Category Archives: 2022

Notre Dame WBB continues to roll…but tests are coming

The early portion of the Notre Dame’s women basketball season has been all about fine-tuning things for a challenging December schedule.

Over the next two weeks, they face national power UConn and the 14th-ranked Maryland Terrapins. UConn shooting guard Azzi Fudd, the number one recruit in the class of 2021, averaged 30 points per game through the season’s first three contests. The Huskies have five players averaging in double figures.

None are as dangerous as Fudd, however, who has developed a lethal ability to stop her dribble and pull up in the mid-range game. Her quick release means defenders have to close out in a hurry when she shoots from beyond the arc. Fudd sees the floor well and finds her teammates with bounce or chest passes in transition. Her euro step going left is complemented by an ability to finish with her left hand going to the cup.

The Huskies will use high post back screens to free Fudd up cutting to the hoop (2nd QTR/3:17, Texas ’22). She finishes well near the rim.

Her quick hands make her a viable defender as well (2nd QTR/1:10, Texas ’22) and she’s averaged nearly three steals per game through the team’s first three contests.

But it is her three-point shooting prowess that Notre Dame has to contain. She will most likely be the best guard they’ve faced since 2021-22 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year (media) -Cal’s Jayda Curry- put up 24 points on them in a 90-79 victory earlier this month. In that contest, Curry hit on 44-percent of her nine three-point attempts and the Golden Bears knocked down 41-percent of their 22 three-point attempts.

Maryland is led by first-team All-Big Ten guard Diamond Miller. Miller, a former New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year, actually committed to Maryland despite interest from Notre Dame during the recruiting process. Miller was also one of the nation’s top recruits back in 2019.

She runs the floor in transition, attacks defenders going to her right or left and finishes with strength around the basket. In addition, she is a factor cutting to the basket in the team’s half-court sets. Miller was named the Big Ten’s Player of the Week after scoring 32 points and putting up 10 rebounds versus Baylor on November 20th. Miller is shooting a career-high 40-percent from beyond the arc. It has been a bounce-back year for Miller thus far.

Before they get to either of those battles, the Fighting Irish have a tall task with Arizona State (4-0) this Saturday.

Notre Dame allows opponents to hit just 34-percent of their field goals through four games. Their guards rebound the ball extremely well and have for the past two seasons. Maddy Westbeld leads the team with two blocked shots per game and 6-foot-1 sophomore guard Sonia Citron -the 2022 ACC Freshman of the Year- leads the team with nearly eight rebounds per game.

Notre Dame forward Maddy Westbeld's activity complements fellow guards Dana Mabrey and Olivia Miles
Notre Dame forward Maddy Westbeld (No. 21 pictured), a 2021 first-team All-ACC selection and ACC Freshman of the Year, has averaged nearly 13 points and seven rebounds (6.8) per game in her career.

On the offensive boards, they are led by former Longhorn center Lauren Ebo. The former Penn State Nittany Lion started 30 games for Texas in 2021-22 and scored in double figures 13 times. Against California earlier this season, she posted eight points, three offensive rebounds and made all six of her free throw attempts before fouling out. She had five turnovers in the contest.

Olivia Miles shooting a free throw versus California in 2022
Notre Dame guard Olivia Miles excels on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. She averaged nearly four steals per game (3.5) through the team’s first five contests.

The Fighting Irish have a backcourt that complements each other well. First-team All-ACC guard Olivia Miles is a slasher who is still trying to gain a level of consistency shooting from beyond the arc. She runs the floor well, finds teammates with vision and wrecks havoc defensively. Through five games, Miles -the team’s leading scorer- was averaging three-and-a-half steals per contest. Turnovers have been an issue for Miles, as she averages less than a 2-to-1 (1.88:1) turnover-to-assist ratio.

If you’re looking for an equalizer, it would have to be Notre Dame point guard Dara Mabrey. She is savvy, competitive and never afraid to take the big shot. The former Virginia Tech Hokie is a 39.5-percent career three-point shooter and ranks as nearly automatic from the free throw line (84-percent career). Turnovers have also been an issue at times for Mabrey.

Notre Dame HC Niele Ivey giving a hand to 2021 ACC Freshman of the Year Maddy Westbeld
Notre Dame head coach Niele Ivey stood out as a player at Notre Dame, assistant coach and led the Fighting Irish to the Sweet 16 in just her second season as head coach.

