Draft Notes: Mudiay, Maker, Russell, Looney

Emmanuel Mudiay isn’t sure he’d recommend playing overseas to other top draft prospects, particularly those who wouldn’t merit the kind of high-dollar deal he received, but he has no regrets about his decision to play in China instead of at SMU, as he tells Evan Daniels of Scout.com.

“I was playing against 30-year old men that are trying to feed their family,” he said, answering affirmatively when Daniels asked if he feels he has an edge on prospects from the NCAA. “In college, they are trying to get an education and try to get a job after that. I was put in a job position.

Mudiay told Daniels that he’s heard that elite 2016 draft prospect Thon Maker is thinking about playing overseas, though Mudiay’s not sure if that’s the case. Either way, here’s more on the draft, with just 12 teams remaining in the NCAA tournament:

  • Chris Mannix of SI.com looks at Ohio State freshman D’Angelo Russell, Mudiay’s primary challenger to become the first point guard drafted in June and a prospect who’s impressed at least one NBA GM with a level of court awareness beyond his years.
  • There’s a wide range of opinion on the draft stock of UCLA power forward Kevon Looney, whom Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranks as the seventh most well-regarded prospect while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him 19th. Ford and ESPN.com colleague Kevin Pelton debate the merits of the 19-year-old who’ll probably take a while to develop regardless of his potential, as they write in an Insider-only piece.
  • Stanley Johnson doesn’t have flashy numbers, but he and his game have matured in his freshman season at Arizona, as Zach Hefland of the Los Angeles Times examines. The small forward is the No. 6 prospect in Givony’s rankings and No. 12 with Ford. Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors has him sixth in our Draft Prospect Power Rankings.
  • Nigel Williams-Goss makes a habit of outperforming expectations, and while he isn’t a highly regarded NBA prospect, there are at least a few people around the game who are confident he can make it in the pros, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group details. The University of Washington sophomore told Haynes that he isn’t sure whether he’ll stay in college another year or declare for the draft.

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