Saturday, 10 February 2018 22:21 Written by Jay Amado and Jian Lan
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2022 1st Round Mock Draft

Where will Pittsburgh C Roger Desfontaines -- the top big man prospect in this year's rookie class -- land in the 2022 OBWL Rookie Draft?


The 2022 OBWL Draft is set to commence tomorrow, and the futures of 28 franchises will be set in motion. This year's draft features what some are calling the deepest class in the hand check era. There are several players who could become not just all-stars, but legitimate franchise players, including one who some are calling the best prospect since another former player sprouted out of the Nevada desert. Every year, though, hype comes and goes, and every year there are busts, steals, overreactions, and deals made. In order to be fair and inject too much of our own conjecture into this, we assumed no deals were made on draft day. What follows is the projected entire first round of your 2022 OBWL Draft. (Editor's note: Odd picks selected by Jay Amado, even picks selected by Jian Lan.)


1. Sacramento Snipers - SF Lynwood Emmert (UNLV)

The Sacramento Snipers started the offseason by announcing that former New Jersey Enforcer GM Chris Noonan was taking the same role in Sacramento. At first glance, the job looks to be perhaps the least appealing in the entire OBWL. However, when you consider that Noonan just inherited what is basically an empty cupboard that he can choose to fill however he likes, this becomes a lot more exciting. The Snipers have a chance to find a face for their franchise for perhaps the first time ever, and that has to be UNLV's Lynwood Emmert. At 6'6" and 208 pounds, Emmert possesses a body that will likely end up at SG, but he has the tenacity down low and in the paint to hold his own. He's a stone cold scorer with a smooth jump shot, and is not afraid of contact. What sets Emmert apart, though, is his other-worldly athleticism. From the day he enters the OBWL, his combination of speed, strength, jumping ability, and incredible stamina will make him perhaps the best overall athlete in the league. The Snipers can not afford to miss on this pick, and Lynwood Emmert is the most sure thing in this draft. Expect to see him amongst the league leaders in scoring sooner rather than later, and to see him wowing crowds and selling tickets in Sacramento for years to come.


2. New Jersey Enforcers - PG Julius Atherton (Kansas State)

Totally agree with Emmert going number one overall. Having the top pick in the draft, you have to go with potential and best available. With Emmert off the board, I have Julius Atherton going to the New Jersey Enforcers at #2. Point guard is the most sought afterward position in the league right now and to have the opportunity to grab the best available and it being a point guard is an added bonus. Atherton didn't play much in Kansas State. In fact he didn't even start for the Wildcats. But there is no doubting his star potential. He shot an unbelievable 50/80/40%. That's field goal, free throw and three pointers. Besides his offense, he has all the ability to be a lockdown defender. The one thing that GMs might nitpick on is his lack of endurance but I think at 19 years old, you're supposed to let that slide. His upside far outweighs it.


3. Portland Lumberjacks - PG Charles Simpson (Penn State)

We're on the same page with the top two picks in the draft, and in my mind, that's where the no-brainers stop. However, I do have to echo what my counterpart says, and remind everyone just how in-demand the point guard position is. Like Atherton, Charles Simpson can fill that position for many years to come. Also like Atherton, if you end up taking Simpson, you're drafting a guy without a huge body of work. Simpson played just 241 total minutes last year, but in that time flashed enough potential to cause OBWL scouts to salivate. He possesses a complete offensive game, capable of putting the ball in the basket from anywhere on the floor. His first step, and athleticism going toward the basket make him a handful for even the most fleet-footed defender, and his conditioning is second to none. The biggest criticism of Simpson is that he doesn't possess elite passing skills, which could be a deal-breaker for some. However, he more than makes up for his lack of creativity in that area by making great decisions with the ball, and never turning it over. While he isn't likely to be a Day 1 star, Simpson is going to have a long career as a great player in this league, and could help to put Portland back on the map.