Head coach Niele Ivey is beginning to put her stamp on the program after following legendary head coach Muffet McGraw. The team’s combination of young talented players like Westbeld (2021 ACC Freshman of the Year), Miles and Citron complement a tough mix of veteran transfers in Ebo, Mabrey and Kylee Watson (Oregon). Could the recipe take the Fighting Irish from last year’s Sweet 16 appearance to a Final Four appearance in 2023?

The upcoming tests this month could provide some clarity.

Sources: https://und.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/ND-Stats-11.27.pdf; https://umterps.com/sports/womens-basketball/stats/2021-22; https://uconnhuskies.com/sports/womens-basketball/stats/2022-23

Collins’ vision and calm stand out

St. Louis Billikens point guard Yuri Collins -the nation’s assist leader through five games- has improved his assist-to-turnover ration in his third year on campus. His best performance came against Memphis earlier this month, when he produced 22 points and nine assists in the team’s home upset of the Tigers.

He has been nearly automatic from the stripe (81-percent), but has surprisingly taken a step back shooting from long range (27-percent). Collins, a first-team All-Atlantic-10 performer in 2021-22, led the NCAA in assists per game as a sophomore (https://www.ncaa.com/stats/basketball-men/d1/current/individual/605).

So how does he get it done?

Generally, it starts with allowing the game to come to him. Rarely out of control on the floor, he changes speeds as a ball handler to draw defenders. In many of these instances, Collins already has an outlet in mind.

His entry passes (particularly bounce passes) are accurate and offer his low post options to catch the ball in rhythm on the way up to the cup.

People are beginning to take notice of his multi-faceted skill-set, but none one is more grateful his own head coach, former Kentucky point guard Travis Ford to have him back in the mix.

“(It was) an incredible phone call. It was a great feeling,” Ford said about talking to Collins after he had made the decision to return. “We talked, and when I hung up there was a celebration in the office, no question. We’re so excited that he’s going to be running our team, as he should be.” (https://www.ksdk.com/article/sports/college/slu/slu-point-guard-yuri-collins-returns/63-244b5ce3-5937-4aa5-8690-9352cad281e9).

Many remember Ford from his time at Kentucky as a starting point guard in the early 1990s after transferring from Missouri. At the time, he set a single-season record for three-point field goals at Kentucky on his way to All-SEC honors.

As for Collins, he can be posted up by taller personnel on the low block (see McCadden, 1st half, Memphis ’22) if caught with an unfavorable switch during half court possessions.

Yuri Collins PG-St. Louis shooting a free throw vs. Memphis
St. Louis point guard Yuri Collins is currently hitting 81% of his free throws in 2022-23.

The 6-foot frame could become a problem for him defensively in certain matchups, although he does compete favorably on that end of the floor.

His range does not allow him to shoot with a quick trigger release, so the team often sets ball screens for him to attempt some of those shots from the wing (2nd half, left wing, Memphis ’22).

The postseason will be huge for the senior point guard if he decides to enter the NBA Draft. If he can prove capable of hitting consistently from outside to extend defenses, then his NBA prospects would increase three-fold.

If not, then he may be regulated to playing overseas, but the floor general plays with a calm that definitely creates some future possibilities.

In fact, he went through the NBA evaluation process a year ago before deciding to come back for the 2022-23 campaign.

Bates progresses…but how much?

Early against Michigan on November 11th, former Memphis and current Eastern Michigan star guard Emoni Bates worked without the ball. On one out of bounds play in particular, he re-set and hit a jumper from the corner. His long range stroke has continued to improve or at least remain intact.

Bates is more of a quick than high-riser. This aids above average foot speed in the open floor (1st Half/17:42, UM ’22). That burst actually enabled him to finish a follow dunk in the lane (1st Half/6:48, UM ’22) and cut to the basket (one-hand dunk) in the second half. His overall width can make up for any deficiencies in terms of true bounce.

Dating back to his prep level playing days, the range has always gone well beyond the arc. He hit a 25-footer from the wing against Michigan.

During the first half of this contest, Bates actually was part of an Eastern Michigan squad that led the 22nd-ranked Wolverines at one point. There were fallaway jumpers off one foot, step back three-pointers from 28 feet and drives to the basket through contact.

A strong suit in his game revolves around handle. It is more reminiscent of a 6-foot-1 guard than 6-foot-10 wing player.

