GREENVILLE, N.C. — The NBA draft will be held on Thursday, and many young players are hoping to hear their name called.
The Atlantic Coast Conference and American Athletic Conference both have produced successful NBA players over the years. Here’s a look at this year’s prospects.
Paolo Banchero: Duke
Banchero was named:
- ACC Freshman of the Year
- Consensus second-team All-American
- Second-team All-America selection by the NABC and USBWA
- Third-team All-America pick by the AP and Sporting News
- First-team All-ACC, All-Freshman Team
- First-team ACC All-Tournament.. and many more
He led all true freshmen nationally in scoring while ranking sixth in rebounding and fifth in field goal percentage. He posted 12 double-doubles and 15 games of 20+ points, each the most among power conference true freshmen. Banchero was named ACC Freshman of the Week after averaging 19.3 points on .667% field goal shooting and 8.7 rebounds in his first three career games. He led Duke to a Sweet 16 win over Texas Tech with 22 points on 7-of-12 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range and netted a team-high 20 points with 10 rebounds in the Final Four vs. UNC.
Buddy Boeheim: Syracuse
Boeheim was selected Preseason All-ACC First Team in the 2021-22 season, as well as selected to the preseason watch list for the NABC Player of the Year, the Naismith Trophy and the Wooden Award. In a win against Wake Forest, he tallied a season-high 30 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. Boeheim started all 32 games this season.
Brady Manek: North Carolina
Manek was a transfer from Oklahoma where he was the 14th-leading scorer in Sooner history. Manek was awarded third-team All-Big 12 in 2020 and received the Riley Wallace Award in 2022 after his season at UNC-Chapel Hill. He scored 20 points in the Tar Heels’ 94-81 win over Duke in the regular-season finale. Following the regular season, Manek was named Honorable Mention All-ACC.
Mark Williams: Duke
In the 2021-22 season, Williams was named:
- ACC Defensive Player of the Year
- Third-team All-ACC
- ACC All-Defensive Team
- Finalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year
- NCAA West Region All-Tournament Team selection
- USBWA All-District III
He also led the ACC and ranked 12th nationally in blocked shots per game, while starting all 39 games. He became the second player in Duke history with 100+ blocks in a season. He recorded 97 dunks, the second-most in a season in Duke history. Williams missed just seven field goals in Duke’s five-game NCAA Tournament run to the Final Four, which stands as a Duke career record in the NCAA Tournament.
Dereon Seabron: NC State
In the 2021-22 season, Seabron had a season-high 39 points against Nebraska. He also recorded season-high free throws made in that game. He started all 32 games this season.
Jake LaRavia: Wake Forest
LaRavia earned All-ACC second-team honors for his debut season at Wake Forest. His 55 steals on the season is tied for the 15th most in program history. He passed the 1,000 career-point benchmark against Louisville where he scored 23 points, including a career-high-tying 13 makes from the free-throw line.
He was awarded ACC Player of the Week twice, once by scoring 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and four steals against Notre Dame, and a double-double at Duke with 19 points and ten rebounds.
Wendell Moore Jr.: Duke
Moore Jr. earned awards such as Second-Team All-ACC, ACC All-Defensive Team, team captain alongside senior Joey Baker, NABC second-team All-District 2, and many more.
He ranked fourth in the ACC in assists, third in assist/turnover ratio, and 15th in steals, and also led Duke to a win over No. 1 Gonzaga (11/26) with 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 7-of-10 from the free-throw line, which with six rebounds, six assists and six steals. Moore Jr. was named ACC Player of the Week following wins over The Citadel and Gonzaga and was named first-team ACC-All Tournament.
Lester Quinones: Memphis
Quinones had a career-high 22 points against UCF in the AAC Tournament quarterfinals. He was also in double figures for six-straight games in the middle of the season. He scored 17 points on four three-pointers against in-conference opponent East Carolina. He was named to the 2021 NIT All-Tournament Team and 2020 AAC All-Freshman Team.
Josh Minott: Memphis
Minott achieved a season-best 12 rebounds against East Carolina, had a season-high 18 points, and went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line at Tulsa, both in-conference opponents. He was named AAC Freshman of the Week after recording a career-best 15 points at Wichita State, to also go along with six rebounds and two steals.
In his debut performance, Minott became the only Tiger in at least 12 seasons to have seven or more points, a block, a steal, a rebound, and no turnovers in 12 or fewer minutes played in a game.
Alondes Williams: Wake Forest
Williams averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists, earning him First-Team All-ACC recognition and becoming the first Demon Deacon to win the ACC Player of the Year award since the 2002-03 season. Williams also earned national recognition from the USBWA, deeming him Honorable Mention All-American, District III Player of the Year, and was also named AP All-ACC First Team, and AP ACC Player of the Year.
He concluded the season seventh on the program’s single-season points and assists. He posted a career-high 32 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals against Western Carolina.