The Michigan State men’s basketball program didn’t have anyone selected in last week’s NBA draft, but 2014 could be very good for Tom Izzo’s program.
A Spartan team that’s expected to be among the best in college basketball next season, has the most NBA talent for 2014 outside of Kentucky, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman believes.
Goodman ranked the Spartans as having the second-most NBA talent in the nation, while Michigan ranked fifth on his list.
Goodman wrote: “There’s a significant drop-off from Kentucky to everyone else, but Tom Izzo does have NBA-caliber talent. Both Adreian Payne and Gary Harris returned to school, and could be lottery picks in 2014. The Spartans also have point guard Keith Appling, along with strong, athletic wing Branden Dawson and skilled forward Denzel Valentine – who will all make money playing the game after they finish college.”
Mock drafts for 2014 have as many as four Spartans getting drafted, figuring that Harris and Dawson will leave school early.
- NBADraft.net projects Harris to be a lottery pick and Payne to go in the first round, while Dawson and Appling are labeled as second-round picks.
- DraftExpress has Harris going just outside of the lottery and Payne going in the later stages of the first round. Dawson is projected to be a second round pick.
- On ESPN’s Chad Ford’s big board of top 100 players, Harris ranks No. 10, Payne ranks No. 30 and Dawson No. 31.
Since 2000, MSU has had 11 players taken in the NBA draft (second-most in Big Ten behind Ohio State’s 12), including three players in two different years. In 2001, Jason Richardson (No. 5 overall) and Zach Randolph (No. 19 overall) went in the first round and Andre Hutson (No. 51) was picked in the second round. Shannon Brown (No. 25 overall) and Maurice Ager (No. 28) were first-round selections in 2006, while Paul Davis was selected in the second round.
Spartans selected in NBA draft since 2000
2000: Mateen Cleaves – Round 1, No. 14 / Morris Peterson – Round 1, No. 21
2001: Jason Richardson – Round 1, No. 5 / Zach Randolph – Round 1, No. 19 / Andre Hutson – Round 2, No. 51
2002: Marcus Taylor – Round 2, No. 52
2006: Shannon Brown – Round 1, No. 25 / Maurice Ager – Round 1, No. 28 / Paul Davis – Round 2, No. 34
2009: Goran Suton – Round 2, No. 50
2012: Draymond Green – Round 2, No. 35
Big Ten schools NBA draft picks since 2000 (top five)
1. Ohio State – 12
2. Michigan State – 11
T3. Illinois – 8
T3. Indiana – 8
T5. Michigan – 5
T5. Purdue – 5