Alabama 42, Auburn 14

Trent Richardson and No. 2 Alabama have convinced Nick Saban that they’re worthy of competing for college football’s top prize. They’ll have to wait a while before for the final decision is rendered.

College Football Odds: Opening Betting Lines for Week 13

The Miami Hurricanes are ranked No. 2 in the AP Top 25 with a 15–0 straight up and 10–5 against the spread record over their last 15 games. The Hurricanes will try to pick up a road win this Friday afternoon over the Pittsburgh Panthers to enter the ACC championship game undefeated.

Miami is a 14-point road favorite at Pittsburgh at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Last Saturday's win over Virginia extended the Hurricanes' win streak in the month of November to 9–0 SU but broke an 8–0 ATS run in the month to fall to 8–1 ATS over those nine games.

The Hurricanes aren't the only undefeated team in action on Friday. The No. 13 UCF Knights are 11-point favorites at home hosting the South Florida Bulls. Like Miami, UCF had a game back in Week 2 canceled due to Hurricane Irma. With their other 10 games, the Knights have gone 10–0 SU and 6-3-1 ATS.

On Saturday, the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide are on the road as 4.5-point favorites against the No. 6 Auburn Tigers. The winner of this game will advance into the SEC championship game. Alabama is 8–2 ATS in its last 10 road games against teams with winning records.

The Ohio State vs. Michigan rivalry is known to be one of the greatest in all of sports, but it hasn't played out like that over the last decade. The rivalry has been rather one-sided with Ohio State going 9–1 SU and 7–3 ATS in its last 10 games against the Wolverines according to the OddsShark College Football Database. This Saturday, the No. 8 Buckeyes are 11.5-point road favorites in Michigan.

Rounding out the top 10 are West Virginia at No. 3 Oklahoma (-23), No. 4 Clemson (-14) at South Carolina, No. 5 Wisconsin (-17) at Minnesota, No. 7 Georgia (-11) at Georgia Tech, No. 9 Notre Dame (-2.5) at No. 20 Stanford and Baylor at No. 10 TCU (-24).

With a win over Baylor, TCU would lock up a spot in the Big 12 championship game for a rematch against Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs are 5–0 SU and 3–2 ATS at home this season.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

No. 1 Alabama's treacherous path goes through No. 6 Auburn

Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley catches the pass and runs in to score a touchdown against Mercer during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

No. 1 Alabama's treacherous path goes through No. 6 Auburn

Alabama head coach Nick Saban walks onto the field during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mercer, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

No. 1 Alabama's treacherous path goes through No. 6 Auburn

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts talks with teammates on the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mercer, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

No. 1 Alabama's treacherous path goes through No. 6 Auburn

Alabama running back Josh Jacobs scores a touchdown against Mercer during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

DaRon Payne has converted family to Alabama fans

Alabama junior defensive tackle DaRon Payne talks about converting his Auburn-supporting family to 'roll with the Tide.'

DaRon Payne has converted family to Alabama fans

Alabama junior defensive tackle DaRon Payne talks about converting his Auburn-supporting family to 'roll with the Tide.'

DaRon Payne has converted family to Alabama fans

Alabama junior defensive tackle DaRon Payne talks about converting his Auburn-supporting family to 'roll with the Tide.'

DaRon Payne has converted family to Alabama fans

Alabama junior defensive tackle DaRon Payne talks about converting his Auburn-supporting family to 'roll with the Tide.'

Damien Harris talks about his friendship with Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham

Alabama junior running back Damien Harris talks about his friendship with Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham that dates back to high school.

Damien Harris talks about his friendship with Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham

Alabama junior running back Damien Harris talks about his friendship with Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham that dates back to high school.

Damien Harris talks about his friendship with Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham

Alabama junior running back Damien Harris talks about his friendship with Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham that dates back to high school.

Damien Harris talks about his friendship with Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham

Alabama junior running back Damien Harris talks about his friendship with Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham that dates back to high school.

Nick Saban thinks Jarrett Stidham is an 'outstanding player'

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has nothing but positive things to say about Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham.

Nick Saban thinks Jarrett Stidham is an 'outstanding player'

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has nothing but positive things to say about Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham.

Nick Saban thinks Jarrett Stidham is an 'outstanding player'

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has nothing but positive things to say about Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham.

Nick Saban thinks Jarrett Stidham is an 'outstanding player'

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has nothing but positive things to say about Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham.

The Game vs. The Iron Bowl: Which rivalry is better?

Which rivalry is better: Ohio State-Michigan and "The Game?" Or the Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama? Sporting News looks at the rivarly.

Toomer's Corner

Auburn University decided to remove dying oak trees after they were poisoned shortly after the 2010 Iron Bowl by an Alabama fan. (Getty)

Why Changing the One-And-Done Rule Will Only Make Matters Worse for College Basketball

Perhaps the most important college basketball news of last week was broken by an NBA reporter and centered on the NBA’s commissioner and the head of its players’ union. When ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Adam Silver and Michele Roberts met with the Commission on College Basketball—the group chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and assembled by the NCAA this fall in the wake of the FBI’s recruiting sting—one of the sport’s most well-tread subjects of debate was reanimated: the impact of one-and-done players on college basketball, and what would happen if the NBA eliminates the draft-entry age limit that produces them.

Wojnarowski reported that there is “momentum gathering” for such a change, which would be the first alteration of the NBA’s draft-entry requirements since the current rule was put in place before the 2006 Draft. While a number of conditions have changed since then, a look at the last few drafts where NBA teams could select high school graduates suggests some seven to nine players would bypass college basketball each season. For all the discussion of how the rule has ruined the sport (by increasing roster turnover, undercutting continuity and thus quality of play, even further distorting the purported academic roots of college sports) or benefited it (by injecting it with elite talent, giving the college game a boost in relevance in an increasingly NBA-driven sports culture), the actual number of players that would come or go based on the age limit does not seem particularly high.

But Wojnarowski’s report contained a second bit of news that might be equally impactful. Wojnarowski wrote that for the one-and-done rule to be changed in the next collective bargaining agreement, “the union would probably need to ... agree to a mandate that players entering college must stay two years before declaring for the draft.” This would be a system similar to that employed by Major League Baseball, which forces players to either enter its professional ranks either out of high school or after three years of college. It has often been a popular suggestion among coaches and commentators to replace the one-and-done rule, rather than reverting to the pre-2006 rules where players could enter out of high school or any year thereafter.

Yet much like the way unknown backup quarterbacks are often beloved simply because the starter is struggling, the popularity of the zero-or-two-and-done rule gets a boost from the fact that we have not yet seen its flaws in practice. Consider the decision facing the type of player with realistic draft prospects out of high school. It is one thing to be choosing between a professional salary and assured opportunity and the delay of such by a year for the benefits of development and/or education. But forcing them to choose between the pros and waiting two years, the calculation changes.

It would not be unreasonable to expect this to encourage more players to bypass college altogether, as doubling the potential delay before an NBA career means doubling the risk of an injury compromising it or, even worse, preventing it before it happens. That would mean a further decrease in the college game’s talent level and the attention garnered by its most promising pro prospects. And given the realities brought to light by the FBI investigation—the way the financial stakes and the NCAA’s model of amateurism create an ample black market for players services—the motivations behind corruption and bribery would increase as well. Recruiters would no longer be trying to simply out-bid one another; they’d also have to out-bid two years of a professional salary. And players talented enough to be making that choice would have more reason to seek extra compensation as a way to hedge their bet as they wait two years to cash in on their value. Not only might this sort of rule change fail to solve some current problems, but short of further reforms, it could actually exacerbate them.

Of course, the NCAA ultimately has no real say in this. One-and-done is the NBA’s rule, governed by the NBA’s and its players’ own interests, and it’s neither party’s responsibility to do what’s best for college basketball. All of which leaves the NCAA, somewhat fittingly, at the mercy of the same market forces that it so steadfastly restrains and manipulates within its own jurisdiction. And that’s a problem forever beyond its control too.

If you are wondering what exactly you are reading, this is the Monday Rebound, SI.com’s weekly Monday-morning column on college hoops. It’s a sort of a grab bag of news and tidbits and opinions largely aimed at catching you up on the weekend’s (and week’s) action and being generally informative. If there’s anything you like or dislike or would want to see more of here, or if you would just like to chat and maybe swap stories about air travel, you can find me on Twitter @thedangreene. Thanks for reading.

As the scandal turns...

Another quiet week has passed on the subject of the ongoing FBI probe into college basketball recruiting. There were some not guilty pleas and assignment of future court dates at the end of the month, but that’s all. The implicated teams are playing just fine thus far, with only Auburn having lost a game, and that was to a quality Temple team.

But there was a bit of news that may become important down the line. According to a Yahoo Sports report by Dan Wetzel, NCAA staffers may be called to court as witnesses to explain the NCAA rulebook. NCAA rules are not laws, but the prosecution’s legal case rests on the idea that by willfully violating such rules, the defendants were defrauding the universities. Some have questioned how well that argument will hold up in court. Testimony from NCAA experts will be crucial to it doing so.

ICYMI

Speaking of one-and-done, a week ago in this space it was noted how disappointing it must have been for Missouri fans to only get to see Michael Porter Jr.—a presumed top-3 pick in next June’s NBA Draft—play two minutes in his collegiate debut due to a hip injury. Seven days later they’ve still yet to see anything more. In fact, they couldn’t even see him sitting out Monday’s win against Wagner because Porter watched it from a monitor inside the arena rather than from the bench. Three days later Porter didn’t travel to the Tigers’ game at Utah, which they lost 77-59. Coach Cuonzo Martin told reporters he didn’t know how serious the injury is.

That disappointment is beginning to turn to worry. With a player of Porter’s caliber and importance, it only makes sense to be take a cautious and conservative approach, especially this early in the season. But not even traveling to Utah would seem to be some kind of red flag. Mizzou’s next real test will be a Nov. 30 trip to UCF. Judging by the loss to Utah, the Tigers will likely need Porter’s help to win games like that one. By then there should be a clearer picture of Porter’s injury’s severity. Until there is, when it comes to Porter, you have yet to miss much of anything. And with a player like him, that’s something.

High Five

Each week, we’ll be highlighting five teams on the rise. Here’s who stood out over the past week.

1. Duke: Beating Michigan State on a neutral floor would have made for an impressive victory regardless of how the Blue Devils did it. Doing it while superfrosh Marvin Bagley III sat out the last 30 minutes with an eye injury made it a statement. This offense could be scary, and the 2-3 zone has shown encouraging signs early.

2. Xavier: One of the best true road wins of the season’s first week(ish) came Thursday night, when the Musketeers won 80-70 at Wisconsin to solidify their top-15 bonafides. It wasn’t quite their second round thriller from the 2016 NCAA tournament, but it did feature JP Macura taunting Badgers fans with a Gator chomp in reference to Florida beating Wisconsin last March.

3. Minnesota: The Gophers got a quality road win of their own last Monday when they knocked off Providence by 12, then took care of business against Niagara and Western Carolina. Big man Reggie Lynch is averaging 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 5.5 blocks, the latter of which ranks first nationally.

4. Temple: The Owls won the Charleston Classic by reeling off victories against Old Dominion, Auburn, and Clemson. That’s the beginning of a potentially strong bubble resume. Junior guard Shizz Alston is breaking out to the tune of 18.3 points per game and 56.3% three-point shooting.

5. Belmont: After opening the season with a close loss at Washington, the Bruins knocked off Vanderbilt at home and Middle Tennessee on the road this week—two quality wins that should boost Belmont’s seeding in March should Rick Byrd’s squad win the Ohio Valley.

Top of the Classes

Senior: Jevon Carter, West Virginia guard

Carter nearly flirted with a quadruple-double in the Mountaineers win over American, posting 20 points, nine (!) steals, seven assists and seven rebounds. He’s looking like a good bet to repeat as NABC Defensive Player of the Year, which hasn’t been done since UConn’s Hasheem Thabeet in 2008-09.

Junior: Femi Olujobi, North Carolina A&T forward

After struggling to crack Oakland’s rotation for two years, the 6’8” Olujobi has taken kindly to his new home with the Aggies, averaging 33.0 points and 13.5 rebounds in their wins over the Citadel and Jacksonville last week. He also shot 70.3% from the field in those games.

Sophomore: Isaiah Reese, Canisius guard

This season’s second triple-double in Division I against a D-I opponent (and first in Canisius history) came when Reese put up 23 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds in a 104-84 win over Youngstown State on Saturday. As a freshman last season, Reese had just one double double.

Freshman: Trevon Duval, Duke guard

He may not have been very efficient as a scorer, but Duval’s first big-game performance—17 points and 10 assists to just three turnovers (plus six steals) against Michigan State—proved he can run the offense against an elite opponent and was key to setting up Grayson Allen’s monster performance.

?

Bests of the Best

Each week, we’ll get to know a standout player a little better by asking them about some of the best things in the world. This week we welcome Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett, who’s averaging 25.3 points and 7.0 rebounds for the 3-0 Muskies. So, Trevon, tell us about the best...

...player to impersonate growing up. “Kobe Bryant. When I was growing up, he went on his tear. I remember watching the game where he scored 81 against the Raptors. The moves he was doing—fadeaways, post-ups, all that stuff—just seemed unrealistic, like those were tough shots to make. So I always went downstairs or in the backyard and tried to do those moves. I couldn’t get them down at the time.”

...nickname someone’s given you. “Around my freshman and sophomore year in college, back when I used to fluctuate with my weight and all, my teammates used to call me Big Baby. As funny as it was, I feel like it was pretty accurate looking back on it, so I can’t complain about that one. It was still funny at the time, but I was in denial.”

...Thanksgiving food. “I’ll probably say turkey just because we don’t eat turkey all the time except on Thanksgiving. And then my mom’s homemade macaroni. That’s something I eat every holiday. I don’t really sit around and watch her cook, but I know the process takes all day, starting in the morning with cutting the blocks of cheese and mixing it in. She does it from beginning to end homemade.”

Social Media Post of the Week

Assigned Viewing

PK-80 Motion bracket finals, Sunday at 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

It wouldn’t be fair to assign any homework on Thanksgiving Day, but if you want to watch the two-bracket, 16-team, three-round PK-80 tournament—held in Portland, Ore., in celebration of Nike founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday—from the beginning, that’s when the games will begin. By Sunday the two impressive brackets will narrow to two surely impressive finals, with the Motion bracket (the other is named Victory) offering the most alluring potential final matchup in Duke vs. Florida, with Texas and Gonzaga lurking as spoilers.

As for the Victory bracket, its final will tip off two hours earlier, with Michigan State, North Carolina, and Oklahoma as its headlining contenders. And both brackets will conclude with quadruple-headers beginning at 1 p.m. ET that day, so if you want to truly stuff yourself with basketball, there will be plenty of courses on offer.

Before You’re Dismissed...

• There’s a lot more big-time college basketball to watch this week than just the PK80. SI’s Chris Johnson has a great preview of Feast Week you should check out to guide your hoops consumption.

• On Twitter, President Trump mused, in response to LaVar Ball’s comments on his involvement, that he should have left the three now-freed UCLA basketball players imprisoned in China after their shoplifting arrests. Good to know our president’s caring for his constituents might depend on their father’s—or their teammate’s father’s—praise of him.

• All-America Michigan State forward Miles Bridges sprained his ankle in the Spartans’ win over Stony Brook on Sunday. Tom Izzo said he expects Bridges to be day-to-day, which is better news than a more serious sprain would have been. Next up for Michigan State is DePaul on Thursday on the first day of the PK80.

• Keep an eye on the situation with Kansas freshman Billy Preston. The forward and top-20 recruit was held out of the Jayhawks’ game against Kentucky last week after a minor single-car accident led to questions about the “financial picture” of the vehicle Preston was driving. The implication is that if Preston received the car as an improper benefit, rendering him ineligible, then the Jayhawks would have to forfeit any games Preston played in. Thus Kansas coach Bill Self has said Preston will be sitting out until the situation is resolved. Self said he expects that to be soon. We’ll see.

• It’s early, and Minnesota’s lone major opponent has been Providence, but Gophers forward Jordan Murphy seems to have taken a sizeable leap in his junior season. His scoring average is up from 11.3 points per game as a sophomore to 24.8 through four games this November, while his rebounding average is up from 8.8 to 12.8. Alabama and Miami will provide some stronger tests before the month is through.

• Despite its loss to Belmont that night, Vanderbilt had a pretty good day last Monday, earning a commitment from five-star guard Darius Garland (not to be confused with SI’s Dan Gartland). That’s a big get for second-year coach Bryce Drew.

• That prep-to-pros resurgence may get an early start. Top-10 Class of 2018 recruit Anfernee Simons told ESPN this weekend that he is considering entering next year’s NBA Draft, for which Simons would be eligible because he graduated high school last year (he is currently doing a post-graduate year at Florida’s IMG Academy) and will turn 19 before the draft. Simons reportedly has offers from Florida, Florida State, Louisville, LSU, and Texas A&M, among many others.

• Two bad bits of injury news for NCAA tourney hopefuls this week, as UCF will reportedly be without guard B.J. Taylor until around the end of December, and Rhode Island’s E.C. Matthews is expected to be out until around the same time after breaking his left wrist.

• After a too-long saga, N.C. State freshman Braxton Beverly—who briefly enrolled in classes at Ohio State before coach Thad Matta was fired in June, then transferred—was ruled eligible by the NCAA last week. Glad they did the right thing, but this was all a bunch of completely unnecessary drama.

SI’s preseason projections may have only had Wake Forest 12th in the ACC, but that was still good for 73rd nationally. With a 1-4 start including a home loss to Liberty and a neutral-site defeat to Drake, even modest projections are looking a little rosey.

• A freshman you’ll be getting to know soon, if you don’t already: Oklahoma point guard Trae Young, a Norman native who’s averaging 18.5 points and 11.5 assists through two games. Those were against Nebraska-Omaha and Ball State, which are not exactly Big 12 opponents, but Young looks ready to live up to five-star expectations.

• Watching Ed Cooley coach Providence last week, it struck me that a lot more coaches should wear vests. It’s a good look. Cooley rocks them well.

• Have a good Thanksgiving, everybody. Don’t forget the dump’s closed.

Why Changing the One-And-Done Rule Will Only Make Matters Worse for College Basketball

Perhaps the most important college basketball news of last week was broken by an NBA reporter and centered on the NBA’s commissioner and the head of its players’ union. When ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Adam Silver and Michele Roberts met with the Commission on College Basketball—the group chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and assembled by the NCAA this fall in the wake of the FBI’s recruiting sting—one of the sport’s most well-tread subjects of debate was reanimated: the impact of one-and-done players on college basketball, and what would happen if the NBA eliminates the draft-entry age limit that produces them.

Wojnarowski reported that there is “momentum gathering” for such a change, which would be the first alteration of the NBA’s draft-entry requirements since the current rule was put in place before the 2006 Draft. While a number of conditions have changed since then, a look at the last few drafts where NBA teams could select high school graduates suggests some seven to nine players would bypass college basketball each season. For all the discussion of how the rule has ruined the sport (by increasing roster turnover, undercutting continuity and thus quality of play, even further distorting the purported academic roots of college sports) or benefited it (by injecting it with elite talent, giving the college game a boost in relevance in an increasingly NBA-driven sports culture), the actual number of players that would come or go based on the age limit does not seem particularly high.

But Wojnarowski’s report contained a second bit of news that might be equally impactful. Wojnarowski wrote that for the one-and-done rule to be changed in the next collective bargaining agreement, “the union would probably need to ... agree to a mandate that players entering college must stay two years before declaring for the draft.” This would be a system similar to that employed by Major League Baseball, which forces players to either enter its professional ranks either out of high school or after three years of college. It has often been a popular suggestion among coaches and commentators to replace the one-and-done rule, rather than reverting to the pre-2006 rules where players could enter out of high school or any year thereafter.

Yet much like the way unknown backup quarterbacks are often beloved simply because the starter is struggling, the popularity of the zero-or-two-and-done rule gets a boost from the fact that we have not yet seen its flaws in practice. Consider the decision facing the type of player with realistic draft prospects out of high school. It is one thing to be choosing between a professional salary and assured opportunity and the delay of such by a year for the benefits of development and/or education. But forcing them to choose between the pros and waiting two years, the calculation changes.

It would not be unreasonable to expect this to encourage more players to bypass college altogether, as doubling the potential delay before an NBA career means doubling the risk of an injury compromising it or, even worse, preventing it before it happens. That would mean a further decrease in the college game’s talent level and the attention garnered by its most promising pro prospects. And given the realities brought to light by the FBI investigation—the way the financial stakes and the NCAA’s model of amateurism create an ample black market for players services—the motivations behind corruption and bribery would increase as well. Recruiters would no longer be trying to simply out-bid one another; they’d also have to out-bid two years of a professional salary. And players talented enough to be making that choice would have more reason to seek extra compensation as a way to hedge their bet as they wait two years to cash in on their value. Not only might this sort of rule change fail to solve some current problems, but short of further reforms, it could actually exacerbate them.

Of course, the NCAA ultimately has no real say in this. One-and-done is the NBA’s rule, governed by the NBA’s and its players’ own interests, and it’s neither party’s responsibility to do what’s best for college basketball. All of which leaves the NCAA, somewhat fittingly, at the mercy of the same market forces that it so steadfastly restrains and manipulates within its own jurisdiction. And that’s a problem forever beyond its control too.

If you are wondering what exactly you are reading, this is the Monday Rebound, SI.com’s weekly Monday-morning column on college hoops. It’s a sort of a grab bag of news and tidbits and opinions largely aimed at catching you up on the weekend’s (and week’s) action and being generally informative. If there’s anything you like or dislike or would want to see more of here, or if you would just like to chat and maybe swap stories about air travel, you can find me on Twitter @thedangreene. Thanks for reading.

As the scandal turns...

Another quiet week has passed on the subject of the ongoing FBI probe into college basketball recruiting. There were some not guilty pleas and assignment of future court dates at the end of the month, but that’s all. The implicated teams are playing just fine thus far, with only Auburn having lost a game, and that was to a quality Temple team.

But there was a bit of news that may become important down the line. According to a Yahoo Sports report by Dan Wetzel, NCAA staffers may be called to court as witnesses to explain the NCAA rulebook. NCAA rules are not laws, but the prosecution’s legal case rests on the idea that by willfully violating such rules, the defendants were defrauding the universities. Some have questioned how well that argument will hold up in court. Testimony from NCAA experts will be crucial to it doing so.

ICYMI

Speaking of one-and-done, a week ago in this space it was noted how disappointing it must have been for Missouri fans to only get to see Michael Porter Jr.—a presumed top-3 pick in next June’s NBA Draft—play two minutes in his collegiate debut due to a hip injury. Seven days later they’ve still yet to see anything more. In fact, they couldn’t even see him sitting out Monday’s win against Wagner because Porter watched it from a monitor inside the arena rather than from the bench. Three days later Porter didn’t travel to the Tigers’ game at Utah, which they lost 77-59. Coach Cuonzo Martin told reporters he didn’t know how serious the injury is.

That disappointment is beginning to turn to worry. With a player of Porter’s caliber and importance, it only makes sense to be take a cautious and conservative approach, especially this early in the season. But not even traveling to Utah would seem to be some kind of red flag. Mizzou’s next real test will be a Nov. 30 trip to UCF. Judging by the loss to Utah, the Tigers will likely need Porter’s help to win games like that one. By then there should be a clearer picture of Porter’s injury’s severity. Until there is, when it comes to Porter, you have yet to miss much of anything. And with a player like him, that’s something.

High Five

Each week, we’ll be highlighting five teams on the rise. Here’s who stood out over the past week.

1. Duke: Beating Michigan State on a neutral floor would have made for an impressive victory regardless of how the Blue Devils did it. Doing it while superfrosh Marvin Bagley III sat out the last 30 minutes with an eye injury made it a statement. This offense could be scary, and the 2-3 zone has shown encouraging signs early.

2. Xavier: One of the best true road wins of the season’s first week(ish) came Thursday night, when the Musketeers won 80-70 at Wisconsin to solidify their top-15 bonafides. It wasn’t quite their second round thriller from the 2016 NCAA tournament, but it did feature JP Macura taunting Badgers fans with a Gator chomp in reference to Florida beating Wisconsin last March.

3. Minnesota: The Gophers got a quality road win of their own last Monday when they knocked off Providence by 12, then took care of business against Niagara and Western Carolina. Big man Reggie Lynch is averaging 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 5.5 blocks, the latter of which ranks first nationally.

4. Temple: The Owls won the Charleston Classic by reeling off victories against Old Dominion, Auburn, and Clemson. That’s the beginning of a potentially strong bubble resume. Junior guard Shizz Alston is breaking out to the tune of 18.3 points per game and 56.3% three-point shooting.

5. Belmont: After opening the season with a close loss at Washington, the Bruins knocked off Vanderbilt at home and Middle Tennessee on the road this week—two quality wins that should boost Belmont’s seeding in March should Rick Byrd’s squad win the Ohio Valley.

Top of the Classes

Senior: Jevon Carter, West Virginia guard

Carter nearly flirted with a quadruple-double in the Mountaineers win over American, posting 20 points, nine (!) steals, seven assists and seven rebounds. He’s looking like a good bet to repeat as NABC Defensive Player of the Year, which hasn’t been done since UConn’s Hasheem Thabeet in 2008-09.

Junior: Femi Olujobi, North Carolina A&T forward

After struggling to crack Oakland’s rotation for two years, the 6’8” Olujobi has taken kindly to his new home with the Aggies, averaging 33.0 points and 13.5 rebounds in their wins over the Citadel and Jacksonville last week. He also shot 70.3% from the field in those games.

Sophomore: Isaiah Reese, Canisius guard

This season’s second triple-double in Division I against a D-I opponent (and first in Canisius history) came when Reese put up 23 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds in a 104-84 win over Youngstown State on Saturday. As a freshman last season, Reese had just one double double.

Freshman: Trevon Duval, Duke guard

He may not have been very efficient as a scorer, but Duval’s first big-game performance—17 points and 10 assists to just three turnovers (plus six steals) against Michigan State—proved he can run the offense against an elite opponent and was key to setting up Grayson Allen’s monster performance.

?

Bests of the Best

Each week, we’ll get to know a standout player a little better by asking them about some of the best things in the world. This week we welcome Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett, who’s averaging 25.3 points and 7.0 rebounds for the 3-0 Muskies. So, Trevon, tell us about the best...

...player to impersonate growing up. “Kobe Bryant. When I was growing up, he went on his tear. I remember watching the game where he scored 81 against the Raptors. The moves he was doing—fadeaways, post-ups, all that stuff—just seemed unrealistic, like those were tough shots to make. So I always went downstairs or in the backyard and tried to do those moves. I couldn’t get them down at the time.”

...nickname someone’s given you. “Around my freshman and sophomore year in college, back when I used to fluctuate with my weight and all, my teammates used to call me Big Baby. As funny as it was, I feel like it was pretty accurate looking back on it, so I can’t complain about that one. It was still funny at the time, but I was in denial.”

...Thanksgiving food. “I’ll probably say turkey just because we don’t eat turkey all the time except on Thanksgiving. And then my mom’s homemade macaroni. That’s something I eat every holiday. I don’t really sit around and watch her cook, but I know the process takes all day, starting in the morning with cutting the blocks of cheese and mixing it in. She does it from beginning to end homemade.”

Social Media Post of the Week

Assigned Viewing

PK-80 Motion bracket finals, Sunday at 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

It wouldn’t be fair to assign any homework on Thanksgiving Day, but if you want to watch the two-bracket, 16-team, three-round PK-80 tournament—held in Portland, Ore., in celebration of Nike founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday—from the beginning, that’s when the games will begin. By Sunday the two impressive brackets will narrow to two surely impressive finals, with the Motion bracket (the other is named Victory) offering the most alluring potential final matchup in Duke vs. Florida, with Texas and Gonzaga lurking as spoilers.

As for the Victory bracket, its final will tip off two hours earlier, with Michigan State, North Carolina, and Oklahoma as its headlining contenders. And both brackets will conclude with quadruple-headers beginning at 1 p.m. ET that day, so if you want to truly stuff yourself with basketball, there will be plenty of courses on offer.

Before You’re Dismissed...

• There’s a lot more big-time college basketball to watch this week than just the PK80. SI’s Chris Johnson has a great preview of Feast Week you should check out to guide your hoops consumption.

• On Twitter, President Trump mused, in response to LaVar Ball’s comments on his involvement, that he should have left the three now-freed UCLA basketball players imprisoned in China after their shoplifting arrests. Good to know our president’s caring for his constituents might depend on their father’s—or their teammate’s father’s—praise of him.

• All-America Michigan State forward Miles Bridges sprained his ankle in the Spartans’ win over Stony Brook on Sunday. Tom Izzo said he expects Bridges to be day-to-day, which is better news than a more serious sprain would have been. Next up for Michigan State is DePaul on Thursday on the first day of the PK80.

• Keep an eye on the situation with Kansas freshman Billy Preston. The forward and top-20 recruit was held out of the Jayhawks’ game against Kentucky last week after a minor single-car accident led to questions about the “financial picture” of the vehicle Preston was driving. The implication is that if Preston received the car as an improper benefit, rendering him ineligible, then the Jayhawks would have to forfeit any games Preston played in. Thus Kansas coach Bill Self has said Preston will be sitting out until the situation is resolved. Self said he expects that to be soon. We’ll see.

• It’s early, and Minnesota’s lone major opponent has been Providence, but Gophers forward Jordan Murphy seems to have taken a sizeable leap in his junior season. His scoring average is up from 11.3 points per game as a sophomore to 24.8 through four games this November, while his rebounding average is up from 8.8 to 12.8. Alabama and Miami will provide some stronger tests before the month is through.

• Despite its loss to Belmont that night, Vanderbilt had a pretty good day last Monday, earning a commitment from five-star guard Darius Garland (not to be confused with SI’s Dan Gartland). That’s a big get for second-year coach Bryce Drew.

• That prep-to-pros resurgence may get an early start. Top-10 Class of 2018 recruit Anfernee Simons told ESPN this weekend that he is considering entering next year’s NBA Draft, for which Simons would be eligible because he graduated high school last year (he is currently doing a post-graduate year at Florida’s IMG Academy) and will turn 19 before the draft. Simons reportedly has offers from Florida, Florida State, Louisville, LSU, and Texas A&M, among many others.

• Two bad bits of injury news for NCAA tourney hopefuls this week, as UCF will reportedly be without guard B.J. Taylor until around the end of December, and Rhode Island’s E.C. Matthews is expected to be out until around the same time after breaking his left wrist.

• After a too-long saga, N.C. State freshman Braxton Beverly—who briefly enrolled in classes at Ohio State before coach Thad Matta was fired in June, then transferred—was ruled eligible by the NCAA last week. Glad they did the right thing, but this was all a bunch of completely unnecessary drama.

SI’s preseason projections may have only had Wake Forest 12th in the ACC, but that was still good for 73rd nationally. With a 1-4 start including a home loss to Liberty and a neutral-site defeat to Drake, even modest projections are looking a little rosey.

• A freshman you’ll be getting to know soon, if you don’t already: Oklahoma point guard Trae Young, a Norman native who’s averaging 18.5 points and 11.5 assists through two games. Those were against Nebraska-Omaha and Ball State, which are not exactly Big 12 opponents, but Young looks ready to live up to five-star expectations.

• Watching Ed Cooley coach Providence last week, it struck me that a lot more coaches should wear vests. It’s a good look. Cooley rocks them well.

• Have a good Thanksgiving, everybody. Don’t forget the dump’s closed.

Your Day-by-Day Guide to the Busiest Week of the College Football Season

Between the coaching carousel and games that will help decide conference titles and playoff berths, this will be the busiest week of the season. Here’s a primer so you can pencil in some time to cook a turkey.

Monday-Wednesday

The Chip Kelly Sweepstakes

Florida officials flew to New Hampshire on Sunday to shoot their shot with Chip Kelly. Earlier in the day, UCLA fired Jim Mora. The Bruins also want a crack at Kelly. He may also have other options that we don’t yet know about. At some point, he will decide what he wants to do. (Insert your own puff of white smoke joke here.) That point probably will come before other coaches become available to talk. The first such coach is Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, whose regular season ends with the Egg Bowl on Thursday.

Tennessee

If the Grumors are true and Jon Gruden becomes Tennessee’s next coach, I’ll have two bets to pay off.

I must eat a hat.

• This…

If the Grumors are true, that deal should be done before the first turkey is served. Like Kelly, anyone could hire Gruden at any time. Gruden would have to want to take the job, though.

In the far more likely event that Tennessee’s next coach is someone other than Gruden, the timeline shifts to when candidates would be available to talk. Mullen also would be an excellent choice for the Volunteers. Mike Norvell of Memphis likely will be leading the Tigers in the American Athletic Conference title game and wouldn’t be available to interview until after that game on Dec. 2. Washington State coach Mike Leach, who could be lured away by either the Vols or Gators, could be done Saturday or could be playing the following Friday in the Pac-12 title game if his Cougars beat Washington in the Apple Cup.

Thursday

Ole Miss

The Rebels play Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl this week, but they could be dealing with news earlier in the week. They’re past the window in which the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions usually would hand down a ruling on a case, so the COI’s ruling could come any day. That ruling—and the ensuing sanctions—will determine which coaches are in the pool for the Ole Miss job. If the COI rules harshly and tacks on a longer postseason ban and serious scholarship reductions, that pool will shrink. If the COI hands down a lighter sentence, quite a few coaches will want the job—which could pay big money.

Mississippi State

The Bulldogs escaped Arkansas, but they’ll deal with more noise all week. Mullen, who has interviewed for other jobs before, would be a good fit at Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M or Nebraska. But might he want to stay in Starkville? He has a very good team coming back next year. He has a new operations building. He has a job that gets him extended rather than fired if he wins nine games.

Friday

TCU

The Horned Frogs close their regular season Friday against rival Baylor, which would love nothing more than to ruin TCU’s Big 12 title chances. But a TCU win would clinch a spot opposite Oklahoma in the championship game. A Baylor win would complicate matters, and I’ll let Scott Bell of the Dallas Morning News take it from here because the league might be going deeeeeep into the tiebreaker list.

Arkansas

The firing of athletic director Jeff Long seems to spell doom for Bret Bielema’s tenure as the Arkansas coach. The question now is with this many jobs open, can the Razorbacks lure an attractive candidate? Of course a faction wants former Springdale (Ark.) High coach Gus Malzahn, but he might have a pretty good thing going at Auburn. Former Arkansas quarterback Clint Stoerner put it well last week when I interviewed him on SiriusXM: The Razorbacks need an offensive identity that makes them different and gives them a recruiting niche. Triple option, Air Raid, it doesn’t matter which one. But Arkansas needs to be different in a good way.

UCF

The Knights will play USF at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday with a berth in the American Athletic Conference title game on the line. If UCF wins, it’ll be another huge step forward for a program that was 0–12 just two years ago. (And beating the nearby rival that spent years blocking UCF from the Big East would make it even sweeter.) It also means all those schools who want to interview Knights coach Scott Frost would have to wait another week. They can pass the time by reading my story on UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin.

USF

Remember before the season when we penciled the Bulls into the Group of Five’s spot in the New Year’s Six bowls? Well, they’ve only lost once (to Houston), but they’re 11-point underdogs to Interstate 4 rival UCF. Coach Charlie Strong’s team still has a shot at a big-money bowl, but it has to beat its rival.

Nebraska

It’s not really a secret that the Mike Riley era at Nebraska will end after the Iowa game. The question now is where the Cornhuskers go from here. Former Nebraska quarterback Frost seems like the obvious choice, but the UCF coach likely will have other suitors. If Frost chooses another job or stays at UCF, what then? Current Nebraska AD Bill Moos hired Leach at Washington State. That could be fun.

Saturday

The Game

Ohio State’s playoff hopes remain alive, but they’ll be dead if they can’t beat Michigan. Meanwhile, a loss to the Buckeyes would drop Jim Harbaugh’s record against his biggest rival to 0–3. Someone is going to be very, very angry when this one ends.

Iron Bowl

The last time an Alabama-Auburn matchup was a de facto SEC West title game, this happened.

With both teams still in the playoff hunt, this one could be just as much fun. Alabama is banged up at linebacker but might have Christian Miller back. Auburn looked like a juggernaut against Georgia on Nov. 11. The question now is whether the Tigers can repeat that performance, because they’ll need to be just as good to beat the Crimson Tide.

Territorial Cup

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez appears to have saved his job—thanks in large part to the rise of quarterback Khalil Tate. Arizona State coach Todd Graham may have saved his job—thanks in large part to a glut of openings and a limited supply of qualified replacements. Still, Graham probably should avoid a performance like last year, when the Wildcats ran for 511 yards, won 56–35 and didn’t even feel the need to attempt a pass in the second half.

Texas A&M

It appears the Texas A&M–Kevin Sumlin marriage will end soon, and that might be best for both parties. The Aggies want more, even though their history suggests this is what they should expect while sharing a division with a team on an all-time run. Sumlin deserves better than constant calls for his firing for multiple years. If Kelly picks Florida instead of UCLA, Westwood could be a nice landing spot for Sumlin. As for the Aggies, they should load up as much as their boosters are willing to chip in and make that run at Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher. He might say no, but that’s not a foregone conclusion at this point.

A Random Ranking

I considered revisiting my Thanksgiving Side Dish Power Rankings from three years ago, but upon further review, they’re pretty much perfect. But since I will make multiple meals out of Thanksgiving leftovers, I’ve decided to rank the top five meals.

1. Breakfast
2. Second breakfast
3. Dinner
4. Lunch
5. Fourthmeal

Projected Playoff

1. Alabama

The winner of the Iron Bowl will face Georgia for the SEC title and for a playoff berth. This could be an all-timer.

2. Miami

The Hurricanes made an otherwise ho-hum Saturday interesting by falling behind by two touchdowns twice against Virginia. But they came back to keep their undefeated season alive. Mark Richt probably would prefer his team doesn’t make it so exciting against Pittsburgh.

3. Oklahoma

Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield made an otherwise ho-hum Saturday interesting by grabbing his junk on national television. He shouldn’t have done it, but it won’t keep him from winning the Heisman.

4. Wisconsin

The Badgers need to beat Minnesota for the 14th consecutive season for several reasons. First, they’d stay undefeated and have a chance to clinch a playoff berth against Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. Second, they’d win Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Third, they’d win the Slab of Bacon trophy. No, really.

Big Ugl(ies) of the Week

It’s about time we honored some Wisconsin offensive linemen, and this week’s award goes to Badgers center Tyler Biadasz and right guard Beau Benzschawel. Watch these two pull and eliminate defenders on Kendric Pryor’s 32-yard touchdown on an end-around against Michigan. I’m expecting a bunch of of-course-the-big-guys-blocked-the-small-guys responses from people who don’t understand the athleticism required for 316-pound redshirt freshman to snap, pull, locate a fast-moving target and then eliminate him from the play. These guys also have held their own against the big guys in the trenches all season, but it’s also fun to watch them perform a little Bulldozer Ballet.

Three and Out

1. A little Biblical rain in Knoxville wasn’t going to stop Coach O.

2. But a shank and a nifty decoy play would keep UCLA’s punt coverage team from finding USC’s Michael Pittman Jr.

3. Last week in this spot, you read about Austin Peay’s attempt to go from the nation’s longest losing streak to the FCS playoffs. The Governors did beat Eastern Illinois 28–13 to finish 8–1 in FCS play, but the selection committee—yes, they have those in other divisions—made Austin Peay the first team out of the 24-team bracket.

For Your Ears

First, an update on the Chip Kelly situation (which hopefully will still be correct when you hear it). Later, Nicole Auerbach of The All-American joins to discuss the coaching carousel, Grumors and the pixelated version of Mayfield’s crotch grab.

What’s Eating Andy?

Perhaps the most incongruous scene from Saturday was the Kansas football captains refusing to shake Mayfield’s hand—a precursor to the aforementioned Mayfield junk-grabbing—while two very young Kansas fans stood next to them. Instead of a trash-talking barrage, Mayfield could have checkmated the Jayhawks by shaking the hands of the two kids who accompanied them to midfield. It would have been hilarious, and it would have been the perfect response. Instead, everyone chose the stupidest possible option.

What’s Andy Eating?

The server considered the order I’d just given him and walked toward the kitchen. Then he wheeled around and returned to the table. “Do you still want the biscuit?” he asked.

For the uninitiated, the answer is always “Hell yes I want the biscuit.” I’d sat down at Mama’s Boy in Athens, Ga., and ordered two entrees. I had only planned to order the pulled pork and potato hash, but then I read the chalkboard next to the door. It said this:

Fig & Rosemary Pancakes: Fig and rosemary pancakes with fresh sliced figs and housemade fig syrup topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar

I had to try these. And since Mama’s Boy offered a short stack for $4.99, it would only be a taste. But when the food arrived, I understood my server’s hesitation vis-a-vis the biscuit that came on the side of the pulled pork and potato hash.

The “short stack” consisted of three glorious, fluffy pancakes covered with just enough of the aforementioned fig syrup. This would be a full meal for a normal person. I, however, am not normal. So I grabbed the bowl that contained the hash and plucked the biscuit off the side.

Mama’s Boy does everything right, which is why the line to get in snakes around the building many mornings. If you don’t want to wait, go at 12:30 p.m. on a weekday like I did and simply order breakfast for lunch. (You can call it brunch if you want. I’d rather not skip or combine meals.) That biscuit was golden on the outside and fluffy on the inside and soaked up the blackberry preserves I spread on each half. The pulled pork and potato hash was even better. Home fries provide the base for a pile of pulled pork that is lightly coated with mustard-based barbecue sauce. If you read this space often, you know my feelings on barbecue sauce. But while I don’t always use barbecue sauce, when I do, I prefer mustard-based. Two poached eggs sit atop this creation, and after a few swipes with a fork all the ingredients blend together into a comfort food amalgam that should come with a warning label. The Surgeon General has determined you’ll need a nap after this. Hope you have some free time.

The pancakes were just as good. My one complaint with typical pancakes is that even the salty buttermilk flavor doesn’t completely counterbalance the sweetness of the syrup. The rosemary cuts the sweetness just enough here. These lit up every section of taste buds, and even though I was stuffed after the hash, I couldn’t stop eating.

I wanted to try one of the cinnamon rolls the menu had touted, but I knew when I saw a tray of them in the kitchen that I’d need to wait for another day. They were approximately the size of youth footballs, but if they were made with the same care as everything else I’d tried, they had to be the most delicious footballs ever baked.

Your Day-by-Day Guide to the Busiest Week of the College Football Season

Between the coaching carousel and games that will help decide conference titles and playoff berths, this will be the busiest week of the season. Here’s a primer so you can pencil in some time to cook a turkey.

Monday-Wednesday

The Chip Kelly Sweepstakes

Florida officials flew to New Hampshire on Sunday to shoot their shot with Chip Kelly. Earlier in the day, UCLA fired Jim Mora. The Bruins also want a crack at Kelly. He may also have other options that we don’t yet know about. At some point, he will decide what he wants to do. (Insert your own puff of white smoke joke here.) That point probably will come before other coaches become available to talk. The first such coach is Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, whose regular season ends with the Egg Bowl on Thursday.

Tennessee

If the Grumors are true and Jon Gruden becomes Tennessee’s next coach, I’ll have two bets to pay off.

I must eat a hat.

• This…

If the Grumors are true, that deal should be done before the first turkey is served. Like Kelly, anyone could hire Gruden at any time. Gruden would have to want to take the job, though.

In the far more likely event that Tennessee’s next coach is someone other than Gruden, the timeline shifts to when candidates would be available to talk. Mullen also would be an excellent choice for the Volunteers. Mike Norvell of Memphis likely will be leading the Tigers in the American Athletic Conference title game and wouldn’t be available to interview until after that game on Dec. 2. Washington State coach Mike Leach, who could be lured away by either the Vols or Gators, could be done Saturday or could be playing the following Friday in the Pac-12 title game if his Cougars beat Washington in the Apple Cup.

Thursday

Ole Miss

The Rebels play Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl this week, but they could be dealing with news earlier in the week. They’re past the window in which the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions usually would hand down a ruling on a case, so the COI’s ruling could come any day. That ruling—and the ensuing sanctions—will determine which coaches are in the pool for the Ole Miss job. If the COI rules harshly and tacks on a longer postseason ban and serious scholarship reductions, that pool will shrink. If the COI hands down a lighter sentence, quite a few coaches will want the job—which could pay big money.

Mississippi State

The Bulldogs escaped Arkansas, but they’ll deal with more noise all week. Mullen, who has interviewed for other jobs before, would be a good fit at Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M or Nebraska. But might he want to stay in Starkville? He has a very good team coming back next year. He has a new operations building. He has a job that gets him extended rather than fired if he wins nine games.

Friday

TCU

The Horned Frogs close their regular season Friday against rival Baylor, which would love nothing more than to ruin TCU’s Big 12 title chances. But a TCU win would clinch a spot opposite Oklahoma in the championship game. A Baylor win would complicate matters, and I’ll let Scott Bell of the Dallas Morning News take it from here because the league might be going deeeeeep into the tiebreaker list.

Arkansas

The firing of athletic director Jeff Long seems to spell doom for Bret Bielema’s tenure as the Arkansas coach. The question now is with this many jobs open, can the Razorbacks lure an attractive candidate? Of course a faction wants former Springdale (Ark.) High coach Gus Malzahn, but he might have a pretty good thing going at Auburn. Former Arkansas quarterback Clint Stoerner put it well last week when I interviewed him on SiriusXM: The Razorbacks need an offensive identity that makes them different and gives them a recruiting niche. Triple option, Air Raid, it doesn’t matter which one. But Arkansas needs to be different in a good way.

UCF

The Knights will play USF at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday with a berth in the American Athletic Conference title game on the line. If UCF wins, it’ll be another huge step forward for a program that was 0–12 just two years ago. (And beating the nearby rival that spent years blocking UCF from the Big East would make it even sweeter.) It also means all those schools who want to interview Knights coach Scott Frost would have to wait another week. They can pass the time by reading my story on UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin.

USF

Remember before the season when we penciled the Bulls into the Group of Five’s spot in the New Year’s Six bowls? Well, they’ve only lost once (to Houston), but they’re 11-point underdogs to Interstate 4 rival UCF. Coach Charlie Strong’s team still has a shot at a big-money bowl, but it has to beat its rival.

Nebraska

It’s not really a secret that the Mike Riley era at Nebraska will end after the Iowa game. The question now is where the Cornhuskers go from here. Former Nebraska quarterback Frost seems like the obvious choice, but the UCF coach likely will have other suitors. If Frost chooses another job or stays at UCF, what then? Current Nebraska AD Bill Moos hired Leach at Washington State. That could be fun.

Saturday

The Game

Ohio State’s playoff hopes remain alive, but they’ll be dead if they can’t beat Michigan. Meanwhile, a loss to the Buckeyes would drop Jim Harbaugh’s record against his biggest rival to 0–3. Someone is going to be very, very angry when this one ends.

Iron Bowl

The last time an Alabama-Auburn matchup was a de facto SEC West title game, this happened.

With both teams still in the playoff hunt, this one could be just as much fun. Alabama is banged up at linebacker but might have Christian Miller back. Auburn looked like a juggernaut against Georgia on Nov. 11. The question now is whether the Tigers can repeat that performance, because they’ll need to be just as good to beat the Crimson Tide.

Territorial Cup

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez appears to have saved his job—thanks in large part to the rise of quarterback Khalil Tate. Arizona State coach Todd Graham may have saved his job—thanks in large part to a glut of openings and a limited supply of qualified replacements. Still, Graham probably should avoid a performance like last year, when the Wildcats ran for 511 yards, won 56–35 and didn’t even feel the need to attempt a pass in the second half.

Texas A&M

It appears the Texas A&M–Kevin Sumlin marriage will end soon, and that might be best for both parties. The Aggies want more, even though their history suggests this is what they should expect while sharing a division with a team on an all-time run. Sumlin deserves better than constant calls for his firing for multiple years. If Kelly picks Florida instead of UCLA, Westwood could be a nice landing spot for Sumlin. As for the Aggies, they should load up as much as their boosters are willing to chip in and make that run at Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher. He might say no, but that’s not a foregone conclusion at this point.

A Random Ranking

I considered revisiting my Thanksgiving Side Dish Power Rankings from three years ago, but upon further review, they’re pretty much perfect. But since I will make multiple meals out of Thanksgiving leftovers, I’ve decided to rank the top five meals.

1. Breakfast
2. Second breakfast
3. Dinner
4. Lunch
5. Fourthmeal

Projected Playoff

1. Alabama

The winner of the Iron Bowl will face Georgia for the SEC title and for a playoff berth. This could be an all-timer.

2. Miami

The Hurricanes made an otherwise ho-hum Saturday interesting by falling behind by two touchdowns twice against Virginia. But they came back to keep their undefeated season alive. Mark Richt probably would prefer his team doesn’t make it so exciting against Pittsburgh.

3. Oklahoma

Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield made an otherwise ho-hum Saturday interesting by grabbing his junk on national television. He shouldn’t have done it, but it won’t keep him from winning the Heisman.

4. Wisconsin

The Badgers need to beat Minnesota for the 14th consecutive season for several reasons. First, they’d stay undefeated and have a chance to clinch a playoff berth against Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. Second, they’d win Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Third, they’d win the Slab of Bacon trophy. No, really.

Big Ugl(ies) of the Week

It’s about time we honored some Wisconsin offensive linemen, and this week’s award goes to Badgers center Tyler Biadasz and right guard Beau Benzschawel. Watch these two pull and eliminate defenders on Kendric Pryor’s 32-yard touchdown on an end-around against Michigan. I’m expecting a bunch of of-course-the-big-guys-blocked-the-small-guys responses from people who don’t understand the athleticism required for 316-pound redshirt freshman to snap, pull, locate a fast-moving target and then eliminate him from the play. These guys also have held their own against the big guys in the trenches all season, but it’s also fun to watch them perform a little Bulldozer Ballet.

Three and Out

1. A little Biblical rain in Knoxville wasn’t going to stop Coach O.

2. But a shank and a nifty decoy play would keep UCLA’s punt coverage team from finding USC’s Michael Pittman Jr.

3. Last week in this spot, you read about Austin Peay’s attempt to go from the nation’s longest losing streak to the FCS playoffs. The Governors did beat Eastern Illinois 28–13 to finish 8–1 in FCS play, but the selection committee—yes, they have those in other divisions—made Austin Peay the first team out of the 24-team bracket.

For Your Ears

First, an update on the Chip Kelly situation (which hopefully will still be correct when you hear it). Later, Nicole Auerbach of The All-American joins to discuss the coaching carousel, Grumors and the pixelated version of Mayfield’s crotch grab.

What’s Eating Andy?

Perhaps the most incongruous scene from Saturday was the Kansas football captains refusing to shake Mayfield’s hand—a precursor to the aforementioned Mayfield junk-grabbing—while two very young Kansas fans stood next to them. Instead of a trash-talking barrage, Mayfield could have checkmated the Jayhawks by shaking the hands of the two kids who accompanied them to midfield. It would have been hilarious, and it would have been the perfect response. Instead, everyone chose the stupidest possible option.

What’s Andy Eating?

The server considered the order I’d just given him and walked toward the kitchen. Then he wheeled around and returned to the table. “Do you still want the biscuit?” he asked.

For the uninitiated, the answer is always “Hell yes I want the biscuit.” I’d sat down at Mama’s Boy in Athens, Ga., and ordered two entrees. I had only planned to order the pulled pork and potato hash, but then I read the chalkboard next to the door. It said this:

Fig & Rosemary Pancakes: Fig and rosemary pancakes with fresh sliced figs and housemade fig syrup topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar

I had to try these. And since Mama’s Boy offered a short stack for $4.99, it would only be a taste. But when the food arrived, I understood my server’s hesitation vis-a-vis the biscuit that came on the side of the pulled pork and potato hash.

The “short stack” consisted of three glorious, fluffy pancakes covered with just enough of the aforementioned fig syrup. This would be a full meal for a normal person. I, however, am not normal. So I grabbed the bowl that contained the hash and plucked the biscuit off the side.

Mama’s Boy does everything right, which is why the line to get in snakes around the building many mornings. If you don’t want to wait, go at 12:30 p.m. on a weekday like I did and simply order breakfast for lunch. (You can call it brunch if you want. I’d rather not skip or combine meals.) That biscuit was golden on the outside and fluffy on the inside and soaked up the blackberry preserves I spread on each half. The pulled pork and potato hash was even better. Home fries provide the base for a pile of pulled pork that is lightly coated with mustard-based barbecue sauce. If you read this space often, you know my feelings on barbecue sauce. But while I don’t always use barbecue sauce, when I do, I prefer mustard-based. Two poached eggs sit atop this creation, and after a few swipes with a fork all the ingredients blend together into a comfort food amalgam that should come with a warning label. The Surgeon General has determined you’ll need a nap after this. Hope you have some free time.

The pancakes were just as good. My one complaint with typical pancakes is that even the salty buttermilk flavor doesn’t completely counterbalance the sweetness of the syrup. The rosemary cuts the sweetness just enough here. These lit up every section of taste buds, and even though I was stuffed after the hash, I couldn’t stop eating.

I wanted to try one of the cinnamon rolls the menu had touted, but I knew when I saw a tray of them in the kitchen that I’d need to wait for another day. They were approximately the size of youth footballs, but if they were made with the same care as everything else I’d tried, they had to be the most delicious footballs ever baked.

Your Day-by-Day Guide to the Busiest Week of the College Football Season

Between the coaching carousel and games that will help decide conference titles and playoff berths, this will be the busiest week of the season. Here’s a primer so you can pencil in some time to cook a turkey.

Monday-Wednesday

The Chip Kelly Sweepstakes

Florida officials flew to New Hampshire on Sunday to shoot their shot with Chip Kelly. Earlier in the day, UCLA fired Jim Mora. The Bruins also want a crack at Kelly. He may also have other options that we don’t yet know about. At some point, he will decide what he wants to do. (Insert your own puff of white smoke joke here.) That point probably will come before other coaches become available to talk. The first such coach is Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, whose regular season ends with the Egg Bowl on Thursday.

Tennessee

If the Grumors are true and Jon Gruden becomes Tennessee’s next coach, I’ll have two bets to pay off.

I must eat a hat.

• This…

If the Grumors are true, that deal should be done before the first turkey is served. Like Kelly, anyone could hire Gruden at any time. Gruden would have to want to take the job, though.

In the far more likely event that Tennessee’s next coach is someone other than Gruden, the timeline shifts to when candidates would be available to talk. Mullen also would be an excellent choice for the Volunteers. Mike Norvell of Memphis likely will be leading the Tigers in the American Athletic Conference title game and wouldn’t be available to interview until after that game on Dec. 2. Washington State coach Mike Leach, who could be lured away by either the Vols or Gators, could be done Saturday or could be playing the following Friday in the Pac-12 title game if his Cougars beat Washington in the Apple Cup.

Thursday

Ole Miss

The Rebels play Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl this week, but they could be dealing with news earlier in the week. They’re past the window in which the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions usually would hand down a ruling on a case, so the COI’s ruling could come any day. That ruling—and the ensuing sanctions—will determine which coaches are in the pool for the Ole Miss job. If the COI rules harshly and tacks on a longer postseason ban and serious scholarship reductions, that pool will shrink. If the COI hands down a lighter sentence, quite a few coaches will want the job—which could pay big money.

Mississippi State

The Bulldogs escaped Arkansas, but they’ll deal with more noise all week. Mullen, who has interviewed for other jobs before, would be a good fit at Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M or Nebraska. But might he want to stay in Starkville? He has a very good team coming back next year. He has a new operations building. He has a job that gets him extended rather than fired if he wins nine games.

Friday

TCU

The Horned Frogs close their regular season Friday against rival Baylor, which would love nothing more than to ruin TCU’s Big 12 title chances. But a TCU win would clinch a spot opposite Oklahoma in the championship game. A Baylor win would complicate matters, and I’ll let Scott Bell of the Dallas Morning News take it from here because the league might be going deeeeeep into the tiebreaker list.

Arkansas

The firing of athletic director Jeff Long seems to spell doom for Bret Bielema’s tenure as the Arkansas coach. The question now is with this many jobs open, can the Razorbacks lure an attractive candidate? Of course a faction wants former Springdale (Ark.) High coach Gus Malzahn, but he might have a pretty good thing going at Auburn. Former Arkansas quarterback Clint Stoerner put it well last week when I interviewed him on SiriusXM: The Razorbacks need an offensive identity that makes them different and gives them a recruiting niche. Triple option, Air Raid, it doesn’t matter which one. But Arkansas needs to be different in a good way.

UCF

The Knights will play USF at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday with a berth in the American Athletic Conference title game on the line. If UCF wins, it’ll be another huge step forward for a program that was 0–12 just two years ago. (And beating the nearby rival that spent years blocking UCF from the Big East would make it even sweeter.) It also means all those schools who want to interview Knights coach Scott Frost would have to wait another week. They can pass the time by reading my story on UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin.

USF

Remember before the season when we penciled the Bulls into the Group of Five’s spot in the New Year’s Six bowls? Well, they’ve only lost once (to Houston), but they’re 11-point underdogs to Interstate 4 rival UCF. Coach Charlie Strong’s team still has a shot at a big-money bowl, but it has to beat its rival.

Nebraska

It’s not really a secret that the Mike Riley era at Nebraska will end after the Iowa game. The question now is where the Cornhuskers go from here. Former Nebraska quarterback Frost seems like the obvious choice, but the UCF coach likely will have other suitors. If Frost chooses another job or stays at UCF, what then? Current Nebraska AD Bill Moos hired Leach at Washington State. That could be fun.

Saturday

The Game

Ohio State’s playoff hopes remain alive, but they’ll be dead if they can’t beat Michigan. Meanwhile, a loss to the Buckeyes would drop Jim Harbaugh’s record against his biggest rival to 0–3. Someone is going to be very, very angry when this one ends.

Iron Bowl

The last time an Alabama-Auburn matchup was a de facto SEC West title game, this happened.

With both teams still in the playoff hunt, this one could be just as much fun. Alabama is banged up at linebacker but might have Christian Miller back. Auburn looked like a juggernaut against Georgia on Nov. 11. The question now is whether the Tigers can repeat that performance, because they’ll need to be just as good to beat the Crimson Tide.

Territorial Cup

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez appears to have saved his job—thanks in large part to the rise of quarterback Khalil Tate. Arizona State coach Todd Graham may have saved his job—thanks in large part to a glut of openings and a limited supply of qualified replacements. Still, Graham probably should avoid a performance like last year, when the Wildcats ran for 511 yards, won 56–35 and didn’t even feel the need to attempt a pass in the second half.

Texas A&M

It appears the Texas A&M–Kevin Sumlin marriage will end soon, and that might be best for both parties. The Aggies want more, even though their history suggests this is what they should expect while sharing a division with a team on an all-time run. Sumlin deserves better than constant calls for his firing for multiple years. If Kelly picks Florida instead of UCLA, Westwood could be a nice landing spot for Sumlin. As for the Aggies, they should load up as much as their boosters are willing to chip in and make that run at Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher. He might say no, but that’s not a foregone conclusion at this point.

A Random Ranking

I considered revisiting my Thanksgiving Side Dish Power Rankings from three years ago, but upon further review, they’re pretty much perfect. But since I will make multiple meals out of Thanksgiving leftovers, I’ve decided to rank the top five meals.

1. Breakfast
2. Second breakfast
3. Dinner
4. Lunch
5. Fourthmeal

Projected Playoff

1. Alabama

The winner of the Iron Bowl will face Georgia for the SEC title and for a playoff berth. This could be an all-timer.

2. Miami

The Hurricanes made an otherwise ho-hum Saturday interesting by falling behind by two touchdowns twice against Virginia. But they came back to keep their undefeated season alive. Mark Richt probably would prefer his team doesn’t make it so exciting against Pittsburgh.

