Top mid-major draft prospects

Updated: November 17, 2011, 1:41 PM ET
By Chad Ford

The Big Six college conferences -- the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC -- obviously get plenty of attention when it comes to the NBA draft.

But in the last several years, the other group -- the "mid-majors" -- have been more than holding its own. In 2011, four players from mid-major teams went in the first round -- Jimmer Fredette, Kawhi Leonard, Kenneth Faried and Norris Cole. In the 2010 draft, six players from mid-major teams went in the first round. Two of them -- Gordon Hayward from Butler and Paul George from Fresno State -- went in the top 10.

This year, we have just two mid-major players projected as first-round picks. Still, there's plenty of talent to keep an eye on.

I spoke with a number of NBA scouts to get a take on five players they'll be scouting closely in the mid-major conferences this season. Here's the breakdown: