2020 Draft Watch: Mid-Major Bigs
As we dive into returning players for the 2019-20 season, I wanted to check on some mid-major bigs that have next level potential.
Here are 4 players who should be fun to follow in the upcoming season:
Western Kentucky, Sophomore
Bassey is big, strong kid with solid length & strength. The 6'11, 245 pound sophomore was voted 1st Team All-Conference USA after averaging a double-double 14.6 points and 10 boards. He also added 2.4 blocks per contest, commanding the paint on both sides of the floor. On the offensive end he's not incredibly versatile right now; he tends to stay on the elbows or post asking for the ball or trying to initiate a PnR. He runs the floor really well and is a solid lob target due to his athletic abilities, but I'd love to see him stretch to the perimeter in year 2. His decision making & passing will need to improve in 2019, among the 98 players with 50+ blocks last season, he ranked 2nd most with 97 turnovers. He's already a great finisher at the rim, so if he can cut down on mistakes and continue to be a physical force, he'll be a solid NBA prospect in 2020.
Brigham Young, Senior
Childs is 6'8", has a 7'0" wingspan & is an absolute menace on the glass. Over his three seasons at BYU he's averaged 8.8 boards per game, up to 9.7 in 2018. He's extremely efficient on the offensive end, shooting 81.2% FG at the rim (99th percentile per Hoop-Math). YC is definitely a traditional big; it's hard to see him often playing outside at the next level when he doesn't shoot a ton of 3's (although he did double his attempts from 2017 to 2018) and his defensive switchability appears average. He didn't block many shots last season but he may project as a defense & rebounding specialist because he's so strong. He's a powerful, bruiser on the glass with some really soft touch, and if he remains an efficient scorer in 2019 he can be an interesting prospect for 2020. Childs will miss the first nine games of the season due to NCAA agent rules, Yahoo! article HERE.
In his freshman campaign, Toppin won Rookie of the Year and was named First Team all Atlantic-10. He's a fantastic athlete at 6'9" 220 lbs & uses his easy hops for violent lobs and putback dunks. His decision making can be questionable but has shown good feel through some really nice anticipation passes. Against all qualified players since 2012, OT ranked 99th percentile in TS%, eFG%, and FG% at the rim. Most of these are dunks, he comes in with so much aggression that people don't tend to get in his way. His 3PT shooting was minimal in only attempting 21 on the season, but he hit 11 of them. I'm really curious to see if he tries to stretch at all in 2019 and add a whole other dimension to his game. If he can continue this level of efficiency & raise his REB numbers a bit, big men across the A-10 Conference are in some trouble.
Utah State, Sophomore
We've covered Queta in a full scouting report, which can be seen HERE.
He's 6'11, has some really long arms, and is a better passer than he gets credit for. He was an anchor on the defensive end by setting the school record for blocks in a season (84). The Mountain West Freshman & Defensive Player of the Year showed versatility on both ends of the floor and will have great impact on the success of USU in 2019.