NBA Draft Preview: Ranking the 10 Best Big Men Who Might Go Pro

Joey HnathCorrespondent IFebruary 5, 2011

NBA Draft Preview: Ranking the 10 Best Big Men Who Might Go Pro

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    GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 16: Forward Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes scores against the Florida Gators November 16, 2010 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    College basketball season is in full force, and it is shaping up to be a great season.

    As it is only one month away from March Madness, it's time to take a look at some of the players who could be going pro.

    Many lottery picks in the 2011 NBA Draft will be spent on big men.  Last year, it was Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins going high in the draft.

    Here are the top ten big men for the 2011 NBA Draft.

No. 10: Tristan Thompson

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    LAWRENCE, KS - JANUARY 22:  Tristan Thompson #13 of the Texas Longhorns dunks against the Kansas Jayhawks during the game on January 22, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Thompson has been a key contributor to the No. 3 ranked Longhorns, averaging 12.8 ppg and 7.5 rebounds a game.

    One of the area's he must improve though is his free throw shooting, as he is shooting a Shaq-like 49 percent.

    Despite the troubles from the foul line, the freshman should be picked just outside the lottery.

No. 9: John Henson

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    NEW YORK - MARCH 30:  John Henson #31 of the North Carolina Tar Heels passes the ball against Rhode Island Rams at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    The sophomore is almost averaging a double-double for the Heels this season, leading the team in rebounds with 8.4/game.

    But like Thompson, Henson is abysmal from the line, shooting 39 percent.

    With more improvement this season, Henson could sneak into the lottery.

No. 8: Jan Vesely

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    VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 21:  A fan of the Czech Republic holds up the countries flag as he supports the team during the ice hockey men's against the Russia Federation team on day 10 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Though the guy in the picture is not Vesely, I'm sure he appreciates the talent of his countryman.

    The 19-year-old, standing 6'11", has already won numerous awards with his club team in Serbia.

    If he indeed declares for the draft, Vesely is predicted to be a late lottery pick.

No. 7: Trey Thompkins

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    NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 11:  Trey Thompkins #33 of the Georgia Bulldogs brings the ball up against the Arkanasas Razorbacks during the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena on March 11, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (P
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Thompkins has been the key to the recent success of the Georgia Bulldog basketball team.

    Ranked No. 30 coming out of high school, he has taken his game to the next level and is a contender for SEC Player of the Year.

    Thompkins has great size, and should be taken around pick No. 12.

No. 6: Donatas Motiejunas

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    VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 12: Irina Terentjeva of Lithuania carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at BC Place on February 12, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    The 7-foot Lithuanian has been drawing comparisons to Andrea Bargnani.

    Though he has a lot of upside, he is still very raw and not the best rebounder.

    Still, with his potential, Montiejunas should go around pick No. 10 in the draft.

No. 5: Enes Kanter

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    NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 14:  Actress Ashley Judd cheers for the Kentucky Wildcats against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the final of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena on March 14, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by C
    Chris Chambers/Getty Images

    Though Kanter is ineligible to play basketball at Kentucky, much to the dismay of Ashley Judd, his draft stock hasn't taken a big hit.

    At 6'11", and with experience playing overseas in Turkey, Kanter will be one of the first ten players taken in the 2011 NBA Draft.

No. 4: Derrick Williams

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    LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 27:  Markieff Morris #21 of the Kansas Jayhawks fouls Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats during the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational at The Orleans Arena November 27, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kansas won 87-7
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Williams has been the leader of the Arizona basketball team, leading the team in points and rebounds.

    He has improved greatly in his sophomore season, scoring more points and shooting 63 percent from the field.

    Williams could slide into the top five of the draft.

No. 3: Jonas Valanciunas

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    VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 12:  Irina Terentjeva of Lithuania carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at BC Place on February 12, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The better of the two Lithuanians, the 6'11" center has all the potential in the world.

    He is still very raw, and he is only playing 15 minutes a game for his European team.

    Valanciunas will be a top five pick in the draft.

No. 2: Perry Jones

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    HOUSTON - MARCH 28: A Baylor Bears fan during the south regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Reliant Stadium on March 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Jones, the No. 9 ranked recruit last year, is having a solid freshman year at Baylor, averaging 14 points and seven rebounds a game. 

    His draft stock, like many players, is based on potential, and Jones has a very high ceiling.

    He is almost a lock to be one of the first three players taken.

No. 1: Jared Sullinger

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    CHAMPAIGN, IL - JANUARY 22: Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on late in the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Assembly Hall on January 22, 2011 in Champaign, Illinois. Ohio State won 73-68. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    One of the leading candidates for Player of the Year, Sullinger has led the Buckeyes to a perfect 23-0 record in 2011.

    Averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds per game, he has been one of the most dominant players this season.

    Though, some have Perry Jones being picked ahead of Sullinger in the draft, he is not a better pro prospect.

    Sullinger should go either one or two in the draft, and will be an All-Star in the NBA for years to come.