SI NBA 2019 Mock Draft: Iggy, Matthews and Poole included

Submitted by Bambi on December 5th, 2018 at 12:41 PM


Iggy shows up at 27. Matthews at 38, Poole at 51. The first 7 prospects are all freshman, with the first 3 being the Duke players, 4 being UNC's Naz Little, and 5 being Romeo Langford.



December 5th, 2018 at 9:08 PM ^

I will be very surprised if Iggy does not leave. Interestingly here, the partisans are significantly under-valuing this young man's ability to play this game. That Ignas plays the best when good play is needed most should be informing y'all of the depth of his abilities. Let me just say that he is athletic enough. Once upon a time there was this very mediocre athletic specimen we call the Hick from French Lick and this other not so athletic guy we called Magic. Those two dominated the basketball world for many years. Knowing how to play the game goes a helluva long way...and Ignas Brazdeikis KNOWS how to play this game...and he will find his way, just fine, in the pro game. It would be fun to see him stay at Michigan for a second year...I don't think he will.

Maison Bleue

December 5th, 2018 at 1:01 PM ^

Honestly, JJJ always looked like a lottery pick IMO. Izzo pulled an Izzo and didn’t use him properly, but you could see the potential.

Little and Iggy have similar measurables, but only one looked like a lottery pick and his name was not Nassir Little. Little has a huge wing span and more athleticism, but it was hard for me to see lottery potential because of how thoroughly he was shut down.

matt D

December 5th, 2018 at 2:08 PM ^

Realistically, for prospects that aren't ball dominant, the NBA really looks for guys that have the combination of size/athleticism to defend and the ability to knock down a 3. I don't think Iggy necessarily checks those boxes at the NBA level despite his early returns on 3%. But if he continues to knock down the long ball at this clip a lot of questions regarding his projection will be answered.

Little on the other hand, certainly checks the boxes with respect to his physical profile and athletic abilities.


December 5th, 2018 at 12:47 PM ^

I knew we would lose Matthews, but was hoping to have Iggy and Poole for at least another season.  Tell me again why more top prosepects don't want to come here and play.  We are turning into an NBA factory for semi-under the radar kids (non-one and done).

matt D

December 5th, 2018 at 2:11 PM ^

If you pay attention to social media, a lot of trainers for 5* types are very vocal about 'letting guys do their thing without cuffing'...........translation, they don't want any parts of a structured, half-court offense that doesn't necessarily showcase their respective abilities to the NBA GMs/scout.

Put more succinctly, potential one and dones don't want coaching, they simply want a placeholder that allows them to best position themselves for the draft. Michigan is the polar opposite of that approach.


December 5th, 2018 at 3:12 PM ^

That's an interesting point, matt D. Thanks for that.

Coach Beilein's style resembles the modern pro game in many ways, with the exception of tempo. I could see how the far less structured Kentucky style would be attractive to some guys. Even Coach K seems to play a less structured style these days.

That said, unlike many here I don't like one-and-dones, and I'm glad we don't get them.

I don't see the fun of watching guys who are just biding their time, with eyes and emotions focused on the next level. I also don't like the whole idea of guys who "ain't here to play school". Just MO.


December 5th, 2018 at 12:52 PM ^

I'm sorry but I cant for the life of me see how Mathew's game is going to translate to the NBA or at least with what he's doing well (and not doing well) right now.

In the NBA you HAVE to have a reasonably consistent outside shot unless you've got an insanely good handle (think Rondo), it's better if you can knock down a three with consistency and you'd better be at least a 70% FT shooter or better (unless you're a big) and right now Mathews does none of those things.   Being a terrific on-ball defender who can get to the hoop is great and definitely skills that make him very valuable in college but at the next level I dont think that will be enough.

I'm not saying he cant get better and Lord knows he's got the best coach to get him there but last night he struggled to get his shot off against Northwestern - how in the hell is he going to be able to against players in the NBA?

No way he should come out this year IMO.   And I'm generally a guy who says if you can go....go!


December 5th, 2018 at 1:04 PM ^

I don't think you can extrapolate very much from one particular game where he struggled.  He did not play particularly well last night but has been fantastic this season so far.  He has the full repertoire going in the first half against Purdue.  Drive and finish by the rim, jab step three, mid-range fade-away.  He is insanely athletic near the rim.  He is not done improving either. 

