It’s apparently never too early for a mock draft, so CBS Sports college basketball analyst Gary Parrish took a shot at predicting the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft.
He has five Big Ten players listed as first-round picks: Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson (Michigan State), Justin Jackson (Maryland), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin) and Vince Edwards (Purdue).
Bridges, who Parrish has going No. 6 to the Atlanta Hawks, could have declared for the 2017 NBA Draft. After averaging 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds as a freshman last season, he likely would have been a first-round pick. But Bridges wants to win a national championship, so he returned to the Spartans.
Joining Bridges in East Lansing is Jaren Jackson, who Parrish expects to go No. 11. With Bridges and Jackson, the nation’s eighth-best player in the Class of 2017, it’s not surprising Michigan State has the best odds of any Big Ten team to win the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Other Big Ten representatives include Justin Jackson (No. 26), who starred for the Terps as a freshman, and Happ (No. 28), who earned third-team All-America honors last season. Then there’s Edwards, who wasn’t even a top-100 high school prospect. Parrish expects Edwards to be picked 29th.
The ACC and SEC lead all conferences with several picks each, while Duke and Kentucky each have four players listed. Parrish projects Duke freshman Marvin Bagley as the No. 1 overall pick.