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2024 NBA Draft: Baylor’s Yves Missi turns pro after standout freshman campaign

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Second Round-Baylor vs Clemson
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Baylor center Yvesi Missi is entering the NBA Draft after a standout freshman season in Waco, Texas, he announced on Wednesday. Missi reclassified up last summer to join the Bears for the 2023-24 season and found a consistent role in the starting lineup immediately.

Missi started in 32 games and averaged 10.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in 23 minutes of action per night. Missi showed flashes of why he was the No. 42 overall recruit in the 2023 cycle by 247Sports with his elite ability to finish around the rim.

“I intend to enter the 2024 NBA draft and I am looking forward to the process,” Missi told ESPN. “I’m hiring Wasserman as an agency and I am all in!”

While Missi’s offensive game is one of his greatest strengths, he is also one of the top shot-blockers in the class. Missi’s elite athleticism for the position routinely allowed him to defend pick-and-rolls at a high level. He also contested shots around the basket frequently.

Yves Missi’s NBA Draft projection

Missi currently projects as a late-lottery or a mid-first-round selection. The 19-year-old has tools that can make him an elite shot blocker and rim runner at the next level, but his lack of shooting from outside the restricted area could be an area of concern at the next level. Missi is a high-upside prospect that could go higher than expected if a team wants to make a “swing for the fences” pick.

In the 2024 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings from CBS Sports, Missi checked in at No. 16. Missi landed at No. 17 in a recent mock draft from Kyle Boone and landed at No. 22 in Gary Parrish’s most recent mock draft.

“A raw prospect with tremendous upside, Missi is a potential lottery pick due to his size, skill, and shot blocking ability,” Boone wrote. “He’s a developmental type prospect but the flashes of “wow” he put together at the end of the season became more frequent.”

Impact on Baylor

With Missi off to the NBA and fellow freshman star Ja’Kobe Walter also expected to declare, Baylor will have work to do to replace that production. The Bears have the No. 9 recruiting class coming to campus this fall, with five-star forward V.J. Edgecombe headlining the class. Rob Wright (No. 25 in 247Sports rankings) and Jason Asemota (No. 47) join Edgecombe in Baylor’s 2024 recruiting class. With Baylor coach Scott Drew reportedly being a candidate to fill the vacant job at Kentucky, the roster could potentially look drastically different next season.

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