Second Round Draft Sleepers
*Photo via Notre Dama Athletics
The 2015 NBA Draft is right around the corner. Following the conclusion of this year’s NBA Finals, teams will look towards the draft as a way to improve their teams. Each year, we see players who aren’t expected to make a difference play a huge role on teams across the league. In 2015, the draft class could be full of so-called “sleepers”. Off the Glass breaks down a few possible candidates.
Olivier Hanlan, PG/SG, Boston College
This six foot three-inch point guard or shooting guard is expected to be a late second-round pick if he is drafted by an NBA club. Having scored 20 points per game this past season while shooting a solid 46 percent from the field, he has proven he knows how to play at a high level. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is a top five conference in the nation, containing powerhouse programs such as Duke, Notre Dame, and Louisville. Hanlan was named to the ACC All-Conference 1st Team this past season. He averaged 38 minutes per game along with four assists and a season average of 76 percent from the charity stripe. Very solid numbers for a player expected to be a late-round pick or possibly go undrafted.
Pat Connaughton, SG, Notre Dame
Another ACC standout, Pat Connaughton had a great 14-15 season playing college ball. The shooting guard averaged 12.5 PPG, along with 7.4 rebounds and about one block per contest. Draftexpress.com and NBAdraft.net have him going undrafted, but a strong NCAA tournament will definitely help his stock going into draft night. During the tournament, he played a huge role in getting the Fighting Irish to the Elite Eight where they lost to the University of Kentucky in a very close game. As a third team all-ACC member, he might not have the flash as a Hanlan, but his NCAA tournament experience is something that Hanlan will never have.
Both of these players are solid athletes who have the chance to be taken by many teams. In the end, it comes down to what player seems more NBA ready and teams need to decide if they value stats and awards over competitive basketball experiences.