3. Oklahoma

Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield made an otherwise ho-hum Saturday interesting by grabbing his junk on national television. He shouldn’t have done it, but it won’t keep him from winning the Heisman.

4. Wisconsin

The Badgers need to beat Minnesota for the 14th consecutive season for several reasons. First, they’d stay undefeated and have a chance to clinch a playoff berth against Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. Second, they’d win Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Third, they’d win the Slab of Bacon trophy. No, really.

Big Ugl(ies) of the Week

It’s about time we honored some Wisconsin offensive linemen, and this week’s award goes to Badgers center Tyler Biadasz and right guard Beau Benzschawel. Watch these two pull and eliminate defenders on Kendric Pryor’s 32-yard touchdown on an end-around against Michigan. I’m expecting a bunch of of-course-the-big-guys-blocked-the-small-guys responses from people who don’t understand the athleticism required for 316-pound redshirt freshman to snap, pull, locate a fast-moving target and then eliminate him from the play. These guys also have held their own against the big guys in the trenches all season, but it’s also fun to watch them perform a little Bulldozer Ballet.

Three and Out

1. A little Biblical rain in Knoxville wasn’t going to stop Coach O.

2. But a shank and a nifty decoy play would keep UCLA’s punt coverage team from finding USC’s Michael Pittman Jr.

3. Last week in this spot, you read about Austin Peay’s attempt to go from the nation’s longest losing streak to the FCS playoffs. The Governors did beat Eastern Illinois 28–13 to finish 8–1 in FCS play, but the selection committee—yes, they have those in other divisions—made Austin Peay the first team out of the 24-team bracket.

For Your Ears

First, an update on the Chip Kelly situation (which hopefully will still be correct when you hear it). Later, Nicole Auerbach of The All-American joins to discuss the coaching carousel, Grumors and the pixelated version of Mayfield’s crotch grab.

What’s Eating Andy?

Perhaps the most incongruous scene from Saturday was the Kansas football captains refusing to shake Mayfield’s hand—a precursor to the aforementioned Mayfield junk-grabbing—while two very young Kansas fans stood next to them. Instead of a trash-talking barrage, Mayfield could have checkmated the Jayhawks by shaking the hands of the two kids who accompanied them to midfield. It would have been hilarious, and it would have been the perfect response. Instead, everyone chose the stupidest possible option.

What’s Andy Eating?

The server considered the order I’d just given him and walked toward the kitchen. Then he wheeled around and returned to the table. “Do you still want the biscuit?” he asked.

For the uninitiated, the answer is always “Hell yes I want the biscuit.” I’d sat down at Mama’s Boy in Athens, Ga., and ordered two entrees. I had only planned to order the pulled pork and potato hash, but then I read the chalkboard next to the door. It said this:

Fig & Rosemary Pancakes: Fig and rosemary pancakes with fresh sliced figs and housemade fig syrup topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar

I had to try these. And since Mama’s Boy offered a short stack for $4.99, it would only be a taste. But when the food arrived, I understood my server’s hesitation vis-a-vis the biscuit that came on the side of the pulled pork and potato hash.

The “short stack” consisted of three glorious, fluffy pancakes covered with just enough of the aforementioned fig syrup. This would be a full meal for a normal person. I, however, am not normal. So I grabbed the bowl that contained the hash and plucked the biscuit off the side.

Mama’s Boy does everything right, which is why the line to get in snakes around the building many mornings. If you don’t want to wait, go at 12:30 p.m. on a weekday like I did and simply order breakfast for lunch. (You can call it brunch if you want. I’d rather not skip or combine meals.) That biscuit was golden on the outside and fluffy on the inside and soaked up the blackberry preserves I spread on each half. The pulled pork and potato hash was even better. Home fries provide the base for a pile of pulled pork that is lightly coated with mustard-based barbecue sauce. If you read this space often, you know my feelings on barbecue sauce. But while I don’t always use barbecue sauce, when I do, I prefer mustard-based. Two poached eggs sit atop this creation, and after a few swipes with a fork all the ingredients blend together into a comfort food amalgam that should come with a warning label. The Surgeon General has determined you’ll need a nap after this. Hope you have some free time.

The pancakes were just as good. My one complaint with typical pancakes is that even the salty buttermilk flavor doesn’t completely counterbalance the sweetness of the syrup. The rosemary cuts the sweetness just enough here. These lit up every section of taste buds, and even though I was stuffed after the hash, I couldn’t stop eating.

I wanted to try one of the cinnamon rolls the menu had touted, but I knew when I saw a tray of them in the kitchen that I’d need to wait for another day. They were approximately the size of youth footballs, but if they were made with the same care as everything else I’d tried, they had to be the most delicious footballs ever baked.

2018 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 60 Prospects

With the NBA and college basketball seasons both in full swing, it’s time to start parsing through the player pool and ranking prospects. And with that, The Crossover’s Front Office presents its initial list of the top 60 players for the 2018 NBA draft.

While our Mock Draft aims to project what the draft might look like on a given day of the season and factors in team needs, the Big Board serves as our own point of reference for pure talent. These rankings are based on our own evaluations and conversations with scouts, and establishes how we'd select them in a vacuum (which is a scenario that of course will never actually happen).

Bookmark this page, as we’ll be adjusting our rankings throughout the season up until draft night. (Note: Ranking last updated Nov. 20)

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1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19

Elite physical tools, soft touch around the basket and a promising jump shot make Ayton a tantalizing prospect. He has most of the traits you want in a modern center plus the athletic ability to face up and play in space. The college game comes easily to him, and if he answers questions about his effort, Ayton will have a strong case atop the draft. He’s a manchild with crazy-high upside and a potential franchise cornerstone.

2. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 18

Known for his aggression on the glass and overall competitiveness, Bagley manufactures easy baskets and possesses uncommonly fluid athleticism for a guy his size. He should become highly versatile on the defensive end. His growth as a scorer in the halfcourt will ultimately make or break him, and his jump shot is a work in progress, but his makeup and base strengths give his value a solid floor.

3. Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18

At 18, Doncic has become perhaps the top player in the Euroleague and a potential No. 1 pick. He’s comfortable as a lead ball-handler and has become deadly from three-point range. He makes his teammates better and readstoday a the floor well beyond his years. While he will face an adjustment to the speed of NBA defenses, there’s not really much to nitpick here. Doncic appears a safe bet to continue on the fast track and contribute at a high level.

4. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Porter is a smooth, polished scorer who thrives on the perimeter and should be able to play either forward spot. Shooting is at a premium, and Porter’s ball-handling and perimeter skills give him a chance to contribute immediately. He can be a ball-stopper, and rounding out his game with playmaking and defense are the next steps, but he’s a pretty ideal frontcourt prospect in the pace-and-space era.

5. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

With off-the-charts length and impressive mobility, Bamba is potentially a dominant interior defender. His 7’9” wingspan deserves a sentence of its own. He has a slender frame and continues to round out his offensive skill set, but has shown ability as a jump shooter and is a constant threat to catch lobs. Bamba has an opportunity to evolve into a defensive-minded antidote for the young, perimeter-oriented big men beginning to take over the NBA.

6. Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Michigan State | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18

Jackson boasts NBA bloodlines and an intriguing blend of scoring touch, shot-blocking and three-point shooting potential. On top of that, he’s also producing on the court as one of the youngest players in college basketball. His jump shot mechanics are unorthodox, which may limit how much of that specific success translates, but he has made major all-around strides over the last year or so and is worthy of consideration high in the draft.

7. Robert Williams III, F/C, Texas A&M | Sophomore

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20

A strong, athletic big with some inside-out scoring ability and a nose for the ball, Williams had an impressive yet inconsistent freshman year. He’s a bouncy athlete and talented shot-blocker with pick-and-pop potential. That said, he’s been able to get away with some things at the college level purely because of his physicality. Though he profiles as a top–10 pick, he’s at a relatively advanced age for an ostensibly raw prospect. Scouts will look for Williams to polish his skill set and become a more consistent jump shooter.

8. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Bridges competes hard on both ends of the floor, and elite athletic ability suggests he’ll be a multi-positional defender and transition threat. He’s purely a set shooter right now, but has largely performed well from beyond the arc for the Spartans. He doesn’t have great length for a forward nor developed enough ball-handling skills to play guard, although some of that should be mitigated in an NBA presently favoring smaller, faster forwards. At the least, he should become a rotation player with some upside.

9. Wendell Carter Jr., F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 18

Carter has a well-rounded offensive game, with the ability to score with his back to the basket as well as face up and hit a jump shot. He’s an intelligent offensive player with good size and strength to battle inside. Although he’s not a bad athlete, he’s not especially explosive and can struggle when defenses collapse on him around the basket and alter his shot. Scouts will wonder how he’ll adjust to facing NBA length every night, and if he can become a consistent threat shooting threes.

10. Collin Sexton, G, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

An aggressive scorer with a well-known mean streak, Sexton’s handle and burst allow him to consistently penetrate defenses, kick it out or finish at the basket. He’s shown some improvement as a three-point shooter and plays hard defensively, too. Sexton isn’t a pure point and can improve as a decision maker with the ball, but he has a good chance to become an effective change-of-pace scorer at minimum. In a thin draft for lead ball-handlers, he’ll be among the top available options.

11. Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami | Freshman

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

Walker checks a lot of boxes for an off-guard. He's able to slash to the basket and score from deep with great length for his position. He has long-term 3-and-D potential as he refines his skills, develops his body and learns to play off the ball. Tearing his meniscus over the summer was a setback that might help justify a slow start. He’s still a ways off from being pro-ready, and has to prove he can put up the numbers to match his considerable talent.

12. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

On an inconsistent, younger-than-usual Kentucky roster, Knox appears to be the top prospect in the early going. He’s shown some improvement as a shooter and has enviable physical tools, with the size and reach to guard either forward spot and rebound effectively. He could stand to be more aggressive attacking the basket. His base strengths make him a potential frontcourt asset.

13. Bruce Brown Jr., G, Miami | Sophomore

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Gifted with size, strength and a relentless approach to the game, Brown continues to transition into playing the point full time and should put up big numbers for Miami. He can defend multiple positions on the perimeter and generates turnovers. On offense, he shoots the ball well but needs more polish as a playmaker and as a scorer off the bounce. Regardless, he has a good chance to end up among the first guards drafted.

14. Trevon Duval, PG, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19

Early in the season, Duval has shown improvement in every area of his game, save for his biggest weakness: his jumper. Duval has great size and length, can be an elite on-ball defender, makes plays in transition and has begun to slow the game down from a mental standpoint. But he’s essentially a non-factor shooting from the outside at this stage, with a lack of consistency and touch. Duval is talented enough for the lottery, but could be held back by his struggles from outside.

15. Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School (Louisiana)

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19

Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enter the draft with no experience past high school, teams still have significant interest in his long frame, athleticism and shot-blocking ability. He’s a serious project with questionable feel for the game and likely won’t benefit from walking away from Western Kentucky. Conversely, there will be less time to pick him apart in workout settings. Robinson remains an intriguing name to file away.

16. Dzanan Musa, G/F, KK Cedevita

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18

Musa is an aggressive scoring wing who shoots well from the outside and can attack effectively off the dribble. He’s an improving playmaker and has stood out for Bosnia with an advanced feel, but he’s very ball-dominant at this stage and may not be athletic enough for that role in the NBA. His body leaves something to be desired, as he’s somewhat thin. He lacks ideal length and has a bit of a hunched posture due to the shape of his back. He’s not much of a defender, either. Still, his ability to put the ball in the basket sets him apart.

17. Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19

Diallo is a divisive prospect, but nobody can argue with the freakish bounce and length that makes him worthy of first-round looks. He can run and jump with anyone and has enough of a handle to turn the corner and attack the basket, but his jumper needs work and he’s far from a finished product. Beyond easy transition points and his ability to get to the line, there’s not a ton else to Diallo’s game yet. He’s still so athletic that signs of substantive progress could land him in the lottery.

18. Killian Tillie, F/C, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Hyper-efficient around the basket with a natural touch and quick burst off the floor, Tillie has quietly emerged as Gonzaga’s top prospect. The Frenchman has shown demonstrable polish and has flashed a nice-looking jump shot. He boxes out well and establishes good position inside. He moves well laterally and has some impact defensively, though how he’ll fare on both ends against NBA length remains to be seen. With continued production, he’ll be a person of interest come June.

19. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Freshman

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Most of Brown’s appeal is tied to his long-term potential as an oversized ball-handler and versatile defensive piece. He’s at his best in the open floor and uses his length to attack the basket, see over defenders and make plays for teammates. Brown can impact the game without scoring and has the upside to rise into the lottery depending on how quickly things come together for him on the court.

20. Chimezie Metu, F/C, USC | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

A springy big who blocks shots and has shown some touch, Metu has made noticeable strides year-to-year. He can make the game look easy at times, and has improved as a finisher who can throw it down in tight spaces. His game-to-game activity can waver, as can his on-court awareness. If he’s able to step out and make threes regularly, his ceiling increases considerably. Consistency would go a long way.

21. Justin Jackson, F, Maryland | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

Jackson’s long, well-developed frame makes him a very intriguing two-way forward. His foot speed and 7’3” wingspan allow him to guard several positions, and he’s a useful rebounder and secondary ball-handler. That said, Jackson lacks a demonstrable offensive calling card right now unless he can somehow sustain last season’s impressive shooting clip. His scoring may come along slowly, but his otherwise well-rounded skill set is still worth an investment.

22. Shake Milton, G, SMU | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Milton’s size, shooting and ability to play on and off the ball make him a high-level prospect. He’s proven he can score from the outside and is the type of player who could pair well with a variety of backcourt partners. Milton will be the go-to guy for SMU this season and must continue to take care of the ball, play more aggressively and show he can defend at a competent level.

23. Mikal Bridges, F, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

An emerging 3-and-D prospect, Bridges has generated early-season buzz with an improved offensive game to go with impressive measurables that make him an impact defender. He blocks shots and consistently generates steals with his 7’0” wingspan, and has the kind of versatility that plays particularly well in a fast-paced game. Continuing to thrive in a bigger scoring role is key for him.

24. Grayson Allen, SG, Duke | Senior

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 | Age: 22

Allen is among the top distance shooters in the draft. He's able to get his jumper off both in tight spaces off the dribble and on the catch. He has a well-developed sense of how to get open and get to his spots, and he’s a strong athlete who can attack a closeout and keep defenders from playing him too closely. Allen may not be an impactful NBA defender, but he’s certainly not a stiff. He’s tough, competes hard, and looks tailored for an NBA role.

25. Jaylen Hands, PG, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 175 | Age: 18

In what looks like a weaker draft pool that’s especially devoid of point guard talent, Hands’s highlight-reel explosiveness and end-to-end speed should give him a chance at the first round. He’s still learning how to run a team, but can get to the rim, push in transition and has a workable jumper and nice handle. He does things that are hard to teach. Hands lacks ideal size and strength for the NBA, but has a lot to like as a long-term prospect.

26. Nick Richards, C, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 19

Although extremely raw and prone to foul trouble, Richards’s size, rebounding, mobility and shot-blocking potential put him in the first-round conversation. He’s well-built, highly agile and can play above the rim. But his feel is lacking, and he’s very old for his class—he’ll enter the draft at age 20. If he becomes a reliable rim-runner and shot blocker, Richards should be able to make an impact.

27. Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19

McCoy is all tools at this stage, but he’s physically impressive for a young center. He can get up and down the floor and goes after the ball well off the glass. His timing and feel are still coming along, but he naturally alters shots and has shown some ability to shoot from the mid-range. McCoy needs to be coached up and will need a strong season to win scouts over as a project.

28. Rawle Alkins, SG, Arizona | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20

Alkins remains sidelined as he recovers from a foot fracture. He was among the top performers at the draft combine last season, and has a strong frame and NBA-caliber bounce. He should return to a larger share of Arizona’s possessions, but his main value to the team thus far has come defensively, where he’s evolved into a reliable piece. His ability to score at the rim and off the dribble makes him interesting, and if Alkins returns 100%, he should begin to win people over.

29. Rodions Kurucs, G/F, FC Barcelona

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Though Kurucs's stock has trended down somewhat after pulling out of last year’s draft and failing to earn minutes with Barcelona’s top team, his mix of size, athleticism and smarts offer appeal on the wing. He will need to improve his production beyond simply showing flashes. The Latvian still has some nice traits and looks like a potentially useful role player.

30. Kris Wilkes, SF, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19

Wilkes’s early results have been impressive, and his smooth shooting mechanics, twitchy athleticism and 6’11” wingspan make him a natural fit for a 3-and-D role, given time. He can attack a closeout and looks comfortable scoring in transition. Wilkes still has a lot of work to do on his handle and needs to show he can be a consistent threat from deep and impact the game beyond scoring. His game is reminiscent of Tim Hardaway Jr., and his strengths profile nicely down the line.

31. De’Anthony Melton, G, USC | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

It certainly doesn’t help Melton’s case that he remains out due to the FBI’s college basketball investigation. He did show plenty of defensive toughness and offensive skill as a freshman, and remains on the NBA radar as an energy player and defensive presence. If he gets his jumper in order and makes it onto the floor this season, he could be in for a leap.

32. Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | Sophomore

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 20

Battle has nice size and skill and appears to have taken a step forward as a scorer. He’s agile and tough, but still has to prove he can create off the dribble and improve as a finisher. It’s unclear yet whether his defensive contributions will catch up to his physical prowess. Scouts will want to see him tap into his versatility and show increased efficiency as a scorer.

33. Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas | Senior

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 185 | Age: 22

As the leader of a less-loaded-than-usual Kansas team, Graham’s toughness and scoring aren’t going unnoticed. He boasts nice size and a good stroke from three, and impacts the game as a hard-working on-ball defender. He can struggle getting to the second level of defenses and isn’t elite at any one thing, but if the numbers are there at the end of the season, the first round is within reach.

34. Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Hachimura has come off the bench to start the year for Gonzaga and needs more opportunities to show his stuff, but he has a chance at the first round if he can string together some good performances. He’s got nice length and strength and has some touch as a shooter. He showed plenty of game playing for Japan over the summer and could be a valuable two-way combo forward in time.

35. John Petty, SG, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18

The headlines have belonged to Collin Sexton, but Petty is set to thrive playing off of his talented teammate. He’s a gifted perimeter shooter who can sustain hot streaks and hoist his shot quickly. It may be tricky to assess his well-roundedness given how much of Alabama’s points run through Sexton, but Petty can fill up a box score and has appeal in a 3-and-D role.

36. Emmanuel Akot, F, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18

Akot is ranked here based on his defensive versatility and a promising offensive game. He’s penciled into a supporting role for Arizona and may need another year to prove himself, but his shooting potential, sneaky passing ability and non-stop effort are enticing. He’s strong with the ball in his hands and able to attack the basket and make plays. Akot reclassified to play for the Wildcats this season and is still getting his first taste of highly competitive basketball. As he comes into his own over the course of the season, he could force the issue in regards to the draft.

37. Austin Wiley, C, Auburn | Sophomore

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 250 | Age: 18

Wiley has been held out due to the FBI corruption investigation, but has NBA intrigue with great size, length and strength. He’s young for his class and is in a pretty good place developmentally, working hard on the glass and showing the makings of a decent jumper. He’ll battle in the post and do the dirty work, but isn’t an elite athlete. He can improve as a finisher and has a history of knee injuries that limit his mobility.

38. Andrew Jones, G, Texas | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Jones is an impressive athlete and transition scorer still learning his craft. He may not evolve into a true point guard, but he has nice quickness and a burst that helps him on both ends. His halfcourt skills leave something to be desired, and his jumper is a question mark, but Jones is a nice developmental piece with upside.

39. Jarred Vanderbilt, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Although Vanderbilt has yet to make his debut as he recovers from a foot injury, his eventual return will come with NBA intrigue. He has a history of leg injuries and a thinnish lower body, but he’s a good athlete who can handle the ball a little bit and can make an impact on the glass and as a versatile defender with length. He can also make plays for teammates, particularly in the open floor. The injuries are a concern, but Vanderbilt will have a chance at the first round if he comes back strong.

40. Arnoldas Kulboka, F, Orlandina Basket

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 19

A productive, athletic wing with shooting potential, Kulboka has nice size at the three and has put up impressive numbers coming up in Germany. He has definite upside as a scorer. A native of Lithuania, he needs to add weight, improve defensively and add a little seasoning. He’s a potential draft-and-stash player if he comes out.

41. Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 20

Shamet made it back for the start of the season, but he's now suffered serious injuries in both og hid feet. That aside, he’s a gifted scorer who can hit difficult shots and began to come into his own down the stretch last season. He has nice size for a lead guard, changes speeds well and can move and defend passably. He could be in line for another big leap that could put him in the draft conversation.

42. Alize Johnson, F, Missouri State | Senior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

After breaking out over the summer at Adidas Nations, Johnson emerged as a unique prospect with guard skills and a high rebounding motor packaged into a combo forward’s body. He can handle the ball and push in transition and has some promise as a shooter, profiling as the sort of positionless-type big that’s in high demand right now. Thanks to his versatility, Johnson will get serious NBA looks all season as one of the top mid-major prospects around.

43. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19

Alexander-Walker is far off from logging actual NBA minutes, but his long-term potential has him on draft radars. He has shooting potential, the size to guard both guard spots and a generally good sense of the floor playing on and off the ball for Virginia Tech. He’d greatly benefit from a second year of college and needs to work on his body, as he struggles turning the corner against athletic defenders. He’ll be in for a season of ups and downs in the ACC, but has a nice long-term outlook.

44. Isaac Bonga, G/F, Fraport Skyliners

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18

An oversized ball-handler and talented passer, Bonga could be one of the youngest players in this class and has nice upside given his skill set. His jump shot is the biggest knock on him, but he has nice instincts and vision, particularly at his size. The German product needs a lot of time, but could become a two-way playmaker. Bonga’s offense in particular will require a ton of work, but what he might be in two or three years is enticing.

45. Bryant Crawford, PG, Wake Forest | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

Crawford’s size and strength on the ball and willingness to defend has piqued the interest of point He changes speeds well and can create in the halfcourt. Crawford isn’t a knockdown shooter and needs to prove he can be consistent. He will be asked to elevate a mediocre roster this season and could struggle with efficiency. But his experience, length and two-way contributions help set him apart from other guards.

46. Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Junior

Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21

The youngest of the three Holiday brothers has proven a tough competitor in his own right. He’s undersized but scrappy, and can hit an open three, get to the basket and fight on defense. Holiday will need to sustain a good amount of last season’s shooting numbers, which were abetted by playing alongside Lonzo Ball. But as the de facto veteran leader of a young, talented roster, Holiday can leave a nice impression.

47. Bonzie Colson, PF, Notre Dame | Senior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21

A truly unorthodox prospect, Colson has great length and a deep bag of offensive moves, but stands at just 6’5”. He’s been remarkably effective for Notre Dame anyway, and will tempt teams with his history of production and the hope that he can make it all work as a factor in smaller lineups. He can get to the foul line and has been extremely efficient to date. Whether or not he succeeds in the NBA, his stock will make for an interesting case study.

48. Chandler Hutchison, G/F, Boise State | Senior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

A popular sleeper and one of the top players in the Mountain West, Hutchison has 3-and-D potential and an unflashy, effective game. He’s a good off-ball cutter who can get himself open, and shot the ball well last season. He has the size to guard either wing position and contributes on the glass, too. If Hutchison can sustain his shooting effectiveness with added volume, he’ll have a solid chance to be drafted.

49. Ethan Happ, PF, Wisconsin | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Happ has done nothing but produce at Wisconsin and excels as a finisher and rebounder. He operates mostly in the paint, where he’s always active despite a lack of ideal size at the five. He’s not a flashy player, but he’s a good rebounder, ball-handler and passer and plays bigger than his size. It hurts that he’s not much of a shooter (and a bad free-throw shooter) but his track record is still impressive.

50. Vince Edwards, F, Purdue | Senior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21

Edwards has the athleticism and length to guard several positions passably, and has a nice level of versatility to his game. He could be an ideal fit in smaller lineups with his ability to move the ball, space the floor and get involved on the glass. If you envision him as a glue guy—and he shows real improvement as a defender, where he is prone to lapses—he’s not a bad roll of the dice.

51. Moritz Wagner, F/C, Michigan | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20

Wagner comes off a nice but inconsistent sophomore season and will have a chance to better anchor Michigan’s offense this time around. He’s a talented inside-out big man with the size to play center, but lacks the defensive chops to protect the basket. He was disappointing as a rebounder last season and needs to take a big step forward on that front. As a talented stretch big, he’ll get an opportunity to stick.

52. Jacob Evans, SG, Cincinnati | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 20

Evans is a tough, defensive-minded guard with shot-making ability who has come on strong as an NBA prospect. He has the chops to be a valuable 3-and-D piece and guard multiple positions. If last season’s success from the outside proves to be for real, he has a great chance to hear his name called on draft night.

53. Allonzo Trier, G, Arizona | Junior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Although Trier still shoots first, second and third, he’s a dynamic college scorer who has improved his efficiency from the field. He lacks ideal length for a shooting guard and can be a ball-stopper, calling into question how he'd fit on other teams. He’s an offensive-minded talent and consistent shooter from deep, but will be asked to play a supporting role at the next level. Trier may be able to succeed if he commits to defense, works on his body and proves there’s more to his game.

54. Bennie Boatwright, F, USC | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 230 | Age: 21

As a floor-spacer with size, Boatwright has been on prospect lists for a while. He’s a deadeye shooter with his feet set and has shown the ability to score off the bounce as well, although he’s not a great athlete or a presence defensively. He’s not especially efficient putting the ball in the basket any other way, but a strong year shooting the ball would set him up nicely.

55. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19

A gifted perimeter scorer and improving passer, Young will have a ton of opportunities to shine for the Sooners. He’s not especially big, quick or strong, but has a smooth handle and can create his own shot. His three-point shooting will put him on draft radars, but it’s unclear if he’ll be able to stay on the floor defensively or be quite as effective against athletic defenses.

56. Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Brunson is a heady playmaker who has had success throughout his career and looks tailored for a role as an NBA ball-handler. He doesn’t have great size or strength, but plays and works extremely hard and is often underrated as a scorer. Brunson relies on being crafty, understands how to run a team and has a chance to be drafted, whether this season or the next.

57. Deng Adel, G/F, Louisville | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

Though not overly long for a wing with his strengths, Adel is a productive slasher, rebounder and defender who will inherit even more of a scoring role for Louisville. He’s a good—not great—athlete who brings moxie and has occasional flashes of brilliance. An NBA role would likely require more of him defensively, and if he can emerge as more of a stopper, he could be a fit.

58. Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Bates-Diop is a long, well-built forward with shooting ability and some slashing potential. He’s more of a straight-line driver, but can finish in the paint. He rebounds well and can theoretically defend both forward spots. After a disappointing junior year was cut short by a stress fracture in his left leg, he’ll look to bounce back with big scoring numbers as a senior and play his way into consideration. Much is tied to how well he shoots from three.

59. Anas Mahmoud, C, Louisville | Junior

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 215 | Age: 22

With significant size and length making him an NBA prospect, Mahmoud needs to put together a full, productive season. He’s a strong shot-blocker and showed improvement in his overall feel last year. A native of Egypt, Mahmoud has a slender frame and is old for his class, but any offensive improvement will help his case as a developmental player.

60. Markis McDuffie, F, Wichita State | Junior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

McDuffie has yet to debut this season as he recovers from a stress fracture in his left leg. He’s an athletic combo forward who has improved as a shooter from outside and become a key piece for the Shockers. He’s a multi–positional, rangy defender who forces steals and rebounds well. He’ll return in a presumably larger offensive role, and how he handles it will be pivotal, but he’s young for his class and the type of player teams will take a chance on.

2018 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 60 Prospects

With the NBA and college basketball seasons both in full swing, it’s time to start parsing through the player pool and ranking prospects. And with that, The Crossover’s Front Office presents its initial list of the top 60 players for the 2018 NBA draft.

While our Mock Draft aims to project what the draft might look like on a given day of the season and factors in team needs, the Big Board serves as our own point of reference for pure talent. These rankings are based on our own evaluations and conversations with scouts, and establishes how we'd select them in a vacuum (which is a scenario that of course will never actually happen).

Bookmark this page, as we’ll be adjusting our rankings throughout the season up until draft night. (Note: Ranking last updated Nov. 20)

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1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19

Elite physical tools, soft touch around the basket and a promising jump shot make Ayton a tantalizing prospect. He has most of the traits you want in a modern center plus the athletic ability to face up and play in space. The college game comes easily to him, and if he answers questions about his effort, Ayton will have a strong case atop the draft. He’s a manchild with crazy-high upside and a potential franchise cornerstone.

2. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 18

Known for his aggression on the glass and overall competitiveness, Bagley manufactures easy baskets and possesses uncommonly fluid athleticism for a guy his size. He should become highly versatile on the defensive end. His growth as a scorer in the halfcourt will ultimately make or break him, and his jump shot is a work in progress, but his makeup and base strengths give his value a solid floor.

3. Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18

At 18, Doncic has become perhaps the top player in the Euroleague and a potential No. 1 pick. He’s comfortable as a lead ball-handler and has become deadly from three-point range. He makes his teammates better and readstoday a the floor well beyond his years. While he will face an adjustment to the speed of NBA defenses, there’s not really much to nitpick here. Doncic appears a safe bet to continue on the fast track and contribute at a high level.

4. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Porter is a smooth, polished scorer who thrives on the perimeter and should be able to play either forward spot. Shooting is at a premium, and Porter’s ball-handling and perimeter skills give him a chance to contribute immediately. He can be a ball-stopper, and rounding out his game with playmaking and defense are the next steps, but he’s a pretty ideal frontcourt prospect in the pace-and-space era.

5. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

With off-the-charts length and impressive mobility, Bamba is potentially a dominant interior defender. His 7’9” wingspan deserves a sentence of its own. He has a slender frame and continues to round out his offensive skill set, but has shown ability as a jump shooter and is a constant threat to catch lobs. Bamba has an opportunity to evolve into a defensive-minded antidote for the young, perimeter-oriented big men beginning to take over the NBA.

6. Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Michigan State | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18

Jackson boasts NBA bloodlines and an intriguing blend of scoring touch, shot-blocking and three-point shooting potential. On top of that, he’s also producing on the court as one of the youngest players in college basketball. His jump shot mechanics are unorthodox, which may limit how much of that specific success translates, but he has made major all-around strides over the last year or so and is worthy of consideration high in the draft.

7. Robert Williams III, F/C, Texas A&M | Sophomore

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20

A strong, athletic big with some inside-out scoring ability and a nose for the ball, Williams had an impressive yet inconsistent freshman year. He’s a bouncy athlete and talented shot-blocker with pick-and-pop potential. That said, he’s been able to get away with some things at the college level purely because of his physicality. Though he profiles as a top–10 pick, he’s at a relatively advanced age for an ostensibly raw prospect. Scouts will look for Williams to polish his skill set and become a more consistent jump shooter.

8. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Bridges competes hard on both ends of the floor, and elite athletic ability suggests he’ll be a multi-positional defender and transition threat. He’s purely a set shooter right now, but has largely performed well from beyond the arc for the Spartans. He doesn’t have great length for a forward nor developed enough ball-handling skills to play guard, although some of that should be mitigated in an NBA presently favoring smaller, faster forwards. At the least, he should become a rotation player with some upside.

9. Wendell Carter Jr., F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 18

Carter has a well-rounded offensive game, with the ability to score with his back to the basket as well as face up and hit a jump shot. He’s an intelligent offensive player with good size and strength to battle inside. Although he’s not a bad athlete, he’s not especially explosive and can struggle when defenses collapse on him around the basket and alter his shot. Scouts will wonder how he’ll adjust to facing NBA length every night, and if he can become a consistent threat shooting threes.

10. Collin Sexton, G, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

An aggressive scorer with a well-known mean streak, Sexton’s handle and burst allow him to consistently penetrate defenses, kick it out or finish at the basket. He’s shown some improvement as a three-point shooter and plays hard defensively, too. Sexton isn’t a pure point and can improve as a decision maker with the ball, but he has a good chance to become an effective change-of-pace scorer at minimum. In a thin draft for lead ball-handlers, he’ll be among the top available options.

11. Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami | Freshman

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

Walker checks a lot of boxes for an off-guard. He's able to slash to the basket and score from deep with great length for his position. He has long-term 3-and-D potential as he refines his skills, develops his body and learns to play off the ball. Tearing his meniscus over the summer was a setback that might help justify a slow start. He’s still a ways off from being pro-ready, and has to prove he can put up the numbers to match his considerable talent.

12. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

On an inconsistent, younger-than-usual Kentucky roster, Knox appears to be the top prospect in the early going. He’s shown some improvement as a shooter and has enviable physical tools, with the size and reach to guard either forward spot and rebound effectively. He could stand to be more aggressive attacking the basket. His base strengths make him a potential frontcourt asset.

13. Bruce Brown Jr., G, Miami | Sophomore

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Gifted with size, strength and a relentless approach to the game, Brown continues to transition into playing the point full time and should put up big numbers for Miami. He can defend multiple positions on the perimeter and generates turnovers. On offense, he shoots the ball well but needs more polish as a playmaker and as a scorer off the bounce. Regardless, he has a good chance to end up among the first guards drafted.

14. Trevon Duval, PG, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19

Early in the season, Duval has shown improvement in every area of his game, save for his biggest weakness: his jumper. Duval has great size and length, can be an elite on-ball defender, makes plays in transition and has begun to slow the game down from a mental standpoint. But he’s essentially a non-factor shooting from the outside at this stage, with a lack of consistency and touch. Duval is talented enough for the lottery, but could be held back by his struggles from outside.

15. Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School (Louisiana)

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19

Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enter the draft with no experience past high school, teams still have significant interest in his long frame, athleticism and shot-blocking ability. He’s a serious project with questionable feel for the game and likely won’t benefit from walking away from Western Kentucky. Conversely, there will be less time to pick him apart in workout settings. Robinson remains an intriguing name to file away.

16. Dzanan Musa, G/F, KK Cedevita

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18

Musa is an aggressive scoring wing who shoots well from the outside and can attack effectively off the dribble. He’s an improving playmaker and has stood out for Bosnia with an advanced feel, but he’s very ball-dominant at this stage and may not be athletic enough for that role in the NBA. His body leaves something to be desired, as he’s somewhat thin. He lacks ideal length and has a bit of a hunched posture due to the shape of his back. He’s not much of a defender, either. Still, his ability to put the ball in the basket sets him apart.

17. Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19

Diallo is a divisive prospect, but nobody can argue with the freakish bounce and length that makes him worthy of first-round looks. He can run and jump with anyone and has enough of a handle to turn the corner and attack the basket, but his jumper needs work and he’s far from a finished product. Beyond easy transition points and his ability to get to the line, there’s not a ton else to Diallo’s game yet. He’s still so athletic that signs of substantive progress could land him in the lottery.

18. Killian Tillie, F/C, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Hyper-efficient around the basket with a natural touch and quick burst off the floor, Tillie has quietly emerged as Gonzaga’s top prospect. The Frenchman has shown demonstrable polish and has flashed a nice-looking jump shot. He boxes out well and establishes good position inside. He moves well laterally and has some impact defensively, though how he’ll fare on both ends against NBA length remains to be seen. With continued production, he’ll be a person of interest come June.

19. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Freshman

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Most of Brown’s appeal is tied to his long-term potential as an oversized ball-handler and versatile defensive piece. He’s at his best in the open floor and uses his length to attack the basket, see over defenders and make plays for teammates. Brown can impact the game without scoring and has the upside to rise into the lottery depending on how quickly things come together for him on the court.

20. Chimezie Metu, F/C, USC | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

A springy big who blocks shots and has shown some touch, Metu has made noticeable strides year-to-year. He can make the game look easy at times, and has improved as a finisher who can throw it down in tight spaces. His game-to-game activity can waver, as can his on-court awareness. If he’s able to step out and make threes regularly, his ceiling increases considerably. Consistency would go a long way.

21. Justin Jackson, F, Maryland | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

Jackson’s long, well-developed frame makes him a very intriguing two-way forward. His foot speed and 7’3” wingspan allow him to guard several positions, and he’s a useful rebounder and secondary ball-handler. That said, Jackson lacks a demonstrable offensive calling card right now unless he can somehow sustain last season’s impressive shooting clip. His scoring may come along slowly, but his otherwise well-rounded skill set is still worth an investment.

22. Shake Milton, G, SMU | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Milton’s size, shooting and ability to play on and off the ball make him a high-level prospect. He’s proven he can score from the outside and is the type of player who could pair well with a variety of backcourt partners. Milton will be the go-to guy for SMU this season and must continue to take care of the ball, play more aggressively and show he can defend at a competent level.

23. Mikal Bridges, F, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

An emerging 3-and-D prospect, Bridges has generated early-season buzz with an improved offensive game to go with impressive measurables that make him an impact defender. He blocks shots and consistently generates steals with his 7’0” wingspan, and has the kind of versatility that plays particularly well in a fast-paced game. Continuing to thrive in a bigger scoring role is key for him.

24. Grayson Allen, SG, Duke | Senior

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 | Age: 22

Allen is among the top distance shooters in the draft. He's able to get his jumper off both in tight spaces off the dribble and on the catch. He has a well-developed sense of how to get open and get to his spots, and he’s a strong athlete who can attack a closeout and keep defenders from playing him too closely. Allen may not be an impactful NBA defender, but he’s certainly not a stiff. He’s tough, competes hard, and looks tailored for an NBA role.

25. Jaylen Hands, PG, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 175 | Age: 18

In what looks like a weaker draft pool that’s especially devoid of point guard talent, Hands’s highlight-reel explosiveness and end-to-end speed should give him a chance at the first round. He’s still learning how to run a team, but can get to the rim, push in transition and has a workable jumper and nice handle. He does things that are hard to teach. Hands lacks ideal size and strength for the NBA, but has a lot to like as a long-term prospect.

26. Nick Richards, C, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 19

Although extremely raw and prone to foul trouble, Richards’s size, rebounding, mobility and shot-blocking potential put him in the first-round conversation. He’s well-built, highly agile and can play above the rim. But his feel is lacking, and he’s very old for his class—he’ll enter the draft at age 20. If he becomes a reliable rim-runner and shot blocker, Richards should be able to make an impact.

27. Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19

McCoy is all tools at this stage, but he’s physically impressive for a young center. He can get up and down the floor and goes after the ball well off the glass. His timing and feel are still coming along, but he naturally alters shots and has shown some ability to shoot from the mid-range. McCoy needs to be coached up and will need a strong season to win scouts over as a project.

28. Rawle Alkins, SG, Arizona | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20

Alkins remains sidelined as he recovers from a foot fracture. He was among the top performers at the draft combine last season, and has a strong frame and NBA-caliber bounce. He should return to a larger share of Arizona’s possessions, but his main value to the team thus far has come defensively, where he’s evolved into a reliable piece. His ability to score at the rim and off the dribble makes him interesting, and if Alkins returns 100%, he should begin to win people over.

29. Rodions Kurucs, G/F, FC Barcelona

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Though Kurucs's stock has trended down somewhat after pulling out of last year’s draft and failing to earn minutes with Barcelona’s top team, his mix of size, athleticism and smarts offer appeal on the wing. He will need to improve his production beyond simply showing flashes. The Latvian still has some nice traits and looks like a potentially useful role player.

30. Kris Wilkes, SF, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19

Wilkes’s early results have been impressive, and his smooth shooting mechanics, twitchy athleticism and 6’11” wingspan make him a natural fit for a 3-and-D role, given time. He can attack a closeout and looks comfortable scoring in transition. Wilkes still has a lot of work to do on his handle and needs to show he can be a consistent threat from deep and impact the game beyond scoring. His game is reminiscent of Tim Hardaway Jr., and his strengths profile nicely down the line.

31. De’Anthony Melton, G, USC | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

It certainly doesn’t help Melton’s case that he remains out due to the FBI’s college basketball investigation. He did show plenty of defensive toughness and offensive skill as a freshman, and remains on the NBA radar as an energy player and defensive presence. If he gets his jumper in order and makes it onto the floor this season, he could be in for a leap.

32. Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | Sophomore

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 20

Battle has nice size and skill and appears to have taken a step forward as a scorer. He’s agile and tough, but still has to prove he can create off the dribble and improve as a finisher. It’s unclear yet whether his defensive contributions will catch up to his physical prowess. Scouts will want to see him tap into his versatility and show increased efficiency as a scorer.

33. Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas | Senior

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 185 | Age: 22

As the leader of a less-loaded-than-usual Kansas team, Graham’s toughness and scoring aren’t going unnoticed. He boasts nice size and a good stroke from three, and impacts the game as a hard-working on-ball defender. He can struggle getting to the second level of defenses and isn’t elite at any one thing, but if the numbers are there at the end of the season, the first round is within reach.

34. Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Hachimura has come off the bench to start the year for Gonzaga and needs more opportunities to show his stuff, but he has a chance at the first round if he can string together some good performances. He’s got nice length and strength and has some touch as a shooter. He showed plenty of game playing for Japan over the summer and could be a valuable two-way combo forward in time.

35. John Petty, SG, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18

The headlines have belonged to Collin Sexton, but Petty is set to thrive playing off of his talented teammate. He’s a gifted perimeter shooter who can sustain hot streaks and hoist his shot quickly. It may be tricky to assess his well-roundedness given how much of Alabama’s points run through Sexton, but Petty can fill up a box score and has appeal in a 3-and-D role.

36. Emmanuel Akot, F, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18

Akot is ranked here based on his defensive versatility and a promising offensive game. He’s penciled into a supporting role for Arizona and may need another year to prove himself, but his shooting potential, sneaky passing ability and non-stop effort are enticing. He’s strong with the ball in his hands and able to attack the basket and make plays. Akot reclassified to play for the Wildcats this season and is still getting his first taste of highly competitive basketball. As he comes into his own over the course of the season, he could force the issue in regards to the draft.

37. Austin Wiley, C, Auburn | Sophomore

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 250 | Age: 18

Wiley has been held out due to the FBI corruption investigation, but has NBA intrigue with great size, length and strength. He’s young for his class and is in a pretty good place developmentally, working hard on the glass and showing the makings of a decent jumper. He’ll battle in the post and do the dirty work, but isn’t an elite athlete. He can improve as a finisher and has a history of knee injuries that limit his mobility.

38. Andrew Jones, G, Texas | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Jones is an impressive athlete and transition scorer still learning his craft. He may not evolve into a true point guard, but he has nice quickness and a burst that helps him on both ends. His halfcourt skills leave something to be desired, and his jumper is a question mark, but Jones is a nice developmental piece with upside.

39. Jarred Vanderbilt, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Although Vanderbilt has yet to make his debut as he recovers from a foot injury, his eventual return will come with NBA intrigue. He has a history of leg injuries and a thinnish lower body, but he’s a good athlete who can handle the ball a little bit and can make an impact on the glass and as a versatile defender with length. He can also make plays for teammates, particularly in the open floor. The injuries are a concern, but Vanderbilt will have a chance at the first round if he comes back strong.

40. Arnoldas Kulboka, F, Orlandina Basket

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 19

A productive, athletic wing with shooting potential, Kulboka has nice size at the three and has put up impressive numbers coming up in Germany. He has definite upside as a scorer. A native of Lithuania, he needs to add weight, improve defensively and add a little seasoning. He’s a potential draft-and-stash player if he comes out.

41. Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 20

Shamet made it back for the start of the season, but he's now suffered serious injuries in both og hid feet. That aside, he’s a gifted scorer who can hit difficult shots and began to come into his own down the stretch last season. He has nice size for a lead guard, changes speeds well and can move and defend passably. He could be in line for another big leap that could put him in the draft conversation.

42. Alize Johnson, F, Missouri State | Senior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

After breaking out over the summer at Adidas Nations, Johnson emerged as a unique prospect with guard skills and a high rebounding motor packaged into a combo forward’s body. He can handle the ball and push in transition and has some promise as a shooter, profiling as the sort of positionless-type big that’s in high demand right now. Thanks to his versatility, Johnson will get serious NBA looks all season as one of the top mid-major prospects around.

43. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19

Alexander-Walker is far off from logging actual NBA minutes, but his long-term potential has him on draft radars. He has shooting potential, the size to guard both guard spots and a generally good sense of the floor playing on and off the ball for Virginia Tech. He’d greatly benefit from a second year of college and needs to work on his body, as he struggles turning the corner against athletic defenders. He’ll be in for a season of ups and downs in the ACC, but has a nice long-term outlook.

44. Isaac Bonga, G/F, Fraport Skyliners

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18

An oversized ball-handler and talented passer, Bonga could be one of the youngest players in this class and has nice upside given his skill set. His jump shot is the biggest knock on him, but he has nice instincts and vision, particularly at his size. The German product needs a lot of time, but could become a two-way playmaker. Bonga’s offense in particular will require a ton of work, but what he might be in two or three years is enticing.

45. Bryant Crawford, PG, Wake Forest | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

Crawford’s size and strength on the ball and willingness to defend has piqued the interest of point He changes speeds well and can create in the halfcourt. Crawford isn’t a knockdown shooter and needs to prove he can be consistent. He will be asked to elevate a mediocre roster this season and could struggle with efficiency. But his experience, length and two-way contributions help set him apart from other guards.

46. Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Junior

Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21

The youngest of the three Holiday brothers has proven a tough competitor in his own right. He’s undersized but scrappy, and can hit an open three, get to the basket and fight on defense. Holiday will need to sustain a good amount of last season’s shooting numbers, which were abetted by playing alongside Lonzo Ball. But as the de facto veteran leader of a young, talented roster, Holiday can leave a nice impression.

47. Bonzie Colson, PF, Notre Dame | Senior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21

A truly unorthodox prospect, Colson has great length and a deep bag of offensive moves, but stands at just 6’5”. He’s been remarkably effective for Notre Dame anyway, and will tempt teams with his history of production and the hope that he can make it all work as a factor in smaller lineups. He can get to the foul line and has been extremely efficient to date. Whether or not he succeeds in the NBA, his stock will make for an interesting case study.

48. Chandler Hutchison, G/F, Boise State | Senior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

A popular sleeper and one of the top players in the Mountain West, Hutchison has 3-and-D potential and an unflashy, effective game. He’s a good off-ball cutter who can get himself open, and shot the ball well last season. He has the size to guard either wing position and contributes on the glass, too. If Hutchison can sustain his shooting effectiveness with added volume, he’ll have a solid chance to be drafted.

49. Ethan Happ, PF, Wisconsin | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Happ has done nothing but produce at Wisconsin and excels as a finisher and rebounder. He operates mostly in the paint, where he’s always active despite a lack of ideal size at the five. He’s not a flashy player, but he’s a good rebounder, ball-handler and passer and plays bigger than his size. It hurts that he’s not much of a shooter (and a bad free-throw shooter) but his track record is still impressive.

50. Vince Edwards, F, Purdue | Senior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21

Edwards has the athleticism and length to guard several positions passably, and has a nice level of versatility to his game. He could be an ideal fit in smaller lineups with his ability to move the ball, space the floor and get involved on the glass. If you envision him as a glue guy—and he shows real improvement as a defender, where he is prone to lapses—he’s not a bad roll of the dice.

51. Moritz Wagner, F/C, Michigan | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20

Wagner comes off a nice but inconsistent sophomore season and will have a chance to better anchor Michigan’s offense this time around. He’s a talented inside-out big man with the size to play center, but lacks the defensive chops to protect the basket. He was disappointing as a rebounder last season and needs to take a big step forward on that front. As a talented stretch big, he’ll get an opportunity to stick.

52. Jacob Evans, SG, Cincinnati | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 20

Evans is a tough, defensive-minded guard with shot-making ability who has come on strong as an NBA prospect. He has the chops to be a valuable 3-and-D piece and guard multiple positions. If last season’s success from the outside proves to be for real, he has a great chance to hear his name called on draft night.

53. Allonzo Trier, G, Arizona | Junior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Although Trier still shoots first, second and third, he’s a dynamic college scorer who has improved his efficiency from the field. He lacks ideal length for a shooting guard and can be a ball-stopper, calling into question how he'd fit on other teams. He’s an offensive-minded talent and consistent shooter from deep, but will be asked to play a supporting role at the next level. Trier may be able to succeed if he commits to defense, works on his body and proves there’s more to his game.

54. Bennie Boatwright, F, USC | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 230 | Age: 21

As a floor-spacer with size, Boatwright has been on prospect lists for a while. He’s a deadeye shooter with his feet set and has shown the ability to score off the bounce as well, although he’s not a great athlete or a presence defensively. He’s not especially efficient putting the ball in the basket any other way, but a strong year shooting the ball would set him up nicely.

55. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19

A gifted perimeter scorer and improving passer, Young will have a ton of opportunities to shine for the Sooners. He’s not especially big, quick or strong, but has a smooth handle and can create his own shot. His three-point shooting will put him on draft radars, but it’s unclear if he’ll be able to stay on the floor defensively or be quite as effective against athletic defenses.

56. Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Brunson is a heady playmaker who has had success throughout his career and looks tailored for a role as an NBA ball-handler. He doesn’t have great size or strength, but plays and works extremely hard and is often underrated as a scorer. Brunson relies on being crafty, understands how to run a team and has a chance to be drafted, whether this season or the next.

57. Deng Adel, G/F, Louisville | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

Though not overly long for a wing with his strengths, Adel is a productive slasher, rebounder and defender who will inherit even more of a scoring role for Louisville. He’s a good—not great—athlete who brings moxie and has occasional flashes of brilliance. An NBA role would likely require more of him defensively, and if he can emerge as more of a stopper, he could be a fit.

58. Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Bates-Diop is a long, well-built forward with shooting ability and some slashing potential. He’s more of a straight-line driver, but can finish in the paint. He rebounds well and can theoretically defend both forward spots. After a disappointing junior year was cut short by a stress fracture in his left leg, he’ll look to bounce back with big scoring numbers as a senior and play his way into consideration. Much is tied to how well he shoots from three.

59. Anas Mahmoud, C, Louisville | Junior

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 215 | Age: 22

With significant size and length making him an NBA prospect, Mahmoud needs to put together a full, productive season. He’s a strong shot-blocker and showed improvement in his overall feel last year. A native of Egypt, Mahmoud has a slender frame and is old for his class, but any offensive improvement will help his case as a developmental player.

60. Markis McDuffie, F, Wichita State | Junior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

McDuffie has yet to debut this season as he recovers from a stress fracture in his left leg. He’s an athletic combo forward who has improved as a shooter from outside and become a key piece for the Shockers. He’s a multi–positional, rangy defender who forces steals and rebounds well. He’ll return in a presumably larger offensive role, and how he handles it will be pivotal, but he’s young for his class and the type of player teams will take a chance on.

2018 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 60 Prospects

With the NBA and college basketball seasons both in full swing, it’s time to start parsing through the player pool and ranking prospects. And with that, The Crossover’s Front Office presents its initial list of the top 60 players for the 2018 NBA draft.

While our Mock Draft aims to project what the draft might look like on a given day of the season and factors in team needs, the Big Board serves as our own point of reference for pure talent. These rankings are based on our own evaluations and conversations with scouts, and establishes how we'd select them in a vacuum (which is a scenario that of course will never actually happen).

Bookmark this page, as we’ll be adjusting our rankings throughout the season up until draft night. (Note: Ranking last updated Nov. 20)

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1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19

Elite physical tools, soft touch around the basket and a promising jump shot make Ayton a tantalizing prospect. He has most of the traits you want in a modern center plus the athletic ability to face up and play in space. The college game comes easily to him, and if he answers questions about his effort, Ayton will have a strong case atop the draft. He’s a manchild with crazy-high upside and a potential franchise cornerstone.

2. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 18

Known for his aggression on the glass and overall competitiveness, Bagley manufactures easy baskets and possesses uncommonly fluid athleticism for a guy his size. He should become highly versatile on the defensive end. His growth as a scorer in the halfcourt will ultimately make or break him, and his jump shot is a work in progress, but his makeup and base strengths give his value a solid floor.

3. Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18

At 18, Doncic has become perhaps the top player in the Euroleague and a potential No. 1 pick. He’s comfortable as a lead ball-handler and has become deadly from three-point range. He makes his teammates better and readstoday a the floor well beyond his years. While he will face an adjustment to the speed of NBA defenses, there’s not really much to nitpick here. Doncic appears a safe bet to continue on the fast track and contribute at a high level.

4. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Porter is a smooth, polished scorer who thrives on the perimeter and should be able to play either forward spot. Shooting is at a premium, and Porter’s ball-handling and perimeter skills give him a chance to contribute immediately. He can be a ball-stopper, and rounding out his game with playmaking and defense are the next steps, but he’s a pretty ideal frontcourt prospect in the pace-and-space era.

5. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

With off-the-charts length and impressive mobility, Bamba is potentially a dominant interior defender. His 7’9” wingspan deserves a sentence of its own. He has a slender frame and continues to round out his offensive skill set, but has shown ability as a jump shooter and is a constant threat to catch lobs. Bamba has an opportunity to evolve into a defensive-minded antidote for the young, perimeter-oriented big men beginning to take over the NBA.

6. Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Michigan State | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18

Jackson boasts NBA bloodlines and an intriguing blend of scoring touch, shot-blocking and three-point shooting potential. On top of that, he’s also producing on the court as one of the youngest players in college basketball. His jump shot mechanics are unorthodox, which may limit how much of that specific success translates, but he has made major all-around strides over the last year or so and is worthy of consideration high in the draft.

7. Robert Williams III, F/C, Texas A&M | Sophomore

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20

A strong, athletic big with some inside-out scoring ability and a nose for the ball, Williams had an impressive yet inconsistent freshman year. He’s a bouncy athlete and talented shot-blocker with pick-and-pop potential. That said, he’s been able to get away with some things at the college level purely because of his physicality. Though he profiles as a top–10 pick, he’s at a relatively advanced age for an ostensibly raw prospect. Scouts will look for Williams to polish his skill set and become a more consistent jump shooter.

8. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Bridges competes hard on both ends of the floor, and elite athletic ability suggests he’ll be a multi-positional defender and transition threat. He’s purely a set shooter right now, but has largely performed well from beyond the arc for the Spartans. He doesn’t have great length for a forward nor developed enough ball-handling skills to play guard, although some of that should be mitigated in an NBA presently favoring smaller, faster forwards. At the least, he should become a rotation player with some upside.

9. Wendell Carter Jr., F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 18

Carter has a well-rounded offensive game, with the ability to score with his back to the basket as well as face up and hit a jump shot. He’s an intelligent offensive player with good size and strength to battle inside. Although he’s not a bad athlete, he’s not especially explosive and can struggle when defenses collapse on him around the basket and alter his shot. Scouts will wonder how he’ll adjust to facing NBA length every night, and if he can become a consistent threat shooting threes.

10. Collin Sexton, G, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

An aggressive scorer with a well-known mean streak, Sexton’s handle and burst allow him to consistently penetrate defenses, kick it out or finish at the basket. He’s shown some improvement as a three-point shooter and plays hard defensively, too. Sexton isn’t a pure point and can improve as a decision maker with the ball, but he has a good chance to become an effective change-of-pace scorer at minimum. In a thin draft for lead ball-handlers, he’ll be among the top available options.

11. Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami | Freshman

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

Walker checks a lot of boxes for an off-guard. He's able to slash to the basket and score from deep with great length for his position. He has long-term 3-and-D potential as he refines his skills, develops his body and learns to play off the ball. Tearing his meniscus over the summer was a setback that might help justify a slow start. He’s still a ways off from being pro-ready, and has to prove he can put up the numbers to match his considerable talent.

12. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

On an inconsistent, younger-than-usual Kentucky roster, Knox appears to be the top prospect in the early going. He’s shown some improvement as a shooter and has enviable physical tools, with the size and reach to guard either forward spot and rebound effectively. He could stand to be more aggressive attacking the basket. His base strengths make him a potential frontcourt asset.

13. Bruce Brown Jr., G, Miami | Sophomore

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Gifted with size, strength and a relentless approach to the game, Brown continues to transition into playing the point full time and should put up big numbers for Miami. He can defend multiple positions on the perimeter and generates turnovers. On offense, he shoots the ball well but needs more polish as a playmaker and as a scorer off the bounce. Regardless, he has a good chance to end up among the first guards drafted.

14. Trevon Duval, PG, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19

Early in the season, Duval has shown improvement in every area of his game, save for his biggest weakness: his jumper. Duval has great size and length, can be an elite on-ball defender, makes plays in transition and has begun to slow the game down from a mental standpoint. But he’s essentially a non-factor shooting from the outside at this stage, with a lack of consistency and touch. Duval is talented enough for the lottery, but could be held back by his struggles from outside.

15. Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School (Louisiana)

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19

Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enter the draft with no experience past high school, teams still have significant interest in his long frame, athleticism and shot-blocking ability. He’s a serious project with questionable feel for the game and likely won’t benefit from walking away from Western Kentucky. Conversely, there will be less time to pick him apart in workout settings. Robinson remains an intriguing name to file away.

16. Dzanan Musa, G/F, KK Cedevita

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18

Musa is an aggressive scoring wing who shoots well from the outside and can attack effectively off the dribble. He’s an improving playmaker and has stood out for Bosnia with an advanced feel, but he’s very ball-dominant at this stage and may not be athletic enough for that role in the NBA. His body leaves something to be desired, as he’s somewhat thin. He lacks ideal length and has a bit of a hunched posture due to the shape of his back. He’s not much of a defender, either. Still, his ability to put the ball in the basket sets him apart.

17. Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19

Diallo is a divisive prospect, but nobody can argue with the freakish bounce and length that makes him worthy of first-round looks. He can run and jump with anyone and has enough of a handle to turn the corner and attack the basket, but his jumper needs work and he’s far from a finished product. Beyond easy transition points and his ability to get to the line, there’s not a ton else to Diallo’s game yet. He’s still so athletic that signs of substantive progress could land him in the lottery.

18. Killian Tillie, F/C, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Hyper-efficient around the basket with a natural touch and quick burst off the floor, Tillie has quietly emerged as Gonzaga’s top prospect. The Frenchman has shown demonstrable polish and has flashed a nice-looking jump shot. He boxes out well and establishes good position inside. He moves well laterally and has some impact defensively, though how he’ll fare on both ends against NBA length remains to be seen. With continued production, he’ll be a person of interest come June.

19. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Freshman

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Most of Brown’s appeal is tied to his long-term potential as an oversized ball-handler and versatile defensive piece. He’s at his best in the open floor and uses his length to attack the basket, see over defenders and make plays for teammates. Brown can impact the game without scoring and has the upside to rise into the lottery depending on how quickly things come together for him on the court.

20. Chimezie Metu, F/C, USC | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

A springy big who blocks shots and has shown some touch, Metu has made noticeable strides year-to-year. He can make the game look easy at times, and has improved as a finisher who can throw it down in tight spaces. His game-to-game activity can waver, as can his on-court awareness. If he’s able to step out and make threes regularly, his ceiling increases considerably. Consistency would go a long way.

21. Justin Jackson, F, Maryland | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

Jackson’s long, well-developed frame makes him a very intriguing two-way forward. His foot speed and 7’3” wingspan allow him to guard several positions, and he’s a useful rebounder and secondary ball-handler. That said, Jackson lacks a demonstrable offensive calling card right now unless he can somehow sustain last season’s impressive shooting clip. His scoring may come along slowly, but his otherwise well-rounded skill set is still worth an investment.

22. Shake Milton, G, SMU | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Milton’s size, shooting and ability to play on and off the ball make him a high-level prospect. He’s proven he can score from the outside and is the type of player who could pair well with a variety of backcourt partners. Milton will be the go-to guy for SMU this season and must continue to take care of the ball, play more aggressively and show he can defend at a competent level.