4. Seattle Sea Dogs - SF Edward Baranowski (Oklahoma State)

The SeaDogs are in rebuild mode. They are a veteran team that is going nowhere fast and is likely waiting for some of the big contracts to roll off. Given that, I think they go with Edward Baranowski out of Oklahoma State. He's listed as 6'5" but don't let that fool you. The guy is strong like an ox and quick enough to give you quality minutes at the two guard. I don't think he's going to become the next superstar that Seattle builds around. But I do think he's good enough be just a step below superstar status. Baranowski is already good enough defensively that you can start him at either wing positions. His scoring ability needs a little maturing and he'll get that growth in a couple of years, which is just the right timeframe for the SeaDogs.


5. Chicago Blaze - SF Luitpold Hippeli (TCU via Germany)

The Chicago Blaze are at a crossroads with their franchise. General Manager Greg Abcarian has been very loyal to his players in the past, but has the chance to take the franchise in an entirely new direction, this offseason. There are rumors abound that they are acquiring the type of creator at the point guard position who can turn a franchise around, but he'll need somebody to dish the ball to. Enter Luitpold Hippeli. The 6'6" 218 pound small German import scored over 19 points per game in his first year in the states, taking America by storm at TCU, on his way to being named a freshman All-American. He isn't the most amazing athlete, but Luitpold finds ways to score, and is perhaps the most skilled player in the draft in that department.


6. Ft. Worth Dragoons - PF Roger Destontaines (Pittsburgh via Canada)

It's no secret that Fort Worth is trying to move Edward Newhouse's contract. Desfontaines is not ready to fill his shoes yet but the young seven-footer can become a matchup nightmare. He's big, strong and is lightening quick for a big man. The key point for this pick is does the Dragoons decide on a complete start over and rebuild. The team is a veteran-laden team that just a season ago was fighting for a top 4 seed in the playoffs. It's conceivable that the team decide to give it one last go before blowing it up. Jorge Denis is entering into a contract year and at the peak of his game. You know he's doesn't want to be in the lottery again. If the team goes that route I think you see them go for someone a little more established.


7. Detroit Muscle - SG Irving Silas (Seton Hall)

Irving Silas is the type of scorer that gives opposing players nightmares. The Seton Hall sophomore didn't see a ton of minutes during college, but in those minutes showed off all of the talent that made him the most sought-after recruit in the country during his senior year of high school. He's not an elite athlete, and does come with some durability concerns, but nobody can question his elite scoring potential. He has perhaps the best stroke of any prospect, but that's only one part of his game. He is equally capable of getting the ball inside, hitting a mid-range jumper, or killing you from the line. The Muscle have their point guard of the future in Xander Remington, and I think Mark Sands will have to jump at the opportunity to add a backcourt mate to him, as the Muscle continue to rebuild. It could give them the type of backcourt that only comes around once in a generation should they both reach their maximum potential.


8. Minnesota Marauders - C Wallace Briseno (Villanova)

If he's available I think Minnesota takes Wallace Briseno. In my opinion he's the most ready of all the prospects coming out this year. The Marauders are deep upfront but Briseno is better than who they currently have behind Jenkins and Holmes. Briseno is a premier defender that is not strictly one-dimensional and can give you some points when called upon. Entering last season many thought the Marauders were ready to take the next step. That did not come to fruition but I think there's a lot to like about this team and management is in win now mode rather than rebuild.


9. San Diego Storm - C John Weatherford (Maryland)

The San Diego Storms have been much-maligned and quick to change direction under general manager Prince Amour, but they've still managed to acquire some solid pieces over the past few years. Daren Keyes may have cost them a huge part of their future, but his talent is undeniable. Just like John Weatherford's potential. With Alejandro Craft on the block, the Storm land his heir-apparent here. Weatherford is the traditional big man's big man: strong, long, immoveable, and durable. He's got the potential to be amongst the league leaders in rebounding and minutes played, and forces opposing bigs to work for every single inch down low. While he's not going to ever be an elite scorer, but can still get the job on that end of the floor as well. Whoever lands Weatherford is going to be very happy for years to come.


