This will be my second installment of stating some of my favorite draft “sleepers.” In my last article, I talked about Central Michigan point guard, Marcus Keene who lead the NCAA in points this year, as well as Purdue center, Caleb Swanigan who lead the nation in double doubles. In my personal opinion, both players deserve to be first round selections. Unfortunately, scouts and front offices think otherwise, making them sleepers.
Frank Mason – PG – Kansas
It’s crazy to think that I am having to persuade people that the best college player from 2017 deserves to be a first round pick. Not Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz, or Josh Jackson won the Wooden Award, but it was Frank Mason, an undersized point guard from Kansas. The criteria for winning the Wooden Award is as followed.
- Candidates must be full-time students in an accredited NCAA college or university.
- Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and aspirations. All candidates must have a cumulative 2.00 grade point average since enrolling in their current university.
- Candidates must exhibit strength of character, both on and off the court.
- Candidates should be those who contribute to team effort.
- Candidates must excel in both offense and defense.
- Candidates should be considered on their performance over the course of the entire season (pre-conference, conference and tournament play).
So basically, you have to be smart, good at basketball, and you have to be a good person. What are most teams looking for in a draft pick? Someone who is smart, good at basketball, and is generally a good person. Now, why is Frank Mason not a lottery pick? You’ll hear analysts talk about upside and potential (both things that they believe Mason lacks), but when you have a guy who can already outplay most guys at his level, wouldn’t you want to take him and not risk it on potential of a guy who only averaged four points in college? That’s up to the teams on draft night, but I know who I would take.
Peter Jok – SG – Iowa
Frank Mason is a relatively high profile name in the NBA draft despite him not having the highest draft stock. Peter Jok on the other hand, is somewhat unheard of going into the draft. Jok is considered on almost all mock drafts to go undrafted. This shocks me beyond belief that a contender wouldn’t take a risk with a late second round pick on Jok who has one skill that could really help his team in the NBA: the three point shot. The senior out of Sudan averaged just under 20 points per game last year at Iowa, and could make an immediate impact on any team using his shot.
I first learned about Jok through an YouTube video titling him the best shooter in the draft. Skeptically, I watched and was thoroughly impressed with what I saw. He uses moves similar to those of Kevin Durant to get open. A lot of pull up jump shots from super long range make Jok very fun to watch as well, kind of a cross between Durant and Curry on offense.
It can’t all be great though right? Well, no. Peter Jok’s defensive ability has really held him back in most mock drafts. This is ridiculous to me. Anyone with elite scoring ability and a great jump shot should already be on a scout’s radar. Defense shouldn’t be able to take them off. At the NBA level, players can improve defensively through experience. A jump shot that good however, simply can not be developed. Late in the second round, I hope to see a team take a chance on Jok. They won’t be disappointed.