Chad Ford's 2016 Big Board 2.0
The Big Board gets a shake-up before the college hoops season tips off.
The college basketball season begins this week, which means it's time for Big Board 2.0: Preseason edition.
We debuted Big Board 1.0 during the summer based on how NBA front offices viewed players from the previous season. With scouts now getting access to players this fall in practices, international events and camps, it's time for an update.
Our Big Board is a more detailed look at the top 30 players (essentially the first round) from our top 100. It tracks player movement, stock fluctuation and gives you the latest intel from NBA scouts.
So here it is -- our preseason Big Board for the 2016 NBA draft.
The majority of scouts and GMs I speak with continue to believe Simmons is the player in this class who has the best chance to be transcendent. His size, athleticism and feel for the game are unique. He's going to fill up the box score.
"Ben's really good at just allowing himself to play whatever the game dictates," LSU coach Johnny Jones told reporters after LSU's exhibition win Nov. 6 over Southwest Baptist. "He doesn't force it. If he's got an opportunity to make plays, knock down shots, I think he takes advantage of it. He can get to the rim, play inside or out, and he's done a good job of making passes. His assist line could have been up even higher."
Scouts can't peg what position he plays, no one is exactly sure what sort of season he'll have at LSU, but virtually all of them agree that he has the best chance to become a star.
Like his predecessors Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns, Labissiere is a super-skilled big man who can score from everywhere on the floor. Seven-footers who can do that efficiently are rare, which is why scouts see him as the top contender to Simmons for the No. 1 pick. His weakness, like Davis and Towns before him, is showing toughness in the paint as a freshman. And coach John Calipari is already working on transforming him into a low-post monster.
"He's got a ways to go," Calipari told reporters. "We've got to really do a better job of teaching him how to fight for position [in the paint], how to hold his position and how to make sure you're catching balls, catching it close. It's all new to him. The reason you want to step away from the basket is because it's easier. You're not going to have to [play] body to body. 'I don't have to fight. Let me just shoot this fadeaway jumper.' Yeah, [Towns] said the same thing."
If Labissiere shows the same progress Towns did last season, he's going to keep the race for the No. 1 pick very competitive.