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7 Non-Freshman To Look Out For In The 2023 NBA Draft

In every draft class it is always the freshman who get the most hype, but there are always non freshman who wind up being steals later in the draft. In this article I’ll be going over 7 of my favorite non freshman prospects. I’ll talk a little about each of their games, improvements I’d like to see them make, and where their draft range is.

1. Terquavion Smith

Smith is a 6’4 guard for NC State and will be a Sophomore this year. Last year he solidified himself as first round pick due to his combination of athleticism, quickness, and shooting range/ability. Despite being basically a guaranteed first rounder, Smith decided to return to school.

I believe when a player elects to return to school they should look to add something to their game as well as to get bigger, stronger, and more efficient. At only 160 lbs Smith could stand to get stronger, and his 39% field goal percentage leaves plenty of room for improvement. If he can improve his finishing, passing, or defense any at all then it would greatly improve his draft stock. Adding one of those skills to his games would firmly place Smith in the lottery conversation imo.

2. Oscar Tshiebwe

Tshiebwe needs no introduction. He was the most dominant player in all of college basketball last season, yet still was viewed by most as a second round pick at best. After testing the draft waters and talking to GM’s, Tshiebwe elected to return to Kentucky. He stated his reasoning was to work on his game and become a lottery pick. The skill he said he’d be looking to improve on… 3 point shooting.

If the 6’9 Tshiebwe can even become an average 3 point shooter (33%) then I’d say it’s not a stretch for him to be a lottery pick. I think he’d be a perfect fit next to a guy like RobWill or JJJ who is a great rim protector, but isn’t strong enough to guard centers.

3. Damion Collins

I’ll keep the Kentucky trend going by moving on to Collins. Collins is a rail thin 6’9 PF who excels at protecting the rim and catching lobs. He even has some potential to stretch the floor. Last year he played sparingly for Kentucky, and still could’ve potentially been a FRP strictly due to his upside.

If collins can continue to show his ability to block shots and catch lobs in more minutes this year then it’ll help his draft stock a ton. The thing that can help his stock the most is of course the 3 point shot. If he can block shots, catch lobs, and stretch the floor then he’s a first round lock and in the lottery conversation.

4. Johni Broome

If a team wants a player like Collins but at a later pick, then let me introduce you to Johni Broome. Broome is a 6’10 big man who played his first 2 collegiate seasons at Morehead State before entering the transfer portal. He drew offers from practically every major program (Duke, Gonzaga, Kentucky, etc.), but ultimately decided to transfer to Auburn.

At Morehead State he was an elite shot blocker averaging almost 4 blocks per game this past season. Offensively he had lots of post ups and isolations ran for him, but he was most effective as a lob threat. He has a fluid looking jumper, but hardly ever shot 3’s while at Morehead State. If he can continue his production while at Auburn then he’s a guy who teams could potentially get in the second round (if not sooner). It all depends on if he can develop a jumper or not.

5. Isaiah Mosley

Yes I meant to say Mosley. If you know anything about me, then you know I’m the president of his fan club. Mosley is a 6’5 guard who played at Missouri State for 3 years before transferring to Missouri this off season. Mosley can simply put score the ball. This past season at Missouri State he averaged 20 PPG on 50/40/90 splits while also pitching in 6 rebounds, almost 3 assists, and a little over a steal a game.

If he can continue anywhere near this level of production while at Missouri this season he could very well be a steal come draft night. He’d a guy in the mold of a Lou Williams, Jamal Crawford, or Jordan Clarkson. He’s gonna come in the game and give you buckets. It’s crazy to think you could get a guy like this in the second round. The league better wake up because Mosley is coming!

6. Emoni Bates

We all remember this guy right? Bates burst onto the scene a few years back being dubbed the next KD. A crazy dad, a couple high schools, and a short experiment as the next Penny Hardaway later and that just doesn’t look like the case. There’s still time to right the ship though!

Bates recently transferred to Eastern Michigan where hopefully he can show off the scoring chops that enamored every YouTube highlight channel a few years back. Right now I’d say Bates is a late FRP based off of his name alone. A good year at EMU and he could vault himself back into the lottery conversation. A bad year and he will fall to the second round. Balls in your court now Emoni.

7. Mike Miles

Miles is a 6’2 PG who will be a Junior at TCU. Miles simply put does a little bit of everything for the Horned-Frogs. This will not be his role in the NBA. He’ll play a floor general type role in the NBA. I’d compare him to a guy like Tyus Jones. He’ll be a really good backup who you don’t mind starting some games for you.

As things currently stand Miles is a second round pick. If Miles can show off more of his floor general side this year then he could vault himself up into the early second round conversation.