In what college basketball analysts have been calling an outstanding talent crop for the 2014 NBA draft, the Big 12 Conference has at least six prospects who fall in the top 100, according to most draft projections.
DraftExpress.com has the two Kansas super freshman, Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, going one and two, respectively, on its list of the top 100 NBA prospects available in this year’s draft.
There are varying opinions and projections on where Embiid will fall in the draft after its was revealed last week that the seven-footer has a fractured foot. Most projections do not have Embiid falling out of the top 10 picks, however.
Marcus Smart, formerly of Oklahoma State and the 2012-13 Big 12 Player of the Year as a freshman, is the third highest Big 12 player projected in most all of the mock draft boards. Draft Express ranks Smart as the No. 6 player in the top 100. CBSSports.com, for example, has Smart at No. 7 on its top 100 prospect list. Wiggins is No. 1 and Embiid No. 4 in the CBS Sports projections.
Wiggins, Embiid and Smart are all projected to go in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft, which will be held on Thursday in New York City.
Five other Big 12 players could have their names selected in the second round of the NBA Draft: Markel Brown from Oklahoma State, former Iowa State players Melvin Ejim (the 2014-15 Big 12 Player of the Year) and DeAndre Kane (Newcomer of the Year last season in the conference), and Cory Jefferson, who played at Baylor.
Isaiah Austin, a seven-footer from Baylor, also would likely have been selected in the 2014, but he was diagnosed within the past week as suffering from a rare career-ending condition known as Murfan syndrome.
According to medical experts, complications from Murfan syndrome can weaken the aorta, the artery that supplies blood to the rest of the body.