23. Mikal Bridges, F, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

An emerging 3-and-D prospect, Bridges has generated early-season buzz with an improved offensive game to go with impressive measurables that make him an impact defender. He blocks shots and consistently generates steals with his 7’0” wingspan, and has the kind of versatility that plays particularly well in a fast-paced game. Continuing to thrive in a bigger scoring role is key for him.

24. Grayson Allen, SG, Duke | Senior

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 | Age: 22

Allen is among the top distance shooters in the draft. He's able to get his jumper off both in tight spaces off the dribble and on the catch. He has a well-developed sense of how to get open and get to his spots, and he’s a strong athlete who can attack a closeout and keep defenders from playing him too closely. Allen may not be an impactful NBA defender, but he’s certainly not a stiff. He’s tough, competes hard, and looks tailored for an NBA role.

25. Jaylen Hands, PG, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 175 | Age: 18

In what looks like a weaker draft pool that’s especially devoid of point guard talent, Hands’s highlight-reel explosiveness and end-to-end speed should give him a chance at the first round. He’s still learning how to run a team, but can get to the rim, push in transition and has a workable jumper and nice handle. He does things that are hard to teach. Hands lacks ideal size and strength for the NBA, but has a lot to like as a long-term prospect.

26. Nick Richards, C, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 19

Although extremely raw and prone to foul trouble, Richards’s size, rebounding, mobility and shot-blocking potential put him in the first-round conversation. He’s well-built, highly agile and can play above the rim. But his feel is lacking, and he’s very old for his class—he’ll enter the draft at age 20. If he becomes a reliable rim-runner and shot blocker, Richards should be able to make an impact.

27. Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19

McCoy is all tools at this stage, but he’s physically impressive for a young center. He can get up and down the floor and goes after the ball well off the glass. His timing and feel are still coming along, but he naturally alters shots and has shown some ability to shoot from the mid-range. McCoy needs to be coached up and will need a strong season to win scouts over as a project.

28. Rawle Alkins, SG, Arizona | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20

Alkins remains sidelined as he recovers from a foot fracture. He was among the top performers at the draft combine last season, and has a strong frame and NBA-caliber bounce. He should return to a larger share of Arizona’s possessions, but his main value to the team thus far has come defensively, where he’s evolved into a reliable piece. His ability to score at the rim and off the dribble makes him interesting, and if Alkins returns 100%, he should begin to win people over.

29. Rodions Kurucs, G/F, FC Barcelona

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Though Kurucs's stock has trended down somewhat after pulling out of last year’s draft and failing to earn minutes with Barcelona’s top team, his mix of size, athleticism and smarts offer appeal on the wing. He will need to improve his production beyond simply showing flashes. The Latvian still has some nice traits and looks like a potentially useful role player.

30. Kris Wilkes, SF, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19

Wilkes’s early results have been impressive, and his smooth shooting mechanics, twitchy athleticism and 6’11” wingspan make him a natural fit for a 3-and-D role, given time. He can attack a closeout and looks comfortable scoring in transition. Wilkes still has a lot of work to do on his handle and needs to show he can be a consistent threat from deep and impact the game beyond scoring. His game is reminiscent of Tim Hardaway Jr., and his strengths profile nicely down the line.

31. De’Anthony Melton, G, USC | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

It certainly doesn’t help Melton’s case that he remains out due to the FBI’s college basketball investigation. He did show plenty of defensive toughness and offensive skill as a freshman, and remains on the NBA radar as an energy player and defensive presence. If he gets his jumper in order and makes it onto the floor this season, he could be in for a leap.

32. Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | Sophomore

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 20

Battle has nice size and skill and appears to have taken a step forward as a scorer. He’s agile and tough, but still has to prove he can create off the dribble and improve as a finisher. It’s unclear yet whether his defensive contributions will catch up to his physical prowess. Scouts will want to see him tap into his versatility and show increased efficiency as a scorer.

33. Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas | Senior

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 185 | Age: 22

As the leader of a less-loaded-than-usual Kansas team, Graham’s toughness and scoring aren’t going unnoticed. He boasts nice size and a good stroke from three, and impacts the game as a hard-working on-ball defender. He can struggle getting to the second level of defenses and isn’t elite at any one thing, but if the numbers are there at the end of the season, the first round is within reach.

34. Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Hachimura has come off the bench to start the year for Gonzaga and needs more opportunities to show his stuff, but he has a chance at the first round if he can string together some good performances. He’s got nice length and strength and has some touch as a shooter. He showed plenty of game playing for Japan over the summer and could be a valuable two-way combo forward in time.

35. John Petty, SG, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18

The headlines have belonged to Collin Sexton, but Petty is set to thrive playing off of his talented teammate. He’s a gifted perimeter shooter who can sustain hot streaks and hoist his shot quickly. It may be tricky to assess his well-roundedness given how much of Alabama’s points run through Sexton, but Petty can fill up a box score and has appeal in a 3-and-D role.

36. Emmanuel Akot, F, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18

Akot is ranked here based on his defensive versatility and a promising offensive game. He’s penciled into a supporting role for Arizona and may need another year to prove himself, but his shooting potential, sneaky passing ability and non-stop effort are enticing. He’s strong with the ball in his hands and able to attack the basket and make plays. Akot reclassified to play for the Wildcats this season and is still getting his first taste of highly competitive basketball. As he comes into his own over the course of the season, he could force the issue in regards to the draft.

37. Austin Wiley, C, Auburn | Sophomore

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 250 | Age: 18

Wiley has been held out due to the FBI corruption investigation, but has NBA intrigue with great size, length and strength. He’s young for his class and is in a pretty good place developmentally, working hard on the glass and showing the makings of a decent jumper. He’ll battle in the post and do the dirty work, but isn’t an elite athlete. He can improve as a finisher and has a history of knee injuries that limit his mobility.

38. Andrew Jones, G, Texas | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Jones is an impressive athlete and transition scorer still learning his craft. He may not evolve into a true point guard, but he has nice quickness and a burst that helps him on both ends. His halfcourt skills leave something to be desired, and his jumper is a question mark, but Jones is a nice developmental piece with upside.

39. Jarred Vanderbilt, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Although Vanderbilt has yet to make his debut as he recovers from a foot injury, his eventual return will come with NBA intrigue. He has a history of leg injuries and a thinnish lower body, but he’s a good athlete who can handle the ball a little bit and can make an impact on the glass and as a versatile defender with length. He can also make plays for teammates, particularly in the open floor. The injuries are a concern, but Vanderbilt will have a chance at the first round if he comes back strong.

40. Arnoldas Kulboka, F, Orlandina Basket

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 19

A productive, athletic wing with shooting potential, Kulboka has nice size at the three and has put up impressive numbers coming up in Germany. He has definite upside as a scorer. A native of Lithuania, he needs to add weight, improve defensively and add a little seasoning. He’s a potential draft-and-stash player if he comes out.

41. Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 20

Shamet made it back for the start of the season, but he's now suffered serious injuries in both og hid feet. That aside, he’s a gifted scorer who can hit difficult shots and began to come into his own down the stretch last season. He has nice size for a lead guard, changes speeds well and can move and defend passably. He could be in line for another big leap that could put him in the draft conversation.

42. Alize Johnson, F, Missouri State | Senior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

After breaking out over the summer at Adidas Nations, Johnson emerged as a unique prospect with guard skills and a high rebounding motor packaged into a combo forward’s body. He can handle the ball and push in transition and has some promise as a shooter, profiling as the sort of positionless-type big that’s in high demand right now. Thanks to his versatility, Johnson will get serious NBA looks all season as one of the top mid-major prospects around.

43. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19

Alexander-Walker is far off from logging actual NBA minutes, but his long-term potential has him on draft radars. He has shooting potential, the size to guard both guard spots and a generally good sense of the floor playing on and off the ball for Virginia Tech. He’d greatly benefit from a second year of college and needs to work on his body, as he struggles turning the corner against athletic defenders. He’ll be in for a season of ups and downs in the ACC, but has a nice long-term outlook.

44. Isaac Bonga, G/F, Fraport Skyliners

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18

An oversized ball-handler and talented passer, Bonga could be one of the youngest players in this class and has nice upside given his skill set. His jump shot is the biggest knock on him, but he has nice instincts and vision, particularly at his size. The German product needs a lot of time, but could become a two-way playmaker. Bonga’s offense in particular will require a ton of work, but what he might be in two or three years is enticing.

45. Bryant Crawford, PG, Wake Forest | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

Crawford’s size and strength on the ball and willingness to defend has piqued the interest of point He changes speeds well and can create in the halfcourt. Crawford isn’t a knockdown shooter and needs to prove he can be consistent. He will be asked to elevate a mediocre roster this season and could struggle with efficiency. But his experience, length and two-way contributions help set him apart from other guards.

46. Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Junior

Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21

The youngest of the three Holiday brothers has proven a tough competitor in his own right. He’s undersized but scrappy, and can hit an open three, get to the basket and fight on defense. Holiday will need to sustain a good amount of last season’s shooting numbers, which were abetted by playing alongside Lonzo Ball. But as the de facto veteran leader of a young, talented roster, Holiday can leave a nice impression.

47. Bonzie Colson, PF, Notre Dame | Senior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21

A truly unorthodox prospect, Colson has great length and a deep bag of offensive moves, but stands at just 6’5”. He’s been remarkably effective for Notre Dame anyway, and will tempt teams with his history of production and the hope that he can make it all work as a factor in smaller lineups. He can get to the foul line and has been extremely efficient to date. Whether or not he succeeds in the NBA, his stock will make for an interesting case study.

48. Chandler Hutchison, G/F, Boise State | Senior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

A popular sleeper and one of the top players in the Mountain West, Hutchison has 3-and-D potential and an unflashy, effective game. He’s a good off-ball cutter who can get himself open, and shot the ball well last season. He has the size to guard either wing position and contributes on the glass, too. If Hutchison can sustain his shooting effectiveness with added volume, he’ll have a solid chance to be drafted.

49. Ethan Happ, PF, Wisconsin | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Happ has done nothing but produce at Wisconsin and excels as a finisher and rebounder. He operates mostly in the paint, where he’s always active despite a lack of ideal size at the five. He’s not a flashy player, but he’s a good rebounder, ball-handler and passer and plays bigger than his size. It hurts that he’s not much of a shooter (and a bad free-throw shooter) but his track record is still impressive.

50. Vince Edwards, F, Purdue | Senior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21

Edwards has the athleticism and length to guard several positions passably, and has a nice level of versatility to his game. He could be an ideal fit in smaller lineups with his ability to move the ball, space the floor and get involved on the glass. If you envision him as a glue guy—and he shows real improvement as a defender, where he is prone to lapses—he’s not a bad roll of the dice.

51. Moritz Wagner, F/C, Michigan | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20

Wagner comes off a nice but inconsistent sophomore season and will have a chance to better anchor Michigan’s offense this time around. He’s a talented inside-out big man with the size to play center, but lacks the defensive chops to protect the basket. He was disappointing as a rebounder last season and needs to take a big step forward on that front. As a talented stretch big, he’ll get an opportunity to stick.

52. Jacob Evans, SG, Cincinnati | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 20

Evans is a tough, defensive-minded guard with shot-making ability who has come on strong as an NBA prospect. He has the chops to be a valuable 3-and-D piece and guard multiple positions. If last season’s success from the outside proves to be for real, he has a great chance to hear his name called on draft night.

53. Allonzo Trier, G, Arizona | Junior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Although Trier still shoots first, second and third, he’s a dynamic college scorer who has improved his efficiency from the field. He lacks ideal length for a shooting guard and can be a ball-stopper, calling into question how he'd fit on other teams. He’s an offensive-minded talent and consistent shooter from deep, but will be asked to play a supporting role at the next level. Trier may be able to succeed if he commits to defense, works on his body and proves there’s more to his game.

54. Bennie Boatwright, F, USC | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 230 | Age: 21

As a floor-spacer with size, Boatwright has been on prospect lists for a while. He’s a deadeye shooter with his feet set and has shown the ability to score off the bounce as well, although he’s not a great athlete or a presence defensively. He’s not especially efficient putting the ball in the basket any other way, but a strong year shooting the ball would set him up nicely.

55. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19

A gifted perimeter scorer and improving passer, Young will have a ton of opportunities to shine for the Sooners. He’s not especially big, quick or strong, but has a smooth handle and can create his own shot. His three-point shooting will put him on draft radars, but it’s unclear if he’ll be able to stay on the floor defensively or be quite as effective against athletic defenses.

56. Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Brunson is a heady playmaker who has had success throughout his career and looks tailored for a role as an NBA ball-handler. He doesn’t have great size or strength, but plays and works extremely hard and is often underrated as a scorer. Brunson relies on being crafty, understands how to run a team and has a chance to be drafted, whether this season or the next.

57. Deng Adel, G/F, Louisville | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

Though not overly long for a wing with his strengths, Adel is a productive slasher, rebounder and defender who will inherit even more of a scoring role for Louisville. He’s a good—not great—athlete who brings moxie and has occasional flashes of brilliance. An NBA role would likely require more of him defensively, and if he can emerge as more of a stopper, he could be a fit.

58. Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Bates-Diop is a long, well-built forward with shooting ability and some slashing potential. He’s more of a straight-line driver, but can finish in the paint. He rebounds well and can theoretically defend both forward spots. After a disappointing junior year was cut short by a stress fracture in his left leg, he’ll look to bounce back with big scoring numbers as a senior and play his way into consideration. Much is tied to how well he shoots from three.

59. Anas Mahmoud, C, Louisville | Junior

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 215 | Age: 22

With significant size and length making him an NBA prospect, Mahmoud needs to put together a full, productive season. He’s a strong shot-blocker and showed improvement in his overall feel last year. A native of Egypt, Mahmoud has a slender frame and is old for his class, but any offensive improvement will help his case as a developmental player.

60. Markis McDuffie, F, Wichita State | Junior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

McDuffie has yet to debut this season as he recovers from a stress fracture in his left leg. He’s an athletic combo forward who has improved as a shooter from outside and become a key piece for the Shockers. He’s a multi–positional, rangy defender who forces steals and rebounds well. He’ll return in a presumably larger offensive role, and how he handles it will be pivotal, but he’s young for his class and the type of player teams will take a chance on.

2018 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 60 Prospects

With the NBA and college basketball seasons both in full swing, it’s time to start parsing through the player pool and ranking prospects. And with that, The Crossover’s Front Office presents its initial list of the top 60 players for the 2018 NBA draft.

While our Mock Draft aims to project what the draft might look like on a given day of the season and factors in team needs, the Big Board serves as our own point of reference for pure talent. These rankings are based on our own evaluations and conversations with scouts, and establishes how we'd select them in a vacuum (which is a scenario that of course will never actually happen).

Bookmark this page, as we’ll be adjusting our rankings throughout the season up until draft night. (Note: Ranking last updated Nov. 20)

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1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19

Elite physical tools, soft touch around the basket and a promising jump shot make Ayton a tantalizing prospect. He has most of the traits you want in a modern center plus the athletic ability to face up and play in space. The college game comes easily to him, and if he answers questions about his effort, Ayton will have a strong case atop the draft. He’s a manchild with crazy-high upside and a potential franchise cornerstone.

2. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 18

Known for his aggression on the glass and overall competitiveness, Bagley manufactures easy baskets and possesses uncommonly fluid athleticism for a guy his size. He should become highly versatile on the defensive end. His growth as a scorer in the halfcourt will ultimately make or break him, and his jump shot is a work in progress, but his makeup and base strengths give his value a solid floor.

3. Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18

At 18, Doncic has become perhaps the top player in the Euroleague and a potential No. 1 pick. He’s comfortable as a lead ball-handler and has become deadly from three-point range. He makes his teammates better and readstoday a the floor well beyond his years. While he will face an adjustment to the speed of NBA defenses, there’s not really much to nitpick here. Doncic appears a safe bet to continue on the fast track and contribute at a high level.

4. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Porter is a smooth, polished scorer who thrives on the perimeter and should be able to play either forward spot. Shooting is at a premium, and Porter’s ball-handling and perimeter skills give him a chance to contribute immediately. He can be a ball-stopper, and rounding out his game with playmaking and defense are the next steps, but he’s a pretty ideal frontcourt prospect in the pace-and-space era.

5. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

With off-the-charts length and impressive mobility, Bamba is potentially a dominant interior defender. His 7’9” wingspan deserves a sentence of its own. He has a slender frame and continues to round out his offensive skill set, but has shown ability as a jump shooter and is a constant threat to catch lobs. Bamba has an opportunity to evolve into a defensive-minded antidote for the young, perimeter-oriented big men beginning to take over the NBA.

6. Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Michigan State | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18

Jackson boasts NBA bloodlines and an intriguing blend of scoring touch, shot-blocking and three-point shooting potential. On top of that, he’s also producing on the court as one of the youngest players in college basketball. His jump shot mechanics are unorthodox, which may limit how much of that specific success translates, but he has made major all-around strides over the last year or so and is worthy of consideration high in the draft.

7. Robert Williams III, F/C, Texas A&M | Sophomore

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20

A strong, athletic big with some inside-out scoring ability and a nose for the ball, Williams had an impressive yet inconsistent freshman year. He’s a bouncy athlete and talented shot-blocker with pick-and-pop potential. That said, he’s been able to get away with some things at the college level purely because of his physicality. Though he profiles as a top–10 pick, he’s at a relatively advanced age for an ostensibly raw prospect. Scouts will look for Williams to polish his skill set and become a more consistent jump shooter.

8. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Bridges competes hard on both ends of the floor, and elite athletic ability suggests he’ll be a multi-positional defender and transition threat. He’s purely a set shooter right now, but has largely performed well from beyond the arc for the Spartans. He doesn’t have great length for a forward nor developed enough ball-handling skills to play guard, although some of that should be mitigated in an NBA presently favoring smaller, faster forwards. At the least, he should become a rotation player with some upside.

9. Wendell Carter Jr., F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 18

Carter has a well-rounded offensive game, with the ability to score with his back to the basket as well as face up and hit a jump shot. He’s an intelligent offensive player with good size and strength to battle inside. Although he’s not a bad athlete, he’s not especially explosive and can struggle when defenses collapse on him around the basket and alter his shot. Scouts will wonder how he’ll adjust to facing NBA length every night, and if he can become a consistent threat shooting threes.

10. Collin Sexton, G, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

An aggressive scorer with a well-known mean streak, Sexton’s handle and burst allow him to consistently penetrate defenses, kick it out or finish at the basket. He’s shown some improvement as a three-point shooter and plays hard defensively, too. Sexton isn’t a pure point and can improve as a decision maker with the ball, but he has a good chance to become an effective change-of-pace scorer at minimum. In a thin draft for lead ball-handlers, he’ll be among the top available options.

11. Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami | Freshman

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

Walker checks a lot of boxes for an off-guard. He's able to slash to the basket and score from deep with great length for his position. He has long-term 3-and-D potential as he refines his skills, develops his body and learns to play off the ball. Tearing his meniscus over the summer was a setback that might help justify a slow start. He’s still a ways off from being pro-ready, and has to prove he can put up the numbers to match his considerable talent.

12. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

On an inconsistent, younger-than-usual Kentucky roster, Knox appears to be the top prospect in the early going. He’s shown some improvement as a shooter and has enviable physical tools, with the size and reach to guard either forward spot and rebound effectively. He could stand to be more aggressive attacking the basket. His base strengths make him a potential frontcourt asset.

13. Bruce Brown Jr., G, Miami | Sophomore

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Gifted with size, strength and a relentless approach to the game, Brown continues to transition into playing the point full time and should put up big numbers for Miami. He can defend multiple positions on the perimeter and generates turnovers. On offense, he shoots the ball well but needs more polish as a playmaker and as a scorer off the bounce. Regardless, he has a good chance to end up among the first guards drafted.

14. Trevon Duval, PG, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19

Early in the season, Duval has shown improvement in every area of his game, save for his biggest weakness: his jumper. Duval has great size and length, can be an elite on-ball defender, makes plays in transition and has begun to slow the game down from a mental standpoint. But he’s essentially a non-factor shooting from the outside at this stage, with a lack of consistency and touch. Duval is talented enough for the lottery, but could be held back by his struggles from outside.

15. Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School (Louisiana)

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19

Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enter the draft with no experience past high school, teams still have significant interest in his long frame, athleticism and shot-blocking ability. He’s a serious project with questionable feel for the game and likely won’t benefit from walking away from Western Kentucky. Conversely, there will be less time to pick him apart in workout settings. Robinson remains an intriguing name to file away.

16. Dzanan Musa, G/F, KK Cedevita

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18

Musa is an aggressive scoring wing who shoots well from the outside and can attack effectively off the dribble. He’s an improving playmaker and has stood out for Bosnia with an advanced feel, but he’s very ball-dominant at this stage and may not be athletic enough for that role in the NBA. His body leaves something to be desired, as he’s somewhat thin. He lacks ideal length and has a bit of a hunched posture due to the shape of his back. He’s not much of a defender, either. Still, his ability to put the ball in the basket sets him apart.

17. Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19

Diallo is a divisive prospect, but nobody can argue with the freakish bounce and length that makes him worthy of first-round looks. He can run and jump with anyone and has enough of a handle to turn the corner and attack the basket, but his jumper needs work and he’s far from a finished product. Beyond easy transition points and his ability to get to the line, there’s not a ton else to Diallo’s game yet. He’s still so athletic that signs of substantive progress could land him in the lottery.

18. Killian Tillie, F/C, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Hyper-efficient around the basket with a natural touch and quick burst off the floor, Tillie has quietly emerged as Gonzaga’s top prospect. The Frenchman has shown demonstrable polish and has flashed a nice-looking jump shot. He boxes out well and establishes good position inside. He moves well laterally and has some impact defensively, though how he’ll fare on both ends against NBA length remains to be seen. With continued production, he’ll be a person of interest come June.

19. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Freshman

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Most of Brown’s appeal is tied to his long-term potential as an oversized ball-handler and versatile defensive piece. He’s at his best in the open floor and uses his length to attack the basket, see over defenders and make plays for teammates. Brown can impact the game without scoring and has the upside to rise into the lottery depending on how quickly things come together for him on the court.

20. Chimezie Metu, F/C, USC | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

A springy big who blocks shots and has shown some touch, Metu has made noticeable strides year-to-year. He can make the game look easy at times, and has improved as a finisher who can throw it down in tight spaces. His game-to-game activity can waver, as can his on-court awareness. If he’s able to step out and make threes regularly, his ceiling increases considerably. Consistency would go a long way.

21. Justin Jackson, F, Maryland | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

Jackson’s long, well-developed frame makes him a very intriguing two-way forward. His foot speed and 7’3” wingspan allow him to guard several positions, and he’s a useful rebounder and secondary ball-handler. That said, Jackson lacks a demonstrable offensive calling card right now unless he can somehow sustain last season’s impressive shooting clip. His scoring may come along slowly, but his otherwise well-rounded skill set is still worth an investment.

22. Shake Milton, G, SMU | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Milton’s size, shooting and ability to play on and off the ball make him a high-level prospect. He’s proven he can score from the outside and is the type of player who could pair well with a variety of backcourt partners. Milton will be the go-to guy for SMU this season and must continue to take care of the ball, play more aggressively and show he can defend at a competent level.

23. Mikal Bridges, F, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

An emerging 3-and-D prospect, Bridges has generated early-season buzz with an improved offensive game to go with impressive measurables that make him an impact defender. He blocks shots and consistently generates steals with his 7’0” wingspan, and has the kind of versatility that plays particularly well in a fast-paced game. Continuing to thrive in a bigger scoring role is key for him.

24. Grayson Allen, SG, Duke | Senior

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 | Age: 22

Allen is among the top distance shooters in the draft. He's able to get his jumper off both in tight spaces off the dribble and on the catch. He has a well-developed sense of how to get open and get to his spots, and he’s a strong athlete who can attack a closeout and keep defenders from playing him too closely. Allen may not be an impactful NBA defender, but he’s certainly not a stiff. He’s tough, competes hard, and looks tailored for an NBA role.

25. Jaylen Hands, PG, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 175 | Age: 18

In what looks like a weaker draft pool that’s especially devoid of point guard talent, Hands’s highlight-reel explosiveness and end-to-end speed should give him a chance at the first round. He’s still learning how to run a team, but can get to the rim, push in transition and has a workable jumper and nice handle. He does things that are hard to teach. Hands lacks ideal size and strength for the NBA, but has a lot to like as a long-term prospect.

26. Nick Richards, C, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 19

Although extremely raw and prone to foul trouble, Richards’s size, rebounding, mobility and shot-blocking potential put him in the first-round conversation. He’s well-built, highly agile and can play above the rim. But his feel is lacking, and he’s very old for his class—he’ll enter the draft at age 20. If he becomes a reliable rim-runner and shot blocker, Richards should be able to make an impact.

27. Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19

McCoy is all tools at this stage, but he’s physically impressive for a young center. He can get up and down the floor and goes after the ball well off the glass. His timing and feel are still coming along, but he naturally alters shots and has shown some ability to shoot from the mid-range. McCoy needs to be coached up and will need a strong season to win scouts over as a project.

28. Rawle Alkins, SG, Arizona | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20

Alkins remains sidelined as he recovers from a foot fracture. He was among the top performers at the draft combine last season, and has a strong frame and NBA-caliber bounce. He should return to a larger share of Arizona’s possessions, but his main value to the team thus far has come defensively, where he’s evolved into a reliable piece. His ability to score at the rim and off the dribble makes him interesting, and if Alkins returns 100%, he should begin to win people over.

29. Rodions Kurucs, G/F, FC Barcelona

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Though Kurucs's stock has trended down somewhat after pulling out of last year’s draft and failing to earn minutes with Barcelona’s top team, his mix of size, athleticism and smarts offer appeal on the wing. He will need to improve his production beyond simply showing flashes. The Latvian still has some nice traits and looks like a potentially useful role player.

30. Kris Wilkes, SF, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19

Wilkes’s early results have been impressive, and his smooth shooting mechanics, twitchy athleticism and 6’11” wingspan make him a natural fit for a 3-and-D role, given time. He can attack a closeout and looks comfortable scoring in transition. Wilkes still has a lot of work to do on his handle and needs to show he can be a consistent threat from deep and impact the game beyond scoring. His game is reminiscent of Tim Hardaway Jr., and his strengths profile nicely down the line.

31. De’Anthony Melton, G, USC | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

It certainly doesn’t help Melton’s case that he remains out due to the FBI’s college basketball investigation. He did show plenty of defensive toughness and offensive skill as a freshman, and remains on the NBA radar as an energy player and defensive presence. If he gets his jumper in order and makes it onto the floor this season, he could be in for a leap.

32. Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | Sophomore

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 20

Battle has nice size and skill and appears to have taken a step forward as a scorer. He’s agile and tough, but still has to prove he can create off the dribble and improve as a finisher. It’s unclear yet whether his defensive contributions will catch up to his physical prowess. Scouts will want to see him tap into his versatility and show increased efficiency as a scorer.

33. Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas | Senior

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 185 | Age: 22

As the leader of a less-loaded-than-usual Kansas team, Graham’s toughness and scoring aren’t going unnoticed. He boasts nice size and a good stroke from three, and impacts the game as a hard-working on-ball defender. He can struggle getting to the second level of defenses and isn’t elite at any one thing, but if the numbers are there at the end of the season, the first round is within reach.

34. Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Hachimura has come off the bench to start the year for Gonzaga and needs more opportunities to show his stuff, but he has a chance at the first round if he can string together some good performances. He’s got nice length and strength and has some touch as a shooter. He showed plenty of game playing for Japan over the summer and could be a valuable two-way combo forward in time.

35. John Petty, SG, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18

The headlines have belonged to Collin Sexton, but Petty is set to thrive playing off of his talented teammate. He’s a gifted perimeter shooter who can sustain hot streaks and hoist his shot quickly. It may be tricky to assess his well-roundedness given how much of Alabama’s points run through Sexton, but Petty can fill up a box score and has appeal in a 3-and-D role.

36. Emmanuel Akot, F, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18

Akot is ranked here based on his defensive versatility and a promising offensive game. He’s penciled into a supporting role for Arizona and may need another year to prove himself, but his shooting potential, sneaky passing ability and non-stop effort are enticing. He’s strong with the ball in his hands and able to attack the basket and make plays. Akot reclassified to play for the Wildcats this season and is still getting his first taste of highly competitive basketball. As he comes into his own over the course of the season, he could force the issue in regards to the draft.

37. Austin Wiley, C, Auburn | Sophomore

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 250 | Age: 18

Wiley has been held out due to the FBI corruption investigation, but has NBA intrigue with great size, length and strength. He’s young for his class and is in a pretty good place developmentally, working hard on the glass and showing the makings of a decent jumper. He’ll battle in the post and do the dirty work, but isn’t an elite athlete. He can improve as a finisher and has a history of knee injuries that limit his mobility.

38. Andrew Jones, G, Texas | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Jones is an impressive athlete and transition scorer still learning his craft. He may not evolve into a true point guard, but he has nice quickness and a burst that helps him on both ends. His halfcourt skills leave something to be desired, and his jumper is a question mark, but Jones is a nice developmental piece with upside.

39. Jarred Vanderbilt, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Although Vanderbilt has yet to make his debut as he recovers from a foot injury, his eventual return will come with NBA intrigue. He has a history of leg injuries and a thinnish lower body, but he’s a good athlete who can handle the ball a little bit and can make an impact on the glass and as a versatile defender with length. He can also make plays for teammates, particularly in the open floor. The injuries are a concern, but Vanderbilt will have a chance at the first round if he comes back strong.

40. Arnoldas Kulboka, F, Orlandina Basket

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 19

A productive, athletic wing with shooting potential, Kulboka has nice size at the three and has put up impressive numbers coming up in Germany. He has definite upside as a scorer. A native of Lithuania, he needs to add weight, improve defensively and add a little seasoning. He’s a potential draft-and-stash player if he comes out.

41. Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 20

Shamet made it back for the start of the season, but he's now suffered serious injuries in both og hid feet. That aside, he’s a gifted scorer who can hit difficult shots and began to come into his own down the stretch last season. He has nice size for a lead guard, changes speeds well and can move and defend passably. He could be in line for another big leap that could put him in the draft conversation.

