The 2022 Champions Classic will help kick off the college basketball season with some of the best teams squaring off. It also features some of the best NBA Draft prospects. Here are the NBA Draft prospects in the 2022 Champions Classic.
Kentucky Wildcats Prospects
Cason Wallace, G- Wallace was a five-star recruit, who was ranked in the top 10 by several recruiting outlets. He has the ability to play on or off the ball offensively and defensively he has shown the ability to pressure the ball well. In his one game played (at the time of this writing), he has 15 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and two steals. His stock will rise if he can knock down perimeter shots at a high clip. He is a projected first-round pick.
Chris Livingston, F- The other five-star recruit in Kentucky’s 2022 recruiting class, Livingston is an athletic forward. He had nine points, four rebounds and one steal in Kentucky’s opening game. The problem for Livingston may be getting enough minutes, as the Wildcats have plenty of talent who missed the opener, yet Livingston only played 19 minutes. He is currently projected to be a late first or early second-round pick.
Oscar Tshiebwe, F- While he is dealing with a knee injury, Tshiebwe is expected to be ready for the Champions Classic. He is the reigning National Player of the Year, who averaged 17.4 points and 15.2 rebounds per game. The things holding back his draft stock are his height, which is just 6-foot-9 and his lack of a perimeter shot. He is projected to be a second-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Michigan State Spartans Draft Prospects
Pierre Brooks, G/F- After being a highly-touted recruit in the 2021 class for the Spartans, Brooks didn’t produce much for the team last season. It looks like he has taken a good jump forward for the team after notching 14 points, one rebound and one steal in the opener for the Spartans. He made four of seven threes and if he can continue to knock down outside shots, his stock will rise. Currently, he is projected to be a late second-round pick or undrafted free agent.
Duke Blue Devils Draft Prospects
Dereck Lively II, C- Lively was ranked as the number one recruit in the country according to 247sports. He did not play in Duke’s opening game and is currently day to day with a calf injury. His size helps him, as he is 7-foot-1, but he has good athleticism for his size as well. He will be able to rebound and protect the rim. He is currently projected to be a lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Tyrese Proctor, G- Proctor may solve Duke’s problems of finding a point guard over the last several seasons. In the opener, he had two points, four rebounds and two assists. He needs to improve from this performance, but Proctor has all the makings of a good college point guard, who could be a solid prospect also. He is currently projected to be a first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Kyle Filipowski, C- Filipowski was the fourth-ranked recruit by 247sports. He had 10 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in his first collegiate game. The thing that may hold him back is Lively’s return. It will be hard to play both players at the same time, so Filipowski may have trouble getting minutes. He is a projected second-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
*G/F Dariq Whitehead is not expected to play in this game as he deals with a foot injury. He is a projected lottery pick.
Kansas Jayhawks Draft Prospects
Jalen Wilson, F- Wilson has flirted with entering the NBA Draft over his Kansas career, but has decided to return to the Jayhawks after helping them win a National Championship last season. He has averaged 11.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game over his career. He scored 19 in the season-opener and showed what could be an improved outside shot, which only helps him. Wilson is projected to be a second-round pick.
Gradey Dick, G/F- Dick was the only five-star recruit for Kansas this season. He showed his potential early with a 23-point performance in his first collegiate game. After making four of six three-point shots, he will need to keep that up to spread the floor for his team. Dick is a projected second-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
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