Biggie is off to Portland. But that doesn’t mean we are out of draft prospects on this basketball team. This Senior lead team next year is going to be really good. Just take the wait and see approach.
But, who will be drafted next. In my opinion, we have some NBA Guys on this roster. I will list the seniors, as it is their last year, and maybe a couple of under classmen that could go if they have a big year.
Vincent Edwards - Senior, 6’8”, 225 Pounds, Forward
NBC Sports has already made a mock draft. They list him at #26. I could see him getting drafted near the same position of Swanigan, maybe a little bit earlier, maybe a little bit later. He is our most versatile player, as he can play the 3 or the 4. If he gets quicker, he could even play the 2 in the NBA. I do believe Vincent will be the leader of our team next year, get us back to at least the Sweet 16. I don’t think averaging 18 ppg, 8 rpg and 3 apg is out of the question for him.
Projection: Late First Round - Middle Second Round
Isaac Haas - Senior, 7’2”, 285 Pounds, Center
20 years ago, Isaac is a lottery pick. But, in the day of spread the floor and everyone can shoot, he more than likely will go undrafted. That is sad to say, as he is a guy that is so efficient in the paint. He will more than likely be our 2nd leading scorer and will dominate the paint. For the first time in his career, there is no AJ Hammons or Caleb Swanigan, the paint is his and only his. He will dominate it. He has to play around 25 Minutes per game for his efficiency to be great for a chance to be drafted. He has taken to Biggie’s stairmaster for conditioning.
Projection: Middle Second Round - Undrafted, NBA Summer League, Play somewhere overseas.
P.J. Thompson - Senior, 5’10”, 185 Pounds, Point Guard
P.J. is perfect for us. Plays defense and doesn’t turn the ball over. But he is not an NBA caliber athlete. I love him. But, the NBA is not on the horizon. He will be great at whatever he chooses to do after basketball is over. Could he be the next graduate assistant coach for CMP?
Projection: Undrafted - Maybe play overseas.
Dakota Mathias - Senior, 6’4”, 200 Pounds, Shooting Guard
Dakota can flat out shoot. 3 & D in the NBA is at a premium right now. Could he slip in late second possibly. But he lacks the elite athleticism that people still want. Someone in a post about him a few months ago compared him to JJ Reddick. No, JJ was insanely great in college. If his scoring increases, maybe compare him to Kyle Korver when he was at Creighton, but Korver is still a better shooter. If he blows up and shoots around 48% from 3, maybe someone takes a late flier.
Projection: Late second - NBA Summer League, plays overseas, makes a ton of money.
Carsen Edwards - Sophomore , 5’11”, 190 Pounds, Point Guard
Now we are getting interested. Carsen was just named one of the best U-19 players in the world. The exposure from the U-19 World Games and the World University Game will show how great he is. As a freshman he averaged over 10 points per game. Who is to say he isn’t the one to explode and make that jump like Biggie did. Carsen can get his shot whenever he wants. He will go down as one of the great scorers in Purdue History. I want him to explode, but I want him all 4 years.
Projection: Comes back for at least his Junior Season.
Nojel Eastern - Freshman, 6’6”, 225 Pounds, Combo Guard
NBA loves their big combo guards. See, any guard drafted in round 1 yesterday. Nojel is big and strong. He has a great passing ability for his size too. What he lacks right now is quickness, but it will come during his time at Purdue. He will get loads of playing time, if he has a year that propels him to the NBA, then we are in great shape during March. My guess, he is a 4 year guy, which is the guys we really love in West Lafayette. We don’t pride ourselves on 1 and done.
Projection: Comes back, Carsen and Nojel destroy people in 2018-2019.
We want to wish Biggie the best of luck in Portland! We have some future guys that are not far off from fulfilling their dreams to reach the professional level of basketball soon as well. I am excited for this upcoming year in basketball!