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2018 NBA Draft: Chandler Hutchison & Brandon McCoy Headline The Mountain West’s Notable Prospects

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When will the two stars of the league hear their names called on Thursday night?

NCAA Basketball: Wyoming at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Chandler Hutchison (Boise State)

Projection: Late 1st-Early 2nd Round Pick

One of the more intriguing players in the whole country to watch on Thursday night will be Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison, who will go anywhere from right outside the lottery to the middle of the second round, according to the litany of online NBA mock drafts that struggle to project how much NBA scouts truly love the Broncos product. Is he simply just another talent who looks to fit the next-level mold or is he the real deal when it comes to being a steal for a later-first round NBA team. The good news for Hutchison is that according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the swingman has been invited to the NBA Draft “green room”, meaning he can just about pencil himself in as a first-round pick for the moment. However, time will tell to see if the hype around the blooming Mountain West prospect is true or just a serious case of some pre-draft “smoke and mirrors”.

Strengths

  • Attacks the rim, comfortable dunker
  • Reliable catch-and-shoot option
  • Can play position-less basketball
  • Stat-sheet filler

Weaknesses

  • Slow jumper, hard to get to off the dribble
  • At times, easy scout player who loves his right hand
  • More of a scorer than a play-maker for others
  • Sometimes gets “lost” in flow of games

Brandon McCoy (UNLV)

Projection: Early-To-Mid 2nd Round Pick

The one-and-done special for the Runnin’ Rebels this season, UNLV seven-footer Brandon McCoy was always scheduled to be picked somewhere in the 2018 NBA Draft. It’s just a question of how much did his rookie season in Sin City hurt or help his draft stock. McCoy is obviously still a very raw prospect who thrives best in a five-foot radius of the rim, where he can clean up easy put-backs and finish lost rotations for easy scores. Where the towering talent needs to get better is anywhere outside of the paint, where he’s still not developed enough to flourish in any pick-and-pop scenarios. While McCoy’s potential is the reason he won’t slide much past the 40th pick, he may spend his next few seasons developing his game from the bench or in the G-League before finding regular minutes on an NBA roster.

Strengths

  • High ceiling / massive potential
  • Deep post player who cleans up around rim
  • Natural knack for locating the ball on glass
  • Strong free-throw shooter for size

Weaknesses

  • Bad hands
  • Inconsistent motor on both ends of floor
  • Not naturally physical with his body / poor screener
  • Weak with ball possession / turnover prone

Other Players To Know

Malik Pope (San Diego State) | Projection: Late 2nd Round Pick-Undrafted

Pope has tried his hand at the draft process over the years but never really knew when the right time to jump from the Aztecs program was. Now, leaving the Golden State after a strong career, the reliable and athletic forward may find himself as a late-second round talent.

Kendall Stephens (Nevada) | Projection: Undrafted

A former Purdue transfer who’s known from his knock-down shooting ability, Kendall Stephens connected on over 43% of his tries from behind-the-arc last season, while also averaging 13.1 points per game for a Wolf Pack team who made an impressive run in March.

Max Montana (San Diego State) | Projection: Undrafted

Montana’s decision to leave San Diego State with a season of eligibility left in the tank confounded many experts, who know that the quirky forward is likely an international level professional at best. He averaged a pedestrian 6.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game last season.