Ethan Happ is a 6’10” senior big for the Wisconsin Badgers. Happ tested the 2018 NBA Draft waters and, despite not receiving an NBA Draft Combine invite, had the opportunity to work out for a handful of teams and receive candid feedback from scouts and executives. Happ, a Third-Team All-American as a junior, ultimately returned to Madison for his senior season, and has taken his game to another level. Happ is neck-and-neck with Zion Williamson atop KenPom’s Player of the Year formula, and is on pace to become the only player since 1992-93 to average 10+ rebounds and 5+ assists over the course of a full season. Despite his three-point and free throw shooting woes, Happ is one of the more unique prospects in recent memory, and the intricacies of his unconventional game warrant a close look from NBA talent evaluators.
Cassius Winston is a 6’1” junior lead guard for the 18-3 Michigan State Spartans. The Detroit native is one of the most effective facilitators in the country, and his cerebral leadership presence gives his Spartans a chance to make a deep NCAA Tournament run. Winston, an elite handler, shooter, and passer, boasts some of the most refined ball skills among draft-eligible lead guard prospects. He checks the majority of positional skill set boxes, and has proven to be an incredibly efficient offensive weapon. Winston may not have the prototypical frame, quick-twitch athleticism, explosiveness, positional length, or functional strength that NBA scouts and front office decision-makers seek in a modern age lead guard, but his polished combination of offensive skill, craft, instincts, feel, decision-making, and IQ is undeniable. Though having generally been tabbed as a four-year college player, continued individual production and team success, in conjunction with how the composition of this year’s draft class shakes out, could propel Winston into the 2019 NBA draft conversation.
We sat down with R-Jay Barsh, the Head Coach of Southeastern University in Florida. For the past two years, Coach Barsh has worked with the PBC and our players. He has been a huge addition to the team helping lead workouts and being there for the guys. He is a brilliant inspiration and we wanted to get inside his mind.
See what he had to say.
Justin Wright-Foreman is a 6’1 1/2” left-handed lead guard for the Hofstra Pride. Wright-Foreman tested the 2018 NBA Draft waters, received valuable feedback from NBA personnel, impressed at the CP3 Elite Guard Camp, and came into his final collegiate season primed for both team and individual success. Hofstra (19-3) has ripped off a 16-game winning streak, and has their sights set on the program’s first Colonial Athletic Association championship and an NCAA tournament berth. Wright-Foreman, the reigning Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year is off to a historically strong start in his senior campaign. Since the 1996-1997 season, only five NCAA Division 1 players have averaged 25+PPG while shooting 50+% from two, 40+% from three, and 85+% from the line (Stephen Curry, J.J. Redick, Buddy Hield, Doug McDermott, and Mike Daum). Wright-Foreman is on pace to join this elite group as he closes out his senior season for the Pride. His efficient, high volume production has certainly put his name on the NBA’s radar. Per SportsNet New York basketball insider, Adam Zagoria, talent evaluators from the Spurs, Timberwolves, Celtics, Wizards, Nets, Kings, and Clippers made a stop in Long Island to see what Wright-Foreman brings to the table, and if his game translates to the NBA.
Matisse Thybulle is a 6’5 1/2” wing for the Washington Huskies. Thybulle, the reigning PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year, is, perhaps, the most dynamic, anticipatory, high IQ wing defender in college basketball. Though Washington’s zone defense fogs up the evaluation lens of even the most seasoned of talent evaluators, Thybulle has established himself as a draftable prospect with a translatable archetype and defensive skill set tailored to providing contribution to winning at the next level.
Ky Bowman is a 6’1” junior lead guard for the Boston College Eagles. Bowman tested the 2018 NBA Draft waters following his sophomore season, received feedback from NBA decision-makers, and ultimately decided it best to return to Chestnut Hill. A former high-major Division 1 defensive back recruit, Bowman is one of the strongest, most physical, and most explosive lead guards in the nation. Already a high usage player throughout his underclassman career, Bowman has been thrust into even more offensive responsibility following the departure of 2018 lottery pick, Jerome Robinson, and has impressively handled to workload. Despite being the primary focus of opponent scouting, defensive schemes, and lock-down perimeter defenders, Bowman has been able to maintain respectable efficiency on high volume, never runs out of gas, and continues to bring it on a night-to-night basis.
We sat down with Nick Friedman, the Assistant Coach of the Maine Red Claws (Boston Celtics G League affiliate). For the past two years, Nick has been the lead on court trainer for the PBC. He has been an incredible role model for our players on and off the court and has helped many of our guys elevate their game in the pre draft process.
See what he had to say.
Terence Davis II is a 6’4” shooting guard for the Ole Miss Rebels. Davis picked up a fair amount of NBA draft buzz following his breakout sophomore season and tested the draft waters following his junior campaign, ultimately choosing to withdraw and return to Oxford for his senior season. Davis, the unquestioned senior leader of the Rebels, has righted the ship after last season’s disappointing 12-20 showing. The Rebels are off to a 14-3 start, and Davis has upped the productivity and efficiency of his individual performance on both sides of the ball. Fresh off of being named SEC Player of the Week, Davis will look to carry this momentum through the duration of conference play, and continue to show a newfound level of poise and consistency that, in conjunction with his skill and first-round athleticism, will give him a chance to play at the next level.
Dylan Windler is a 6’7 1/2” versatile senior wing for the Belmont Bruins. One of the top players in the nation, Windler is truly a do-it-all two-way prospect with a skill set that translates to the modern NBA. Windler has worked his way from an under-recruited late-bloomer to a mid-major star on the precipice of hearing his name called on draft night.
C.J. Massinburg is a 6’3” senior combo guard for the Buffalo Bulls. Massinburg, a returning First-Team All-MAC selection, has propelled his team to the strongest start in modern program history (16-1). No stranger to the limelight after leading the Bulls to a first round upset over Arizona in last year’s NCAA tournament, Massinburg has continued to excel in prime time, notching his two highest scoring performances in victories at #13 WVU (43 points) and at Syracuse (25 points). Massinburg, an emerging senior prospect, will look to parlay continued team success into increased exposure and buzz amongst NBA evaluators.