He looks like a pro to me, for sure.  His free throws have to improve but his three ball already has and I think it is just a matter of time before his free throw shooting does the same.


December 5th, 2018 at 1:11 PM ^

Can I ask how you came to those conclusions that he's "been fantastic this year" when:

His overall shooting % has dropped from 50% last year to 43% this year

His 3 point shooting % has dropped from 32% to 28%

His rebounding is down from 5.5 to 4.7

His assists are down from 2.4 to 1.2

Only his FT shooting % has improved and it's gone from 55% to 58% so still well below where he's got to have it - especially if his game is going to be played at the rim.

Not trying to come off as a "hater" because I really like the guy a lot.  I just think going to the NBA right now would be a huge mistake for him career-wise.



December 5th, 2018 at 1:21 PM ^

Because I don't get super weird about stats.  Like, you think it is somehow relevant to his NBA prospects that his rebounding is down by .8 rebounds per game? 

He has struggled with his shot in a few games has came close to taking other games over.  He went for 19 on 7/13 shooting against Nova and 21 on 7/12 against Carolina.  Those are the two best teams we have played against and he looked like the best player on the court in both games.


December 5th, 2018 at 1:54 PM ^

I am kind of a stats guy, but I also watch a lot of basketball. In most games this year Matthews has played really well.

We're only 9 games in, so last night's clunker has a larger impact than it might otherwise have. How did his stats look before last night? I'd guess they look pretty close to last year.

He is the guy who has taken on the unenviable role of shot creator late in the clock; those are the very toughest shots to make, and he's done a damn good job with that step-back fadeaway. Being the guy in that role will impact shooting stats.

His FT shooting looks better, and I hope it translates into a % in the mid-60%'s by year-end.

He's been a great leader, and has played superb defense. 

So, could he make an NBA roster? I think so, as a lock-down, hustling defender who can run the break and finish and grab some boards. He's got hops, and he's quick and very tough. He's no starter, but I could see him as a guy who provides solid minutes off the bench. Shaun Livingston type if he can improve his FT shooting.

Does his game need work/refinement? Sure, but he has the physical tools and the drive/toughness to make it work IMO. 


December 5th, 2018 at 1:08 PM ^

I guardedly agree with a lot of this. His D is a huge asset, but if his perimeter offense is a liability he’ll have a hard time getting good minutes. He can make some nice late-clock shots in college, but that skill just isn’t good enough to get any use in the NBA when he’d be on the floor with 2-3 other guys minimum who have better late-clock ability. 


December 5th, 2018 at 2:09 PM ^

Agree and disagree Richard. 

Totally agree that if he gets his degree it's probably in his best interest to go. It's time. There comes a time when a player has maximized his draft potential because drafts are projections, and sometimes real results don't match potential results.

Disagree about "you are who you are". Kids develop at different rates, and IMO it's a myth that most upperclassmen don't continue to improve.

Back when the top guys played 4 years in college, they were absolute MONSTERS as juniors and seniors. Are you old enough to remember Ewing and Duncan as upperclassmen? They were incredible. Most kids get better, often much better. 

I could give a million other examples, in all sports. It baffles me why people feel the sophmore version of a player is the same guy they'll see as a senior - happens sometimes, but more often than not, the senior version is vastly better.




December 5th, 2018 at 1:35 PM ^

I think the appeal of Mathews from an NBA standpoint is he can guard 1-4 in today's NBA.   I would imagine a team would take him based on that and hope his 3 gets better and he turns into a 3 and D guy.  FT isn't as important with him, he won't be a high usage guy.  That is my take.  It is always hard for me with judging if guys should leave for basketball.  Worst case for a guy like Mathews is probably a long career in Europe making decent coin regardless. 


December 5th, 2018 at 2:24 PM ^

I would agree that a team would gamble on him for his D alone, but only if he were younger. At his age he needs to get an outside shot together or most teams won't take the gamble. For better or worse, once somebody crosses over into their 20's things like shooting are considered to be more of a known quantity in the eyes of the NBA.

Go Blue in MN

December 5th, 2018 at 2:39 PM ^

The problem is that it's tough to see CM fitting the "3" part of the 3 and D equation.  I guess that's the reason he's projected as a 2nd round pick, which seems right to me.  Maybe he can continue to develop either his shooting or slashing and become a valuable bench player in the NBA. Maybe not.  I'd love to have him come back next year, but it seems unlikely that it would help his draft prospects.


