…the NBA Draft, that is. That’s right, even though Malik Newman committed to Mississippi State over Kentucky today, it’s still a major talent boost for the league, who looks like it might actually be on its way up after several years of flatlining (outside of Kentucky and Florida, of course).
As Adam Zagoria pointed out on Twitter, three of Draft Express’ top four projected 2016 NBA Draft picks will play for SEC schools next season: 1) Skal Labissiere, Kentucky; 3) Ben Simmons, LSU; and 4) Malik Newman, Mississippi State. The #2 projected pick, Jaylen Brown, has both Kentucky and Georgia on his list of eight schools, so there’s a chance it could be the top four. (Although that chance isn’t great, Brown is trending towards Kansas.)
In the past few years, the league has gained Bruce Pearl, Rick Barnes, Avery Johnson, and Ben Howland as coaches and schools besides Kentucky have landed top players like Simmons, Newman, and Antonio Blakeney. Is SEC Basketball finally on the rise?