By Madisen Carter
Unlimited Potential Basketball’s Coach Packie recently traveled to Santa Barbara from Burlingame for eight weeks to help prepare these five talented young men for the 2021 NBA Draft. The 2021 NBA Draft was held on Thursday, July 29th, and UPB is proud to be a part of the player’s journey to the league.
Scottie Barnes from Florida State was selected 4th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors. In his one and done year with the Seminoles, Barnes made a tremendous impact on the team helping them achieve an overall record of 18-7. He averaged 10.3 points, 4 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. He finished his college career with a total of 248 points, shooting 50.3% from the field and 27.5% from beyond the arc. Barnes also totaled 98 assists and 96 rebounds on the year.
Barnes was named 2021 All-American Honorable Mention by the Associated Press, and was named to the 2021 All-ACC Freshman Team by ACC Coaches and Media.
Barnes said, “Each time I step on the court I just bring a winning culture. I bring a winning mentality to the game, where I just want to win so bad. So I'm [going to] do whatever it takes to try to win again, whether it's on the defensive end or the offensive end.”
Neemias Queta was selected 39th overall by the Sacramento Kings. Queta finished his career with Utah State as the best rim protector in school history. His ability to protect the rim was crucial for the Aggies as Queta broke the single-season record at Utah State with an NCAA-best 97 blocks, giving him a total of 219 blocks in his college career. Queta also had a total of 294 rebounds in the 2020-21 season, 211 of them on the defensive side of the ball. Not only was Queta’s defense beneficial for his team, but also his offensive game. He finished his junior season with a total of 433 points, averaging 14.9 points per game.
Queta was named to the 2021 first-team All-Mountain West. He also was honored with Mountain West’s Defensive Player of the Year and named the Defensive Player of the Year by Bleacher Report. He finished his career with the Aggies with a total of 1,133 points, 777 rebounds and 63 steals.
Queta mentioned that his main focus during the pre draft process was “... Working on my body a lot. It's a transition that every player has to go through, getting adjusted to the next level. Everybody is a lot stronger [and] quicker. Being able to adjust my body and having my body in those categories is just going to benefit me and my game.”
Greg Brown III was selected 43rd overall in the draft and is now a member Portland Trail Blazers. Brown declared for the 2021 NBA Draft after one season with the Longhorns at the University of Texas. He came into college as a top-10 recruit and was “expected to make an immediate impact on the frontcourt rotation,” according to University of Texas Athletics. During his time with the Longhorns, Brown played in 26 games and started in 24 of them. He averaged 9.3 points per game shooting 42%, and 6.2 rebounds.
He finished his one year career with the Longhorns with a total of 243 points, 161 rebounds, 26 blocks and 15 steals.
Brown said, “[Coach] Packie has been working with me on ball handling and shooting a lot. Coming off the screens, making reads off of that. Just working on my form. Basically all around shooting in that area.”
Kessler Edwards was selected 44th overall by the Brooklyn Nets. He made an impressive mark offensively and defensively during his three seasons at Pepperdine University. According to the Pepperdine Waves, Edwards ranks 30th all-time in scoring with 1,247 points and ranks fifth in blocked shots with 127 of them. Edwards’ junior season was his best year with the Waves as he averaged 17.2 points per game, as well as the team’s best of 6.8 rebounds per game.
After the 2020-21 season, Edwards made the NABC All-District second team and All-WCC fiest team. He started in 85 games in the 93 games he appeared in during his college career and finished with a total 1,247 points, shooting 48% from the field, and also totaled 616 rebounds, 127 blocks, 109 assists and 97 steals.
Edwards said, “My main focus [during the pre draft process] has just been getting better every day on the court. Something I have been working on has really been my ball handling, I think that's improved a lot. also just working on my body, getting ready for the next level, getting stronger and faster, things like that.”
Balša Koprivica was selected 57th overall in the draft and is now a Detroit Piston. He made a great impact on Florida State’s 2020-21 team offensively and defensively. He led the team with a career-high 33 blocked shots on the season, while he averaged 1.4 blocked shots per game. Koprivica also led the Seminoles with a 59.9 field goal shooting percentage. During his sophomore and final year, Koprivica averaged 9.1 points per game, as well as 5.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists.
Koprivica lands in the Seminoles’ record book as second in career field percentage at 63.2%. He was named to the 2021 All-Academic ACC Men’s Basketball team as well as the 2021 All-ACC Tournament First Team. In his two year career with Florida State, he finished with a total of 346 points, 200 rebounds and 40 blocks.
Koprivica said, “I've been focusing on just polishing my game all around. Packie has been tremendous with me and helping me with my jump shot and to be more consistent, all the mechanics and fixing every little detail that needs to be fixed, so it's been great so far.”