December 5th, 2018 at 1:37 PM ^

Since the NBA largely drafts on potential, there comes a point where returning to school is only going to lead to diminishing returns when it comes to draft status. Matthews is probably at that point. Furthermore, in almost every scenario a person is more likely to improve spending a unlimited amount of time practicing (NBA/pros) than a limited amount of time (college). Matthews should absolutely leave after this year because there is likely to be no upside to him coming back.


December 5th, 2018 at 3:02 PM ^

Guys like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Andre Roberson and Stanley Johnson(has been shooting better lately) are strictly getting good minutes in the NBA off their defense. None of these guys shoots particularly well from the outside, yet because they can switch from 1-4 on the floor they are very valuable to squads. 


December 6th, 2018 at 2:03 PM ^

Hollis-Jefferson shot 52% from 2 and 70% FT in college.

Roberson shot 55% from 2, 36% from 3, and 58% FT in college - while averaging almost 12 REB a game.

Stanley Johnson shot 48% from 2, 37% from 3, and 74% FT in college.


College PER:

Hollis-Jefferson: 21.1

Roberson: 23.5

Johnson: 22.5

Mathews: 16.5


Mathews is 54% from 2, 31% from 3, and 54% FT. He's basically a slightly worse Roberson, with less rebounding ability.


December 5th, 2018 at 12:56 PM ^

Truthfully, none of these guys are quite ready. Matthews has made the correct steps since last season, and should continue to develop his shot as the season progresses, but he could use another year with Beilein and probably work his way into the top 20. He still plays slightly selfish ball and makes at least 3 or 4 bad mistakes a game. If he can shake those mistakes and improve his shooting a couple more percentage points next year, in addition to being a 70% guy from the line, then he will be a solid prospect. Until then, I just see him getting shuffled around for a while, some G/D league time, and probably puttering out. 

That said, I didn't think GRIII or Hardaway would be nearly as solid as they have been in their pro careers.

I personally feel Iggy could use 1 more year to develop his shot as well, but damn is he fun to watch. Such command of space when he has the ball and the utilization of both hands when he attacks nets him a few extra buckets a game. One more year for him with Beilein would be gross and unfair.

Poole isn't worth discussing IMO. Leaving this season would be a huge mistake, and I don't see how anyone let's him make it.


December 5th, 2018 at 2:18 PM ^

It's not just Iggy's shot that could use work. The kid is a black hole right now. He needs lots of work on his court vision and passing.

I think Iggy's a great talent; his ability to finish strong with both hands is rare and NBA-caliber. 

There's a place for him in the NBA; I just hope he recognizes JB and Michigan provide an ideal opportunity for him to hone his skills. 

That's the beauty of Coach Beilein - not only is he a wonderful teacher, he runs NBA-style concepts and style that directly translates to the league. Stay and learn from a master, young Iggy.


December 5th, 2018 at 2:57 PM ^

The "ready" argument has always been specious because the vast majority of guys aren't ready in that way. It's a huge leap with a steep learning curve, and even elite prospects and talents need time to acclimate. 

In any case, it is mostly pointless to discuss Matthews because he's leaving after this season regardless. Besides, what about his game is Beilein going to unlock after year 4 that he wasn't able to do in years 1-3?

Iggy is shooting the 3 at 44% right now. If he remains somewhere in that range, there isn't a whole lot left to "develop" on his shot. Questions about his defense will remain (most of which are physical), and some of those will depend on whether teams view him as a wing or small-ball 4.

After a slow start, Poole has looked like a guy making the classic leap. If that holds, those generally aren't the guys who return for year 3.



December 5th, 2018 at 1:11 PM ^

This is a big board, where they rank the players in order. Most people know that it is no way directly related to where they get drafted. if a player is in the 50s that means end of the second round projection and poole would be smart to come back if that is truly the grade he earns at the end of the season because at the end of the second round youre either a pick and spend years in the G League or youre undrafted and you really have to play well to make a team (see Duncan Robinson). 

Boner Stabone

December 5th, 2018 at 1:16 PM ^

I think Matthews is gone after this year, even though he will spend his career in the G-League.  

I think Iggy and Poole need to come back another year, especially Poole.  Iggy could transform himself into a lottery pick next year and Poole could get stronger and raise his stock to 1st round status.