Wednesday is the day some college players will officially make the leap from the college game to the pros. The NBA Draft is 7 p.m. (ET) tomorrow, Nov. 17.
On this episode of March Madness 365, Andy Katz and Chad "March Chadness" Aycock talk about some of the best former college players entering this year's draft. This edition of the pod also features a look at the ACC as ESPN's Seth Greenberg joins Katz to break it all down. North Carolina's Garrison Brooks and Virginia's Jay Huff talk about their upcoming seasons and Katz ranks the college careers of the past 10 overall No. 1 NBA Draft picks.
Here are some of the top college players heading into this year's NBA Draft, according to Katz:
Note: James Wiseman was not considered for this list because he only played three games for Memphis in 2019
10. Cole Anthony — North Carolina, Guard
Cole Anthony will be the second straight point guard out of North Carolina to get drafted, following Coby White last year. Katz thinks he will blend into the NBA culture because his dad Greg Anthony has been there before and will offer his son some guidance. Anthony was injured for a portion of the 2019-2020 season but he averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
9. Devin Vassell — Florida State, Guard
Devin Vassell is one of two Florida State Seminoles on this list and is the latest example of what is happening at Leonard Hamilton's program in Tallahassee. A three-star recruit out of high school, Hamilton took Vassell in as a project and is now a favorite to be a lottery pick in this year's draft. He was part of FSU's offensive and defensive backbone this year averaging 12.7 points and 1.4 steals per game.
8. Patrick Williams — Florida State, Forward
Unlike Vassell, Patrick Williams came into college as a five-star recruit and was expected to make the leap from college to the NBA after one year. The 6'8" wing-forward was just another piece to last year's well-rounded Florida State team. Williams averaged 9.2 points, four rebounds, a steal and a block a game in 22.5 minutes and helped the Noles win an ACC Championship.
7. Kira Lewis Jr. — Alabama, Guard
Kira Lewis Jr. is one of the youngest but most experienced players in this draft. He played two full seasons of college basketball before he turned 20. Katz thinks this experience will help him be a lottery pick and will be a key factor in his transition to the NBA. Lewis Jr. averaged 18.5 points 5.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Tide during his sophomore year.
6. Isaac Okoro — Auburn, Forward
Okoro can do a little bit of everything and has drawn comparisons to former Oklahoma State Cowboy Marcus Smart. He shot over 51 percent from the field his freshman year and averaged 12.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and about one block and one steal per game for Bruce Pearl's Auburn program.
5. Aaron Nesmith — Vanderbilt, Forward
Aaron Nesmith had a huge year his sophomore season for Vandy. He improved upon almost every stat from his freshman to sophomore campaign. Two that stand out are his points-per-game average from 11 to 23 and his steals per game from 0.7 to 1.4. Nesmith is known as the best shooter in the draft and could show Duncan Robinson or Tyler Herro-style flashes his rookie year.
4. Tyrese Haliburton — Iowa State, Guard
Katz sees how a player like Haliburton can contribute to the depth at point guard for almost any team in the NBA. Haliburton averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game his sophomore season while shooting more than 50 percent from the field and 42 percent from three.
3. Onyeka Okongwu – Southern Cal, Forward
Onyeka Okongwu finished first in the Pac-12 in field-goal percentage, had a top 10 efficiency rating and developed a love for the offensive rebound averaging 3.3 per game. Katz sees the lengthy forward as someone who has raw talent, could break out as a star and has a character that can hold a locker room together.
2. Obi Toppin — Dayton, Forward
Katz thinks Obi Toppin will be the best player to come out of this draft. He has two years of college experience under his belt and helped lead Dayton to what could've been a No. 1 seed if this past NCAA tournament played out. Toppin was easily one of the most electric players in the college game last season. The 2019-2020 Naismith Player of the Year averaged 20 points, 7.5 rebounds, one steal and 1.2 blocks per game for the Flyers during his sophomore campaign.
1. Anthony Edwards — Georgia, Guard
There is only one player who can be the No. 1 pick and Katz thinks it's going to be Edwards. Although Anthony Edwards wasn't on a team that could have competed for an SEC title or an NCAA tournament bid, he has the raw talent to make it in the NBA. The 6'5" guard averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.