With all of the attention that has been focused on the mighty University of Kentucky's historic draft class, it is easy to forget the dominant role played in the NBA by athletes from schools in mid-major conferences. Of the past dozen players who played college ball and have been awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, six played at mid-major programs.
Yet NBA scouts often overlook even the most talented players from mid-major schools, perceiving them as having played against inferior competition and not ready for the pro game. In NBADraft.net's mock draft, only one player from a mid-major school, St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson, is projected to be drafted in the first round.
For several years we have heard of the rise in mid-majors in the NCAA tournament, and next year we may see this rise reflected in the draft class. Though the class will likely be headlined by major program standouts Cody Zeller, Shabazz Muhammad, James McAdoo, and Nerlens Noel, there is also a treasure trove of players from mid-major schools with the talent to compete in the NBA.
Here we take a look at some of the most promising talents currently enrolled at mid-major programs who could hear their names called by David Stern next June.