There are various angles to take with Texas Tech basketball this season. The Red Raiders have a chance at the program’s first national title with a win over Virginia Monday night in Minneapolis (9:20 p.m. EST, CBS). In fact, it’s the school’s first Final Four, as well.
There’s also the fact that Chris Beard’s defense is historically good, ranking No. 1 per Ken Pomeroy with the best efficiency rating in the algorithm’s history since 2002.
What’s less talked about is that Jarrett Culver will (barring something unexpected) be the program’s first 1st NBA round pick since Tony Battie in the late 90s. The 6-foot-5 guard racks up 18.6 points per game to lead the Red Raiders, while also possessing the length to disrupt on defense.
Could somebody else, perhaps Tariq Owens or Matt Mooney, join Culver in this summer’s NBA Draft? Let’s take a look after detailing where Culver stands.
Jarrett Culver NBA Draft Projections & Mocks
Most mock drafts have him going at the very top of the first round. Our own mock draft by Jonathan Adams has Culver pegged as the 4th overall pick to the Hawks. NBA Draft Net also has him also going 4th to the Hawks, both major improvements from his previous standing.
ESPN also still has Culver going off the board at 7th, saying he has a high floor.
Excellent size for a guard prospect with a solid 6-9 wingspan. Strong legs. Greatly improved frame. Solid straight-line athlete who can play above the rim in space. Uses his size to score over smaller guards in the post.
– Improved on-ball creator. Playing a lot of point guard as a sophomore. Capable ball-handler who can navigate pick-and-rolls and make basic reads.
– Plus defender who can check up to three positions at the NBA level. Sound technique. Great feet. Competitive rebounder. High-intangible prospect who has been extremely productive as a 19-year-old. High floor in the Josh Hart mold.
With that out of the way, let’s look into the other Red Raiders.
Tariq Owens NBA Draft Projections & Mocks
Owens has bounced around in his college career, first playing at Tennessee before transferring to St. John’s for two seasons (plus a redshirt). After missing out on the tournament both times, he made a move to Lubbock, which has seen a dramatic boost to his stock.
While only averaging 8.8 points and 5.8 rebounds a game, his 2.5 blocks rank amongst the best in the nation. In the tournament alone, he’s swatted 13 shots, including 3 against Michigan State in the national semifinal.
This is likely enough to earn him an NBA Summer League look or at the very least a G-League spot. The problem is that his offense is limited to finishing dunks and second-chance points, which is not enough at the next level.
When looking at Hoops Hype, which aggregates 5 of the more prominent mock drafts, he doesn’t appear on any of them. That likely means he’ll be working his way from the undrafted ranks.
Matt Mooney NBA Draft Projections & Mocks
Mooney lit it up in the Final Four against the Spartans, notching 22 points to lead all scorers. However, as our own Derek Helling points out, he is absent on mock drafts.
Neither CBS, NBADraft.net nor The Ringer has Mooney listed on their mock latest mock drafts. The ceiling for Mooney’s NBA draft potential seems to be the late second round, though it’s definitely a possibility that he could land on a summer roster somewhere.
He scores 11.3 points a game while shooting just under 39% on triples. This is solid production, and he also possesses decent size at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds. He also impressively shut down first-team All-American guard Cassius Winston to 16 points on 16 shots this past weekend.
The problem comes with ball-handling, as he coughs up 2.5 turnovers a game versus 3.2 assists. That type of ratio is unacceptable if you’re only scoring in the low double-digits.
Mooney is a decent player that could do well in Europe or the G-League, but he has a long way to go to hack it in the NBA. Seeing as Texas Tech was underestimated by everyone this year, he will probably read this quote and go on to multiple All-Star games.