Emoni Bates dribbling the ball during the 2021 Nike EBYL
Months after starring in the 2021 Nike EBYL, Bates reclassified to the 2021 recruiting cycle before enrolling at Memphis.

There have been more stretches this season where Bates has played within the scope of the offense. It is important to remember that he skipped his senior year of high school. The inaugural season at Memphis basically represented his senior year after re-classifying to the 2021 recruiting cycle.

After a tumultuous 2022 offseason that featured a number of off the court headlines, Bates has settled down.

Playing with one of his old teammates from the Bates Fundamentals AAU squad could be part of the positive acclimation to the MAC.

Orlando Lovejoy -a 6-foot-2 freshman guard- is currently averaging nearly nine points per game for the team.

But starting a season fast isn’t anything new for Bates. As a freshman at Memphis in 2021-22, he began the year by making 50-percent of his first 18 three-point attempts (three games).

And the rest of the season?

Bates connected on just 27.5-percent of the remaining 58 three-point attempts.

He was marginally effective as a free throw shooter, did not distribute the ball efficiently and turned the ball over too often in his minutes on the floor. Increasingly, he relied on low percentage shots.

In the four games since the breakout Michigan performance, some of those trends have reappeared. The three-point shooting has not slowed down at all, as Bates continues to connect at nearly a 45-percent clip. Prior to his collegiate years, Bates was at least a competent distributor. Increasingly, the Eagles (1-5) use him as both an on or off the ball performer.

Emoni Bates G-Bates Fundamentals
Eastern Michigan small forward Emoni Bates has connected on 44-percent of his three-point field goals through the team’s first five games in 2022-23.

The results have not always yielded succinct ball distribution.

In fact, he has a nearly a one-to-three turnover-to-assist ratio (1:2.8) through five games.

The most notable regression has been the shots inside of the three-point stripe. If you strip away the nine two-point field goals against Michigan, Bates has hit just 30.4-percent of the two-point field goal attempts in his last four games.

Defensively, he continues to be a work in progress. Getting stronger will be a key for Bates as he transitions to the next level. Injuries were a major part of the inconsistent freshman season at Memphis.

Overall, the first five games of the year for Bates has shown notable strides, but there is still work to be done.

But the most important part of the progress may very well be defined by how those around him have accepted him.

“He wanted to come here because he felt at home, he felt comfortable, he felt connected to his teammates,” Eastern Michigan head coach Stan Heath said. “All those things matter. Fit matters. When players choose schools, they should go where they fit.

“He fits here and he feels real comfortable.” (https://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/college/2022/11/12/he-fits-here-comfortable-back-home-emoni-bates-puts-on-a-show-at-lca/69640228007/)