42. Alize Johnson, F, Missouri State | Senior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

After breaking out over the summer at Adidas Nations, Johnson emerged as a unique prospect with guard skills and a high rebounding motor packaged into a combo forward’s body. He can handle the ball and push in transition and has some promise as a shooter, profiling as the sort of positionless-type big that’s in high demand right now. Thanks to his versatility, Johnson will get serious NBA looks all season as one of the top mid-major prospects around.

43. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19

Alexander-Walker is far off from logging actual NBA minutes, but his long-term potential has him on draft radars. He has shooting potential, the size to guard both guard spots and a generally good sense of the floor playing on and off the ball for Virginia Tech. He’d greatly benefit from a second year of college and needs to work on his body, as he struggles turning the corner against athletic defenders. He’ll be in for a season of ups and downs in the ACC, but has a nice long-term outlook.

44. Isaac Bonga, G/F, Fraport Skyliners

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18

An oversized ball-handler and talented passer, Bonga could be one of the youngest players in this class and has nice upside given his skill set. His jump shot is the biggest knock on him, but he has nice instincts and vision, particularly at his size. The German product needs a lot of time, but could become a two-way playmaker. Bonga’s offense in particular will require a ton of work, but what he might be in two or three years is enticing.

45. Bryant Crawford, PG, Wake Forest | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

Crawford’s size and strength on the ball and willingness to defend has piqued the interest of point He changes speeds well and can create in the halfcourt. Crawford isn’t a knockdown shooter and needs to prove he can be consistent. He will be asked to elevate a mediocre roster this season and could struggle with efficiency. But his experience, length and two-way contributions help set him apart from other guards.

46. Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Junior

Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21

The youngest of the three Holiday brothers has proven a tough competitor in his own right. He’s undersized but scrappy, and can hit an open three, get to the basket and fight on defense. Holiday will need to sustain a good amount of last season’s shooting numbers, which were abetted by playing alongside Lonzo Ball. But as the de facto veteran leader of a young, talented roster, Holiday can leave a nice impression.

47. Bonzie Colson, PF, Notre Dame | Senior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21

A truly unorthodox prospect, Colson has great length and a deep bag of offensive moves, but stands at just 6’5”. He’s been remarkably effective for Notre Dame anyway, and will tempt teams with his history of production and the hope that he can make it all work as a factor in smaller lineups. He can get to the foul line and has been extremely efficient to date. Whether or not he succeeds in the NBA, his stock will make for an interesting case study.

48. Chandler Hutchison, G/F, Boise State | Senior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

A popular sleeper and one of the top players in the Mountain West, Hutchison has 3-and-D potential and an unflashy, effective game. He’s a good off-ball cutter who can get himself open, and shot the ball well last season. He has the size to guard either wing position and contributes on the glass, too. If Hutchison can sustain his shooting effectiveness with added volume, he’ll have a solid chance to be drafted.

49. Ethan Happ, PF, Wisconsin | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Happ has done nothing but produce at Wisconsin and excels as a finisher and rebounder. He operates mostly in the paint, where he’s always active despite a lack of ideal size at the five. He’s not a flashy player, but he’s a good rebounder, ball-handler and passer and plays bigger than his size. It hurts that he’s not much of a shooter (and a bad free-throw shooter) but his track record is still impressive.

50. Vince Edwards, F, Purdue | Senior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21

Edwards has the athleticism and length to guard several positions passably, and has a nice level of versatility to his game. He could be an ideal fit in smaller lineups with his ability to move the ball, space the floor and get involved on the glass. If you envision him as a glue guy—and he shows real improvement as a defender, where he is prone to lapses—he’s not a bad roll of the dice.

51. Moritz Wagner, F/C, Michigan | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20

Wagner comes off a nice but inconsistent sophomore season and will have a chance to better anchor Michigan’s offense this time around. He’s a talented inside-out big man with the size to play center, but lacks the defensive chops to protect the basket. He was disappointing as a rebounder last season and needs to take a big step forward on that front. As a talented stretch big, he’ll get an opportunity to stick.

52. Jacob Evans, SG, Cincinnati | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 20

Evans is a tough, defensive-minded guard with shot-making ability who has come on strong as an NBA prospect. He has the chops to be a valuable 3-and-D piece and guard multiple positions. If last season’s success from the outside proves to be for real, he has a great chance to hear his name called on draft night.

53. Allonzo Trier, G, Arizona | Junior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Although Trier still shoots first, second and third, he’s a dynamic college scorer who has improved his efficiency from the field. He lacks ideal length for a shooting guard and can be a ball-stopper, calling into question how he'd fit on other teams. He’s an offensive-minded talent and consistent shooter from deep, but will be asked to play a supporting role at the next level. Trier may be able to succeed if he commits to defense, works on his body and proves there’s more to his game.

54. Bennie Boatwright, F, USC | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 230 | Age: 21

As a floor-spacer with size, Boatwright has been on prospect lists for a while. He’s a deadeye shooter with his feet set and has shown the ability to score off the bounce as well, although he’s not a great athlete or a presence defensively. He’s not especially efficient putting the ball in the basket any other way, but a strong year shooting the ball would set him up nicely.

55. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19

A gifted perimeter scorer and improving passer, Young will have a ton of opportunities to shine for the Sooners. He’s not especially big, quick or strong, but has a smooth handle and can create his own shot. His three-point shooting will put him on draft radars, but it’s unclear if he’ll be able to stay on the floor defensively or be quite as effective against athletic defenses.

56. Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Brunson is a heady playmaker who has had success throughout his career and looks tailored for a role as an NBA ball-handler. He doesn’t have great size or strength, but plays and works extremely hard and is often underrated as a scorer. Brunson relies on being crafty, understands how to run a team and has a chance to be drafted, whether this season or the next.

57. Deng Adel, G/F, Louisville | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

Though not overly long for a wing with his strengths, Adel is a productive slasher, rebounder and defender who will inherit even more of a scoring role for Louisville. He’s a good—not great—athlete who brings moxie and has occasional flashes of brilliance. An NBA role would likely require more of him defensively, and if he can emerge as more of a stopper, he could be a fit.

58. Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Bates-Diop is a long, well-built forward with shooting ability and some slashing potential. He’s more of a straight-line driver, but can finish in the paint. He rebounds well and can theoretically defend both forward spots. After a disappointing junior year was cut short by a stress fracture in his left leg, he’ll look to bounce back with big scoring numbers as a senior and play his way into consideration. Much is tied to how well he shoots from three.

59. Anas Mahmoud, C, Louisville | Junior

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 215 | Age: 22

With significant size and length making him an NBA prospect, Mahmoud needs to put together a full, productive season. He’s a strong shot-blocker and showed improvement in his overall feel last year. A native of Egypt, Mahmoud has a slender frame and is old for his class, but any offensive improvement will help his case as a developmental player.

60. Markis McDuffie, F, Wichita State | Junior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

McDuffie has yet to debut this season as he recovers from a stress fracture in his left leg. He’s an athletic combo forward who has improved as a shooter from outside and become a key piece for the Shockers. He’s a multi–positional, rangy defender who forces steals and rebounds well. He’ll return in a presumably larger offensive role, and how he handles it will be pivotal, but he’s young for his class and the type of player teams will take a chance on.

2018 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 60 Prospects

With the NBA and college basketball seasons both in full swing, it’s time to start parsing through the player pool and ranking prospects. And with that, The Crossover’s Front Office presents its initial list of the top 60 players for the 2018 NBA draft.

While our Mock Draft aims to project what the draft might look like on a given day of the season and factors in team needs, the Big Board serves as our own point of reference for pure talent. These rankings are based on our own evaluations and conversations with scouts, and establishes how we'd select them in a vacuum (which is a scenario that of course will never actually happen).

Bookmark this page, as we’ll be adjusting our rankings throughout the season up until draft night. (Note: Ranking last updated Nov. 20)

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1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19

Elite physical tools, soft touch around the basket and a promising jump shot make Ayton a tantalizing prospect. He has most of the traits you want in a modern center plus the athletic ability to face up and play in space. The college game comes easily to him, and if he answers questions about his effort, Ayton will have a strong case atop the draft. He’s a manchild with crazy-high upside and a potential franchise cornerstone.

2. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 18

Known for his aggression on the glass and overall competitiveness, Bagley manufactures easy baskets and possesses uncommonly fluid athleticism for a guy his size. He should become highly versatile on the defensive end. His growth as a scorer in the halfcourt will ultimately make or break him, and his jump shot is a work in progress, but his makeup and base strengths give his value a solid floor.

3. Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18

At 18, Doncic has become perhaps the top player in the Euroleague and a potential No. 1 pick. He’s comfortable as a lead ball-handler and has become deadly from three-point range. He makes his teammates better and readstoday a the floor well beyond his years. While he will face an adjustment to the speed of NBA defenses, there’s not really much to nitpick here. Doncic appears a safe bet to continue on the fast track and contribute at a high level.

4. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Porter is a smooth, polished scorer who thrives on the perimeter and should be able to play either forward spot. Shooting is at a premium, and Porter’s ball-handling and perimeter skills give him a chance to contribute immediately. He can be a ball-stopper, and rounding out his game with playmaking and defense are the next steps, but he’s a pretty ideal frontcourt prospect in the pace-and-space era.

5. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

With off-the-charts length and impressive mobility, Bamba is potentially a dominant interior defender. His 7’9” wingspan deserves a sentence of its own. He has a slender frame and continues to round out his offensive skill set, but has shown ability as a jump shooter and is a constant threat to catch lobs. Bamba has an opportunity to evolve into a defensive-minded antidote for the young, perimeter-oriented big men beginning to take over the NBA.

6. Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Michigan State | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18

Jackson boasts NBA bloodlines and an intriguing blend of scoring touch, shot-blocking and three-point shooting potential. On top of that, he’s also producing on the court as one of the youngest players in college basketball. His jump shot mechanics are unorthodox, which may limit how much of that specific success translates, but he has made major all-around strides over the last year or so and is worthy of consideration high in the draft.

7. Robert Williams III, F/C, Texas A&M | Sophomore

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20

A strong, athletic big with some inside-out scoring ability and a nose for the ball, Williams had an impressive yet inconsistent freshman year. He’s a bouncy athlete and talented shot-blocker with pick-and-pop potential. That said, he’s been able to get away with some things at the college level purely because of his physicality. Though he profiles as a top–10 pick, he’s at a relatively advanced age for an ostensibly raw prospect. Scouts will look for Williams to polish his skill set and become a more consistent jump shooter.

8. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Bridges competes hard on both ends of the floor, and elite athletic ability suggests he’ll be a multi-positional defender and transition threat. He’s purely a set shooter right now, but has largely performed well from beyond the arc for the Spartans. He doesn’t have great length for a forward nor developed enough ball-handling skills to play guard, although some of that should be mitigated in an NBA presently favoring smaller, faster forwards. At the least, he should become a rotation player with some upside.

9. Wendell Carter Jr., F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 18

Carter has a well-rounded offensive game, with the ability to score with his back to the basket as well as face up and hit a jump shot. He’s an intelligent offensive player with good size and strength to battle inside. Although he’s not a bad athlete, he’s not especially explosive and can struggle when defenses collapse on him around the basket and alter his shot. Scouts will wonder how he’ll adjust to facing NBA length every night, and if he can become a consistent threat shooting threes.

10. Collin Sexton, G, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

An aggressive scorer with a well-known mean streak, Sexton’s handle and burst allow him to consistently penetrate defenses, kick it out or finish at the basket. He’s shown some improvement as a three-point shooter and plays hard defensively, too. Sexton isn’t a pure point and can improve as a decision maker with the ball, but he has a good chance to become an effective change-of-pace scorer at minimum. In a thin draft for lead ball-handlers, he’ll be among the top available options.

11. Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami | Freshman

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

Walker checks a lot of boxes for an off-guard. He's able to slash to the basket and score from deep with great length for his position. He has long-term 3-and-D potential as he refines his skills, develops his body and learns to play off the ball. Tearing his meniscus over the summer was a setback that might help justify a slow start. He’s still a ways off from being pro-ready, and has to prove he can put up the numbers to match his considerable talent.

12. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

On an inconsistent, younger-than-usual Kentucky roster, Knox appears to be the top prospect in the early going. He’s shown some improvement as a shooter and has enviable physical tools, with the size and reach to guard either forward spot and rebound effectively. He could stand to be more aggressive attacking the basket. His base strengths make him a potential frontcourt asset.

13. Bruce Brown Jr., G, Miami | Sophomore

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Gifted with size, strength and a relentless approach to the game, Brown continues to transition into playing the point full time and should put up big numbers for Miami. He can defend multiple positions on the perimeter and generates turnovers. On offense, he shoots the ball well but needs more polish as a playmaker and as a scorer off the bounce. Regardless, he has a good chance to end up among the first guards drafted.

14. Trevon Duval, PG, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19

Early in the season, Duval has shown improvement in every area of his game, save for his biggest weakness: his jumper. Duval has great size and length, can be an elite on-ball defender, makes plays in transition and has begun to slow the game down from a mental standpoint. But he’s essentially a non-factor shooting from the outside at this stage, with a lack of consistency and touch. Duval is talented enough for the lottery, but could be held back by his struggles from outside.

15. Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School (Louisiana)

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19

Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enter the draft with no experience past high school, teams still have significant interest in his long frame, athleticism and shot-blocking ability. He’s a serious project with questionable feel for the game and likely won’t benefit from walking away from Western Kentucky. Conversely, there will be less time to pick him apart in workout settings. Robinson remains an intriguing name to file away.

16. Dzanan Musa, G/F, KK Cedevita

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18

Musa is an aggressive scoring wing who shoots well from the outside and can attack effectively off the dribble. He’s an improving playmaker and has stood out for Bosnia with an advanced feel, but he’s very ball-dominant at this stage and may not be athletic enough for that role in the NBA. His body leaves something to be desired, as he’s somewhat thin. He lacks ideal length and has a bit of a hunched posture due to the shape of his back. He’s not much of a defender, either. Still, his ability to put the ball in the basket sets him apart.

17. Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19

Diallo is a divisive prospect, but nobody can argue with the freakish bounce and length that makes him worthy of first-round looks. He can run and jump with anyone and has enough of a handle to turn the corner and attack the basket, but his jumper needs work and he’s far from a finished product. Beyond easy transition points and his ability to get to the line, there’s not a ton else to Diallo’s game yet. He’s still so athletic that signs of substantive progress could land him in the lottery.

18. Killian Tillie, F/C, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Hyper-efficient around the basket with a natural touch and quick burst off the floor, Tillie has quietly emerged as Gonzaga’s top prospect. The Frenchman has shown demonstrable polish and has flashed a nice-looking jump shot. He boxes out well and establishes good position inside. He moves well laterally and has some impact defensively, though how he’ll fare on both ends against NBA length remains to be seen. With continued production, he’ll be a person of interest come June.

19. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Freshman

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Most of Brown’s appeal is tied to his long-term potential as an oversized ball-handler and versatile defensive piece. He’s at his best in the open floor and uses his length to attack the basket, see over defenders and make plays for teammates. Brown can impact the game without scoring and has the upside to rise into the lottery depending on how quickly things come together for him on the court.

20. Chimezie Metu, F/C, USC | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

A springy big who blocks shots and has shown some touch, Metu has made noticeable strides year-to-year. He can make the game look easy at times, and has improved as a finisher who can throw it down in tight spaces. His game-to-game activity can waver, as can his on-court awareness. If he’s able to step out and make threes regularly, his ceiling increases considerably. Consistency would go a long way.

21. Justin Jackson, F, Maryland | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

Jackson’s long, well-developed frame makes him a very intriguing two-way forward. His foot speed and 7’3” wingspan allow him to guard several positions, and he’s a useful rebounder and secondary ball-handler. That said, Jackson lacks a demonstrable offensive calling card right now unless he can somehow sustain last season’s impressive shooting clip. His scoring may come along slowly, but his otherwise well-rounded skill set is still worth an investment.

22. Shake Milton, G, SMU | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Milton’s size, shooting and ability to play on and off the ball make him a high-level prospect. He’s proven he can score from the outside and is the type of player who could pair well with a variety of backcourt partners. Milton will be the go-to guy for SMU this season and must continue to take care of the ball, play more aggressively and show he can defend at a competent level.

23. Mikal Bridges, F, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

An emerging 3-and-D prospect, Bridges has generated early-season buzz with an improved offensive game to go with impressive measurables that make him an impact defender. He blocks shots and consistently generates steals with his 7’0” wingspan, and has the kind of versatility that plays particularly well in a fast-paced game. Continuing to thrive in a bigger scoring role is key for him.

24. Grayson Allen, SG, Duke | Senior

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 | Age: 22

Allen is among the top distance shooters in the draft. He's able to get his jumper off both in tight spaces off the dribble and on the catch. He has a well-developed sense of how to get open and get to his spots, and he’s a strong athlete who can attack a closeout and keep defenders from playing him too closely. Allen may not be an impactful NBA defender, but he’s certainly not a stiff. He’s tough, competes hard, and looks tailored for an NBA role.

25. Jaylen Hands, PG, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 175 | Age: 18

In what looks like a weaker draft pool that’s especially devoid of point guard talent, Hands’s highlight-reel explosiveness and end-to-end speed should give him a chance at the first round. He’s still learning how to run a team, but can get to the rim, push in transition and has a workable jumper and nice handle. He does things that are hard to teach. Hands lacks ideal size and strength for the NBA, but has a lot to like as a long-term prospect.

26. Nick Richards, C, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 19

Although extremely raw and prone to foul trouble, Richards’s size, rebounding, mobility and shot-blocking potential put him in the first-round conversation. He’s well-built, highly agile and can play above the rim. But his feel is lacking, and he’s very old for his class—he’ll enter the draft at age 20. If he becomes a reliable rim-runner and shot blocker, Richards should be able to make an impact.

27. Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19

McCoy is all tools at this stage, but he’s physically impressive for a young center. He can get up and down the floor and goes after the ball well off the glass. His timing and feel are still coming along, but he naturally alters shots and has shown some ability to shoot from the mid-range. McCoy needs to be coached up and will need a strong season to win scouts over as a project.

28. Rawle Alkins, SG, Arizona | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20

Alkins remains sidelined as he recovers from a foot fracture. He was among the top performers at the draft combine last season, and has a strong frame and NBA-caliber bounce. He should return to a larger share of Arizona’s possessions, but his main value to the team thus far has come defensively, where he’s evolved into a reliable piece. His ability to score at the rim and off the dribble makes him interesting, and if Alkins returns 100%, he should begin to win people over.

29. Rodions Kurucs, G/F, FC Barcelona

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Though Kurucs's stock has trended down somewhat after pulling out of last year’s draft and failing to earn minutes with Barcelona’s top team, his mix of size, athleticism and smarts offer appeal on the wing. He will need to improve his production beyond simply showing flashes. The Latvian still has some nice traits and looks like a potentially useful role player.

30. Kris Wilkes, SF, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19

Wilkes’s early results have been impressive, and his smooth shooting mechanics, twitchy athleticism and 6’11” wingspan make him a natural fit for a 3-and-D role, given time. He can attack a closeout and looks comfortable scoring in transition. Wilkes still has a lot of work to do on his handle and needs to show he can be a consistent threat from deep and impact the game beyond scoring. His game is reminiscent of Tim Hardaway Jr., and his strengths profile nicely down the line.

31. De’Anthony Melton, G, USC | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

It certainly doesn’t help Melton’s case that he remains out due to the FBI’s college basketball investigation. He did show plenty of defensive toughness and offensive skill as a freshman, and remains on the NBA radar as an energy player and defensive presence. If he gets his jumper in order and makes it onto the floor this season, he could be in for a leap.

32. Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | Sophomore

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 20

Battle has nice size and skill and appears to have taken a step forward as a scorer. He’s agile and tough, but still has to prove he can create off the dribble and improve as a finisher. It’s unclear yet whether his defensive contributions will catch up to his physical prowess. Scouts will want to see him tap into his versatility and show increased efficiency as a scorer.

33. Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas | Senior

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 185 | Age: 22

As the leader of a less-loaded-than-usual Kansas team, Graham’s toughness and scoring aren’t going unnoticed. He boasts nice size and a good stroke from three, and impacts the game as a hard-working on-ball defender. He can struggle getting to the second level of defenses and isn’t elite at any one thing, but if the numbers are there at the end of the season, the first round is within reach.

34. Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Hachimura has come off the bench to start the year for Gonzaga and needs more opportunities to show his stuff, but he has a chance at the first round if he can string together some good performances. He’s got nice length and strength and has some touch as a shooter. He showed plenty of game playing for Japan over the summer and could be a valuable two-way combo forward in time.

35. John Petty, SG, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18

The headlines have belonged to Collin Sexton, but Petty is set to thrive playing off of his talented teammate. He’s a gifted perimeter shooter who can sustain hot streaks and hoist his shot quickly. It may be tricky to assess his well-roundedness given how much of Alabama’s points run through Sexton, but Petty can fill up a box score and has appeal in a 3-and-D role.

36. Emmanuel Akot, F, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18

Akot is ranked here based on his defensive versatility and a promising offensive game. He’s penciled into a supporting role for Arizona and may need another year to prove himself, but his shooting potential, sneaky passing ability and non-stop effort are enticing. He’s strong with the ball in his hands and able to attack the basket and make plays. Akot reclassified to play for the Wildcats this season and is still getting his first taste of highly competitive basketball. As he comes into his own over the course of the season, he could force the issue in regards to the draft.

37. Austin Wiley, C, Auburn | Sophomore

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 250 | Age: 18

Wiley has been held out due to the FBI corruption investigation, but has NBA intrigue with great size, length and strength. He’s young for his class and is in a pretty good place developmentally, working hard on the glass and showing the makings of a decent jumper. He’ll battle in the post and do the dirty work, but isn’t an elite athlete. He can improve as a finisher and has a history of knee injuries that limit his mobility.

38. Andrew Jones, G, Texas | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Jones is an impressive athlete and transition scorer still learning his craft. He may not evolve into a true point guard, but he has nice quickness and a burst that helps him on both ends. His halfcourt skills leave something to be desired, and his jumper is a question mark, but Jones is a nice developmental piece with upside.

39. Jarred Vanderbilt, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Although Vanderbilt has yet to make his debut as he recovers from a foot injury, his eventual return will come with NBA intrigue. He has a history of leg injuries and a thinnish lower body, but he’s a good athlete who can handle the ball a little bit and can make an impact on the glass and as a versatile defender with length. He can also make plays for teammates, particularly in the open floor. The injuries are a concern, but Vanderbilt will have a chance at the first round if he comes back strong.

40. Arnoldas Kulboka, F, Orlandina Basket

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 19

A productive, athletic wing with shooting potential, Kulboka has nice size at the three and has put up impressive numbers coming up in Germany. He has definite upside as a scorer. A native of Lithuania, he needs to add weight, improve defensively and add a little seasoning. He’s a potential draft-and-stash player if he comes out.

41. Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 20

Shamet made it back for the start of the season, but he's now suffered serious injuries in both og hid feet. That aside, he’s a gifted scorer who can hit difficult shots and began to come into his own down the stretch last season. He has nice size for a lead guard, changes speeds well and can move and defend passably. He could be in line for another big leap that could put him in the draft conversation.

42. Alize Johnson, F, Missouri State | Senior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

After breaking out over the summer at Adidas Nations, Johnson emerged as a unique prospect with guard skills and a high rebounding motor packaged into a combo forward’s body. He can handle the ball and push in transition and has some promise as a shooter, profiling as the sort of positionless-type big that’s in high demand right now. Thanks to his versatility, Johnson will get serious NBA looks all season as one of the top mid-major prospects around.

43. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19

Alexander-Walker is far off from logging actual NBA minutes, but his long-term potential has him on draft radars. He has shooting potential, the size to guard both guard spots and a generally good sense of the floor playing on and off the ball for Virginia Tech. He’d greatly benefit from a second year of college and needs to work on his body, as he struggles turning the corner against athletic defenders. He’ll be in for a season of ups and downs in the ACC, but has a nice long-term outlook.

44. Isaac Bonga, G/F, Fraport Skyliners

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18

An oversized ball-handler and talented passer, Bonga could be one of the youngest players in this class and has nice upside given his skill set. His jump shot is the biggest knock on him, but he has nice instincts and vision, particularly at his size. The German product needs a lot of time, but could become a two-way playmaker. Bonga’s offense in particular will require a ton of work, but what he might be in two or three years is enticing.

45. Bryant Crawford, PG, Wake Forest | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

Crawford’s size and strength on the ball and willingness to defend has piqued the interest of point He changes speeds well and can create in the halfcourt. Crawford isn’t a knockdown shooter and needs to prove he can be consistent. He will be asked to elevate a mediocre roster this season and could struggle with efficiency. But his experience, length and two-way contributions help set him apart from other guards.

46. Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Junior

Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21

The youngest of the three Holiday brothers has proven a tough competitor in his own right. He’s undersized but scrappy, and can hit an open three, get to the basket and fight on defense. Holiday will need to sustain a good amount of last season’s shooting numbers, which were abetted by playing alongside Lonzo Ball. But as the de facto veteran leader of a young, talented roster, Holiday can leave a nice impression.

47. Bonzie Colson, PF, Notre Dame | Senior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21

A truly unorthodox prospect, Colson has great length and a deep bag of offensive moves, but stands at just 6’5”. He’s been remarkably effective for Notre Dame anyway, and will tempt teams with his history of production and the hope that he can make it all work as a factor in smaller lineups. He can get to the foul line and has been extremely efficient to date. Whether or not he succeeds in the NBA, his stock will make for an interesting case study.

48. Chandler Hutchison, G/F, Boise State | Senior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

A popular sleeper and one of the top players in the Mountain West, Hutchison has 3-and-D potential and an unflashy, effective game. He’s a good off-ball cutter who can get himself open, and shot the ball well last season. He has the size to guard either wing position and contributes on the glass, too. If Hutchison can sustain his shooting effectiveness with added volume, he’ll have a solid chance to be drafted.

49. Ethan Happ, PF, Wisconsin | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Happ has done nothing but produce at Wisconsin and excels as a finisher and rebounder. He operates mostly in the paint, where he’s always active despite a lack of ideal size at the five. He’s not a flashy player, but he’s a good rebounder, ball-handler and passer and plays bigger than his size. It hurts that he’s not much of a shooter (and a bad free-throw shooter) but his track record is still impressive.

50. Vince Edwards, F, Purdue | Senior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21

Edwards has the athleticism and length to guard several positions passably, and has a nice level of versatility to his game. He could be an ideal fit in smaller lineups with his ability to move the ball, space the floor and get involved on the glass. If you envision him as a glue guy—and he shows real improvement as a defender, where he is prone to lapses—he’s not a bad roll of the dice.

51. Moritz Wagner, F/C, Michigan | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20

Wagner comes off a nice but inconsistent sophomore season and will have a chance to better anchor Michigan’s offense this time around. He’s a talented inside-out big man with the size to play center, but lacks the defensive chops to protect the basket. He was disappointing as a rebounder last season and needs to take a big step forward on that front. As a talented stretch big, he’ll get an opportunity to stick.

52. Jacob Evans, SG, Cincinnati | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 20

Evans is a tough, defensive-minded guard with shot-making ability who has come on strong as an NBA prospect. He has the chops to be a valuable 3-and-D piece and guard multiple positions. If last season’s success from the outside proves to be for real, he has a great chance to hear his name called on draft night.

53. Allonzo Trier, G, Arizona | Junior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Although Trier still shoots first, second and third, he’s a dynamic college scorer who has improved his efficiency from the field. He lacks ideal length for a shooting guard and can be a ball-stopper, calling into question how he'd fit on other teams. He’s an offensive-minded talent and consistent shooter from deep, but will be asked to play a supporting role at the next level. Trier may be able to succeed if he commits to defense, works on his body and proves there’s more to his game.

54. Bennie Boatwright, F, USC | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 230 | Age: 21

As a floor-spacer with size, Boatwright has been on prospect lists for a while. He’s a deadeye shooter with his feet set and has shown the ability to score off the bounce as well, although he’s not a great athlete or a presence defensively. He’s not especially efficient putting the ball in the basket any other way, but a strong year shooting the ball would set him up nicely.

55. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19

A gifted perimeter scorer and improving passer, Young will have a ton of opportunities to shine for the Sooners. He’s not especially big, quick or strong, but has a smooth handle and can create his own shot. His three-point shooting will put him on draft radars, but it’s unclear if he’ll be able to stay on the floor defensively or be quite as effective against athletic defenses.

56. Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Brunson is a heady playmaker who has had success throughout his career and looks tailored for a role as an NBA ball-handler. He doesn’t have great size or strength, but plays and works extremely hard and is often underrated as a scorer. Brunson relies on being crafty, understands how to run a team and has a chance to be drafted, whether this season or the next.

57. Deng Adel, G/F, Louisville | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

Though not overly long for a wing with his strengths, Adel is a productive slasher, rebounder and defender who will inherit even more of a scoring role for Louisville. He’s a good—not great—athlete who brings moxie and has occasional flashes of brilliance. An NBA role would likely require more of him defensively, and if he can emerge as more of a stopper, he could be a fit.

58. Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Bates-Diop is a long, well-built forward with shooting ability and some slashing potential. He’s more of a straight-line driver, but can finish in the paint. He rebounds well and can theoretically defend both forward spots. After a disappointing junior year was cut short by a stress fracture in his left leg, he’ll look to bounce back with big scoring numbers as a senior and play his way into consideration. Much is tied to how well he shoots from three.

59. Anas Mahmoud, C, Louisville | Junior

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 215 | Age: 22

With significant size and length making him an NBA prospect, Mahmoud needs to put together a full, productive season. He’s a strong shot-blocker and showed improvement in his overall feel last year. A native of Egypt, Mahmoud has a slender frame and is old for his class, but any offensive improvement will help his case as a developmental player.

60. Markis McDuffie, F, Wichita State | Junior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

McDuffie has yet to debut this season as he recovers from a stress fracture in his left leg. He’s an athletic combo forward who has improved as a shooter from outside and become a key piece for the Shockers. He’s a multi–positional, rangy defender who forces steals and rebounds well. He’ll return in a presumably larger offensive role, and how he handles it will be pivotal, but he’s young for his class and the type of player teams will take a chance on.

