syracuse squad. The list ranks them as NBA prospects: not necessarily where they stand now, but how their game should transfer to the next level.
5. Brandon Triche
Triche could easily climb up this list by the end of the season. He has NBA size, can play both on and off the ball, and can score on all three levels (long range, mid-range, and at the hoop). Triche needs to be more aggressive and vocal this season. He can’t let his quiet and unassuming personality hold him back from taking over games. Sources close to the program are expecting a big year out of the senior guard.
4. C.J. Fair
Fair is in the midst of a tough transition from the high-post and baseline to the perimeter. He’s still working on getting to the hoop, but he has a great nose for the ball and is strong on the glass. Fair has the size, strength, and toughness to excel in the NBA as a ball-hawking perimeter defender. If he can extend his range on his jump shot, Fair will be an intriguing prospect for the NBA.
3. Michael Carter-Williams
Carter-Williams has scouts oozing. Chad Ford of ESPN’s NBA Draft coverage ranked him as the second-best shooting guard in college basketball. However, he’s not a shooting guard. MCW can score but sees himself as a point guard. He’ll play that position for SU this year. At 6’5″, Carter-Williams has great size for his position and does a great job getting to the hoop, but he must regain confidence in his jumper. Once he does that, he’ll be hard to stop. MCW has long arms, can penetrate, and has a high basketball IQ — three things valued by NBA scouts.
2. Rakeem Christmas
Christmas had an underwhelming freshman year but a great summer in the weight room during which he redefined his body. He is up to 240 lbs, and one source compared his new cut body to LeBron James. Christmas developed a post game during the break and is more comfortable in the low block. He might not put up the numbers of a first-round pick, but his combination of size and athleticism is a commodity. The only question for Christmas is his motor.
1. DaJuan Coleman
Since coming to campus, Coleman shed 25 lbs while maintaining his muscle. He has an NBA body, can score in the post off both shoulders, and cleans the glass. While many bigs today like to wander to the perimeter, Coleman does his main work in the paint, a valued skill-set at the next level. He has a good feel for the game and is developing a reliable mid-range jump shot. He isn’t a definite one-and-done candidate, but with a good season, a source told me he would head to the draft.