2022 NBA Draft Recap: Picks 1-58

Round 1 TeamPosition/School‘Nasty’ Take:
1. Paolo BancheroOrlando MagicPF-DukeBanchero’s skill at opening the floor for others and his frame suggest he’ll more than an able complement for current Magic youngsters Wendell Carter and Franz Wagner. The team has a young stable that could take incremental steps with his addition to the lineup.
2. Chet HolmgrenOklahoma City ThunderSF-GonzagaA player capable of defending multiple positions with a 7’6” wingspan, Holmgren can extend the floor with range. In addition, his confidence is on
another level.
3. Jabari SmithHouston RocketsPF-AuburnHis father played in the NBA for a brief period and Smith can stroke the ball from beyond the arc. As he continues to grow into his frame, he will be a tough matchup when defenses switch on
to him with smaller personnel.
4. Keegan MurraySacramento KingsSF-IowaA ready-made NBA prospect with scoring tools and a disciplined approach, Murray was one of the NCAA’s most consistent players this past season.
5. Jaden IveyDetroit PistonsSG-PurdueHis mother coached Ja Morant and currently coaches at Purdue (women’s head basketball coach). Ivey’s floor speed is in the same area code. Along with the skill to play off the ball, he can also give Cade Cunningham more opportunities to play off the ball.
The Pistons are slowly building a winner in Motown.
6. Benedict MathurinIndiana PacersSG/SF-ArizonaThe Pac-12 Player of the Year can speak multiple languages and win cutting to the basket. His leaping
ability makes him a versatile wing who
7. Shaedon SharpePortland TrailblazersSG-KentuckyThe former No. 1 recruit in the ESPN100
reclassified after averaging nearly 23 points per game in the 2021 Nike EBYL circuit. He didn’t play at Kentucky while redshirting. Sharpe contains nearly a 7-foot wingspan and opens up the floor along while slashing effortlessly. He just never played in college.
8. Dyson DanielsNew Orleans PelicansSG/SF-NBA G
League Ignite
He played with Josh Giddey before making making the G League his home. Daniels averaged 12 points per game and led the NBA G League Ignite in assists, but the rebounding may have been just as impressive. He finishes with a smooth approach but his defense is why he went in the Top 10. He is the third first round pick from the NBA G League Ignite, following Jalen Green and 2022 NBA Champion Jonathan Kuminga.
9. Jeremy SochanSan Antonio SpursSF/PF-BaylorThe 2021-22 Big 12’s Sixth Man of the Year averaged over six rebounds per game and the ninth overall pick also put up over nine points per game. Just the second Baylor freshman selected, the former Bear was long on the defensive end. He can even handle the ball and run an offense as a point forward if needed.
10. Johnny DavisWashington WizardsG-WisconsinHe didn’t come out of high school as a five-star recruit, but the 2021-22 Big Ten Player of the Year averaged nearly 20 points per game and eight rebounds this past season. His frame allowed him to win down on the block or when slashing to the basket with quick pull-up jumpers.
The long range shooting can stand to improve as he moves forward.
11. Ousmane DiengNew York Knicks (Traded to Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for multiple first round picks)F-France (Insep Academy)The team needed a playmaking guard but they settled for another three-and-D prospect. He played for the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian NBL and averaged nearly nine points per game against older personnel. Over the second half of the season, he put up nine double digit games
12. Jalen WilliamsOklahoma City ThunderG-Santa ClaraWilliams shot over 50-percent from the field and became the first Santa Clara selection in the first round since 1996. He routinely excels in the screen game and his length becomes an additional advantage when working through traffic.
13. Jalen DurenCharlotte Hornets (pick made for Detroit Pistons) The Pistons sent their 2025 first found pick (picked up from Portland in the Jerami Grant trade) to Charlotte for the rights Duren. Art VellumC-MemphisDuren came into college with an NBA-ready frame and 7’5” wingspan. This despite reclassifying along the way. His game came along this past season as the year went along, posting four double-doubles in his last seven games.
The All-AAC Tournament performer earned 1st Team All-AAC honors and was named the AAC Freshman of the Year.
14. Ochai AgbajiCleveland CavaliersG-KansasBoth of his parents played at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and he finished this past year as the NCAA’s Final Four Most Outstanding Player. The former Jayhawk improved three percentage points every single season from beyond the arc. It resulted in him becoming the final lottery selection of the 2022 NBA Draft.
15. Mark WilliamsCharlotte HornetsC-DukeIt is all about shot blocking for the Williams family, as his sister, Elizabeth, plays for the Washington Mystics. His 9’9” standing reach resulted in nearly three blocks per game in 2021-22. Williams rebounds on the offensive end and shot both over 70-percent from the field and from the free throw line. Not bad for a 7-foot-2, 242- pounder.
16. AJ GriffinAtlanta HawksF-DukeGriffin averaged nearly 11 points per game this past season after initially being a five-star prospect. He exhibited accuracy from beyond the arc and his 27-point performance against North Carolina was arguably the best
game of his career.
17. Tari EasonHouston RocketsSF-LSU, CincinnatiThe SEC’s Sixth Man of the Year averaged nearly 17 points per game in 2021-22. His 7-
foot-1-inch wingspan was particularly useful on the defensive end, as he averaged nearly two steals per game. The former Bearcat got the most out of his 24 minutes per game.
18. Dalen TerryChicago BullsG-ArizonaThe 2021-22 All-
Pac-12 defender contributes in a number of ways and becomes the Wildcats second first round pick for the fifth time in the modern draft era.
19. Jake LaRaviaMinnesota Timberwolves (draft rights traded to Memphis Grizzlies)F-Wake Forest, Indiana StateThe former Indiana State transfer works well without the ball and can fill it up from beyond the three-point stripe. The second-team All-ACC forward’s versatility
extends to the defensive end.
20. Malaki BranhamSan Antonio SpursG-Ohio StateThe St. Vincent St. Mary’s product put up over 20 points per game late in the year over his last 10 games and shot nearly 60-percent from the field.
21. Christian BraunDenver NuggetsSG-KansasBraun was one of the key cogs in Kansas’ national championship run, but it came as little surprise to those that have followed his journey since his days playing for Mokan Elite AAU (Kansas). He will only have to hit
I-70-West to continue to play with the swag that made him a factor in Lawrence.
22. Walker KesslerMemphis Grizzlies (picked for Minnesota Timberwolves)C-AuburnKessler was one of the SEC’s best shot blockers for much of 2021-22 and his offensive game continues to develop nicely. He averaged 6.5
blocks per 36 minutes and finished with 155 blocks on his way to 2022 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year honors.
23. David RoddyPhiladelphia 76ers (for Memphis Grizzlies) after trading for DeAnthony MeltonPF-Colorado StateAt 261 pounds, Roddy has the bulk to make up for just a 6-foot-6-inch frame. The MWC Player of the Year can stroke it for a big man who reminds many of an NFL defensive end. He can put it on the floor, post up or
shoot it from beyond the arc.
24. MarJon BeauchampMilwaukee BucksG-NBA G League IgniteHe finished with three high-caliber games and averaged nearly 16 points and over six rebounds per game in the NBA G League. He played at three different high schools and went to a fourth high school in Arizona before ending up at Yakima Valley Community College. Then he signed on with the NBA’s G-League after being homeless for awhile. Big story for a player with big upside.
25. Blake WesleySan Antonio SpursG-Notre DameHis deep shooting prowess has been inconsistent, but the movement is in place to be a productive slasher and open floor
specialist.
26. Wendell Moore, Jr.Dallas MavericksSG-DukeMoore averaged 13.4 points per game and was a productive player in a number of manners for the Blue Devils. An excellent passer, Moore scores in transition and can win as a spot-up shooter. Solid
defender with positive size.
27. Nikola JovicMiami HeatSF-Mega MozartAfter moving to Serbia from England, Jovic put up nearly 12 points per game with Mega Mozzart in the Adriatic League a year ago. His eight-inch growth
spurt may have him prevented the former water polo star from staying in the sport, but he shot 36-percent from beyond the arc at the FIBA
U-19 just a year ago.
28. Patrick Baldwin, Jr.Golden State WarriorsSF-Wisconsin- MiwaukeeBaldwin’s load of talent never fully materialized despite playing with his father, but he was one of the top prospects coming out in the 2021 class. Can he ever develop into the prospect that he was supposed to represent at the next level? A subpar athletic showing at the NBA Combine left more questions than answers.
29. TyTyWashingtonMemphis Grizzlies (Proposed trade to Houston Rockets)SG-KentuckyWashington’s first-step quickness is supplemented as a streaky shooter with open court ability. The 14th-ranked prospect in the 2021 ESPN100 class, and he was named a second-team All-SEC selection as a freshman this past season. The 6-foot-4 guard shot high percentages in the mid-range game but was highly up-and-down for stages. His assist-to-turnover ratio, however, led the SEC.
30. Peyton WatsonOklahoma City Thunder (acquired from Denver Nuggets)G/SF-UCLAThe 6-foot-8 forward has plenty of length and a sneaky glide on the floor. He has upside as a defender. Will he ever become a knock down shooter at the next level? The final pick of the first round averaged
three points per game in 2021-22.
Round 2
31. Andrew NembhardIndiana PacersG-Florida, GonzagaThe Ontario native can run the floor and shows excellent vision in the open court. He anticipates potential screens and finds players in transition as a floor general. There was a chance he could have been selected a couple of picks earlier.
32. Caleb HoustonOrlando MagicSF-MichiganThe second of back-to-back- Ontario native selections, his shooting skills are the positive in his game. Does the first step translate to the next level and -if not- is there enough to win on
the defensive end?
33. Christian KolokoToronto RaptorsSF-ArizonaThe Cameroon native became the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Year after averaging nearly three blocks per game this past season. He guards multiple positions and should be able to slide in effortlessly within the team’s rotation as a rookie, mainly due to his skill at switching on the defensive end.
34. Jaylin WilliamsOklahoma City ThunderPF-ArkansasNot many players bring the type of size, timing and bulk to the defensive end that Williams does on a consistent basis.
His tenacity is supplemented by a 9’1” standing reach. Williams has shown good shooting form despite inconsistent results from the perimeter.
35. Max ChristieLA LakersPF-Michigan StateThe school’s first McDonald’s All-American since Jaren Jackson, Christie has the potential to get better as a shooter, but his upside makes this a value pick for the future. Perhaps he finds his way into the rotation as a surprise contributor
in Year 1.
36. Gabriele ProcidaPortland Trailblazers (picking for Detroit Pistons)SF-ItalyAt 6-foot-8, 190 pounds, Procida shows plenty of open court ability and gives the team a versatile player worth developing for a couple of more years overseas. This is a second-round pick that could pay dividends years down the road.
37. Jaden HardySacramento KingsG-NBA G League IgniteWill teams eventually regret passing on a player who was once ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the 2021 ESPN100?
This past season, he averaged 21.8 points per game in 2021-22 for the NBA G League Ignite. The fact that he didn’t score in an efficient manner hurt his standing, but he was worthy of a first-round pick.
