Doreen, Williams and Kessler top the list of the big men in the NBA

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Galen Doreen of Memphis, Mark Williams of Duke and Walker Kessler of Auburn lead among the top men in the NBA draft on Thursday.

Each is a traveling big guy with the potential to finish over the edge, with Duren and Williams as potential lottery options, along with Kessler as a potential first round.

Here’s a look at the VIPs in the draft:

The 6-11-pound, 250-pound freshman is only 18 years old, but has impressive athletic strength and dynamism.

Strength: Duren has a strong-built chassis to hit place and the physique to finish cutting over the edge, making him the No. 10 draft prospect on ESPN. He averaged 12.0 points and 8.1 rebounds, and proved effective in attacking the edge and running on the ground.

Duren also showed flashes of relentless rebounding ability by pulling 20 rebounds against the UCF at the U.S. Athletic Conference Championship and 19 against Western Kentucky in November. Its average was 2.1 blocks.

“I got better, my body improved,” Doreen said. “And honestly, I am just looking forward to continuing to develop throughout my freshman year, to be one of the younger recruits.”

Concerns: He didn’t pay well in any of the team’s NCAA Tournament matches, including a 3-for-11 bid against potential No. 1 draft prospect Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga while he was tied up due to a foul issue. His offensive game is still evolving beyond the fairways that run on the edge of the rim and it’s unclear what kind of range he’ll get. He also only repaid 62.5% of the corrupt streak.

The 7-2, 242-pound sophomore is an elite edge guard with mobility and improved offensive game.

Strength: Williams offers an amazing length, a 9-9 protective reach and a better wingspan of 7-6. That helped him to a 12th in Division I average of 2.82 blocks per game with so many shots changing, that now-retired Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyowski compared him to a hockey goalkeeper during the NCAA Championship.

Krzyzewski also noted that Williams – ranked No. 14 by ESPN – had improved lateral movement, giving him a better chance of handling switches and screens.

On the offensive end, he averaged 11.2 points with the ability to go up and get easy finishing touches.

“I would say I would come wherever I go just to be that live threat: instant rim protection, ground running, hard play, that kind of thing,” Williams said. “I think I get that right away.”

Concerns: The offensive game for the 20-year-old is still in development. It showed more improvements last year, but there is still room for growth. He could also improve as a new player having averaged 7.4 plates with double-digit output in just 12 of 39 games despite his size.

The 7-1, 256-pound sophomore is another elite blocker and top defender with mobility.

Strengths: ESPN’s 26th draft pick was named National Defensive Player of the Year by Naismith and the National Basketball Coaches Association after placing second in Division I by blocking 4.56 shots per game, including nine games with seven blocks over the least.

Kessler provides height (9-5 reach standing up, better than 7-4 wingspan) and has demonstrated the ability to move to follow the ball and run the ocean.

Offensively, he averaged 11.4 points while firing 60.8% from the field to hit 8.1 rebounds while playing alongside potential #1 player overall Jabari Smith.

Concerns: Kessler’s shooting touch hasn’t appeared in two college seasons, the first coming in North Carolina. Kessler shot only 57.7% on the foul streak in two seasons while hitting 10 of the 50 (20%) three-pointers last season with the Tigers.

“If Walker comes back to Auburn next year, he’ll look more like Jabbari Smith from the standpoint of (being) aggressive in taking those kicks,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said on Tuesday. “I hope that as he enters and moves into the NBA, that’s what will happen to him at the next level as well.”

– JAYLIN WILLIAMS: The 6-10, 237-pound sophomore helped Arkansas reach the NCAA Regional Final, playing with energy and overall ability to score, pass, take hits, and block shots. He had 16 doubles last season and could slip into the first round as ESPN’s 36th overall draft.

Christian Coloco: The 7-foot-2, 221-pound young man from Arizona is a massive athlete who can run across the floor and block shots. He averaged 12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks while Krammy’s free throw has been improving from 35% as a freshman to 73.5% this year. It’s ESPN’s 43rd draft draft, which probably makes it a second-round pick.

– TREVION WILLIAMS: The 6-8, 265-pound player helped Purdue take first place in the Associated Press’s Top 25 rating. Williams averaged 12.0 points and 7.4 rebounds, but he also made a mark with his passing ability (3.0 assists). He’s the 56th potential player on ESPN and could be a second-round pick.

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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