BOZICH | Pre-tournament NBA Draft chatter on Ulis, Skal, Onuaku, - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Pre-tournament NBA Draft chatter on Ulis, Skal, Onuaku, Ferrell, others

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Multiple players from U of L, UK and IU are top prospects for the 2016 NBA Draft. Multiple players from U of L, UK and IU are top prospects for the 2016 NBA Draft.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – There is one group of basketball people who enjoy college conference tournaments more than players and media members enjoy them:

NBA scouts.

Listen up, guys: Scouts from the NBA will be everywhere this week. They are watching every pass you float.

Conference tournaments give them the opportunity to watch four games in person every day. Scouts will report to the arenas in Indianapolis, Nashville, Washington, D.C. or Las Vegas at noon, and they won’t leave until security makes them.

Before they lifted off for locations across the map, I talked to several scouts for a final pre-tournament NBA Draft analysis of the top local prospects. Here is the rundown:

TYLER ULIS, KENTUCKY

DRAFT EXPRESS:  No. 47 overall.

CBS SPORTS: 23.

HOOPS HYPE: Not in first round.

SCOUT: “I think he’ll be in the second round because of his size. Maybe somebody will take him at 20-to-30. He’s more than good enough. He’s impressed everybody this season the way he has played. He’s a tough kid. His shooting has improved.

“Clearly, he can play. He’s big in the big game. He’s smart, like a coach. I like him.”

JAMAL MURRAY, KENTUCKY

DRAFT EXPRESS:  No. 7 overall

CBS SPORTS: 6.

HOOPS HYPE: 6.

SCOUT: “Top 10 pick for sure. He’s played well enough for that. Top Five? That remains to be seen. It could happen. He’s highly regarded. I think he’s pretty good. He’s not a great athlete and I don’t see him as a point guard. He’s an undersized two-guard, but he has strength and he’s young. I like him. He’s a helluva shooter.

SKAL LABISSIERE, KENTUCKY

DRAFT EXPRESS:  No. 10.

CBS SPORTS:  9.

HOOPS HYPE: 14.

SCOUT:  “He’s played his best games recently, but I just haven’t seen enough out of the guy.

“He’s a young guy. Didn’t play a lot last season. Younger guys can come on. But he also might not be ready for three years. I think he’d be in the D-League next season because if he can’t do it consistently against big boys at the college level, how is he going to do it against grown men in the NBA?

“He has struggled against big boys in college. He was fine against little boys in high school when he was a lot taller and more athletic. Now you’re going to ask him to play against grown men who are ready to rip your heart out? He’s not close to being ready against them.

“You’ve got to see it. You’ve got to see something.”

DAMION LEE, LOUISVILLE

DRAFT EXPRESS:  No. 46

CBS SPORTS: 63

HOOPS HYPE: Not in first round.

SCOUT: “There are some people out there who really like Damion. I would say second round. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t slip into the end of the first. He really helped himself this season because he’s been on the big stage, the ACC, Louisville.”

CHINANU ONUAKU, LOUISVILLE

DRAFT EXPRESS:  No. 42.

CBS SPORTS: 59

HOOPS HYPE: Not in first round.

SCOUT: “If he goes to the (NBA Draft) combine, he won’t be back (Onuaku has said on several occasions that he will attend the combine in Chicago in mid-May). He’s young and has upside. People will like him.

“He’s got a heart. He’s got a great heart. I would take him over Skal.”

YOGI FERRELL, INDIANA

DRAFT EXPRESS:  Unranked.

CBS SPORTS: No. 65.

HOOPS HYPE:  Not in first round.

SCOUT: He’s a second-round pick. He’s helped himself a lot this season. He’s smart. He’s a tough little sucker. He’s got good organizational skills. He’s smart with the basketball. He’s a decent shooter. He’s a third-string guard coming in and he could move up to second string. He’s a good basketball player.

“He’s played in a very good league, against very good coaches and he’s been at the top of the board defensively on what opponents zero in on against Indiana. He’s a guy they’ve gone after and he’s stood the test of time.”

TROY WILLIAMS, INDIANA

DRAFT EXPRESS:  Unranked.

CBS SPORTS: No. 75.

HOOPS HYPE: Not in first round.

SCOUT: “Some people are going to like Troy and some people are not. He’s a very good athlete. He has the capacity of being a really good competitor. He can really move. He’s a good driver. He’s a very active guy.

“He makes some careless plays but he will play very hard. Right now that translates to the second round.”

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