38. Kennedy ChandlerSan Antonio Spurs (drafted for Memphis Grizzlies)G-TennesseeThere aren’t many players with more quickness, foot speed and overall elusiveness than Chandler. He picks up the pace whenever he’s on the floor and does so on both ends of the floor.
39. Khalifa DiopCleveland CavaliersC-SenegalHe has more than just an NBA body, it also translates to timing on the defensive end.
Diop’s NBA frame makes him more than capable of making an impact early in his career, but will he even be available in 2022-23?
40. Bryce McGowensMinnesota TimberwolvesG-NebraskaThe 6-foot-6-inch guard earned third-team All-Big Ten honors and scored in a number of ways for the Cornhuskers.
Once he gets to the foul line, he was nearly automatic. He is the second consecutive Cornhusker to get drafted in back-to-back seasons.
41. EJ LiddellNew Orleans PelicansPF-Ohio StateThere is an element of aggression that comes with the 2021-22 3rd Team All-American. With a 7-foot wingspan, Liddell offers a bigger frame than his 6-foot-7-inch frame would suggest. Liddell improved markedly from behind the arc in his third season on campus, shooting 37.4% from three-point range.
42. Trevor KeelsNew York KnicksSG-DukeKeels didn’t necessarily build on his hot start, which included a 25-point debut against Kentucky. The biggest improvements have to start at the free throw line and beyond the arc, but he’s a strong guard with an NBA body. His physicality translates to the NBA game.
43. Moussa DiabateLos Angeles ClippersSF-MichiganDiabate runs the floor and was one of the better athletes in this year’s class. At the NBA Combine, Diabate posted a 2.9-second NBA shuttle, which ranked as one of the Top 5 times at the event. A possible rim runner with shot blocking upside, the former Wolverine could become a keeper in LA.
44. Ryan RollinsAtlanta HawksSG-ToledoRollins averaged nearly 19 points per game in 2021-22 and earned 1st Team All-MAC honors. He put up 35 points vs.
Coastal Carolina in late November and that was one of 18 20-point games this past season. The long range shooting is still developing, but he is nearly automatic from the free throw line (80%).
45. Josh MinottCharlotte HornetsPF-MemphisThe 2022 All-AAC
Freshman fouled out of two of his first three games, but settled down to average six points per game with just over four rebounds per game. Can the range develop at the next level for the 6-foot-8 forward? If not, the ability to follow shots and become an energy player must be his forte’.
46. Ishmael KamagateDetroit Pistons (traded toC-FranceIn the French LNB, he averaged over six rebounds per game and may make his hay a couple of years from now. The former soccer player made a name for himself following at the rim. At 6-foot-11, 227 pounds, his body still has even more room to fill out.
47. Vince WilliamsMemphis GrizzliesSF-VCUA left-handed shooter who can block shots (32 in 2021-22), Williams also averaged nearly two steals per game this past season. Over the last two seasons, he shot 40-percent from beyond the
arc.
48. Kendall BrownMinnesota TimberwolvesPF-BaylorThe 6-foot-7-inch freshman flashes shooting into passing lanes and runs the floor with ease. Blessed with a 41-inch max vertical jump, Brown has an opportunity to develop over the course of the next few seasons.
49. Isaiah MobleyCleveland CavaliersPF-USCMobley follows his brother, Evan, to Cleveland and
-after averaging over 14 points in 2021-22- was
selected in the second round. The rebounding and passing skills complement scoring capability.
50. Matteo SpagnoloMinnesota TimberwolvesPG-ItalySpagnolo shot 44- percent from three-point range and excels as a pick-and-roll artist. The ball handling skills are in place and his age (19) ranks as a factor down the road. He went on to play at Vanoli Cremona after leaving Red Madrid B, and his efficiency improved despite playing less minutes per game.
51. Tyrese MartinGolden State Warriors (for Atlanta Hawks)SG-UConn, Rhode IslandThe 6-foot-6 guard shot 43% from three-point range this past season and averaged almost 14 points per game. Prior to arriving at UConn, Martin started 49 games for the Rams. The former Pennsylvania high school standout continued to get better.
52. Karlo MatkovicNew Orleans PelicansC-SerbiaYet another prospect from the Mega Mozzart (Serbia) squad, Matkovic averaged nearly 12 points per game. At 6-foot-11, he possesses impressive hand-eye coordination
and flexibility.
53. JD DavidsonBoston CelticsPG-AlabamaIf Davidson can improve his outside shooting then the athleticism (37” max vertical jump) could begin to fully be activated. In 2021-22, Davidson started just six games, but was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team after leading
the team in assists.
54. Yannick NzosaWashington WizardsC-CongoThis is a player who hasn’t played much in terms of extended minutes. At Liga ACB, he was a shot blocker but lost some of his thunder this past season due to a lower body injury.
As a result, his NBA Draft stock fell during the course of the year.
55. Gui SantosGolden State WarriorsSF-BrazilSantos has a 7-foot wingspan and both of his parents played basketball. Santos entered the 2021 NBA Draft, and was also a member of the Brazilian senior national team during that same year. He’s not at all adverse to handling the ball in transition.
56. Luke TraversCleveland CavaliersSF-AustraliaHe only averaged seven points per game this season, but Travers has experience at both small and power forward.
Getting stronger has been a focus and he may be a year or two away from starting his NBA journey.
57. Jabari WalkerPortland TrailblazersSF-ColoradoThe first-team All-Pac-12 player comes from NBA bloodlines (Samaki Walker) and led the conference in rebounding this past season. Walker also shot the ball better than expected from beyond the arc.
58. Hugo BessonIndiana PacersPG-FranceAt 180 pounds, Besson still needs to add weight but his vision is above average. The French native has a number of coaches and players in his family. He nearly entered the 2021 NBA Draft but decided to play with
the New Zealand Breakers.

