Mid-Major Basketball: Ranking of top 20 prospects for 2020 NBA Draft

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
NBA Draft

TUCSON, ARIZONA – DECEMBER 14: Filip Petrusev #3 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

Who are the top mid-major basketball prospects for the upcoming NBA Draft?

Welcome to the first of our Top 20 Draft Prospects segment, where Busting Brackets takes the top talent entering this year’s draft by conference and ranks them based off their NBA potential.

While there are quite a few conferences that lack NBA-quality depth in the NCAA, we have decided to do individual articles for the Power Seven conferences and group together all the Mid Majors. First up: the Top 20 Mid Major Prospects for the 2020 NBA Draft.

20. Eli Pemberton, G, Hofstra

DOB:

  • May 31, 1997 (23)

SIZE:

  • 6’5″, 195 lbs

PROS:

  • Shooting stroke that can easily be developed
  • Good rebounder
  • Potential to be a solid 3 and D combo guard

CONS:

  • Not consistent enough on either end of the floor
  • Lacks a bit of strength
  • Hasn’t developed as much as hoped from year freshman year to now
  • Forces too many shots

DRAFT GRADE:

  • Late 2nd Round – Undrafted

After averaging 12.8 PPG as a freshman with the Hofstra Pride, many thought Eli Pemberton could be a legit NBA prospect and were excited for his future. Unfortunately Pemberton never really took that major leap, as his PPG only slightly increased while his efficiency pretty well stayed the same.

He has a shot that can easily be developed, so there is some appeal with him. However, the fact remains that Pemberton was unable to take his game to the next level in his sophomore, junior, or senior years after an impressive freshman year, which in turn may make scouts question his potential.

19. Osasumwen Osaghae, F/C, Florida International University

DOB:

  • July 29, 1998 (22)

SIZE:

  • 6’9″, 250 lbs

PROS:

  • Very athletic for his size
  • Solid post scorer
  • Great shot blocker

CONS:

  • Conditioning issues
  • Can’t guard in space
  • Too undersized for center, but not athletic enough for power forward

DRAFT GRADE:

  • Late 2nd Round – Undrafted

While there is plenty to like about Osasumwen Osaghae, there’s a lot to dislike as well. Starting with the positives, Osaghae can definitely score around the rim effectively, making him a solid low-post scoring threat.

However what really hurts Osaghae night after night is his lack of conditioning, as he is clearly tired quite often in games. If Osaghae can work on his conditioning and become a bit more agile/a more capable defender in space, Osaghae could carve out a decent NBA career. However, it will take a lot of hard work and the road won’t be easy.

18. Lesley Varner II, F, UT Rio Grande Valley

DOB:

  • April 29, 1998 (22)

SIZE:

  • 6’7″, 190 lbs

PROS:

  • Potential to be a solid three and D player
  • Solid shooter
  • Improving steadily each season
  • Doesn’t turn the ball over much

CONS:

  • Relies on shooting to score
  • Weak playmaking ability
  • Poor shot-blocker considering he’s 6’7″ tall
  • Lacks a bit of strength

DRAFT GRADE:

  • Late 2nd Round – Undrafted

Lesley Varner II is definitely a player with high upside, as he is quite long for a wing defender and can shoot the ball effectively from both mid and three-point range. Varner has shown flashes of NBA potential, but nothing consistent enough to warrant any serious looks.

However, with that being said, his length and shooting ability will be attractive to teams who think they can bulk him up and turn his body into an NBA-caliber one, hopefully finding themselves a three-and-D wing defender late in the draft.

17. Nate Darling, G, Delaware

DOB:

  • August 30, 1998 (22)

SIZE:

  • 6’5″, 200 lbs

PROS:

  • Good shooter, especially from three-point range
  • Can score off the dribble
  • Decent playmaking ability
  • High motor

CONS:

  • Below average athlete
  • Weak ball handling for a guard
  • Can’t defend quicker guards very well

DRAFT GRADE:

  • Late 2nd Round – Undrafted

While Delaware guard Nate Darling definitely lacks in the category of athleticism, he is a player who puts his heart on his sleeve night in and night out. An effective scorer, Darling has the potential to add a spark off the bench to an NBA team offensively.

However, while he does give effort, Darling lacks the foot speed to keep up with quicker defenders, quite often leaving him lost on the defensive end. While there are qualities to like about Darling, all and all he is most likely going to find himself battling in Summer League on a tryout contract.

16. Filip Petrusev, F/C, Gonzaga 

DOB:

  • April 15, 2000 (20)

SIZE:

  • 6’11”, 235 lbs

PROS:

  • Above-average post scoring

CONS:

  • Weak playmaker
  • Below average rim protection
  • Will struggle when switched and forced to play perimeter defense
  • Below average athleticism

DRAFT GRADE:

  • Late 2nd Round – Undrafted

SUMMARY:

Filip Petrusev definitely has the potential to be an NBA player, as he is still just 20 years old and has shown flashes of brilliance. With that being said, I can see most teams passing on him in the draft simply due to the fact that he does nothing exceptionally well.

In today’s NBA, bigs need to either be able to score with consistency and from all spots on the court or be great rim protectors – unfortunately, Petrusev brings none of those qualities to the table.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse