Draft Lead

Best Draft Prospects from the Maui Invitational

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The Maui Invitational offered great college competition, with three top ten teams in the field. In the end, an experienced and talented Gonzaga team beat the talented, but young Duke for their second Maui Championship. Let’s look at the best draft prospect from every team in the Maui field.

Duke: Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson is the name that everyone knows. The 275 pound, 6-foot-7 big man from South Carolina has been wowing us with his athletic feats for a few years. But Zion is more than just a dunker. At the tournament, Zion averaged 16 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 2.3 steals. His ability to stuff the stat sheet at an efficient rate is remarkable. If Williamson is able to keep up his efficiency as well as flash his freakish athleticism, it will be hard not to take him with the first pick.

Gonzaga: Rui Hachimura

The Japanese forward averaged 22.3 points and six rebounds per game in Maui. He’s been putting up big numbers against strong competition for awhile now, as he put up 24 points for the Japanese national team against an Australian team filled with NBA players. In the Invitational, Rui flashed an improved 3-point shot as well as a heightened feel for the game. He made the right reads on offense and he came up big in the end against Duke on defense, blocking R.J Barrett‘s potential game wining shot. Hachimura stepped up in the Maui Invitational, and is a surefire lottery pick in this year’s draft.

Auburn: Chuma Okeke

The Auburn sophomore did not have great games in Maui, but he’s still the best potential draft prospect for the Tigers. Chuma is 6-7, 235 pounds, and has a seven-foot wingspan. Okeke is in much better shape than last year and has flashed a much improved three-point shot. His potential as a stretch big is still intriguing, making him an interesting second round  prospect.

San Diego State: Jalen McDaniels

McDaniels is a 6-10 forward from Washington. He entered his name in the draft last year, but returned to San Diego State in order to raise his stock. McDaniels is an elite defender who also showed off his offensive ability this weekend. He had a career game against Xavier, going for 26 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks while shooting 3-5 from three and 64% from the field. McDaniels figures to be a late first round pick, but if he continues to improve his frame as well as three point shot, he could sneak up into the 17-20 range.

Arizona: Brandon Randolph

Brandon Randolph is a 6-6 guard from New York playing in his second season for the Wildcats. In Maui, Randolph put up 16 points and 3.6 rebounds on 52% shooting. In general, Randolph is a streaky shot maker who can put up points in bunches if he gets hot. His defense needs improvement as well as his playmaking, as he had zero assists in Maui. Randolph figures to be in college another year, but could see himself taken in the second round come June.

Iowa State: Talen Horton-Tucker

Iowa State’s most highly regarded draft prospect is injured guard Lindell Wigginton, but while he was out, Talen Horton-Tucker really showed out. His first two games were great, especially against Illinois where he put up 26 points (57% 3Pt), 14 rebounds, six assists, and three blocks. Horton-Tucker was able to show his versatility, both offensive and defensive. He figures to be a first round pick next year.

Illinois: Ayo Dosunmu

Dosunmu had a strong AAU career, and is viewed as a potential one-and-done. More likely, however, is that he will stay at Illinois for his sophomore year and emerge as a first round talent next year. Dosunmu put up 12.6 points and 2.6 assists per game, but did not do much to affect his draft stock either way.

Xavier: Paul Scruggs

A relatively weak Xavier squad doesn’t have much to choose from in regards to future NBA talent. Guard Paul Scruggs, however, might have the best chance to make it to the league. Scruggs posses favorable measurables, coming in at 6-3, 200 pounds. His overall skill level is a work in progress, but his physical profile might lend to him becoming a second round pick in the upcoming years, especially if he has the productivity to match.

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