Elfrid Payton was drafted No. 10 overall last year out of Louisiana-Lafayette. Two years ago, it was Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum who was taken in the NBA lottery out of the Patriot League. Guys like Damian Lillard out of Weber State (Big Sky) and Kenneth Faried from Morehead State (Ohio Valley) were also recent first-rounders who played at small-league schools.
Plenty of talent will be on display over the next couple of weeks in the smaller league tournaments. Here’s a list of a dozen guys you need to watch. They aren’t all necessarily going to be drafted, but they are guys worth a look.
1. Tyler Harvey, 6-4, SG, Jr., Eastern Washington Eagles
Key stats: 22.7 PPG, 44 percent 3-pointers
Conference: Big Sky (March 12-14)
NBA comparison: Vinnie Johnson
A guy who didn’t have a single college athletic scholarship offer out of high school is now the leading scorer in the country. Harvey is also one of the elite shooters in the nation and has shot better than 43 percent from 3-point range in each of his three seasons.