10. Indiana Invaders - PG Bertram Hayes (Mississippi State)

I know Indiana is expected to re-sign Lynwood Jamison but I think Bertram Hayes is still the pick here. He was a three year starter at Mississippi State and averaged 12 points and 5 assists. In my opinion he's the best pure point guard to come out of college in a long time. Hayes might not be the quickest or fastest but he's savvy and is a creative passer. Defensively he can affect shots with his blocking ability. The one thing that stands out about Hayes is his careering field goal percentage of almost 50% and over 40% on three pointers.


11. Honolulu Inferno - PF Udo Bach (DePaul via Germany)

Udo Bach is the type of big man that the German general manager in the OBWL have typically sought, and had incredible success with. It just so happens that Bach slips in this draft, and falls right into Sascha Zerwas' hands at #11 overall. The Inferno roster is filled with talented players who have spent their entire careers under the radar. Workmanlike guys who embrace the mentality that nothing will ever come easy, and who aren't flashy on the court, but who can get the job done. Udo Bach fits this to a T. He's never going to lead the league in anything, but has decent size, athleticism, and diversity. He prefers to score the ball inside, but also has some range. He isn't flashy with his passes, but is unselfish and smart. He won't intimidate people defensively, but will make every player work. He's the type of player who will start a lot of games in his career, though he'll never probably be a star, or the building block on which a franchise is constructed.


12. Denver Demons - PF Chester Rangel (Boston College)

Is Chester Rangel the second coming of Quinten Bryson? Of course not. But he has a ton of raw talent that Denver can sit on and develop. The Demons are loaded with bigs so have the luxury to bring him along slowly. All signs point to the team bring back Greg Fore and making a run at the playoffs so Rangel will spend the year in the D League. But with time and patience he could become a very good player. He has a good post game and is an elite passer for a big man. Defensively he is a strong rebounder and can generate blocks and turnovers.


13. Minnesota Marauders - PG Dorian Geis (San Diego State)

Speed. When you talk about Dorian Geis, that is the first thing that has to be mentioned. From the second he sprints onto an OBWL floor for the first time, Geis will be in the argument for the fastest player in the league. After going with a big man earlier in the round, it shouldn't be surprising to see general manager Steven Gibson switch things into another gear, and grab Geis here. The Marauders have been point guard deficient for several years, and while I'm not one for usually drafting for need over going best player available, I don't think it would be unfair to argue that Geis IS the best player available, on this scenario. While he's never going to lead the league in assists, Geis is still a solid passer. Add this to a diverse offensive game, and the ability to jump into passing lanes, and one can in some ways look past his other defensive liabilities, and take him here.


14. Philadelphia Americans - SF Eliseo Gerald (Siena)

With the additions of Joseph Drumm and Brian Montes Philadelphia made the playoffs after a two year absence. The Americans gave the then defending conference champions Tampa Bay all they could handle before falling in game seven. What stood out about that series was the lack of spark off the bench. When Drumm and Montes had an off night or went to the bench, the Americans could not keep pace. Enter Eliseo Gerald. The small forward out of Siena averaged 21 points on 45% shooting in his final collegiate season and was a deadly shooter from beyond the arc at 44%, making 3 three pointers per game. Having spent 3 years starting in college, Gerald is ready to contribute immediately. That should be appealing to Philadelphia with both their stars in their 30s.


15. Quebec Coyotes - C Ben Bonilla (Seton Hall)

The Quebec Coyotes have one of the best front court in the entire OBWL with Charles Ottinger and Gary Williams already in the fold, but I think that at this point, Ben Bonilla is the best player on the board. He's also got the type of aggressive game on that end of the floor that the two mentioned above have, so should fit seamlessly into the rotation. Bonilla is a rarity in that he is a former top-5 recruit who chose to stay in college all four years. Part of this may be because he never lived up to that hype, but the benefit of that long career is that he enters the league now with one of the most well-rounded games of any big man. He can score down low, is a good rebounder, blocks some shots, and holds his own down low on that end, too. While he isn't a world-beater, we're now at the point in the draft where it's almost a luxury to be able to make a safe pick. Bonilla is a safe pick.


