Nick Ward; Michigan State; 6-foot-8-inch forward
The Spartans had so much talent on their roster and so much other drama going on around the program last season that you probably forgot about Ward. He’s a strong, back-to-the-basket player who is a tenacious rebounder. He averaged 12.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in his sophomore season as a Spartan, but doesn’t have much of a jump shot meaning he’s not exactly what the NBA is looking for from a modern day big man.
Anas Mahmoud; Louisville; 7-foot center
He’s a 7-footer, so it isn’t surprising the Bulls are doing their due diligence. He averaged a ho-hum 6.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game his senior season at Louisville. He doesn’t stretch the floor (he didn’t take any 3-point field goals his senior season) which hurts his already low stock.
He’s trying to become just the third Egyptian-born player to play in the NBA.
Eugene German; Northern Illinois; 6-foot guard
Albeit against Mid-American Conference competition, this dude was a stud averaging 20.6 points per game on 47.1 percent from the field last season. Also impressive was his improvement from his freshman season when he averaged just about nine points per game to his sophomore season. German is one of those guys who declared for the NBA draft, but never hired an agent so he’s really probably just testing the waters /getting a read on where he needs to improve at this point and doesn’t have much of a chance of getting drafted this year.
Fred Sims Jr., Chicago State; 6-foot-4-inch guard
He was the best player on the local, low-Division I squad on Chicago’s South Side. He hasn’t exhausted his eligibility so he also smartly declared for the draft without hiring an agent.
Donte Ingram, Loyola; 6-foot-6-inch guard
Ingram was one of the stars in Loyola’s magical run to the Final Four last season. He went to perennial prep powerhouse Simeon for high school before staying in Chicago for college as well. He has good size for his position and also shoots the ball well (41.7 percent from 3-point land when averaged across his junior and senior seasons) so he has more of the NBA-ready tools than the others guys mentioned above.
Ben Richardson; Loyola; 6-foot-3-inch guard
Another key cog in the Loyola Rambler machine, Richardson’s most marketable skill is his shooting (40 percent from 3-point land his senior season). He also showed an ability to step up in big moments, pouring in six 3-point field goals in the Ramblers Elite Eight win against Kansas State. He had a season-high 23 points in that game.
Frankly, most of these players don’t have much of a chance to get drafted, but you never know who could become a diamond in the rough.