NBA Draft prospect rankings: Evaluating the top players in the AAC who could be drafted in June

As I sat down to research and write up a list of NBA Draft prospects from the AAC to watch this season -- as I've done with the Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten -- I kept coming back to one question. Can't I just link to the entire Memphis roster?

The Tigers' roster is absolutely an embarrassment of riches. At guard, former Duke pledge Boogie Ellis has long-term NBA potential as a scorer and playmaker. At forward, Precious Achiuwa has the physique and skills to be a lottery talent. And at center, five-star prospect James Wiseman -- the No. 1 recruit in the 2019 class -- has the look and pedigree of a potential No. 1 pick in June's NBA Draft.

Despite the wealth of talent Penny Hardaway has recruited, Memphis isn't the only team in the conference with NBA prospects (although it's close). Let's take a look at a list of the names to know who are on the draft radar heading into the season.

1. James Wiseman, Memphis

Measurables: 7-1, 240 pounds
Position: Center
Draft projection: Top five pick

What to know: It's impossible to not love James Wiseman's upside. He's got a smooth left-handed stroke with great touch, he moves like a gazelle, and long-term projects as a potential defensive anchor for an NBA team. Put simply, he does a lot of things players 7-foot-1 cannot do, putting him in the early mix to be the first pick in next year's draft.

2. Precious Achiuwa, Memphis

Measurables: 6-9, 225 pounds
Position: Small forward
Draft projection: First round

What to know: I could put it into words, but a photo might do it more justice. Take a look at No. 55 here:

That's Precious Achiuwa at Memphis' recent pro day, where NBA scouts from near and far came to scout Wiseman, Achiuwa and others. And you can see why there's already buzz about Achiuwa as a lottery pick. He's already a First Team All-Looks-The-Part member. At 6-9 he gives Memphis some massive roster versatility and length to guard shooting guards, small forwards and power forwards.

3. Jarron Cumberland, Cincinnati

Measurables: 6-5, 205 pounds
Position: Shooting guard
Draft projection: Second round

What to know: Not the most athletic guard in the conference, but Cumberland's size and scoring ability will give him a shot to stick in the NBA. He's a career 36.3% 3-point shooter, and last season he bumped his scoring average up to 18.8 points after averaging only 11.5 the previous year. He's made marked improvements in his game each year, and if that continues, he could solidify himself as a fringe first-rounder.

4. Boogie Ellis, Memphis

Measurables: 6-3, 175 pounds
Position: Shooting guard
Draft projection: Second round

What to know: A one-time Duke pledge, Boogie Ellis landed at Memphis late in the recruiting cycle, a development already looking like a coup for Penny Hardaway. He has solid size for a combo guard and with a 40.5 inch vertical jump, we know he's got plenty of athleticism, too.

5. LaQuincy Rideau, South Florida

Measurables: 6-1, 210 pounds
Position: Point guard
Draft projection: Second round/undrafted

What to know: After tearing it up at Gardner-Webb in 2016-17, Laquincy Rideau did the same at USF last season. He tested the NBA Draft process before ultimately deciding to come back. As a senior, he should be in line to soak up a bigger scoring role. It's a chance to solidify an already-impressive resume that last season included top-10 national marks in assist rate and steal rate.

Honorable mentions: David Collins, USF; RJ Cole, UConn; DJ Jeffries, Memphis; Quinton Rose, Temple; Lester Quinones, Memphis; Damion Baugh, Memphis; James Bouknight, UConn; Akok Akok, UConn; Alexis Yetna, USF

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