16. Toronto Huskies - SF Sheldon Perkins (Northwestern)

In the playoffs it was clear how much Toronto missed Motya Kamensky when they went up against the Vancouver Highlanders. Flowers was his usual dominate self but Cole was bottled up and the Huskies could not generate much offense. Sheldon Perkins should be the pick here. Like Gerald before him, Perkins is ready to play now and the Huskies are ready to win now. He averaged 17 points in both his junior and senior years at Northwestern. He is a pure scorer that can generate points and also get to the line (5 attempts per game). Perkins got good size and strength to not get bully by bigger defenders and is quick enough to not get taken advantage of on offense against smaller players. Perkins to Toronto makes a lot of sense for both parties.


17. Manhattan Swing - PF Andrew Culbertson (San Diego State)

While safe picks and smart picks are becoming harder and harder as the draft gets later and later, sometimes it still pays to swing for the fences. With Whitney Cherry looking for a new deal in free agency, the Manhattan Swing, while still likely to re-sign him, will also likely look at other options. Teenage phenom Andrew Culbertson could be the type of player who starts a lot of games for a lot of years, should he scratch the ceiling of his potential. At 6'11" and 262 pounds, he already possesses a grown man's body. Add to that an uncanny willingness to do and knack for the dirty work down low, and solid athleticism, and you're looking at a guy who could one day be viewed as the steal of this draft.


18. Chicago Blaze - SG Elmer Belisle (Duke)

Some people might not like Elmer Belisle because he spent 4 year at Duke and there's no longer any mystery to his game. But I have him going to Chicago. Belisle was the Player of the Year in the ACC last season and dominated the conference. He averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting 46.5% from the field and 46.8% on three-point attempts. He also made 89.5% of his free throws. He's a little undersize to play the two-guard so likely won't be the dominating scorer that he was in college but he is not just about scoring. Belisle is a well rounded player that checks all the boxes and is a fit for most teams.


19. Boston Buzzards - C Daren Fielding (Alabama)

If there's one thing that Jason Warnke and the Boston Buzzards are known for on draft day, it's their willingness to make bold moves. That's exactly what this would be, too, if they take Alabama freshman Daren Fielding. The 19-year-old big man shocked many in basketball circles when he declared for the OBWL Draft after playing a total of just 48 minutes across 23 games in his college career. His 19 points and 8 rebounds for his career are what players like Charles Flowers would call a decent first half. So, why take him so early? Three words: upside, upside, upside! Fielding has the potential and strength to one day lead the world in rebounding. He's relentless in his pursuit of the basketball, and rounds out his game with solid defense, and a knack for finishing under the hoop. There may be no bigger boom-or-bust player in the draft than Fielding, and Boston could be just the team to buy his lottery ticket.


20. St. Louis Sun Kings - PG Douglas Ruggiero (San Diego State)

I think Dominik Jenewein loves to have players that can play multiple positions. That's how the SunKings are built and how they exploit mismatches. From Dong Richardson, Timothy Alder and Frank Williams, the team is not afraid to move their players off their natural position. Douglas Ruggiero will fit in nicely with that philosophy in St Louis. He's a big point guard that can effectively play either the 1 or 2 and should slide in next to Williams seamlessly. Unlike other guards in the draft, Ruggiero is ready to play from day one. A very important factor for a team that's looking to win right now.


21. Philadelphia Americans - C Joshua Bierman (Utah)

While Joshua Bierman may not fit the Philadelphia Americans system, he might be too talented to pass up should he still be available to pick at #21. Bierman is a massive body, standing 7'1" and weighing in at 240 pounds. He entered Utah with sky-high expectations, and more than exceeded them, being named the national Freshman of the Year on his way to declaring for the draft. He played just under 31 minutes per game, and in that time, managed to score 13.4 points on 51.1% from the field to go along with 5.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. His length and defense would be a very much welcomed addition to Philadelphia.