Draft Night trades/transactions/notes:

•   Oklahoma City Thunder has gathered up to 27 first round picks through the next five years. 
•   The Oklahoma City Thunder traded the draft rights of Ousmane Dieng (11th overall pick) to the New York Knicks for multiple future first round picks. 
•   The Minnesota Timberwolves traded the draft rights of Jake LaRavis (19th overall pick) and a future second-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for the 22nd and 29th overall picks in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft.  
•   Philadelphia 76ers traded the 23rd overall pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for the rights to DeAnthony Melton.  
•   The Charlotte Hornets trade the 13th overall pick (Jalen Duren) to the New York Knicks for a future first round pick and four conditional second round picks. 
•   The Philadelphia 76ers traded the draft rights to the No. 23 selection in the 2022 NBA Draft (David Roddy) and Danny Green in exchange for De'Anthony Melton in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. 
•   The Houston Rockets receive the 2022 1st Round pick (29th overall via Minnesota) and also Boban Marjanovic, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss and Sterling Brown
•   The Dallas Mavericks receive Christian Wood and the Timberwolves receive the draft rights to the 26th overall pick, Wendell Moore, Jr. 
•   On June 14, Oklahoma City received JaMychal Green and a 2027 1st round pick from Denver Nuggets for the draft rights to 2022 1st round pick (30th overall) Peyton Watson and two future second-round picks.  
•   On Wednesday, June 22, the Portland Trail Blazers received Detroit Pistons F Jerami Grant and a 2022 2nd round pick (46th overall) in exchange for a 2022 second round pick (36th overall), a 2025 first-round pick via Milwaukee (Top 4 protected), two future second-round picks and they freed up $43 million in cap space.  

UPDATE: On July 1, 2022, the Minnesota Timberwolves traded Kessler, Patrick Beverly, Leandro Bolmaro, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik BeasleyIn to the Utah Jazz along with four first round picks between 2023 and 2029 for Jazz center Rudy Gobert.