NBA

2014 NBA Draft: 10 Unheralded Prospects You Need to Know About

2014 NBA Draft: 10 Unheralded Prospects You Need to Know About

Rodney Hood Duke
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With the Final Four set, NBA fans have started to think ahead to the 2014 NBA Draft. This draft is extremely top-heavy, but there are a lot of other players who could shine in the NBA. Here are 10 underrated college basketball players you need to know heading towards the 2014 NBA Draft.

10. Ron Baker – Wichita State

Ron Baker NBA Draft
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

10. Ron Baker – Wichita State

Ron Baker NBA Draft
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The point guard for the Shockers may not get as much attention as Cleanthony Early, but sometimes the best backup for an elite NBA point guard is a guy who can make his threes and pass the ball.

9. Jordan McRae – Tennessee

Jordan McRae NBA Draft
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

9. Jordan McRae – Tennessee

Jordan McRae NBA Draft
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Long, fast and one of the marquee dunkers in college basketball, McRae screams NBA athlete. However, his inconsistency from three-point range will be an issue moving forward. He trained with LeBron James and Kevin Durant before this season, showing that the will to work on his game is clearly there.

8. Markel Brown – Oklahoma State

Markel Brown NBA Draft
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

8. Markel Brown – Oklahoma State

Markel Brown NBA Draft
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State and Marcus Smart are almost synonymous, but that shouldn’t take away from the rest of the talent that the Cowboys possessed. Brown is a do-it-all player who could make an NBA roster in his first year.

7. A.J. Hammons – Purdue

AJ Hammons NBA Draft
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7. A.J. Hammons – Purdue

AJ Hammons NBA Draft
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

At 7 feet tall and over 270 pounds, Hammons is huge. With a little time in the D-League or maybe even a good showing in the Summer League, Hammons could find himself on an NBA bench.

6. Justin Cobbs – California

Justin Cobbs NBA Draft
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

6. Justin Cobbs – California

Justin Cobbs NBA Draft
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Cobbs has averaged over 15 points a game for the past two seasons. On scoring alone he’ll be looked at by many NBA teams late in the draft.

5. Johnny O’Bryant III – LSU

Johnny O'Bryant III NBA Draft
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5. Johnny O’Bryant III – LSU

Johnny O'Bryant III NBA Draft
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

As a writer focused on the SEC, I’m extremely disappointed that O’Bryant III isn’t returning another season. LSU would be fantastic next year if he stayed. However, he continued to get better year in and year out and could find himself a consistent NBA presence in three or four years.

4. Roy Devyn Marble – Iowa

Roy Devyn Marble NBA Draft
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

4. Roy Devyn Marble – Iowa

Roy Devyn Marble NBA Draft
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Struggling against elite college basketball defenses, Marble will find himself much freer to take his time in the NBA. He won’t have to constantly put his team on his back, which will allow for him to chip in for an NBA squad early in his career.

3. Semaj Christon – Xavier

Semaj Christon NBA Draft
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

3. Semaj Christon – Xavier

Semaj Christon NBA Draft
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Of all the players on this list, Christon is my pick to be a surprise success. He’s fast, has great vision and gets a ton of steals. He’s a little rough when it comes to decision making, but that’s something an NBA team can fix.

2. Rodney Hood – Duke

Rodney Hood NBA Draft
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

2. Rodney Hood – Duke

Rodney Hood NBA Draft
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Although expected to be drafted in the top 15, Hood sometimes took a back seat to Jabari Parker. He’s an explosive scorer and, with some work, could become a legitimate NBA presence.

1. Scottie Wilbekin – Florida

Scottie Wilbekin NBA Draft
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1. Scottie Wilbekin – Florida

Scottie Wilbekin NBA Draft
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

They said I was crazy when I said that someone should’ve drafted Missouri’s Phil Pressey as a backup point guard, but he’s averaging 14 minutes per game as an undrafted free agent. Wilbekin isn’t going to be a marquee player in the NBA in his first year, but his defense could give any team valuable minutes.