22. Las Vegas Blackjacks - PF Blair Tolman (Michigan)

No one knows for sure what Las Vegas is going to do under new General Manager Gerry Tessier. The team has Domenic Baum and Malik Campbell, veteran stars that are starving for postseason success. Does the team go for it in his first year or would he look to put his own stamp on the team. With that said the Blackjacks need scoring help with Stephen Lee entering free agency. Blair Tolman is one of the top scoring big men in the draft. He averaged 17 points on 52% shooting in his senior year at Michigan and has steady improved in each of his 4 seasons with the Wolverines. He's strong and athletic and doesn't shy away from contact in the paint.


23. London Knights - SG David Lorenzen (South Carolina)

The London Knights are returning one of the best teams in the league next year, so have the advantage of every pick being a luxury pick. With all the big names off the board by this time, I see London grabbing South Carolina shooting guard David Lorenzen with this pick. He's one of the most well-rounded players in this draft in terms of having no holes in his skillset. Unfortunately, as hard as he has worked on his craft, his athleticism and size have continued to limit his upside. However, it's rare that you can grab a guy capable of scoring, passing, rebounding, and playing defense as he is, nevermind the fact that you're picking at 23. Lorenzen has "glue guy" written all over him forward and backward.


24. Vancouver Highlanders - PG Truman Kaplan (Stanford)

Vancouver had a turnaround season for the ages. The Highlanders went from a 30 win team to the Finals. All credit goes to GM Darryl Suber and the superb job he's done there. Suber assembled one of the toughest defenses in recent memory and will likely look to build on that successful formula. To that end I have them selecting point guard Truman Kaplan out of Sanford. He's not going to be pushing Michael Keyes for the starting job but he's going to provide quality reserve minutes and is a top notch perimeter defender that also happens to be an efficient scorer.


25. Tampa Bay Tritons - C Eugene Jones (Minnesota)

Despite what would be a wildly successful season in at least ¾ of the rest of the OBWL, the Tampa Bay Tritons walked away from last year disappointed, and big changes are reportedly on the horizon. With Hobert Frisby set to take over the keys to the Lamborghini, and several free agents, Tom Lacher will now start to build the next iteration of his Tritons. Eugene Jones could fit in there nicely. Walking into the room, Jones is an intimidating force, possessing one of the few things you can't teach: size. At 7'0" and 308 pounds, he's part monster, part human. Oddly, this hasn't led to the dominating force you'd expect on the boards and in the post, but he's got a well-rounded game and could be the perfect project for a team looking for a pivot and anchor in the middle of their team.


26. Anaheim Archers - PF David Bennet (Pepperdine)

Its no secret that the Archers have a love obsession with seven-footers. While David Bennet is not quite seven feet tall, he's as close as you're going to get at 6'11". The young athletic big man started three seasons at Pepperdine and averaged 8 points and 7 rebounds. Not eye popping numbers by any means but he has the tools to develop into a dominate rebounder and solid defender. Offensively he is an underrated passer and has the skill set to go inside as well as make the open jumper.


27. London Knights - C Eloy Garfield (Minnesota)

With one seven-footer from Minnesota already gone, the London Knights could grab the other one with pick #27. Eloy Garfield is everything that you'd expect Eugene Jones to be. Despite giving up over 60 pounds to him, it was Garfield who put up maybe rebounding numbers on his way to being named the All-Big Ten center. In addition to this 10.4 rebounds, he also and 9.4 points per game for the Golden Gophers. The former high school All-American doesn't dominate in any one aspect of the game, but he does play basketball the right way, and is solid across the board. The Knights can use this pick any way they see fit, and not be wrong, and this would be a very solid pick up for one of the league's premiere franchises.


28. Kansas City Pioneers - SF Ismael Arias (Seton Hall)

The defending champs are loaded on offense and protect the paint as well as anyone. With their pick the Pioneers select Ismael Arias, small forward from Seton Hall. Arias gives them a little more defense on the perimeter with his ball hawking and shot blocking abilities. Not much in way of creating his own shots, he prefers to catch and shoot. That actually works on Kansas City since he should get plenty of open looks with Colby Allan and Darell Edwards on the team.


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0 #1 Eric Stelle 2018-02-10 23:16
Some interesting takes here. Nice work.

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