With the 2011 NBA draft a little over a month away, it’s as good a time as any to analyze the 10 can’t miss prospects ready to take their talents to the next level.
While some surprises have hit the media circle recently, like Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger announcing he plans to stay in school another year, these 10 guys have no doubts about moving on to the NBA.
Whether picked with a lottery selection or not, these 10 athletes are sure to turn heads with their elite skill set and are thus the 10 can't miss prospects of the 2011 NBA draft.
Tough, athletic, hungry, determined.
These are some adjectives used to describe Chris Singleton’s game and his personality as a whole.
As Florida State University’s premier power forward, Singleton just announced today that he will declare for the 2011 NBA draft, but has yet to sign with an agent.
The backbone to Singleton’s game is his lockdown defense that creates the opportunity to disrupt passing lanes, crash the board and come up with a loose ball or steal.
The FSU junior is also a force on the offensive side of the ball, leading the Seminoles squad with 13.1 points per game in 2010.
Singleton’s tough D and outstanding offense should translate well to the NBA, making him a surefire first-round pick.
Displaying attributes seen in ball players with more experience than the Kentucky Wildcat freshman, Terrence Jones will more than likely be a lottery pick in this year’s upcoming draft.
Touted for his extreme versatility as a forward, Jones is the definition of a true “do everything” type of player that will make any NBA team happy to draft him.
Standing at 6’8”, Jones is noted as having above average ball-handling skills and outstanding court vision to find the open man.
Playing like a point guard, but utilizing the height of a big man, Jones’ versatility will make his presence essential on the roster of the team that takes him.
The intensity and passion is obviously there for Kenneth Faried (as displayed during the 2011 NCAA Tournament) and that’s why he makes this list of can’t miss prospects.
A persistent rebounder, Faried is a monster on the boards, using an explosive first step and jumping as high or higher than the likes of Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose.
Listed at 6’8”, Faried will be an undersized forward in the NBA, but his energy and fiery style will keep him on the court for whoever drafts him.
Capable of posting big college numbers from the very start (as we saw during his first year at Kansas), Selby still needs to make his decision to enter the draft or remain at Kansas.
Selby is an explosive guard combo that has the ability to drive hard, blow by defenders, dunk on a big man and even find an open man with his impressive court vision.
An exciting player to watch, Selby has all the confidence and attitude in the world, which may rub some people the wrong way, but he should be able to transition to the NBA nicely.
Described as “a fundamentally sound basketball player with a high basketball IQ” by ESPN.com, Enes Kanter obviously has a lot of promise left in his basketball career.
Despite being ineligible for the 2010 season due to accepting money to play in his native Turkey, Kanter is a big body with great hands that many NBA teams will covet.
His high energy and competitiveness should also help clear up any questions left by his absence from the 2010 season.
Combining his advanced basketball skills with his athleticism at 6’11”, and his unreal ball handles, Perry Jones may just be one of the better prospects in this year’s draft.
As questions surround his ability to transition to the NBA, Jones will need to do more on the offensive end to keep these types of questions subdued.
An excellent defender, rebounder and blocker, Perry is also a legitimate threat during coast-to-coast and transition plays, making him one of the better, more athletic big men in the 2011 draft class.
As one of the more competitive players on this list, Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight looks to be an early lottery selection in this year’s draft.
His ability to get hot and hit many shots in a row, coupled with very solid defense, makes Knight an overall great piece to any NBA team.
Seeing his draft stock rise in recent months, Knight has great size (6’3”) for a guard and also has the ability to flash his blazing speed on a moment's notice.
Possessing the talent to completely take a game over, North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes is another freshman of the 2010 class ready to make it big at the next level.
Despite not displaying the explosiveness of NBA playmakers like Griffin, Rose or John Wall, Barnes could however be the best all-around player to grace the NBA.
Standing at a solid 6’8”, 209 lbs, Barnes can hit a deep three, shoot the mid-range jumper or even penetrate to the bucket.
He is as determined and focused as any other player hoping to emerge at the next level and his superior character and work ethic makes him that much more appealing to a NBA teams.
Barnes is athletically gifted and his game is best suited for the NBA.
Rounding out the group of can't miss freshman is Duke guard Kyrie Irving.
Described as “the best point guard prospect” by ESPN.com, Irving possesses all the intangibles pro scouts drool over.
He can dribble, shoot from anywhere on the floor, penetrate the defense, run up and down the court, play incredible defense and is a great decision maker.
Despite not looking the part of a physically overwhelming athlete, Irving has the instincts of a seasoned vet and playing under Coach K at Duke has certainly helped him hone his skills.
Poised to become a lottery pick, Irving is the cream of the crop at the point guard position this year.
Projected to be the No. 1 selection in the 2011 NBA draft, Arizona sophomore Derrick Williams is again the No. 1 on this list.
Scouted as the best prospect with the most upside at the next level, Williams had a coming out party in this year’s tournament that helped lobby for his top overall status.
An explosive player on both sides of the ball, Williams is an above average defender with the ability to go above the rim for a game-changing block; like the video posted here.
He is a smart player that will have an immediate impact on any team and will prove his versatility from the get-go.
It’s no secret that the Cleveland Cavaliers have the best chance of nabbing Williams at No. 1, and if they’re serious about rebuilding their franchise, Williams is the perfect player to build around.