NBA Draft prospect rankings: Evaluating the top seven players in the Big East who could be drafted in June

The Big East's basketball rise back to relevancy can be attributed to a number of contributing factors. Villanova becoming a national brand (and powerhouse). Huge television contracts with major networks. Even the coaching star of Jay Wright, the best-dressed coach in the conference, may have played some role.

But no development in the resurrection of the league's credentials has meant more than the consistent production of NBA talent. Since 2000 the league produced 31 first-round picks -- ten of whom were selected in the top 10. Over the last decade, that pace of pro production has steadily increased, with no ebb in sight. As we look ahead to the 2019-20 college hoops season, that number could climb again with a number of first-round prospects -- including several of the one-and-done variety -- are in the picture this season.

Let's take a look at the big names to watch for the 2020 NBA Draft and beyond.

1. Bryan Antoine, Villanova

Measurables: 6-foot-5, 175 pounds
Position: Shooting guard
Draft projection: First round

What to know: The best prospect in the Big East, and alas: he's injured. Villanova's Bryan Antoine suffered a shoulder injury earlier this spring that required surgery and could be out until December, which would place his debut around conference play if he has no setbacks. Antoine's a terrific shot-maker and natural scorer, and on a roster replacing its top two scorers, he could factor in as a critical piece when he's back to full strength.

2. Paul Reed, DePaul

Measurables: 6-9, 220 pounds
Position: Power forward
Draft projection: Second round

What to know: After being named the league's most improved player last season, Paul Reed carries some high expectations into this season. He nearly doubled his 3-point percentage while doubling his volume, all while more than tripling his scoring production. With the team's top three scorers from last season gone, he'll function as a true No. 1 for the Blue Demons and could be one of the most under-discussed players likely to land on the First-Team all-conference team.

3. Paul Scruggs, Xavier

Measurables: 6-3, 220 pounds
Position: Shooting guard
Draft projection: Second round

What to know: You could say a breakout is coming for Paul Scruggs, but you'd be wrong; it's already happened. He had a tremendous year last season, averaging 12.2 points per game, then he unleashed, averaging 18.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in the Big Ten Tournament. He and Naji Marshall should be one of the most lethal scoring tandems in the Big East.

4. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova

Measurables: 6-9, 232 pounds
Position: Power forward
Draft projection: Second round

What to know: A reliable stroke from the perimeter is lacking -- perhaps that will come -- but for now, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl's game presents all the baseline measurements of an intriguing high-upside forward. He's a pretty good shooter from the midrange in, and at the high school level, he showed himself to be an adequate dribbler and playmaker from the post. He has a vastly different game than Eric Paschall, the former Villanova star who was drafted earlier this summer, but he should be able to find early playing time in Paschall's place as the Wildcats look to go young.

5. A.J. Reeves, Providence

Measurables: 6-6, 210 pounds
Position: SG/SF
Draft projection: Second round

What to know: Before a foot injury that sidelined him for more than a month last season, A.J. Reeves was nearly a shoo-in to earn Freshman of the Year honors within the conference. This season, he's no longer a secret weapon -- he could be the catalyst that pushes the Friars to conference title contention. 

6. Markus Howard, Marquette

Measurables: 5-11, 175 pounds
Position: Point guard
Draft projection: Second round

What to know: The stock of diminutive point guards with great college credentials is on the rise in large part because of Purdue product Carsen Edwards, who is increasingly looking like one of the steals of the 2019 NBA Draft. Marquette's Markus Howard could be next. Listed at a hair under 6-foot (as opposed to Edwards' 6-1), it may be his only real projectable concern. He can create his own shot, run an offense competently, and could be a microwave off-the-bench scorer in the NBA. Last season he rated out in the 98th percentile in spot-up opportunities, according to Synergy.

Sleeper: Myles Powell, Seton Hall

Measurables: 6-2, 195 pounds
Position: Shooting guard
Draft projection: Second round

What to know: By the time draft season rolls around, Powell could be as divisive a prospect as any from the Big East. After averaging 23.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game last season, he'll enter this season as the Big East Preseason Player of the Year, and a possible First-Team All-American. But will his college production translate to the NBA? It's hard to tell at this point. He's a tad undersized for an NBA shooting guard, and the areas in which you'd hope he'd excel at the college level to suggest he could thrive in the NBA -- shooting off hand-offs and running off screens -- are mostly average, with Synergy rating him in the 50th and 51st percentile, respectively. Becoming a more efficient scorer in those areas and developing his defensive game could go a long ways for him to hear his name at the 2020 NBA Draft.

Honorable mentions: Ty-Shon Alexander, Creighton; Naji Marshall, Xavier; Alpha Diallo, Providence; Mustapha Heron, St. John's; Kamar Baldwin, Butler; Jordan Tucker, Butler

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