Temple’s Wyatt, La Salle’s Galloway, could be drafted

Temple’s Khalif Wyatt was the Atlantic 10 Conference and Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Year. — TRIBUNE PHOTO BY BILL ACHUFF

The NBA draft is not that far away. The NBA Draft Lottery will be held on May 21. The NBA draft will take place on June 27. There are two local college basketball prospects who could be selected in the upcoming draft. Temple’s Khalif Wyatt and La Salle’s Ramon Galloway could be selected in the draft. ESPN draft experts Fran Fraschilla and college basketball analyst Chad Ford from ESPN NBA Insider weighed in on their views regarding Wyatt and Galloway’s NBA potential during a recent conference call.

“Both of those guys [I like] a lot. I mean [I’m a] huge Ramon Galloway fan as a college player and Khalif, by the way, had a phenomenal year,” Fraschilla said. “He had six or seven games over 30 points. Both of those guys are going to be on summer league teams without a doubt. They both potentially can get drafted in the second round. I pointed out during the season that Ramon Galloway, and to a similar extent Khalif Wyatt, are two guys we may see in the league down the road, if not right away.

“Khalif’s issue would be his overall athleticism, but as a pure basketball player in the backcourt, [was] one of the best in college basketball this year. They both could go in the second round. Both of those guys, I could see some day when they are 24 or 25, being in the D League for a couple years, and all of a sudden, either one of them pops up on an NBA roster.”

Ford gives his assessment on Wyatt and Galloway.

“I agree with Fran,” Ford said. “I think he’s right on with both of those guys. Neither player [was] invited to the combine, which means, just so you know how the combine is put together, the NBA sends a ballot to all 30 teams with about 150 players on that ballot. They ask every team to vote in 60 players that they’d like to see, and they basically tabulate the votes at that time with the aim of getting around 60 players there. They know some of the international players won’t show up, so it’s 60 players minus that.

“So that gives you at least a good feel, the list of 60, of what the NBA guys are looking at, who they think the 60 best prospects were in the draft. Neither guy got that invite. Maybe with Wyatt that surprised me a little bit more just because of the terrific season he had, the great tournament that he had, and his ability to do a lot of that against elite teams in the tournament like Indiana, for example. And I think he’s a player.

“I think sometimes the problem with the draft is we start to pick apart length, athleticism and very specific skills. There is a good reason why scouts do that, but sometimes there are people who are just basketball players and they overthink that. To me, Wyatt is that sort of player. He reminds me a little bit of a poor man’s Andre Miller. I mean, Andre Miller is not a great athlete… his basketball IQ, his cleverness with the ball, are so high he can still get it done on the NBA court. And I think Wyatt has a chance to make the NBA because of that.”

Wyatt and Galloway had great seasons. Wyatt, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound shooting guard, was named the Atlantic 10 Conference and Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Year. He led both the Atlantic 10 and the Big 5 in scoring (20.5 ppg). Wyatt, a former Norristown High star, led the Owls to the second round of the NCAA tournament before losing to Indiana.

Galloway, a former Freire Charter standout, was the Explorers’ leading scorer. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound shooting guard, averaged 17.2 points a game, which was third best in the Atlantic 10. He handed out a team-high 127 assists in guiding La Salle to a 24-10 record and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16.

 

Contact staff writer Donald Hunt at (215) 893-5719 or dhunt@phillytrib.com.

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