MEMPHIS' Jalen Duren, Duke's Mark Williams and Auburn's Walker Kessler are the headliners among big men in Thursday's (Friday in Manila) NBA draft.
Each is a mobile big man with the ability to finish above the rim, with Duren and Williams as potential lottery picks, along with Kessler as a first-round prospect.
The 6-11, 250-pound freshman is just 18 years old but has impressive athleticism and strength.
Duren has the solidly built frame to bang for position and the athleticism to finish lobs above the rim, making him ESPN's No. 10 overall draft prospect. He averaged 12.0 points and 8.1 rebounds, proving effective in attacking the rim and running the floor.
Duren also showed flashes of relentless rebounding ability by pulling down 20 rebounds against UCF in the American Athletic Conference Tournament and 19 against Western Kentucky in November. And he averaged 2.1 blocks.
The 7-2, 242-pound sophomore is an elite rim protector with mobility and an improving offensive game.
Williams offers incredible length, from a 9-9 standing reach to a wingspan of better than 7-6. That helped him rank 12th in Division 1 at 2.82 blocks per game while altering plenty more shots, so much so that now-retired Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski compared him to a hockey goalie during the NCAA Tournament.
Krzyzewski had also noted that Williams — ranked as the No. 14 overall draft prospect by ESPN — had improved his lateral movement, giving him a better chance to handle switches and ballscreens.
On the offensive end, he averaged 11.2 points with the ability to go up and get lobs for easy finishes.
The 7-1, 256-pound sophomore is another elite shot blocker and top defender with mobility.
ESPN's No. 26 overall draft prospect was named national defensive player of the year by Naismith and the National Association of Basketball Coaches after ranking second in Division 1 by blocking 4.56 shots per game, including nine games with at least seven blocks.