Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kentucky Freshmen Booker, Lyles Now Among 5 Projected First-Round Picks From Undefeated Wildcats; Arizona’s Stanley Johnson Continues to Climb
Kentucky freshmen Devin Booker and Trey Lyles continue to climb up the 2015 NBA Mock Draft, according to DraftExpress.com, the most well-respected mock draft in the business.
The 6-foot-5 Booker moved to No. 14 from No. 20, while the 6-10 Lyles was moved to the No. 25 spot in 2015 after previously appearing in the 2016 Mock.
Kentucky freshman Karl-Anthony Towns remained at No. 3 behind Jahlil Okafor and Emmanuel Mudiay, while junior big man Willie Cauley-Stein is No. 6 and sophomore center Dakari Johnson is No. 30.
That puts five players from top-ranked and unbeaten Kentucky (19-0) in the first round of the draft, with two more in the second round: Andrew Harrison at No 47 and Aaron Harrison at No. 51.
As we previously reported here, several NBA personnel told SNY.tv that the Harrisons should consider staying on campus another year because their draft stock continues to fall behind that of Booker and teammate Tyler Ulis.
Also, if Booker heads to the NBA after this season, it has implications for Kentucky’s roster going forward, as we wrote here.
As of now, Kentucky has only Isaiah Briscoe and Charles Matthews signed in the backcourt for next season, but they remain in the mix for Malik Newman.
The 6-3 Briscoe is projected as the No. 10 pick in the 2016 Draft, while the 6-4 Newman is No. 6.
Meantime, Arizona freshman wing Stanley Johnson continues to ascend up the draft board and is now at No. 5 after being No. 7.
The top five picks on the DraftExpress board are all freshmen — Okafor, Mudiay, Towns, Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell and Stanley Johnson — and seven of the Top 10 if you include No. 8 Kelly Oubre of Kansas and No. 9 Kevon Looney of UCLA.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.