The Big East is known for producing players that have a high basketball IQ, a well-rounded offensive game, and defensive toughness. Former Big East players such as Kyle Lowry from Villanova, Jimmy Butler from Marquette, and Otto Porter Jr. from Georgetown are just a few examples. The league is flooded with elite talent and will see several players walking across the stage in Brooklyn when they are selected in the 2020 NBA Draft. Let’s find out who and where in the draft they might go.
Markus Howard, G – Marquette Golden Eagles
Projected Draft Position: Early 2nd round
Since starting as a freshman back in 2016-2017, Markus Howard has been nothing but a pure scorer. In the first season at Marquette, Howard averaged 13.2 PPG with a 54.7 three point percentage which ranked first in the nation.
Since that season, he went on to average season totals of 20.4 PPG (fourth in the Big East), 25.0 PPG (fifth in the nation), and is currently averaging 28.0 PPG in his final year.
Much of what makes Howard such an intriguing prospect is how smooth his game will transition into the NBA. It is not often that a player who is this dominant of a scorer stays all four years in college, but rest assured that makes him more appealing given his increased maturity level and smarter shot selection.
Think about a player like Buddy Hield who stayed all four years at Oklahoma and improved his draft stock and has become a dominant shooter in the NBA. The same can possibly be said for Howard.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F – Villanova Wildcats
Projected Draft Position: Lottery
Coming out of the powerhouse that Villanova has been over the past few years, Robinson-Earl might just be the best prospect Jay Wright has produced. JRE will be a rare and polished one and done talent that brings a multi-faceted skill-set.
Standing at 6’9, he has the proper size to be an effective wing at the next level. His soft touch from beyond the arc makes him a perfect fit for the Wildcats this season and will allow him to showcase that for NBA GM’s.
He has a good sense of which lanes to fill as a wing in the open court and can be just as effective as the ball handler running the break. While he does have a smooth outside shot, he has just as much balance from mid-range and can finish at the rim with a soft touch.
So far in this short season, has made his presence known on defense with the four steals he had in the Wildcats’ win over Ohio.
At the next level in the NBA, he will hope to make an immediate impact as a scorer for a team looking for a difference maker at the small forward position.
Ty-Shon Alexander, G, Creighton Blue Jays
Projected Draft Position: Late Second Round
In his third season as a Blue Jay, Alexander has come in and really rounded himself out into a legit NBA prospect. As the 78th overall recruit in 2017, he has polished his offensive game over the years and is now one of the best guards in the Big East.
In his sophomore season, Alexander averaged 15.0 PG, which was nearly a 10 point spike from his freshman season. He currently is shooting 57.9% from three so far this season and is averaging 18.7 PPG which ranks third in the conference.
To put into perspective how good a shooter Alexander is, he only finished 3 three-pointers away from NBA marksman and four-time three-point champion Kyle Korver for most three-pointers by a Creighton sophomore.
His ability to get inside and finish with style and flare efficiently, paired with his range and pull-up game, makes him look ready to earn a spot on an NBA roster.
Romeo Weems, F, DePaul Blue Demons
Projected Draft Position: Early 2nd round
It’s as simple as this, Romeo Weems could be one of the best freshman point guards in the Big East. Weems was heavily recruited by Tom Izzo at Michigan State, but with Cassius Winston currently running the show in Lansing, Weems opted for immediate playing time at DePaul.
While some may feel that he may need another year in terms of developing his game, the skill and athleticism that Weems possesses makes him an interesting prospect that many front offices may want to take a chance on.
A lot of his game is predicated on how well he can attack the rim and finish with both hands. Defensively, he can be a pesky guard that has active hands and is always looking to take the ball away and start running in transition to get highlight real dunks, showcasing his vertical.
The next step for Weems in terms of making him a serious prospect will be proving that he can take and make perimeter shots with confidence at a consistent rate.
Paul Reed, F, DePaul Blue Devils
Projected Draft Position: Late 2nd Round
Joining Weems on this list is his teammate and last year’s Big East most improved player Paul Reed. Reed is listed as 6’9, but plays a very physical brand of basketball. Reed is averaging a double-double on the season with 15.4 PPG and 10.6 RPG, proving his commitment to the glass.
While Reed’s 210 pound frame helps him move a lot of bodies around, he does like to play above the rim catching lobs and being a rim-runner. Paul Reed will most likely fit in as a power forward at the next level. Luckily for him, in the NBA he will be capable of producing offense both as a stretch four as well as in the interior with put-backs.
Myles Powell, G – Seton Hall Pirates
Projected Draft Position: Mid-Second Round
Quite possibly the leading candidate for Big East player of the year, Myles Powell has a great feel for the game and knows how to put the ball in the hoop and will likely be able to do that in the pros. Powell already has a game of 37 points in Seton Hall’s tough 73-76 loss to a good Michigan State team, despite an ankle injury. He proved in that game to all NBA GM’s that he is a legit prospect, for those who didn’t already know.
In his time as a Pirate, Powell has gone from a bench player his freshman year, the Big East’s most improved player as a sophomore, to then being placed on the All-Big East First Team as a junior. The next steps for Powell could extend beyond the Big East where his name should be considered for the Naismith award.
On offense, Powell does not appear to have any flaws in his game. His jumpshot is pure and his ability to score is elite while also being a capable playmaker for his teammates. Powell will have to improve his defensive effort and motor to land on a NBA team and if he can showcase that in his senior season, then his draft stock will continue to climb.
Alpha Diallo, G, Providence Friars
Naji Marshall, F, Xavier Musketeers
Kamar Baldwin, G, Butler Bulldogs
Brian Antoine, G, Villanova Wildcats
A.J. Reeves, G, Providence Friars