Five players from New York colleges are among the top 30 2012 NBA Draft prospects on the Big Board released Wednesday by ESPN college basketball expert Doug Gottlieb [ESPN Insider only]. Dion Waiters (No. 10) of Syracuse, Moe Harkless (No. 17) of St. John's, Fab Melo (No. 21) of Syracuse, Andrew Nicholson (No. 22) of St. Bonaventure and Scott Machado (No. 25) of Iona are on Gottlieb's list.
Below is what Gottlieb had to say about each player.
Dion Waiters (No. 10) -- With no position per se, Waiters should have the same role in the pros as in college, where he came in and changed the tempo. He is a dynamic Dwyane Wade-type of driver who will be a streaky shooter from NBA range, but he can get to the rim and is ideal for playing the role of an off-the-bench dynamo.
Moe Harkless (No. 17) -- I'm not totally sold on taking Kidd-Gilchrist ahead of Harkless, as Harkless has the scoring skill and perimeter ability that MKG lacks. Harkless does need to continue to improve his range, but as a 3 he has size, can rebound and definitely can score.
Fab Melo (No. 21) -- Melo made a magical improvement jump from Year 1 to Year 2, and he continues to improve his body. Melo is huge, he can shoot from 15, he can catch and is a basket protector.
Andrew Nicholson (No. 22) -- Nicholson is super bright, skilled as a shooter and passer. He has tremendous feet and gigantic hands, but he is not really a great athlete in transition and his game has some small forward to it. Nicholson is a good shot-blocker who probably is best with a winning team where he can just fit in.
Scott Machado (No. 25) -- Machado is an athletic point guard who can really create in transition or off of penetration. He changes the tempo of the game quite quickly and is a better shooter and athlete than Kendall Marshall, a better shooter than Tony Wroten and far more consistent a ball handler than Marquis Teague.