HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
Tyler Dorsey – SG
As a freshman, Tyler Dorsey (pictured) scored 13.4 PPG on 57% true shooting, helping Oregon earn a surprise #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. The previous summer, Dorsey dazzled at the FIBA U-19 World Championships where he posted averages of 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 1.3 turnovers in under 26 minutes per game. This impressive resume is reflected in Dorsey’s DMX, which places him in the top-25 returning NCAA prospects, but is not shared by the scouting consensus.
Dorsey was left out of Upside and Motor’s terrific “Sophomore Crush” series, which highlighted ten of the best second-year players. Even more egregious is DraftExpress, which ranks Dorsey as the 34th best NCAA sophomore. Though small for a two guard, Dorsey has the requisite ball handling and three-point shooting ability (41.8% in NCAA/FIBA) to potentially play the point next to someone like Draymond Green or Ben Simmons.
Kentrell Barkley – SF
SCHOOL: Eastern Carolina
My favorite long shot prospect is Kentrell Barkley, a lefty forward with swaying dreadlocks and arms that hang by his kneecaps. Barkley posted intriguing all-around numbers as a 19-year-old freshman in a half-decent conference. A list of statistical comparisons (among drafted players) going back to 2002 includes John Salmons, Andre Iguodala, Matt Barnes, and Solomon Hill.
Jeremy Morgan – SG
SCHOOL: Northern Iowa
Jeremy Morgan made national highlights when he poured in 36 points in Nothern Iowa’s stunning loss to Texas A&M in the NCAA tournament.
Morgan, whose 3.9 DMX currently puts him at 42nd overall in the 2017 draft, could be poised for a breakout senior year after playing the last two seasons in the shadow of mid-major stars Seth Tuttle and Wes Washpun.
Doral Moore – C
SCHOOL: Wake Forest
Doral Moore played just 213 minutes as a freshman, posting dominant Per 40 numbers of 20.5 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 4.3 blocks. He is likely a small sample size fluke, but I am also open to the possibility that he’s sort of a beast. I assume Moore will see a much larger role as a sophomore, so we should find out quickly if he regresses or is worth taking seriously.
Tra-Deon Hollins – PG
Another way to trick DMX besides being 7’1” and playing 200 minutes of garbage time is to have an exorbitant steals rate. As I’ve likely mentioned before, steals are a good indicator for basketball prospects because they reflect athleticism and awareness while also generally being good plays. As a first-year junior at UNO, Tra-Deon Hollins collected 4.4 steals per 40 minutes, this in addition to 5.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists. A little research also shows that Tra-Deon led Division II in steals as a freshman in 2013-14.
The only precedent I can think of for such a prolific ball hawk is Briante Weber, who for four years was the face of Shaka Smart’s “Havoc” full-court press. Weber’s absurd 4.9 steals per 40 minutes earned him a 6.1 DMX, which is lottery pick level. Outliers happen and Briante Weber clearly was not lottery material, but it’s worth noting that he appeared for Memphis last season as an undrafted rookie and caught on with Miami after a stellar summer league. In all, it was probably a small mistake that he went undrafted, and maybe one day we’ll say the same about Tra-Deon Hollins.