2018 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 60 Prospects

With the NBA and college basketball seasons both in full swing, it’s time to start parsing through the player pool and ranking prospects. And with that, The Crossover’s Front Office presents its initial list of the top 60 players for the 2018 NBA draft.

While our Mock Draft aims to project what the draft might look like on a given day of the season and factors in team needs, the Big Board serves as our own point of reference for pure talent. These rankings are based on our own evaluations and conversations with scouts, and establishes how we'd select them in a vacuum (which is a scenario that of course will never actually happen).

Bookmark this page, as we’ll be adjusting our rankings throughout the season up until draft night. (Note: Ranking last updated Nov. 20)

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1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19

Elite physical tools, soft touch around the basket and a promising jump shot make Ayton a tantalizing prospect. He has most of the traits you want in a modern center plus the athletic ability to face up and play in space. The college game comes easily to him, and if he answers questions about his effort, Ayton will have a strong case atop the draft. He’s a manchild with crazy-high upside and a potential franchise cornerstone.

2. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 18

Known for his aggression on the glass and overall competitiveness, Bagley manufactures easy baskets and possesses uncommonly fluid athleticism for a guy his size. He should become highly versatile on the defensive end. His growth as a scorer in the halfcourt will ultimately make or break him, and his jump shot is a work in progress, but his makeup and base strengths give his value a solid floor.

3. Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18

At 18, Doncic has become perhaps the top player in the Euroleague and a potential No. 1 pick. He’s comfortable as a lead ball-handler and has become deadly from three-point range. He makes his teammates better and readstoday a the floor well beyond his years. While he will face an adjustment to the speed of NBA defenses, there’s not really much to nitpick here. Doncic appears a safe bet to continue on the fast track and contribute at a high level.

4. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Porter is a smooth, polished scorer who thrives on the perimeter and should be able to play either forward spot. Shooting is at a premium, and Porter’s ball-handling and perimeter skills give him a chance to contribute immediately. He can be a ball-stopper, and rounding out his game with playmaking and defense are the next steps, but he’s a pretty ideal frontcourt prospect in the pace-and-space era.

5. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

With off-the-charts length and impressive mobility, Bamba is potentially a dominant interior defender. His 7’9” wingspan deserves a sentence of its own. He has a slender frame and continues to round out his offensive skill set, but has shown ability as a jump shooter and is a constant threat to catch lobs. Bamba has an opportunity to evolve into a defensive-minded antidote for the young, perimeter-oriented big men beginning to take over the NBA.

6. Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Michigan State | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18

Jackson boasts NBA bloodlines and an intriguing blend of scoring touch, shot-blocking and three-point shooting potential. On top of that, he’s also producing on the court as one of the youngest players in college basketball. His jump shot mechanics are unorthodox, which may limit how much of that specific success translates, but he has made major all-around strides over the last year or so and is worthy of consideration high in the draft.

7. Robert Williams III, F/C, Texas A&M | Sophomore

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20

A strong, athletic big with some inside-out scoring ability and a nose for the ball, Williams had an impressive yet inconsistent freshman year. He’s a bouncy athlete and talented shot-blocker with pick-and-pop potential. That said, he’s been able to get away with some things at the college level purely because of his physicality. Though he profiles as a top–10 pick, he’s at a relatively advanced age for an ostensibly raw prospect. Scouts will look for Williams to polish his skill set and become a more consistent jump shooter.

8. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Bridges competes hard on both ends of the floor, and elite athletic ability suggests he’ll be a multi-positional defender and transition threat. He’s purely a set shooter right now, but has largely performed well from beyond the arc for the Spartans. He doesn’t have great length for a forward nor developed enough ball-handling skills to play guard, although some of that should be mitigated in an NBA presently favoring smaller, faster forwards. At the least, he should become a rotation player with some upside.

9. Wendell Carter Jr., F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 18

Carter has a well-rounded offensive game, with the ability to score with his back to the basket as well as face up and hit a jump shot. He’s an intelligent offensive player with good size and strength to battle inside. Although he’s not a bad athlete, he’s not especially explosive and can struggle when defenses collapse on him around the basket and alter his shot. Scouts will wonder how he’ll adjust to facing NBA length every night, and if he can become a consistent threat shooting threes.

10. Collin Sexton, G, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

An aggressive scorer with a well-known mean streak, Sexton’s handle and burst allow him to consistently penetrate defenses, kick it out or finish at the basket. He’s shown some improvement as a three-point shooter and plays hard defensively, too. Sexton isn’t a pure point and can improve as a decision maker with the ball, but he has a good chance to become an effective change-of-pace scorer at minimum. In a thin draft for lead ball-handlers, he’ll be among the top available options.

11. Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami | Freshman

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

Walker checks a lot of boxes for an off-guard. He's able to slash to the basket and score from deep with great length for his position. He has long-term 3-and-D potential as he refines his skills, develops his body and learns to play off the ball. Tearing his meniscus over the summer was a setback that might help justify a slow start. He’s still a ways off from being pro-ready, and has to prove he can put up the numbers to match his considerable talent.

12. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

On an inconsistent, younger-than-usual Kentucky roster, Knox appears to be the top prospect in the early going. He’s shown some improvement as a shooter and has enviable physical tools, with the size and reach to guard either forward spot and rebound effectively. He could stand to be more aggressive attacking the basket. His base strengths make him a potential frontcourt asset.

13. Bruce Brown Jr., G, Miami | Sophomore

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Gifted with size, strength and a relentless approach to the game, Brown continues to transition into playing the point full time and should put up big numbers for Miami. He can defend multiple positions on the perimeter and generates turnovers. On offense, he shoots the ball well but needs more polish as a playmaker and as a scorer off the bounce. Regardless, he has a good chance to end up among the first guards drafted.

14. Trevon Duval, PG, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19

Early in the season, Duval has shown improvement in every area of his game, save for his biggest weakness: his jumper. Duval has great size and length, can be an elite on-ball defender, makes plays in transition and has begun to slow the game down from a mental standpoint. But he’s essentially a non-factor shooting from the outside at this stage, with a lack of consistency and touch. Duval is talented enough for the lottery, but could be held back by his struggles from outside.

15. Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School (Louisiana)

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19

Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enter the draft with no experience past high school, teams still have significant interest in his long frame, athleticism and shot-blocking ability. He’s a serious project with questionable feel for the game and likely won’t benefit from walking away from Western Kentucky. Conversely, there will be less time to pick him apart in workout settings. Robinson remains an intriguing name to file away.

16. Dzanan Musa, G/F, KK Cedevita

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18

Musa is an aggressive scoring wing who shoots well from the outside and can attack effectively off the dribble. He’s an improving playmaker and has stood out for Bosnia with an advanced feel, but he’s very ball-dominant at this stage and may not be athletic enough for that role in the NBA. His body leaves something to be desired, as he’s somewhat thin. He lacks ideal length and has a bit of a hunched posture due to the shape of his back. He’s not much of a defender, either. Still, his ability to put the ball in the basket sets him apart.

17. Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19

Diallo is a divisive prospect, but nobody can argue with the freakish bounce and length that makes him worthy of first-round looks. He can run and jump with anyone and has enough of a handle to turn the corner and attack the basket, but his jumper needs work and he’s far from a finished product. Beyond easy transition points and his ability to get to the line, there’s not a ton else to Diallo’s game yet. He’s still so athletic that signs of substantive progress could land him in the lottery.

18. Killian Tillie, F/C, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Hyper-efficient around the basket with a natural touch and quick burst off the floor, Tillie has quietly emerged as Gonzaga’s top prospect. The Frenchman has shown demonstrable polish and has flashed a nice-looking jump shot. He boxes out well and establishes good position inside. He moves well laterally and has some impact defensively, though how he’ll fare on both ends against NBA length remains to be seen. With continued production, he’ll be a person of interest come June.

19. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Freshman

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Most of Brown’s appeal is tied to his long-term potential as an oversized ball-handler and versatile defensive piece. He’s at his best in the open floor and uses his length to attack the basket, see over defenders and make plays for teammates. Brown can impact the game without scoring and has the upside to rise into the lottery depending on how quickly things come together for him on the court.

20. Chimezie Metu, F/C, USC | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

A springy big who blocks shots and has shown some touch, Metu has made noticeable strides year-to-year. He can make the game look easy at times, and has improved as a finisher who can throw it down in tight spaces. His game-to-game activity can waver, as can his on-court awareness. If he’s able to step out and make threes regularly, his ceiling increases considerably. Consistency would go a long way.

21. Justin Jackson, F, Maryland | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

Jackson’s long, well-developed frame makes him a very intriguing two-way forward. His foot speed and 7’3” wingspan allow him to guard several positions, and he’s a useful rebounder and secondary ball-handler. That said, Jackson lacks a demonstrable offensive calling card right now unless he can somehow sustain last season’s impressive shooting clip. His scoring may come along slowly, but his otherwise well-rounded skill set is still worth an investment.

22. Shake Milton, G, SMU | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Milton’s size, shooting and ability to play on and off the ball make him a high-level prospect. He’s proven he can score from the outside and is the type of player who could pair well with a variety of backcourt partners. Milton will be the go-to guy for SMU this season and must continue to take care of the ball, play more aggressively and show he can defend at a competent level.

23. Mikal Bridges, F, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

An emerging 3-and-D prospect, Bridges has generated early-season buzz with an improved offensive game to go with impressive measurables that make him an impact defender. He blocks shots and consistently generates steals with his 7’0” wingspan, and has the kind of versatility that plays particularly well in a fast-paced game. Continuing to thrive in a bigger scoring role is key for him.

24. Grayson Allen, SG, Duke | Senior

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 | Age: 22

Allen is among the top distance shooters in the draft. He's able to get his jumper off both in tight spaces off the dribble and on the catch. He has a well-developed sense of how to get open and get to his spots, and he’s a strong athlete who can attack a closeout and keep defenders from playing him too closely. Allen may not be an impactful NBA defender, but he’s certainly not a stiff. He’s tough, competes hard, and looks tailored for an NBA role.

25. Jaylen Hands, PG, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 175 | Age: 18

In what looks like a weaker draft pool that’s especially devoid of point guard talent, Hands’s highlight-reel explosiveness and end-to-end speed should give him a chance at the first round. He’s still learning how to run a team, but can get to the rim, push in transition and has a workable jumper and nice handle. He does things that are hard to teach. Hands lacks ideal size and strength for the NBA, but has a lot to like as a long-term prospect.

26. Nick Richards, C, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 19

Although extremely raw and prone to foul trouble, Richards’s size, rebounding, mobility and shot-blocking potential put him in the first-round conversation. He’s well-built, highly agile and can play above the rim. But his feel is lacking, and he’s very old for his class—he’ll enter the draft at age 20. If he becomes a reliable rim-runner and shot blocker, Richards should be able to make an impact.

27. Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19

McCoy is all tools at this stage, but he’s physically impressive for a young center. He can get up and down the floor and goes after the ball well off the glass. His timing and feel are still coming along, but he naturally alters shots and has shown some ability to shoot from the mid-range. McCoy needs to be coached up and will need a strong season to win scouts over as a project.

28. Rawle Alkins, SG, Arizona | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20

Alkins remains sidelined as he recovers from a foot fracture. He was among the top performers at the draft combine last season, and has a strong frame and NBA-caliber bounce. He should return to a larger share of Arizona’s possessions, but his main value to the team thus far has come defensively, where he’s evolved into a reliable piece. His ability to score at the rim and off the dribble makes him interesting, and if Alkins returns 100%, he should begin to win people over.

29. Rodions Kurucs, G/F, FC Barcelona

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Though Kurucs's stock has trended down somewhat after pulling out of last year’s draft and failing to earn minutes with Barcelona’s top team, his mix of size, athleticism and smarts offer appeal on the wing. He will need to improve his production beyond simply showing flashes. The Latvian still has some nice traits and looks like a potentially useful role player.

30. Kris Wilkes, SF, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19

Wilkes’s early results have been impressive, and his smooth shooting mechanics, twitchy athleticism and 6’11” wingspan make him a natural fit for a 3-and-D role, given time. He can attack a closeout and looks comfortable scoring in transition. Wilkes still has a lot of work to do on his handle and needs to show he can be a consistent threat from deep and impact the game beyond scoring. His game is reminiscent of Tim Hardaway Jr., and his strengths profile nicely down the line.

31. De’Anthony Melton, G, USC | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

It certainly doesn’t help Melton’s case that he remains out due to the FBI’s college basketball investigation. He did show plenty of defensive toughness and offensive skill as a freshman, and remains on the NBA radar as an energy player and defensive presence. If he gets his jumper in order and makes it onto the floor this season, he could be in for a leap.

32. Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | Sophomore

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 20

Battle has nice size and skill and appears to have taken a step forward as a scorer. He’s agile and tough, but still has to prove he can create off the dribble and improve as a finisher. It’s unclear yet whether his defensive contributions will catch up to his physical prowess. Scouts will want to see him tap into his versatility and show increased efficiency as a scorer.

33. Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas | Senior

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 185 | Age: 22

As the leader of a less-loaded-than-usual Kansas team, Graham’s toughness and scoring aren’t going unnoticed. He boasts nice size and a good stroke from three, and impacts the game as a hard-working on-ball defender. He can struggle getting to the second level of defenses and isn’t elite at any one thing, but if the numbers are there at the end of the season, the first round is within reach.

34. Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Hachimura has come off the bench to start the year for Gonzaga and needs more opportunities to show his stuff, but he has a chance at the first round if he can string together some good performances. He’s got nice length and strength and has some touch as a shooter. He showed plenty of game playing for Japan over the summer and could be a valuable two-way combo forward in time.

35. John Petty, SG, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18

The headlines have belonged to Collin Sexton, but Petty is set to thrive playing off of his talented teammate. He’s a gifted perimeter shooter who can sustain hot streaks and hoist his shot quickly. It may be tricky to assess his well-roundedness given how much of Alabama’s points run through Sexton, but Petty can fill up a box score and has appeal in a 3-and-D role.

36. Emmanuel Akot, F, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18

Akot is ranked here based on his defensive versatility and a promising offensive game. He’s penciled into a supporting role for Arizona and may need another year to prove himself, but his shooting potential, sneaky passing ability and non-stop effort are enticing. He’s strong with the ball in his hands and able to attack the basket and make plays. Akot reclassified to play for the Wildcats this season and is still getting his first taste of highly competitive basketball. As he comes into his own over the course of the season, he could force the issue in regards to the draft.

37. Austin Wiley, C, Auburn | Sophomore

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 250 | Age: 18

Wiley has been held out due to the FBI corruption investigation, but has NBA intrigue with great size, length and strength. He’s young for his class and is in a pretty good place developmentally, working hard on the glass and showing the makings of a decent jumper. He’ll battle in the post and do the dirty work, but isn’t an elite athlete. He can improve as a finisher and has a history of knee injuries that limit his mobility.

38. Andrew Jones, G, Texas | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Jones is an impressive athlete and transition scorer still learning his craft. He may not evolve into a true point guard, but he has nice quickness and a burst that helps him on both ends. His halfcourt skills leave something to be desired, and his jumper is a question mark, but Jones is a nice developmental piece with upside.

39. Jarred Vanderbilt, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Although Vanderbilt has yet to make his debut as he recovers from a foot injury, his eventual return will come with NBA intrigue. He has a history of leg injuries and a thinnish lower body, but he’s a good athlete who can handle the ball a little bit and can make an impact on the glass and as a versatile defender with length. He can also make plays for teammates, particularly in the open floor. The injuries are a concern, but Vanderbilt will have a chance at the first round if he comes back strong.

40. Arnoldas Kulboka, F, Orlandina Basket

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 19

A productive, athletic wing with shooting potential, Kulboka has nice size at the three and has put up impressive numbers coming up in Germany. He has definite upside as a scorer. A native of Lithuania, he needs to add weight, improve defensively and add a little seasoning. He’s a potential draft-and-stash player if he comes out.

41. Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 20

Shamet made it back for the start of the season, but he's now suffered serious injuries in both og hid feet. That aside, he’s a gifted scorer who can hit difficult shots and began to come into his own down the stretch last season. He has nice size for a lead guard, changes speeds well and can move and defend passably. He could be in line for another big leap that could put him in the draft conversation.

42. Alize Johnson, F, Missouri State | Senior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

After breaking out over the summer at Adidas Nations, Johnson emerged as a unique prospect with guard skills and a high rebounding motor packaged into a combo forward’s body. He can handle the ball and push in transition and has some promise as a shooter, profiling as the sort of positionless-type big that’s in high demand right now. Thanks to his versatility, Johnson will get serious NBA looks all season as one of the top mid-major prospects around.

43. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19

Alexander-Walker is far off from logging actual NBA minutes, but his long-term potential has him on draft radars. He has shooting potential, the size to guard both guard spots and a generally good sense of the floor playing on and off the ball for Virginia Tech. He’d greatly benefit from a second year of college and needs to work on his body, as he struggles turning the corner against athletic defenders. He’ll be in for a season of ups and downs in the ACC, but has a nice long-term outlook.

44. Isaac Bonga, G/F, Fraport Skyliners

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18

An oversized ball-handler and talented passer, Bonga could be one of the youngest players in this class and has nice upside given his skill set. His jump shot is the biggest knock on him, but he has nice instincts and vision, particularly at his size. The German product needs a lot of time, but could become a two-way playmaker. Bonga’s offense in particular will require a ton of work, but what he might be in two or three years is enticing.

45. Bryant Crawford, PG, Wake Forest | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

Crawford’s size and strength on the ball and willingness to defend has piqued the interest of point He changes speeds well and can create in the halfcourt. Crawford isn’t a knockdown shooter and needs to prove he can be consistent. He will be asked to elevate a mediocre roster this season and could struggle with efficiency. But his experience, length and two-way contributions help set him apart from other guards.

46. Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Junior

Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21

The youngest of the three Holiday brothers has proven a tough competitor in his own right. He’s undersized but scrappy, and can hit an open three, get to the basket and fight on defense. Holiday will need to sustain a good amount of last season’s shooting numbers, which were abetted by playing alongside Lonzo Ball. But as the de facto veteran leader of a young, talented roster, Holiday can leave a nice impression.

47. Bonzie Colson, PF, Notre Dame | Senior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21

A truly unorthodox prospect, Colson has great length and a deep bag of offensive moves, but stands at just 6’5”. He’s been remarkably effective for Notre Dame anyway, and will tempt teams with his history of production and the hope that he can make it all work as a factor in smaller lineups. He can get to the foul line and has been extremely efficient to date. Whether or not he succeeds in the NBA, his stock will make for an interesting case study.

48. Chandler Hutchison, G/F, Boise State | Senior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

A popular sleeper and one of the top players in the Mountain West, Hutchison has 3-and-D potential and an unflashy, effective game. He’s a good off-ball cutter who can get himself open, and shot the ball well last season. He has the size to guard either wing position and contributes on the glass, too. If Hutchison can sustain his shooting effectiveness with added volume, he’ll have a solid chance to be drafted.

49. Ethan Happ, PF, Wisconsin | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Happ has done nothing but produce at Wisconsin and excels as a finisher and rebounder. He operates mostly in the paint, where he’s always active despite a lack of ideal size at the five. He’s not a flashy player, but he’s a good rebounder, ball-handler and passer and plays bigger than his size. It hurts that he’s not much of a shooter (and a bad free-throw shooter) but his track record is still impressive.

50. Vince Edwards, F, Purdue | Senior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21

Edwards has the athleticism and length to guard several positions passably, and has a nice level of versatility to his game. He could be an ideal fit in smaller lineups with his ability to move the ball, space the floor and get involved on the glass. If you envision him as a glue guy—and he shows real improvement as a defender, where he is prone to lapses—he’s not a bad roll of the dice.

51. Moritz Wagner, F/C, Michigan | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20

Wagner comes off a nice but inconsistent sophomore season and will have a chance to better anchor Michigan’s offense this time around. He’s a talented inside-out big man with the size to play center, but lacks the defensive chops to protect the basket. He was disappointing as a rebounder last season and needs to take a big step forward on that front. As a talented stretch big, he’ll get an opportunity to stick.

52. Jacob Evans, SG, Cincinnati | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 20

Evans is a tough, defensive-minded guard with shot-making ability who has come on strong as an NBA prospect. He has the chops to be a valuable 3-and-D piece and guard multiple positions. If last season’s success from the outside proves to be for real, he has a great chance to hear his name called on draft night.

53. Allonzo Trier, G, Arizona | Junior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Although Trier still shoots first, second and third, he’s a dynamic college scorer who has improved his efficiency from the field. He lacks ideal length for a shooting guard and can be a ball-stopper, calling into question how he'd fit on other teams. He’s an offensive-minded talent and consistent shooter from deep, but will be asked to play a supporting role at the next level. Trier may be able to succeed if he commits to defense, works on his body and proves there’s more to his game.

54. Bennie Boatwright, F, USC | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 230 | Age: 21

As a floor-spacer with size, Boatwright has been on prospect lists for a while. He’s a deadeye shooter with his feet set and has shown the ability to score off the bounce as well, although he’s not a great athlete or a presence defensively. He’s not especially efficient putting the ball in the basket any other way, but a strong year shooting the ball would set him up nicely.

55. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19

A gifted perimeter scorer and improving passer, Young will have a ton of opportunities to shine for the Sooners. He’s not especially big, quick or strong, but has a smooth handle and can create his own shot. His three-point shooting will put him on draft radars, but it’s unclear if he’ll be able to stay on the floor defensively or be quite as effective against athletic defenses.

56. Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Brunson is a heady playmaker who has had success throughout his career and looks tailored for a role as an NBA ball-handler. He doesn’t have great size or strength, but plays and works extremely hard and is often underrated as a scorer. Brunson relies on being crafty, understands how to run a team and has a chance to be drafted, whether this season or the next.

57. Deng Adel, G/F, Louisville | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

Though not overly long for a wing with his strengths, Adel is a productive slasher, rebounder and defender who will inherit even more of a scoring role for Louisville. He’s a good—not great—athlete who brings moxie and has occasional flashes of brilliance. An NBA role would likely require more of him defensively, and if he can emerge as more of a stopper, he could be a fit.

58. Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Bates-Diop is a long, well-built forward with shooting ability and some slashing potential. He’s more of a straight-line driver, but can finish in the paint. He rebounds well and can theoretically defend both forward spots. After a disappointing junior year was cut short by a stress fracture in his left leg, he’ll look to bounce back with big scoring numbers as a senior and play his way into consideration. Much is tied to how well he shoots from three.

59. Anas Mahmoud, C, Louisville | Junior

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 215 | Age: 22

With significant size and length making him an NBA prospect, Mahmoud needs to put together a full, productive season. He’s a strong shot-blocker and showed improvement in his overall feel last year. A native of Egypt, Mahmoud has a slender frame and is old for his class, but any offensive improvement will help his case as a developmental player.

60. Markis McDuffie, F, Wichita State | Junior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

McDuffie has yet to debut this season as he recovers from a stress fracture in his left leg. He’s an athletic combo forward who has improved as a shooter from outside and become a key piece for the Shockers. He’s a multi–positional, rangy defender who forces steals and rebounds well. He’ll return in a presumably larger offensive role, and how he handles it will be pivotal, but he’s young for his class and the type of player teams will take a chance on.

2018 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 60 Prospects

With the NBA and college basketball seasons both in full swing, it’s time to start parsing through the player pool and ranking prospects. And with that, The Crossover’s Front Office presents its initial list of the top 60 players for the 2018 NBA draft.

While our Mock Draft aims to project what the draft might look like on a given day of the season and factors in team needs, the Big Board serves as our own point of reference for pure talent. These rankings are based on our own evaluations and conversations with scouts, and establishes how we'd select them in a vacuum (which is a scenario that of course will never actually happen).

Bookmark this page, as we’ll be adjusting our rankings throughout the season up until draft night. (Note: Ranking last updated Nov. 20)

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1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19

Elite physical tools, soft touch around the basket and a promising jump shot make Ayton a tantalizing prospect. He has most of the traits you want in a modern center plus the athletic ability to face up and play in space. The college game comes easily to him, and if he answers questions about his effort, Ayton will have a strong case atop the draft. He’s a manchild with crazy-high upside and a potential franchise cornerstone.

2. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 18

Known for his aggression on the glass and overall competitiveness, Bagley manufactures easy baskets and possesses uncommonly fluid athleticism for a guy his size. He should become highly versatile on the defensive end. His growth as a scorer in the halfcourt will ultimately make or break him, and his jump shot is a work in progress, but his makeup and base strengths give his value a solid floor.

3. Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18

At 18, Doncic has become perhaps the top player in the Euroleague and a potential No. 1 pick. He’s comfortable as a lead ball-handler and has become deadly from three-point range. He makes his teammates better and readstoday a the floor well beyond his years. While he will face an adjustment to the speed of NBA defenses, there’s not really much to nitpick here. Doncic appears a safe bet to continue on the fast track and contribute at a high level.

4. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Porter is a smooth, polished scorer who thrives on the perimeter and should be able to play either forward spot. Shooting is at a premium, and Porter’s ball-handling and perimeter skills give him a chance to contribute immediately. He can be a ball-stopper, and rounding out his game with playmaking and defense are the next steps, but he’s a pretty ideal frontcourt prospect in the pace-and-space era.

5. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

With off-the-charts length and impressive mobility, Bamba is potentially a dominant interior defender. His 7’9” wingspan deserves a sentence of its own. He has a slender frame and continues to round out his offensive skill set, but has shown ability as a jump shooter and is a constant threat to catch lobs. Bamba has an opportunity to evolve into a defensive-minded antidote for the young, perimeter-oriented big men beginning to take over the NBA.

6. Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Michigan State | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18

Jackson boasts NBA bloodlines and an intriguing blend of scoring touch, shot-blocking and three-point shooting potential. On top of that, he’s also producing on the court as one of the youngest players in college basketball. His jump shot mechanics are unorthodox, which may limit how much of that specific success translates, but he has made major all-around strides over the last year or so and is worthy of consideration high in the draft.

7. Robert Williams III, F/C, Texas A&M | Sophomore

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20

A strong, athletic big with some inside-out scoring ability and a nose for the ball, Williams had an impressive yet inconsistent freshman year. He’s a bouncy athlete and talented shot-blocker with pick-and-pop potential. That said, he’s been able to get away with some things at the college level purely because of his physicality. Though he profiles as a top–10 pick, he’s at a relatively advanced age for an ostensibly raw prospect. Scouts will look for Williams to polish his skill set and become a more consistent jump shooter.

8. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Bridges competes hard on both ends of the floor, and elite athletic ability suggests he’ll be a multi-positional defender and transition threat. He’s purely a set shooter right now, but has largely performed well from beyond the arc for the Spartans. He doesn’t have great length for a forward nor developed enough ball-handling skills to play guard, although some of that should be mitigated in an NBA presently favoring smaller, faster forwards. At the least, he should become a rotation player with some upside.

9. Wendell Carter Jr., F/C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 18

Carter has a well-rounded offensive game, with the ability to score with his back to the basket as well as face up and hit a jump shot. He’s an intelligent offensive player with good size and strength to battle inside. Although he’s not a bad athlete, he’s not especially explosive and can struggle when defenses collapse on him around the basket and alter his shot. Scouts will wonder how he’ll adjust to facing NBA length every night, and if he can become a consistent threat shooting threes.

10. Collin Sexton, G, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

An aggressive scorer with a well-known mean streak, Sexton’s handle and burst allow him to consistently penetrate defenses, kick it out or finish at the basket. He’s shown some improvement as a three-point shooter and plays hard defensively, too. Sexton isn’t a pure point and can improve as a decision maker with the ball, but he has a good chance to become an effective change-of-pace scorer at minimum. In a thin draft for lead ball-handlers, he’ll be among the top available options.

11. Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami | Freshman

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

Walker checks a lot of boxes for an off-guard. He's able to slash to the basket and score from deep with great length for his position. He has long-term 3-and-D potential as he refines his skills, develops his body and learns to play off the ball. Tearing his meniscus over the summer was a setback that might help justify a slow start. He’s still a ways off from being pro-ready, and has to prove he can put up the numbers to match his considerable talent.

12. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

On an inconsistent, younger-than-usual Kentucky roster, Knox appears to be the top prospect in the early going. He’s shown some improvement as a shooter and has enviable physical tools, with the size and reach to guard either forward spot and rebound effectively. He could stand to be more aggressive attacking the basket. His base strengths make him a potential frontcourt asset.

13. Bruce Brown Jr., G, Miami | Sophomore

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Gifted with size, strength and a relentless approach to the game, Brown continues to transition into playing the point full time and should put up big numbers for Miami. He can defend multiple positions on the perimeter and generates turnovers. On offense, he shoots the ball well but needs more polish as a playmaker and as a scorer off the bounce. Regardless, he has a good chance to end up among the first guards drafted.

14. Trevon Duval, PG, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19

Early in the season, Duval has shown improvement in every area of his game, save for his biggest weakness: his jumper. Duval has great size and length, can be an elite on-ball defender, makes plays in transition and has begun to slow the game down from a mental standpoint. But he’s essentially a non-factor shooting from the outside at this stage, with a lack of consistency and touch. Duval is talented enough for the lottery, but could be held back by his struggles from outside.

15. Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School (Louisiana)

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19

Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enter the draft with no experience past high school, teams still have significant interest in his long frame, athleticism and shot-blocking ability. He’s a serious project with questionable feel for the game and likely won’t benefit from walking away from Western Kentucky. Conversely, there will be less time to pick him apart in workout settings. Robinson remains an intriguing name to file away.

16. Dzanan Musa, G/F, KK Cedevita

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18

Musa is an aggressive scoring wing who shoots well from the outside and can attack effectively off the dribble. He’s an improving playmaker and has stood out for Bosnia with an advanced feel, but he’s very ball-dominant at this stage and may not be athletic enough for that role in the NBA. His body leaves something to be desired, as he’s somewhat thin. He lacks ideal length and has a bit of a hunched posture due to the shape of his back. He’s not much of a defender, either. Still, his ability to put the ball in the basket sets him apart.

17. Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19

Diallo is a divisive prospect, but nobody can argue with the freakish bounce and length that makes him worthy of first-round looks. He can run and jump with anyone and has enough of a handle to turn the corner and attack the basket, but his jumper needs work and he’s far from a finished product. Beyond easy transition points and his ability to get to the line, there’s not a ton else to Diallo’s game yet. He’s still so athletic that signs of substantive progress could land him in the lottery.

18. Killian Tillie, F/C, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19

Hyper-efficient around the basket with a natural touch and quick burst off the floor, Tillie has quietly emerged as Gonzaga’s top prospect. The Frenchman has shown demonstrable polish and has flashed a nice-looking jump shot. He boxes out well and establishes good position inside. He moves well laterally and has some impact defensively, though how he’ll fare on both ends against NBA length remains to be seen. With continued production, he’ll be a person of interest come June.

19. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Freshman

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Most of Brown’s appeal is tied to his long-term potential as an oversized ball-handler and versatile defensive piece. He’s at his best in the open floor and uses his length to attack the basket, see over defenders and make plays for teammates. Brown can impact the game without scoring and has the upside to rise into the lottery depending on how quickly things come together for him on the court.

20. Chimezie Metu, F/C, USC | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

A springy big who blocks shots and has shown some touch, Metu has made noticeable strides year-to-year. He can make the game look easy at times, and has improved as a finisher who can throw it down in tight spaces. His game-to-game activity can waver, as can his on-court awareness. If he’s able to step out and make threes regularly, his ceiling increases considerably. Consistency would go a long way.

21. Justin Jackson, F, Maryland | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20

Jackson’s long, well-developed frame makes him a very intriguing two-way forward. His foot speed and 7’3” wingspan allow him to guard several positions, and he’s a useful rebounder and secondary ball-handler. That said, Jackson lacks a demonstrable offensive calling card right now unless he can somehow sustain last season’s impressive shooting clip. His scoring may come along slowly, but his otherwise well-rounded skill set is still worth an investment.

22. Shake Milton, G, SMU | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Milton’s size, shooting and ability to play on and off the ball make him a high-level prospect. He’s proven he can score from the outside and is the type of player who could pair well with a variety of backcourt partners. Milton will be the go-to guy for SMU this season and must continue to take care of the ball, play more aggressively and show he can defend at a competent level.

23. Mikal Bridges, F, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

An emerging 3-and-D prospect, Bridges has generated early-season buzz with an improved offensive game to go with impressive measurables that make him an impact defender. He blocks shots and consistently generates steals with his 7’0” wingspan, and has the kind of versatility that plays particularly well in a fast-paced game. Continuing to thrive in a bigger scoring role is key for him.

24. Grayson Allen, SG, Duke | Senior

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 | Age: 22

Allen is among the top distance shooters in the draft. He's able to get his jumper off both in tight spaces off the dribble and on the catch. He has a well-developed sense of how to get open and get to his spots, and he’s a strong athlete who can attack a closeout and keep defenders from playing him too closely. Allen may not be an impactful NBA defender, but he’s certainly not a stiff. He’s tough, competes hard, and looks tailored for an NBA role.

25. Jaylen Hands, PG, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 175 | Age: 18

In what looks like a weaker draft pool that’s especially devoid of point guard talent, Hands’s highlight-reel explosiveness and end-to-end speed should give him a chance at the first round. He’s still learning how to run a team, but can get to the rim, push in transition and has a workable jumper and nice handle. He does things that are hard to teach. Hands lacks ideal size and strength for the NBA, but has a lot to like as a long-term prospect.

26. Nick Richards, C, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 19

Although extremely raw and prone to foul trouble, Richards’s size, rebounding, mobility and shot-blocking potential put him in the first-round conversation. He’s well-built, highly agile and can play above the rim. But his feel is lacking, and he’s very old for his class—he’ll enter the draft at age 20. If he becomes a reliable rim-runner and shot blocker, Richards should be able to make an impact.

27. Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19

McCoy is all tools at this stage, but he’s physically impressive for a young center. He can get up and down the floor and goes after the ball well off the glass. His timing and feel are still coming along, but he naturally alters shots and has shown some ability to shoot from the mid-range. McCoy needs to be coached up and will need a strong season to win scouts over as a project.

28. Rawle Alkins, SG, Arizona | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20

Alkins remains sidelined as he recovers from a foot fracture. He was among the top performers at the draft combine last season, and has a strong frame and NBA-caliber bounce. He should return to a larger share of Arizona’s possessions, but his main value to the team thus far has come defensively, where he’s evolved into a reliable piece. His ability to score at the rim and off the dribble makes him interesting, and if Alkins returns 100%, he should begin to win people over.

29. Rodions Kurucs, G/F, FC Barcelona

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Though Kurucs's stock has trended down somewhat after pulling out of last year’s draft and failing to earn minutes with Barcelona’s top team, his mix of size, athleticism and smarts offer appeal on the wing. He will need to improve his production beyond simply showing flashes. The Latvian still has some nice traits and looks like a potentially useful role player.

30. Kris Wilkes, SF, UCLA | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19

Wilkes’s early results have been impressive, and his smooth shooting mechanics, twitchy athleticism and 6’11” wingspan make him a natural fit for a 3-and-D role, given time. He can attack a closeout and looks comfortable scoring in transition. Wilkes still has a lot of work to do on his handle and needs to show he can be a consistent threat from deep and impact the game beyond scoring. His game is reminiscent of Tim Hardaway Jr., and his strengths profile nicely down the line.

31. De’Anthony Melton, G, USC | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

It certainly doesn’t help Melton’s case that he remains out due to the FBI’s college basketball investigation. He did show plenty of defensive toughness and offensive skill as a freshman, and remains on the NBA radar as an energy player and defensive presence. If he gets his jumper in order and makes it onto the floor this season, he could be in for a leap.

32. Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | Sophomore

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 20

Battle has nice size and skill and appears to have taken a step forward as a scorer. He’s agile and tough, but still has to prove he can create off the dribble and improve as a finisher. It’s unclear yet whether his defensive contributions will catch up to his physical prowess. Scouts will want to see him tap into his versatility and show increased efficiency as a scorer.

33. Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas | Senior

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 185 | Age: 22

As the leader of a less-loaded-than-usual Kansas team, Graham’s toughness and scoring aren’t going unnoticed. He boasts nice size and a good stroke from three, and impacts the game as a hard-working on-ball defender. He can struggle getting to the second level of defenses and isn’t elite at any one thing, but if the numbers are there at the end of the season, the first round is within reach.

34. Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga | Sophomore

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19

Hachimura has come off the bench to start the year for Gonzaga and needs more opportunities to show his stuff, but he has a chance at the first round if he can string together some good performances. He’s got nice length and strength and has some touch as a shooter. He showed plenty of game playing for Japan over the summer and could be a valuable two-way combo forward in time.

35. John Petty, SG, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18

The headlines have belonged to Collin Sexton, but Petty is set to thrive playing off of his talented teammate. He’s a gifted perimeter shooter who can sustain hot streaks and hoist his shot quickly. It may be tricky to assess his well-roundedness given how much of Alabama’s points run through Sexton, but Petty can fill up a box score and has appeal in a 3-and-D role.

36. Emmanuel Akot, F, Arizona | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18

Akot is ranked here based on his defensive versatility and a promising offensive game. He’s penciled into a supporting role for Arizona and may need another year to prove himself, but his shooting potential, sneaky passing ability and non-stop effort are enticing. He’s strong with the ball in his hands and able to attack the basket and make plays. Akot reclassified to play for the Wildcats this season and is still getting his first taste of highly competitive basketball. As he comes into his own over the course of the season, he could force the issue in regards to the draft.

37. Austin Wiley, C, Auburn | Sophomore

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 250 | Age: 18

Wiley has been held out due to the FBI corruption investigation, but has NBA intrigue with great size, length and strength. He’s young for his class and is in a pretty good place developmentally, working hard on the glass and showing the makings of a decent jumper. He’ll battle in the post and do the dirty work, but isn’t an elite athlete. He can improve as a finisher and has a history of knee injuries that limit his mobility.

38. Andrew Jones, G, Texas | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19

Jones is an impressive athlete and transition scorer still learning his craft. He may not evolve into a true point guard, but he has nice quickness and a burst that helps him on both ends. His halfcourt skills leave something to be desired, and his jumper is a question mark, but Jones is a nice developmental piece with upside.

39. Jarred Vanderbilt, F, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18

Although Vanderbilt has yet to make his debut as he recovers from a foot injury, his eventual return will come with NBA intrigue. He has a history of leg injuries and a thinnish lower body, but he’s a good athlete who can handle the ball a little bit and can make an impact on the glass and as a versatile defender with length. He can also make plays for teammates, particularly in the open floor. The injuries are a concern, but Vanderbilt will have a chance at the first round if he comes back strong.

40. Arnoldas Kulboka, F, Orlandina Basket

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 19

A productive, athletic wing with shooting potential, Kulboka has nice size at the three and has put up impressive numbers coming up in Germany. He has definite upside as a scorer. A native of Lithuania, he needs to add weight, improve defensively and add a little seasoning. He’s a potential draft-and-stash player if he comes out.

41. Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 20

Shamet made it back for the start of the season, but he's now suffered serious injuries in both og hid feet. That aside, he’s a gifted scorer who can hit difficult shots and began to come into his own down the stretch last season. He has nice size for a lead guard, changes speeds well and can move and defend passably. He could be in line for another big leap that could put him in the draft conversation.

42. Alize Johnson, F, Missouri State | Senior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

After breaking out over the summer at Adidas Nations, Johnson emerged as a unique prospect with guard skills and a high rebounding motor packaged into a combo forward’s body. He can handle the ball and push in transition and has some promise as a shooter, profiling as the sort of positionless-type big that’s in high demand right now. Thanks to his versatility, Johnson will get serious NBA looks all season as one of the top mid-major prospects around.

43. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19

Alexander-Walker is far off from logging actual NBA minutes, but his long-term potential has him on draft radars. He has shooting potential, the size to guard both guard spots and a generally good sense of the floor playing on and off the ball for Virginia Tech. He’d greatly benefit from a second year of college and needs to work on his body, as he struggles turning the corner against athletic defenders. He’ll be in for a season of ups and downs in the ACC, but has a nice long-term outlook.

44. Isaac Bonga, G/F, Fraport Skyliners

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18

An oversized ball-handler and talented passer, Bonga could be one of the youngest players in this class and has nice upside given his skill set. His jump shot is the biggest knock on him, but he has nice instincts and vision, particularly at his size. The German product needs a lot of time, but could become a two-way playmaker. Bonga’s offense in particular will require a ton of work, but what he might be in two or three years is enticing.

45. Bryant Crawford, PG, Wake Forest | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

Crawford’s size and strength on the ball and willingness to defend has piqued the interest of point He changes speeds well and can create in the halfcourt. Crawford isn’t a knockdown shooter and needs to prove he can be consistent. He will be asked to elevate a mediocre roster this season and could struggle with efficiency. But his experience, length and two-way contributions help set him apart from other guards.

46. Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Junior

Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21

The youngest of the three Holiday brothers has proven a tough competitor in his own right. He’s undersized but scrappy, and can hit an open three, get to the basket and fight on defense. Holiday will need to sustain a good amount of last season’s shooting numbers, which were abetted by playing alongside Lonzo Ball. But as the de facto veteran leader of a young, talented roster, Holiday can leave a nice impression.

47. Bonzie Colson, PF, Notre Dame | Senior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21

A truly unorthodox prospect, Colson has great length and a deep bag of offensive moves, but stands at just 6’5”. He’s been remarkably effective for Notre Dame anyway, and will tempt teams with his history of production and the hope that he can make it all work as a factor in smaller lineups. He can get to the foul line and has been extremely efficient to date. Whether or not he succeeds in the NBA, his stock will make for an interesting case study.

48. Chandler Hutchison, G/F, Boise State | Senior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

A popular sleeper and one of the top players in the Mountain West, Hutchison has 3-and-D potential and an unflashy, effective game. He’s a good off-ball cutter who can get himself open, and shot the ball well last season. He has the size to guard either wing position and contributes on the glass, too. If Hutchison can sustain his shooting effectiveness with added volume, he’ll have a solid chance to be drafted.

49. Ethan Happ, PF, Wisconsin | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Happ has done nothing but produce at Wisconsin and excels as a finisher and rebounder. He operates mostly in the paint, where he’s always active despite a lack of ideal size at the five. He’s not a flashy player, but he’s a good rebounder, ball-handler and passer and plays bigger than his size. It hurts that he’s not much of a shooter (and a bad free-throw shooter) but his track record is still impressive.

50. Vince Edwards, F, Purdue | Senior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21

Edwards has the athleticism and length to guard several positions passably, and has a nice level of versatility to his game. He could be an ideal fit in smaller lineups with his ability to move the ball, space the floor and get involved on the glass. If you envision him as a glue guy—and he shows real improvement as a defender, where he is prone to lapses—he’s not a bad roll of the dice.

51. Moritz Wagner, F/C, Michigan | Junior

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20

Wagner comes off a nice but inconsistent sophomore season and will have a chance to better anchor Michigan’s offense this time around. He’s a talented inside-out big man with the size to play center, but lacks the defensive chops to protect the basket. He was disappointing as a rebounder last season and needs to take a big step forward on that front. As a talented stretch big, he’ll get an opportunity to stick.

52. Jacob Evans, SG, Cincinnati | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 20

Evans is a tough, defensive-minded guard with shot-making ability who has come on strong as an NBA prospect. He has the chops to be a valuable 3-and-D piece and guard multiple positions. If last season’s success from the outside proves to be for real, he has a great chance to hear his name called on draft night.

53. Allonzo Trier, G, Arizona | Junior

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21

Although Trier still shoots first, second and third, he’s a dynamic college scorer who has improved his efficiency from the field. He lacks ideal length for a shooting guard and can be a ball-stopper, calling into question how he'd fit on other teams. He’s an offensive-minded talent and consistent shooter from deep, but will be asked to play a supporting role at the next level. Trier may be able to succeed if he commits to defense, works on his body and proves there’s more to his game.

54. Bennie Boatwright, F, USC | Junior

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 230 | Age: 21

As a floor-spacer with size, Boatwright has been on prospect lists for a while. He’s a deadeye shooter with his feet set and has shown the ability to score off the bounce as well, although he’s not a great athlete or a presence defensively. He’s not especially efficient putting the ball in the basket any other way, but a strong year shooting the ball would set him up nicely.

55. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Freshman

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19

A gifted perimeter scorer and improving passer, Young will have a ton of opportunities to shine for the Sooners. He’s not especially big, quick or strong, but has a smooth handle and can create his own shot. His three-point shooting will put him on draft radars, but it’s unclear if he’ll be able to stay on the floor defensively or be quite as effective against athletic defenses.

56. Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Junior

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21

Brunson is a heady playmaker who has had success throughout his career and looks tailored for a role as an NBA ball-handler. He doesn’t have great size or strength, but plays and works extremely hard and is often underrated as a scorer. Brunson relies on being crafty, understands how to run a team and has a chance to be drafted, whether this season or the next.

57. Deng Adel, G/F, Louisville | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

Though not overly long for a wing with his strengths, Adel is a productive slasher, rebounder and defender who will inherit even more of a scoring role for Louisville. He’s a good—not great—athlete who brings moxie and has occasional flashes of brilliance. An NBA role would likely require more of him defensively, and if he can emerge as more of a stopper, he could be a fit.

58. Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21

Bates-Diop is a long, well-built forward with shooting ability and some slashing potential. He’s more of a straight-line driver, but can finish in the paint. He rebounds well and can theoretically defend both forward spots. After a disappointing junior year was cut short by a stress fracture in his left leg, he’ll look to bounce back with big scoring numbers as a senior and play his way into consideration. Much is tied to how well he shoots from three.

59. Anas Mahmoud, C, Louisville | Junior

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 215 | Age: 22

With significant size and length making him an NBA prospect, Mahmoud needs to put together a full, productive season. He’s a strong shot-blocker and showed improvement in his overall feel last year. A native of Egypt, Mahmoud has a slender frame and is old for his class, but any offensive improvement will help his case as a developmental player.

60. Markis McDuffie, F, Wichita State | Junior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

McDuffie has yet to debut this season as he recovers from a stress fracture in his left leg. He’s an athletic combo forward who has improved as a shooter from outside and become a key piece for the Shockers. He’s a multi–positional, rangy defender who forces steals and rebounds well. He’ll return in a presumably larger offensive role, and how he handles it will be pivotal, but he’s young for his class and the type of player teams will take a chance on.

Week 13 Power Rankings: After a Quiet Week, the Iron Bowl Looms With Potential for Chaos

As the regular season winds down, we move from cupcake week to a feasting of good rivalry games that will not only settle conference and state bragging rights but also make the playoff picture a little clearer. This week we will focus on one game that could either create chaos or maintain the status quo in the SEC (until the next big game, which will happen the following week): the Iron Bowl.

The SEC West champion has won each of the last eight conference championships, and for Alabama and Auburn, this game could double as a playoff eliminator if the loser is forced to watch Championship Saturday from home and then falls on the wrong side of the committee’s cut line.

Many believe Alabama has just been going through the motions while beating lesser teams to a pulp. The two times they have been challenged in conference play, against Mississippi State and Texas A&M, they prevailed.

An Auburn victory in the Iron Bowl would thrust the Tigers into the thick of the playoff conversation, giving them two wins over No. 1 teams, something no other team in the hunt can even come close to touting when the playoff committee’s attention turns to strength of schedule.

Now on to this week’s Power Rankings:

1. Alabama (11–0, 7–0 SEC)

Previous ranking: 1
This week: Beat Mercer, 56–0
Next week: at Auburn

Not much needs to be said about the Mercer game, except that the Crimson Tide got plenty of rest for their starters in preparation for the Iron Bowl and Mercer got plenty of money for an expected and thorough beating.

2. Oklahoma (10–1, 7–1 Big 12)

Previous ranking: 2
This week: Beat Kansas, 41–3
Next week: vs. West Virginia

In Oklahoma’s 16th straight road victory, Heisman frontrunner (and crotch-grabbing repeat apologist) Baker Mayfield threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns, making easy work of the Jayhawks, whose one win this season apparently compelled them not to shake hands with Mayfield before the game. The Sooners, whose 469 yards of offense against Kansas were a season low, clinched their spot in the Big 12 title game.

3. Clemson (10–1, 7–1 ACC)

Previous ranking: 3
This week: Beat The Citadel, 61–3
Next week: at South Carolina

A glorified scrimmage took place in Clemson as the Tigers ripped apart a Citadel team that was clearly overmatched—in losing by 58 points, The Citadel pocketed a cool $300,000. The season finale against South Carolina looks like a tougher test than it did in the summer.

4. Wisconsin (11–0, 8–0 Big Ten)

Previous ranking: 5
This week: Beat Michigan, 24–10
Next week: at Minnesota

Wisconsin continues to get it done, whether it looks impressive to skeptics or not. Jonathan Taylor had 132 yards and quarterback Alex Hornibrook was his usual steady self, throwing for 143 yards and one touchdown. The competitive portion of the game ended once Michigan quarterback Brandon Peters left with an injury, as backup John O'Korn was completely ineffective in breaking down the Badgers’ stout defense.

5. Miami, FL (10–0, 7–0 ACC)

Previous ranking: 4
This week: Beat Virginia, 44–28
Next week: at Pittsburgh

The turnover chain made three appearances in Miami’s victory, but the big one was Jaquan Johnson’s 30-yard interception return, part of a 30–0 Hurricanes run that erased a two-touchdown deficit. Malik Rosier tossed three touchdown passes and Travis Homer added 96 yards rushing for Miami, which ends the regular season on Friday against Pitt before the ACC title game on Dec. 2.

6. Auburn (9–2, 6­–1 SEC)

Previous ranking: 6
This week: Beat Louisiana-Monroe, 42–14
Next week: vs. Alabama

There is no need to hype how big next week’s game is against Alabama in the annual Iron Bowl. Auburn is two wins away from a conference title and a possible playoff berth. As far as this game, the Tigers overcame a slow start to dispatch the Warhawks. Kerryon Johnson ran for 137 yards and a touchdown, and Jarrett Stidham had 235 yards and two scores through the air.

7. Georgia (10–1, 7–1 SEC)

Previous ranking: 7
This week: Beat Kentucky, 42–13
Next week: at Georgia Tech

Georgia didn’t need much to beat Kentucky. The Wildcats have one of the nation’s worst pass defenses, but Georgia stuck to what it does best instead of getting freshman Jake Fromm comfortable in beating a team by throwing the ball. Georgia ran for 381 yards with five touchdowns, so as long as that formula works towards the goal of stacking victories, there will be no argument here.

8. Ohio State (9­–2, 7–1 Big Ten)

Previous ranking: 9
This week: Beat Illinois, 52–14
Next week: at Michigan

The Buckeyes scored the first six times they had the football to clinch their spot in the Big Ten championship against Wisconsin. While the offense had its way with the Illini, the defense also did its part, limiting Illinois to five first downs and 105 yards of offense. A sixth straight win over Michigan would help keep those faint playoff hopes alive.

9. Notre Dame (9–2)

Previous ranking: 8
This week: Beat Navy, 24–17
Next game: at Stanford

Commend Notre Dame for doing what it could in the mere 17 minutes it had the ball against Navy. Brandon Wimbush threw for 164 yards and two touchdowns and Josh Adams added 106 yards on the ground as the Fighting Irish bounced back from their brutal performance against Miami to stay in the hunt for a possible New Year’s Six bowl.

10. Central Florida (10–0, 7–0 AAC)

Previous ranking: 10
This week: Beat Temple, 45–19
Next week: vs. South Florida

It doesn’t seem like UCF is distracted by all of the talk surrounding its head coach Scott Frost possibly being a candidate for several job openings around the nation. Quarterback McKenzie Milton had five total touchdowns with 208 passing yards, and the Knights’ defense forced five turnovers, quickly turning an early 10–7 deficit around by turning those miscues into 24 points.

11. USC (10–2, 8–1 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 11
This week: Beat UCLA, 28–23
Next week: Off; next game, Pac-12 Championship Game on Dec. 1.

UCLA’s Josh Rosen prevailed in the battle of the potential first-round NFL draft pick quarterbacks, throwing for 421 yards and three touchdowns, but Sam Darnold and the Trojans beat the Bruins for the third straight year. Darnold threw for 263 yards and also ran for a score. USC now enjoys its long-awaited bye week to rest up for either Washington State or Stanford in the conference championship game in two weeks.

12. Penn State (9–2, 6–2 Big Ten)

Previous ranking:12
Last week: Beat Nebraska, 56–44
Next week: at Maryland

Saquon Barkley broke out of a prolonged rushing slump with 158 yards rushing and three touchdowns and Trace McSorley threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns for the Nittany Lions, who were outscored 34–14 by Nebraska in the second half. In the process, Barkley broke the school’s career touchdown record with his 39th score.

13. TCU (9–2, 6-2 Big 12)

Previous ranking: 13
This week: Beat Texas Tech, 27–3
Next game: vs. Baylor

All TCU needs to do next week is beat lowly Baylor to earn a rematch with Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game, after cruising in Lubbock without starting quarterback Kenny Hill, who sat out with an injury. The usually potent Texas Tech offense did nothing all day and the Horned Frogs played it safe with true freshman quarterback Shawn Robinson, who threw it 17 times for only 85 yards but did have a touchdown throw.

14. Washington (9–2, 6–2 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 14
This week: Beat Utah, 33–30
Next week: vs. Washington State

Anyone that stayed up late to watch this one got a treat. Myles Gaskin had 52 yards and two touchdowns, the final one with 58 seconds remaining to tie the score, setting up Tristan Vizcaino’s game-winning 38-yard field goal at the buzzer. The Huskies now can only play Pac-12 spoiler for their in-state rival next week in the Apple Cup.

15. Memphis (9–1, 6–1 AAC)

Previous ranking:16
This week: Beat SMU, 66–45
Next week: vs. East Carolina

In a game that looked a lot like the defense-optional games native to the Big 12, the Tigers rolled up 664 yards of offense (331 passing, 333 rushing) to clinch the AAC West and now await the winner of Friday’s UCF-USF battle in the conference title game in two weeks. Riley Ferguson threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns for Memphis, which scored at least 10 points in every quarter.

16. Washington State (9–2, 6–2 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 18
Last week: Off
Next week: vs. Washington

Washington State had the week off to prepare for the Apple Cup, which will give the Cougars a chance to exact revenge on their in-state rivals, wrap up the Pac-12 North and perhaps sneak into a New Year’s Six bowl.

17. Stanford (8–3, 7–2 Pac-12)

Previous ranking: 20
This week: Beat California, 17–14
Next week: vs. Notre Dame

Bryce Love ran for 101 yards on a bum ankle and Stanford kept its conference title hopes alive by beating Cal for the eighth straight time to set a record for consecutive wins in the series. Quarterback K.J. Costello went 17 for 26 for 185 yards and one touchdown in the victory, which made David Shaw the winningest coach in program history. The Cardinal will be watching the Apple Cup wearing purple and gold next week: A Washington victory sends them to the Pac-12 title game.

18. Virginia Tech (8–3, 4–3 ACC)

Previous ranking: 17
This week: Beat Pittsburgh, 20–14
Next week: at Virginia

Pittsburgh had four opportunities to score from the one-yard line with less than a minute to go and failed, handing Virginia Tech another close win. Josh Jackson had 218 yards passing and two total touchdowns as the Hokies were again inconsistent on offense, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Jackson threw 20 incomplete passes and an interception but added 32 yards rushing to help Tech break a two-game losing streak.

19. Mississippi State (8–3, 4–3 SEC)

Previous ranking: 24
This week: Beat Arkansas, 28–21
Next week: vs. Ole Miss

Nick Fitzgerald’s six-yard touchdown pass with 17 seconds left lifted Mississippi State past struggling Arkansas. Fitzgerald had 153 yards and ran 22 times for 101 yards, his sixth game with 100-plus yards both passing and rushing. The Bulldogs were sloppy with the ball, fumbling four times and losing two. State bragging rights are on the line next week against Ole Miss, which has split the last four meetings with State.

20. LSU (8-3, 5–2 SEC)

Previous ranking:
This week: Beat Tennessee, 30–10
Next week: vs. Texas A&M

The weather in Knoxville was ugly—as was the special teams play—but it was LSU’s running game that made the difference. The Tigers ran for 200 yards on the backs of Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams and shut down Tennessee’s offense for their fifth win in six games. LSU has beaten Texas A&M six straight times heading into Saturday’s home finale.

21. Oklahoma State (8–3, 5–3 Big 12)

Previous ranking: 15
Last week: Lost to Kansas State, 45–40
Next week: vs. Kansas

Oklahoma State decided that Saturday was the day not to show up until it was down by 25 points in the third quarter. Its defense let Kansas State wide receiver Byron Pringle run free through the secondary, and Pringle responded with three touchdown catches and kick return TD. The Cowboys squandered their opportunity as a potential playoff team this season by losing three games at home.

22. Michigan State (8–3, 6–2 Big Ten)

Previous ranking: 23
Last week: Beat Maryland, 17–7
Next week: at Rutgers

Michigan State completed two passes all game against Maryland, but no one will blame the Spartans for not trying to force the ball downfield in rain and a snowstorm. The Spartans did run for 271 yards—the first time in four games that the Spartans ran for more than 100 yards as a team—led by L.J. Scott, who rumbled for 147 on 29 carries. The finish the regular season at Rutgers, then can hope for an invite to one of the Big Ten’s more prominent bowls.

23. South Florida (9–1, 6–1 AAC)

Previous ranking: 22
Last week: Beat Tulsa, 27–20
Next week: at Central Florida

The Bulls’ tune-up contest before their game of the year against UCF was not an exercise in fundamentally sound football. USF turned the ball over twice, wasn’t very efficient passing and needed a last-minute stop in the fourth quarter to beat a two-win Tulsa squad. Quinton Flowers had 261 total yards in his final home game and was helped out by a defense that had 13 tackles for loss.

24. Boise State (9–2, 7–0 MWC)

Previous ranking: 25
This week: Beat Air Force, 44–19
Next week: at Fresno State

Brett Rypien had 300 yards and three passing touchdowns to lead Boise State to its seventh straight win. The Broncos, who held Air Force’s triple option attack to 181 yards and forced three fumbles, will now play Fresno State two weeks in a row—first in their regular season finale and then the very next week in the Mountain West championship.

25. Northwestern (8–3, 6–2 Big Ten)

Previous ranking:
This week: Beat Minnesota, 39–0
Next week: at Illinois

Northwestern’s longest winning streak in more than 20 years continues, thanks to a dominant effort by the defense. The Wildcats forced five turnovers, quarterback Clayton Thorson had three touchdown passes and Justin Jackson added 166 yards rushing. With a victory next week against Illinois, they can stake a claim that they deserve to be in a top-tier bowl.

Out: West Virginia, Michigan. Maybe next week: Florida Atlantic.

Auburn's Johnson: Iron Bowl "should be one for the ages"

Alabama running back Najee Harris leaps over Mercer defensive back Eric Jackson (17) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Auburn's Johnson: Iron Bowl "should be one for the ages"

Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough runs the ball against Mercer defensive back Eric Jackson during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Henderson: The Road to the National Championship Game, Just Win

Just win baby. That is all Alabama has to do to reach the National Title Game. What if they lose to Auburn and Georgia

Henderson: The Road to the National Championship Game, Just Win

Just win baby. That is all Alabama has to do to reach the National Title Game. What if they lose to Auburn and Georgia

Henderson: The Road to the National Championship Game, Just Win

Just win baby. That is all Alabama has to do to reach the National Title Game. What if they lose to Auburn and Georgia

Henderson: The Road to the National Championship Game, Just Win

Just win baby. That is all Alabama has to do to reach the National Title Game. What if they lose to Auburn and Georgia

Henderson: The Road to the National Championship Game, Just Win

Just win baby. That is all Alabama has to do to reach the National Title Game. What if they lose to Auburn and Georgia