NBA Draft prospects 2024: Ranking top 60 players on big board heading into March Madness | Sporting News

NBA Draft prospects 2024: Ranking top 60 players on big board heading into March Madness | Sporting News

The calendar has turned to March, so you know what that means — it is NCAA Tournament time.

March Madness is upon us, and all eyes will be on college basketball for the next month. NBA fans will be looking to get acclimated with the next crop of prospects, particularly if their team is already out of the playoff race.

While the 2024 NBA Draft class might not have a generational talent like Victor Wembanyama (or Cooper Flagg, who you’ll be hearing a lot more about over the next 12 months), there are still plenty of talented players worth knowing. And what this year’s draft class lacks in star power it makes up for with depth, with prospects who could make a big impact at the next level.

As you settle in and consume every dribble of March Madness, get to know the top players in the 2024 NBA Draft below.

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NBA Draft prospects 2024

1. Alexandre Sarr, Perth Wildcats (NBL, Australia)

  • Age: 18
  • Position: C
  • Height: 7-0

Sarr has had an interesting journey leading up to becoming our No. 1-ranked prospect in the 2024 NBA Draft. The French native played two seasons in the Overtime Elite development league before taking his talents to Australia’s NBL Next Stars program.

Sarr fits the mold of a modern-day center who is capable of more than just running rim-to-rim. He’s long and athletic, and the combination of his shot-blocking and budding perimeter skills make for a limitless ceiling.

Sarr held his own playing professionally for the Perth Wildcats, averaging 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 17.3 minutes per game.

2. Zaccharie Risacher, JL Bourg (LNB Pro A, France)

  • Age: 18
  • Position: F
  • Height: 6-8

Risacher falls right in line behind Wembanyama (and Sarr) as the next generation of French prospects to grace the NBA. Competing in the same league as Wemby before he was taken No. 1 overall in 2023, Risacher has boosted his draft stock tremendously as a fluid, sharp-shooting forward.

Risacher is shooting the lights out for JL Bourg this season, knocking down 46.1 percent of his 128 3-point attempts across EuroCup and LNB Pro A play. He is averaging 11.4 points over 39 games, an impressive feat for an 18-year-old competing in one of the best leagues in the world.

With his shooting, length and activity on defense, Risacher could easily end up as the No. 1 overall pick in this draft.

3. Ron Holland, G League Ignite

  • Age: 18
  • Position: F
  • Height: 6-8

Holland was shut down for the remainder of the G League Ignite’s season with a right thumb injury. The Ignite struggled all year, but Holland still showed plenty of flashes as to why he was in the preseason conversation for the 2024 No. 1 overall pick.

The 6-8 forward is one of the best, most versatile defenders in this class. His energy and motor are unmatched on both ends of the floor and on the glass. He has active hands to come up with steals and blocks, and he does damage as a scorer in transition and off of timely cuts.

Even without a reliable jumper or shot-creation skills, Holland averaged 20.6 points per game for the Ignite. That’s a good sign for when his offensive game develops down the line.

MORE: The case for and against Bronny James declaring for 2024 NBA Draft

4. Cody Williams, Colorado

  • Age: 19, Freshman
  • Position: F
  • Height: 6-8

Williams is the type of long, versatile, athletic wing that every team is looking for in today’s NBA. His prospect profile isn’t all that different from Holland’s above — Williams is a high-energy forward who can defend multiple positions and rebound at a high level.

Where Williams separates himself is that he’s comfortable pushing the ball up the floor, getting downhill and scoring at the rim. Williams isn’t a shooter (yet), and there is a lack of offensive assertiveness at times because of that. He is the brother of Oklahoma City’s rising star Jalen Williams.

5. Nikola Topic, Crvena Zvezda (ABA, Serbia)

  • Age: 18
  • Position: G
  • Height: 6-5

Topic is the top-ranked guard in this class as a pick-and-roll maestro who can score in the paint at will. The 6-5 guard is an elite passer who plays as physically as his size suggests. He’s not as quick or shifty as most players at his position, but he plays with a calmness that every team could use in their floor general.

Topic missed a big chunk of this season with a knee injury after transferring to Crvena Zvezda. Before his injury in January, he posted impressive averages of 18.4 points and 7.1 assists per game for Mega Basket, which is also in the world-renowned Adriatic (ABA) League.

