Separated by just a single vote in the race for pick #8, the unilateral decision has been made to award Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse, the eighth spot, followed immediately by C.J. McCollum, G, Lehigh, at number nine.
Carter-Williams represents a unique opportunity for whichever team drafts him. Standing almost 6'6" and boasting a big 41-inch vertical, Carter-Williams offers rare size and athleticism for a player who is considered a truly pure point guard. A situational breakdown of his performance last season shows him to be a top prospect in terms of passing, though his ability to find shots for teammates is betrayed by his own occasional carelessness with the ball. That ability is key to his success, since his own scoring numbers are quite poor--his jump shot is quite bad, and he's not as effective around the basket as some may think. Still, his size, skill as a playmaker, and big-time potential should he ever improve his jumper have some scouts viewing him as the top PG prospect in the draft.
McCollum, on the other hand, lands high on draft boards by virtue of his sensational scoring talents. A lights-out shooter in the mold of Stephen Curry, McCollum makes up for so-so playmaking (he doesn't pass much in the pick-and-roll) and "tweener-guard" size with sensational jump-shooting and solid skills in the half-court. Some of the percentages from last year are begging to regress, especially since they were racked up in just 12 games--a foot injury ended his senior season early. But the talent is obvious, and getting a highly-efficient scorer who can run an offense to some extent is just fine within the range he's projected to be drafted.
The Brew Hoop Big Board
1. Ben McLemore - SG, Kansas
2. Otto Porter - SF, Georgetown
3. Victor Oladipo - SG, Indiana
4. Trey Burke - PG, Michigan
5. Nerlens Noel - C, Kentucky
6. Anthony Bennett - PF, UNLV
7. Alex Len - C, Maryland
8. Michael Carter-Williams - PG, Syracuse
9. C.J. McCollum - G, Lehigh
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