#8 Patric Young
The granite big man from Florida certainly made a name for himself with his physicality as one of the defensive anchors of the #1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, averaging about 2 blocks and 1 steal per game in the tournament as the Gators made their run to the Final Four. He played well offensively against UConn in the Gators’ loss, scoring 19 points on 13 shots in 32 minutes in his last game as a collegiate athlete. However, Young was inconsistent on that side of the ball in general, averaging 11 points on 8 shots per game. He also mysteriously regressed as a free-throw shooter throughout his 4 years at UF, as his percentage dipped 10 percentage points between his freshman and senior seasons.
Young is 22 and only 6-9, but he has a 7-1 wingspan, and those long arms should make him a reliable rim protector. Young could be the second-coming of Ben Wallace with his physical gifts, but the worry around the league is that the game has changed so much in the short time since Wallace was at his peak that an offensively-challenged player might not be able to stay on the court. However, Young is a respectable post player with plenty of strength to seal off defenders down low and get good position. He’s also an explosive athlete who can be a great roll man in the pick and roll or the recipient of transition alley-oops.
#7: PJ Hairston
Hairston is a huge shooting guard that carried North Carolina in 2013 before being dismissed from the team and joining the Texas Legends of the D-League. Hairston is long for his position, with a nearly 6-10 wingspan on his 6-5 frame. He averaged 22 points on 16 shots per game in the D-League, shooting 45% from the floor and 36% from 3 while also shooting 87% on almost 6 free throws per game. Hairston is a volume scorer who could find himself drafted in the back half of the first round, primarily due to his troubled college career and lack of elite athleticism.
Hairston should wind up being a pretty well-rounded player in basketball video games this fall. He’s a good shooter with great range and an ability to hit heavily-contested shots going in either direction. Of course, he’s long, which should allow him to create space for his shot. He’s also a good ball-handler and his size makes him a good option as an on-ball defender, especially if he’s being controlled by a user.