On Tuesday, CBS Sports' Sam Vecenie released his preseason 2016 NBA Draft Big Board. It's a ranking of what Vecenie considers to be the top 150 prospects for the 2016 NBA Draft heading into the 2015-16 college basketball season.
Henry Ellenson, the Marquette freshman from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, is ranked #8.
Yeah, that's right, EIGHTH.
This is the sum total of dudes that are in front of Ellenson:
- Skal Labissiere, Kentucky
- Ben Simmons, LSU
- Jaylen Brown, California
- Dragan Bender, Maccabi Tel Aviv
- Kris Dunn, Providence
- Brandon Ingram, Duke
- Jamal Murray, Kentucky
That's it. That's the list. The top 10 is rounded out by Jakob Poeltl from Utah as well as Kansas freshman Cheick Diallo.
This list is a nice secondary vote of confidence in Ellenson's ability, as he's currently ranked 9th on the Draft Express 2016 Mock Draft. The guy knocking Ellenson down a spot in that list is Mississippi State freshman Malik Newman, as the other seven guys in front of Ellenson are the same ones from the CBS Sports list.
While we've got this list up, we may as well look for other guys from the Big East. Unless I'm missing something, Vecenie is currently not expecting any Big East players other than Dunn and Ellenson to be selected in the NBA Draft next summer. Georgetown's Isaac Copeland is #89, Isaiah Whitehead represents for Seton Hall at #93, Xavier's Trevon Blueitt pops in at #98, Villanova's Josh Hart occupies the #109 hole, Georgetown's D`Vauntes Smith Rivera wanders in at #133 (which is really bad since he nearly left school this past summer for a pro career), Kellen Dunham is the Butler rep on the list at #135, and waaaaaaaay down there at the bottom is Marquette's very own Luke Fischer at #145.
I'm not going to lie to you: I didn't expect to find Fischer down there.
There is one disclaimer to this list. Vecenie states in the blog post attached to the list that he doesn't include freshmen lower than the top 50. That makes sense, since with only 60 picks in the draft, there's really no reason to worry about first year players who have almost no chance of getting drafted at this point. I point this out because Vecenie specifically mentions that Villanova's Jalen Brunson would have come in at #52.
You can check out the full 150 player list right here.