6. Rob Dillingham, Kentucky

  • Age: 19, Freshman
  • Position: G
  • Height: 6-3

Dillingham has a case as the best pure scorer in this draft class. The 6-3 combo guard exploded onto the scene in his freshman season at Kentucky despite coming off the bench. He is averaging 26.1 points and 6.6 assists per 40 minutes, which is a better indication of his potential given he only plays 23.0 minutes per game.

Dillingham is a blur with the ball in his hands and changes pace quickly with an elite handle. He’s a creative shot creator, confident shooter and tough-shot maker. His size is a concern on the defensive end, but his offensive tools are so developed that he could help any team that needs a microwave scorer off the bench.

7. Isaiah Collier, USC

  • Age: 19, Freshman
  • Position: G
  • Height: 6-5

Collier recently returned from a hand injury that caused the star freshman to miss six games and a month of action. The 6-5 guard didn’t skip a beat when he came back, averaging 17.6 points, 4.5 assists and 1.8 steals over 11 games.

Collier is built like a running back, utilizing his strong frame, elite body control and explosiveness to get downhill and finish through contact at the rim. He’s a freight train in transition, a capable passer and a physical defender.

Even if his lone college season didn’t go to plan, there have still been plenty of moments that explain why the 19-year-old was the No. 1-ranked high school prospect coming into this season.

8. Reed Sheppard, Kentucky

  • Age: 19, Freshman
  • Position: G
  • Height: 6-3

Sheppard is the biggest riser on draft boards since the start of the season. The Kentucky freshman has excelled in his role off the bench, proving to be one of the most reliable two-way players in the country.

Sheppard’s size (6-3, 187 pounds) and athleticism may not jump off the page, but he’s a lights-out shooter, connective playmaker and hard-nosed defender who always makes the right play. The 19-year-old guard is averaging 12.7 points and 4.5 assists per game while shooting 52.6 percent from 3 on 135 attempts. Defensively, his 2.5 steals and 0.7 blocks per game are hard to fathom for a player of his stature.

Sheppard is the type of winner who could morph into any role on any roster.

9. Ja’Kobe Walter, Baylor

  • Age: 19, Freshman
  • Position: G
  • Height: 6-5

Walter is another pure scorer who has a knack for knocking down difficult shots. The 6-5 shooting guard has a quick release and is confident shooting off the catch even when defenders are flying at him. His shot looks smooth off of movement and off of screens. He’ll only become more dangerous as a scorer when he gets more comfortable creating his own shot off the dribble.

Walter is averaging 14.6 points per game for Baylor, but he’s shooting under 40 percent from the field. Consistency will be key if he’s going to reach his ceiling as an athletic wing prospect.

10. Matas Buzelis, G League Ignite

  • Age: 19
  • Position: F
  • Height: 6-10

Buzelis is a versatile floor-stretching forward who possesses plenty of upside on both ends of the court. He hasn’t scored at the level expected with the Ignite this season, averaging 13.9 points over 24 games on .444/.286/.686 shooting splits, but the tools are there to be a perimeter threat.

Buzelis is a fluid shooter and ball-handler. He’s shown some promise and improvement on the defensive end, guarding multiple positions while averaging 2.1 blocks and 0.9 steals per game. The 19-year-old is still a work in progress, but he is the type of prospect who fits today’s positionless NBA.

MORE: Get to know G League Ignite star and NBA prospect Matas Buzelis

Updated 2024 NBA Draft big board

Take a look at The Sporting News’ 60-best prospects in the 2024 NBA Draft heading into March Madness.

