The 2012 NBA Draft class is phenomenally deep this year. With the return of college stars such as Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones III, the basketball world has been buzzing over the star power that will be lining up to shake David Stern's hand this June.
Like most draft classes over the past several years, the majority of the top prospects are underclassmen. In particular, the top of the point guard class is very young. According to NBADraft.net, of the projected top 10 floor generals for the next draft, seven of them are either freshmen or sophomores.
As of early December, the second-rated prospect on NBADraft.net's board was Texas freshman Myck Kabongo. However, due to his mediocre play since then, he is currently slotted at the No. 22 pick overall.
Just how well do his skills translate to the NBA game? Let's take a look...
The first thing causing NBA scouts to salivate when talking about the Canadian native is his speed. He can get from end to end as fast, or faster, than anyone at the college level right now. Point guards with his speed are at a premium in the league, so this is currently his biggest asset.
He also has the size to be an effective professional point guard at 6'1" tall. He possesses a very long wingspan, as well, which should help alleviate doubts about this height.
This long wingspan also helps him on the defensive end of the floor, making it easy for him to rack up steals by picking opposing point guards' pockets or getting deflections in passing lanes.
His court vision is also better than most college point guards right now. He excels at finding the open man regardless of how small a seam the defense gives him to create. Currently, he's averaging 5.3 assists per game.
His penetration skills are also better than many of the potential first-round draft picks in the upcoming draft. His first step is easily the most dangerous in the Big 12, and he's an explosive ball handler who will have no problem adapting to the pro game.
There are a few reasons, however, for skepticism among NBA franchises. His turnover numbers are a bit high at 3.1 per game. That being said, if he can cut down on them, his standing among teams should improve drastically.
The biggest knock on Kabongo right now is his shooting. It is what has prevented him from becoming an elite player at the college level. Much like former Texas star T.J. Ford, he relies so much on attacking the basket and creating for others, it makes the defense sag and force him into launching long jumpers.
The Longhorns star would be best served to stick around for his sophomore season to improve his shooting and his ability to take better care of the basketball, while developing a more natural feel for the point guard position.
That being said, if he decides to make the jump to the NBA, he will be selected based on his potential, along with his terrific ball-handling skills, court vision and blazing speed.