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February Top 5 NBA Draft Prospects In CAA Basketball

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Who Are The Top NBA Draft Prospects In The CAA?

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Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

When fans watch college basketball, they commonly appreciate the fast pace, the multitudes of three-point shooting and the energy from the players. Also, fans are constantly thinking about if the collegiate players right before their eyes have what it takes to play at the next level – the NBA

Most of the top prospects for every year’s NBA Drafts come out of the high-major, perennial powerhouse school’s like Duke, North Carolina, Michigan and Syracuse, however there are always a few prospects each season that emerge from the lesser known conferences, the mid-majors.

This season, Portland Trailblazers point gaurd Damion Lilliard looks like the leading candidate for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Lilliard came out of the mid-major Weber State and was a lottery pick. Like Lilliard, there are several other NBA players that attended mid-major schools. There are even players in the L that are products of the Colonial Athletic Association.

Today, former Towson Tiger, Gary Neal, drains threes for the San Antonio Spurs and former Old Dominion guard Kent Bazemore is one of the most loveable bench guys in the NBA on the Golden State Warrior’s pine.

Therefore, since we know some NBA players come out of the CAA and have roles on professional teams, Rant Sports will be bringing you monthly Top 5 NBA Draft Prospects from the CAA the first Tuesday of Every Month.

Enjoy…

Jake Fischer is the CAA Columnist for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. He also hosts the CAA Relay Podcast. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @JakeLFischer.

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No. 5- Jamelle Hagins, 6-9 F, Delaware

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The CAA is not known for it’s tall and talented big men. But, Delaware Blue Hens senior forward Jamelle Hagins is definitely talented enough to be productive in the NBA on the defensive end. At 6-9, he’s long enough to be able to defend some of the league’s power forwards and he has pretty impressive defensive numbers this season. Hagins is grabbing 10.7 rebounds and swatting 2.3 blocks per game for the Blue Hens. That could translate to the NBA.

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No. 4- Quincy Ford, 6-8 F, Northeastern

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re talking about NBA bodies, there’s none better than Quincy Ford. The sophomore Northeastern forward has the body of a power forward with terrific guard skills. While he can rebound and possess a legitimate post game, Ford also has a great handle and can knock down threes very consistently. In fact, Ford is shooting 41.7 percent from three-point land during conference play. While he’s nowhere near the talent level of Portland Trailblazer, Nicolas Batum, Ford could really grow into a player that might be able to fill that roll on an NBA team.

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No. 3- R.J. Hunter, 6-5 G, Georgia State

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Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

R.J. Hunter made history last week. Not only did he pour in a career-high 38 points against Old Dominion, but he also drained a CAA-record 10 three-pointers. Monday, Hunter became the first player since Chris Fouch to win both the CAA Player and Rookie of the Week awards. He can shoot from almost anywhere on the court. He’s a tenacious rebound. He’s a very long 6-5. Hunter will also be a very effect shooting guard in the NBA as well. Just think about this: Hunter is averaging 17.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a freshman. How good will he get before he leaves school?

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No. 2- Jerrelle Benimon, 6-8 F, Towson

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Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Towson Tigers junior forward Jerrelle Benimon has been a very entertaining and productive player this season down in Maryland. He leads all Division I players with 16 double-doubles on the season and is averaging a very impressive 17.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. When people look at Benimon’s NBA potential, they might immediately look at him as a Jared Sullinger, Glen Davis or DeJaun Blair-type player. But, he not only has those players’ size, he also has a very solid ball handle and shooting touch. He’s shot 12-34 (35.3 percent) from beyond the arc this year.

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No. 1- Damion Lee, 6-6 G, Drexel

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Christopher Szagola-USA TODAY Sports

With a large frame for a guard, sophomore Damion Lee clearly has the body to be a successful two-guard in the NBA. We know he possess incredible scoring ability, which was demonstrated when he scored 59 points over two games last week. He’s got a great touch from deep, drives effectively and can finish at the rim. Lee also has the speed and quickness to be able to guard quicker guards as well when teams go small. If he continues to score, Lee will continue to draw attention from NBA scouts. Miami Heat scout, Eric Amsler, was in Matthews Arena to watch Drexel and Northeastern play on Saturday, February 2. Perhaps he was there to look at Lee.

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Honorable Mentions

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Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

While those five players are the top five NBA Draft prospects as of now, there are still several players to keep an eye on in the CAA. In alphabetical order: