Mizzou's Denmon, Ratliffe on the radar

Updated: January 24, 2012, 11:39 AM ET
By Chad Ford

It's no secret that in college basketball the best teams also happen to have the best NBA prospects. This year, that rule applies more so than ever.

Take a look. Seven of the top eight schools in the country have at least one player ranked in the Top 30 of our Top 100. In total, those seven schools have 15 Top-30 prospects -- or half of the first round.

"You can take a handful of teams, and get half of the scouting done that you really need to this year," one NBA scout said. "And the good thing is that they're also really good teams."

The one exception to the rule? The Missouri Tigers, currently ranked No. 2 in the country. How can the Tigers be the No. 2 team in the country without any top NBA draft prospects? Add in the fact Missouri's highest-ever rated signee, Tony Mitchell, didn't stick, the Tigers' success is all the more puzzling. Part of the explanation goes to the unorthodox style of basketball that they play. Missouri relies on smaller, quicker players to create 40 minutes of madness on both ends of the floor. Very few teams in college are equipped to play with the Tigers and exactly zero teams in the NBA play anything like them.

But that doesn't mean that scouts aren't re-evaluating the draft prospects of Missouri's top players. Two players in particular -- seniors Marcus Denmon and Ricardo Ratliffe -- are getting a much closer look as potential first-round picks.

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