If there is anything that stands out this year in college basketball, it's the small school players who will have an impact on the 2010 NBA draft. Overall, this year's draft class does not appear to be that deep or that talented, and judging from the mocks draft around web, including NBAdraft.net and yours truly here at TDR, it seems this year's class has at least five to ten players projected who wouldn't see the light of day in a normal, stronger year.
Or is this year's small school class exceptional? Afterall, we're not just talking about one standout, like a Lester Hudson, but at least five thus far who have been visited by NBA scouts.
Top Small School Prospects
- Keith Benson - Oakland - C
- Charles Garcia - Seattle -SF/PF
- Artsiom Parakhouski - Radford - C
- Edwin Ubiles - Siena - SG
- Kevin Palmer - Texas A&M Corpus Christi - SG
Parahouski (left) & Benson (right) NBA prospects look bright.
Gauging these players from a historical draft perspective, Benson has the potential to go as high as another small school product, Jeff Foster, who was drafted 21st overall out of Southwest Texas State (now known as Texas State) in the 1999 NBA draft. As for Parakhouski, I feel Dan McClintock, drafted 53rd overall out of Northern Iowa in the 2000 NBA draft, is a good representation. In the case of Parakhouski I wouldn't be shocked if he goes in the early part of the draft.
Rounding out the remaining Top 5 are perimeter players, with the exception of Charles Garcia who is at the college level a combo forward. To put it mildly Garcia is enjoying the newly reintroduced Division I program. University of Seattle has a very rich basketball history and is no stranger to the NBA draft, boasting six former players drafted in the first and second rounds. Yet the hype on Garcia has been tremendous and, in my opinion, bit too exuberant.
It's not to say this hype is faithless. There is definitely some girth to the press Garcia has received, but a top twenty draft pick? I don't know about that. From a historical perspective Garcia reminds me of Jerome Beasley, who was drafted 33rd overall out of North Dakota in the 2003 NBA draft.
Rounding out the bottom are Edwin Ubiles of Siena and Kevin Palmer of Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Both players must continue to build on their senior seasons and have a good showing at the Portsmouth Invitational tournament, but this is not a knock on either player. More than ever, draft night of 2010 will be greatly impacted by what goes on at the pre-draft camps.