Rank Player Position Age Class Height/Weight Team
1. Alexandre Sarr C 18 7-0, 216 lbs. Perth Wildcats (Australia)
2. Zaccharie Risacher F 18 6-8, 210 lbs. JL Bourg (France)
3. Ron Holland F 18 6-8, 206 lbs. G League Ignite
4. Cody Williams F 19 FR 6-8, 190 lbs. Colorado
5. Nikola Topic G 18 6-5, 201 lbs. Crvena Zvezda (Serbia)
6. Rob Dillingham G 19 FR 6-3, 176 lbs. Kentucky
7. Isaiah Collier G 19 FR 6-5, 210 lbs. USC
8. Reed Sheppard G 19 FR 6-3, 187 lbs. Kentucky
9. Ja’Kobe Walter G 19 FR 6-5, 195 lbs. Baylor
10. Matas Buzelis F 19 6-10, 209 lbs. G League Ignite
11. Stephon Castle G 19 FR 6-6, 215 lbs. UConn
12. Dalton Knecht F 22 SR 6-6, 213 lbs. Tennessee
13. Tidjane Salaun F 18 6-9, 212 lbs. Cholet (France)
14. Jared McCain G 20 FR 6-3, 197 lbs. Duke
15. Kyle Filipowski F 20 SO 7-0, 248 lbs. Duke
16. Donovan Clingan C 20 SO 7-2,280 lbs. UConn
17. Kevin McCullar G 23 SR 6-6, 210 lbs. Kansas
18. Johnny Furphy F 19 FR 6-9, 202 lbs. Kansas
19. Kyshawn George G 20 FR 6-8, 205 lbs. Miami
20. Trey Alexander F 20 JR 6-4, 190 lbs. Creighton
21. Tyler Smith F 19 6-11, 224 lbs. G League Ignite
22. Yves Missi C 19 FR 6-10, 235 lbs.  Baylor
23. Devin Carter G 21 JR 6-3, 195 lbs. Providence
24. Ryan Dunn F 21 SO 6-8, 216 lbs. Virginia
25. Tyrese Proctor G 19 SO 6-5, 183 lbs. Duke
26. D.J. Wagner G 18 FR 6-4, 192 lbs. Kentucky
27. Jaylon Tyson G 21 JR 6-7, 215 lbs. California
28. Kel’el Ware C 19 SO 7-0, 242 lbs. Indiana
29. DaRon Holmes II C 21 JR 6-10, 235 lbs. Dayton
30. Justin Edwards F 20 FR 6-8, 203 lbs. Kentucky
31. Dillon Jones F 22 JR 6-6, 235 lbs. Weber State
32. Zach Edey C 21 SR 7-4, 300 lbs. Purdue
33. Izan Almansa F 18 6-10, 230 lbs. G League Ignite
34. Bobi Klintman F 21 6-9, 224 lbs. Cairns Taipans (Australia)
35. Tyler Kolek G 22 SR 6-3, 195 lbs. Marquette
36. Oso Ighodaro F 21 SR 6-11, 235 lbs. Marquette
37. Melvin Ajinca F 19 6-8, 200 lbs. Saint-Quentin (France)
38. Hunter Sallis G 20 JR 6-5, 185 lbs. Wake Forest
39. Collin Murray-Boyles F 18 FR 6-7, 231 lbs. South Carolina
40. Carlton Carrington G 18 FR 6-5, 190 lbs. Pittsburgh
41. Harrison Ingram F 21 JR 6-7, 235 lbs. North Carolina
42. Bronny James G 19 FR 6-4, 210 lbs. USC
43. Kobe Johnson G 21 JR 6-6, 200 lbs. USC
44. Baylor Scheierman F 23 SR 6-7, 205 lbs. Creighton
45. Alex Karaban F 21 SO 6-8, 220 lbs. UConn
46. PJ Hall C 22 SR 6-10, 238 lbs. Clemson
47. KJ Simpson G 21 JR 6-2, 189 lbs. Colorado
48. Adem Bona C 20 SO 6-10, 235 lbs. UCLA
49. Tristan da Silva F 22 SR 6-9, 220 lbs. Colorado
50. Ajay Mitchell G 21 JR 6-5, 190 lbs. UC Santa Barbara
51. Ulrich Chomche C 18 6-11, 225 lbs. NBA Academy Africa
52. Wooga Poplar G 21 JR 6-5, 197 lbs. Miami
53. Keshad Johnson F 22 SR 6-7, 225 lbs. Arizona
54. Pelle Larsson G 23 SR 6-6, 215 lbs. Arizona
55. Trevon Brazile F 21 R-SO 6-10, 220 lbs. Arkansas
56. Terrence Shannon Jr. G 23 SR 6-6, 225 lbs. Illinois
57. Baba Miller F 20 SO 6-11, 204 lbs. Florida State
58. Payton Sandfort F 21 JR 6-7, 215 lbs. Iowa
59. AJ Johnson G 19 6-6, 161 lbs. Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
60. Jamal Shead G 21 SR 6-1, 200 lbs. Houston

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