Jarred Vanderbilt had quite the weekend. The future Cat turned heads at the Nike Hoop Summit, finishing with 19 points (8-12), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals in 19 minutes to lead Team USA to a 98-97 win over the World Team. That performance was so impressive that ESPN draft guru Chad Ford ranked Vanderbilt 10th on his 2018 NBA Draft prospects.
“Vanderbilt was the other surprise performer at the Hoop Summit. He was aggressive looking to score and to pass,” Ford said. “He’s a unique forward who can initiate the offense, score at the rim, rebound, block shots and provide a lot of energy. His jumper needs work, but if he gets that going, he could become a big-time draft prospect.”
That’s high praise for a player ranked 20th in the 2018 class by 247 Sports Composite. Ford also listed Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington, and Nick Richards in his “Others to watch” category. Mohamed Bamba is fourth, and after heaping oodles of praise on the seven-footer, Ford said scouts believe he will be a Cat.
“As he adds strength and skill, he has the potential to be a dominant center in the NBA. He’s rawer than the three prospects ahead of him, but his ceiling is just as high. If he has a big year, he’ll be in the mix for the No. 1 pick.”
“For a college choice, he seems to be down to Kentucky, Duke and Michigan, with scouts tending to view Kentucky as his most likely pick. That would be great news for John Calipari, who already has a strong incoming class but lacks a player with true star potential.”
G-g-g-gotta land Bamba! But even if we don’t, it sounds like Vanderbilt’s a heck of a player.