ESPN 2023 Mock Draft - posted today
Brandin Podziemski | 6-5 | SG | Age: 20.0 | Santa Clara | No. 39 in Top 100It's hard to find a more productive player in college basketball over the past 10 games. Podziemski is averaging an outstanding 23.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting 57% for 2 and 48% for 3 over that stretch, helping him win co-WCC player of the year honors. Unfortunately for him, and NBA scouts, Podziemski's NCAA tournament hopes were dashed when Santa Clara lost in double overtime in the WCC tournament quarterfinals, leaving the Broncos hoping for an NIT invite on Sunday.
Podziemski is shooting 45% for 3 on the season, but is much more than that, seeing a significant amount of offense handling in pick and roll, in isolation, pushing in transition, or coming off screens. He is smart when operating off hesitation moves, splitting or rejecting ball screens, and passing on the move, but has seen his production drop off fairly dramatically against better competition this season, shooting just 43% inside the arc with nearly as many turnovers as assists against top-100 caliber competition. NBA teams have some concerns about Podziemski's physical tools, as he doesn't boast great size, length or frame and has had some tough moments defensively one-on-one against better competition. With that said, he clearly brings an intriguing combination of toughness and smarts which allowed him to lead the WCC in rebounding and post a strong 1.8 steals per game.
Podz leading the WCC in rebounding is what’s setting him apart. What league anywhere has a 6’5 guard lead it in rebounding? Then the 45% from 3. If you can shoot at an elite level, and you have some toughness, you’ll get looks at the NBA. The rebounding is showing he has more to his game than just an outside shooter.
The trajectory of his career is reminding me somewhat of Max Strus. Strus started out at D2 Lewis, transferred to DePaul, and I don’t think anyone considered him a real NBA prospect. But he worked his way into the league and was starting last year for an ECF team. Nobody saw that when he was at Lewis. Podz could be between Tyler Herro and Strus. Maybe the Heat will draft him bc they love guys like that. Throw in Duncan Robinson too. If you shoot 40+% from 3, play the game smart on the defensive end, the NBA will find you no matter where you are.
The resident coach defenders trying to say he wouldn’t play much here is ridiculous sour grapes. It’s ok to say the staff made a mistake by not recognizing a guys talent. It happens in every sport. The Dodgers gave away Yordan Alvarez for nothing. White Sox did the same with Tatis Jr.