Every big college sports fan in the US looks towards the annual draft, where outstanding college players get an opportunity to play professionally. Like every other year’s draft, the 2023 NBA draft was highly anticipated. But it’s now come and gone – 108 players notifying the NBA they would be withdrawing for draft consideration, which means their schools have a personnel boost. Draft junkies are probably looking ahead toward the next set of rising stars.
One of the 108 returnees includes Purdue’s Zach Edey, the CBS Sports National Player of the Year award winner. Zach’s presence on the college team automatically makes Purdue a top contender for the national championship this season. Of course, the Canadian basketball player will be more than glad to repeat his 2023 NPOY feat.
Another rising star to look out for is USC’s Isaiah Collier. Collier was listed by ESPN as the No. 1 star to watch out for nationally in the 2023 class. The Georgia native has shown enough competitiveness to earn him the rank of USC men’s basketball highest-ranked player since Evan Mobley.
Meanwhile, interest in these rising stars transcends the court, with the news media, betting companies reviewed and featured on https://www.mightytips.com/bookmakers/trustly-betting-sites/, and independent pundits actively monitoring their successes. This is to say, the talents and performances of these wonder kids attract the attention of a diverse group of stakeholders.
In no particular order, these nine players could become potential first-round selections in the 2024 Draft if their 2023/24 season performances go as envisaged.
1. Jaden Akins, Michigan State
Jaden Akin’s withdrawal from the NBA draft gave a significant boost to Tom Izzo’s side towards the 2023/24 season. The Spartans might not be the college with most NBA players, but they’re boosted with five of their leading six scorers returning to school this season.
Akins averaged 9.8 points, with an imposing 42.2% shots from behind the arch. If you were wondering, “What college has the most NBA players? It’s the University of Kentucky.
2. Dillon Mitchell, Texas
Mitchell is a former five-star prospect and brings athleticism and big size as significant additions to the Texas Longhorns.
His freshman year saw him average only 17.4 minutes per game. However, his return to school for the sophomore year should prove helpful to his career overall.
3. Zach Edey, Purdue
Edey faced a tough challenge to get drafted last summer had he opted to stay in the draft. That’s because the NBA has evolved too far for the reigning NPOY to pass for an elite NBA talent.
However, Edey remains the back-to-the-basket big man that averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in his first season as a starter – and dominated the college game last year.
4. Coleman Hawkins, Illinois
Coleman Hawkins gave one of the many shock exits from the NBA draft as he elected to remain in Illinois for a final year. Alongside fellow teammate Terrence Shannon Jr., Hawkins was touted to be chosen in the early second round if he stayed in the draft.
Hawkins has demonstrated the ability to guard every position, with a team-leading average of 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game last season.
5. Isaiah Collier, USC
Collier is the No. 1 player in the 247Sports composite rankings and one of the most game-ready potentials in his category.
A physical point guard, Collier has shown he can develop into a primary ball handler in an NBA offense squad. He has high stakes of being a top-pick player next summer.
6. DaRon Holmes II, Dayton
Another withdrawer from the 2023 NBA Draft, Holmes showed significant improvements from a strong freshman campaign during the last season. The 20-year-old true center averaged 18.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks each game.
Perhaps his strongest asset is his ability to finish at the rim; maintaining or improving his current performance will, no doubt, help his stock immensely.
7. Dillon Jones, Weber State
Despite his strong outings last season, Jones chose to return to the Wildcats. He averaged 16.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game.
However, the 6-foot-6 forward would need to step down on his turnovers (3.4 per game last season) for the top spot in the next draft.
8. Tyrin Lawrence, Vanderbilt
Lawrence elected out of NBA consideration in May – and from the transfer portal – choosing to play another season with Vanderbilt.
The guard, who probably wants to join the rank of NBA players with college degrees, played almost twice his playing minutes from his sophomore this year and averaged 13.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game last season. Improving his stats will prove his choice to return to school was right.
9. Bronny James, USC
Bronny James might not be an outright top-10 pick – but his name places him among the rank-and-file contenders for first-round selections next draft.
If the 18-year-old baller shows off his ability to contribute to wins, he’ll likely boost his stock this season. Plus, the possibility of getting into his dad’s team for at least one season will likely motivate him for more impact.
Although next year’s draft hasn’t garnered as much anticipation as the most recent edition, there are still many rising stars worth tracking in the 2023/24 season. The list above shows nine NBA players by college who are rising NBA college stars who might be drawing early conversations toward the 2024 draft next June.