Texarkana, TX 75° Wed H 85° L 62° Thu H 85° L 62° Fri H 87° L 68° Weather Sponsored By:

Texas' Hayes tops list of big men in draft

Texas' Hayes tops list of big men in draft

June 19th, 2019 by Associated Press in College Sports

In this Feb. 2, 2019, file photo, Texas forward Jaxson Hayes (10) dunks the ball over Iowa State guard Nick Weiler-Babb, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, in Ames, Iowa. Hayes needed only a year at Texas to put himself at the front of the class of big men in the NBA draft coming Thursday, June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Jaxson Hayes needed only a year at Texas to put himself at the front of the class of big men in Thursday's NBA draft.

The freshman could go late in the lottery, headlining a list of intriguing talents as the role of the big man has evolved in the NBA to embrace more flexibility and ability to roam outside the paint. That includes Bol Bol, a 7-foot-2 first-round prospect with the unique skillset to play outside.

Here's a look at the top prospects:

 

JAXSON HAYES, Texas

There's a lot of length and long-term potential in the Longhorns freshman.

STRENGTHS: Hayes measured nearly 7-0 with a more than 7-3 wingspan, which was among the best at the combine. That length gives him the potential to develop into a strong shot blocker after swatting 2.2 shots per game at Texas. He averaged a modest 10.0 points in a complementary role, but just turned 19 and is early in his development.

CONCERNS: He'll have to do more than just dunk at the next level. Hayes shot 72.8% from the field (he didn't make enough shots to qualify for the national stats leaderboard), but 74 of his 123 field goals came on dunks (60.2. He was prone to foul issues after tallying at least four fouls in 16 games. He was also a mediocre rebounder (5.0), failing to record a double-double while cracking double figures on the glass just once.

BRANDON CLARKE, Gonzaga

The 6-8 junior provided Gonzaga with a strong rim presence at both ends to become a first-round prospect.

STRENGTHS: Clarke put up big numbers in his last two college seasons, first as a sophomore at San Jose State (17.3 points, 8.7 rebounds) and then at Gonzaga as a transfer (16.9 points, 8.6 rebounds). He shot a national-best 68.7% while improving significantly at the line (69.4%, up from 57.3% in his last year at San Jose State). He was also a versatile defender, averaging 3.2 blocks and 1.2 steals to be named West Coast Conference defensive player of the year.

CONCERNS: Clarke is a bit undersized as a power forward. He also has yet to show significant range on his outside shot, making just 6 of 24 3-pointers (25 over his three-year college career.

PJ WASHINGTON, Kentucky

The 6-8 sophomore brings length and athleticism inside along with the ability to step out of the paint, which could have him go late in the lottery.

STRENGTHS: Washington improved in every major area last year at Kentucky. That included increases of at least 30 percent in both his scoring (15.2) and rebounding (7.5) output, along with shooting 52% from the floor and extending his range (42.3% from 3-point range, up from 23.8% as a freshman). He also has a better than 7-2 wingspan, which could help his rebounding and shot blocking translate to the NBA level.

CONCERNS: Washington lacks the height to stay confined solely to the post, so he'll have to continue to extend his shooting range. He also shot just 63% from the line over two college seasons.

BOL BOL, Oregon

Bol put up big numbers in a brief Oregon career with an unusual skillset and is a first-round wild card.

STRENGTHS: He has the length to play in the paint that includes a 7-7 wingspan matching the height of his late father, former NBA player Manute Bol. He averaged 21.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks, including shooting 56.1% overall and 52% from 3-point range. He can create matchup problems with his ability to shoot over defenders, particularly if they don't close out on the perimeter.

CONCERNS: How will he hold up physically? He could use some strength on his 208-pound frame to bang against stronger players inside. He played just nine games before going down for the season with a foot injury, raising the uncertainty as to whether he will be injury prone with his unique physique.

OTHERS TO WATCH

GOGA BITADZE: The 6-11, 250-pound center is a first-round prospect who turns 20 next month and averaged 12.1 points in his first season in the EuroLeague.

NICOLAS CLAXTON, Georgia: The sophomore is a first-round prospect who thrived last season (13.0 points, 8.6 rebounds) while measuring at nearly 7-0 with a nearly 7-3 wingspan.

BRUNO FERNANDO, Maryland: The sophomore is a first-round prospect who measured well (6-10 height, 7-3 wingspan) at the combine after averaging a double-double (13.6 points, 10.6 rebounds).

DANIEL GAFFORD, Arkansas: The 6-11 sophomore is a second-round prospect who averaged 2.1 blocks for his career.

MFIONDU KABENGELE, Florida State: The 6-10 sophomore has a 7-3 wingspan and inside-out versatility (13.2 points, 36.9% from 3-point range last season) to be a first-round prospect.

 

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com