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Mavericks fans should keep an eye on this trio of prospects from Kentucky

Mavericks fans may be looking to the draft more this year than in the past. Here are some names to watch tonight.

NCAA Basketball: Valparaiso at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a lot of basketball left to be played for the Dallas Mavericks this season, and while the team has encountered a down stretch to start the season, the situation isn’t so bad that we should turn our attention away. Despite the 7-21 start to the year, the Mavs are just 5 games out of 8th place in the Western Conference.

Sneaking into the playoffs isn’t the situation Dallas, or any team, wants to find themselves in consistently, and yet, the Mavs have been in that exact situation for the past five seasons.

The best way for Dallas to plant themselves back into to upper echelon of the Western Conference is to utilize the draft to acquire top-level talent, and it’s in that vein that we’ll be taking a look at some college prospects throughout the season.

So, before you watch Dallas take on Portland tonight at 9 p.m. CT, check out this trio of Kentucky Wildcats when they play Louisville at 6 p.m. CT, on ESPN.

Malik Monk | Freshman, PG, 6’3”, 200 lbs

(Rated as the No. 7 prospect for 2017 by CBS Sports)

Monk is an explosive scorer (as evidenced by his 47-point outing against North Carolina on Saturday the 17th) with great range and good ball skills. He’s still learning how to involve his teammates more, and it shows sometimes, but his ability to shoot (50.3 percent FG%, 42.2 percent 3PT%) and play in transition makes him an incredible prospect.

De’Aaron Fox | Freshman, PG, 6’3”, 187 lbs

(Rated as the No. 8 prospect for 2017 by CBS Sports)

Fox is the better passing point guard for Kentucky at this point, as he’s averaging 7.2 assists per game this season. He’s a solid scorer close to the basket, but his three-point shooting isn’t great (just 13 percent from deep this season).

However, his ball handling ability is through the roof, and his court vision is impressive as well, two big check marks in looking at point guard prospects.

Edrice “Bam” Adebayo | Freshman, C, 6’10”, 260 lbs

(Rated as the No. 13 prospect for 2017 by CBS Sports)

Adebayo is an incredible athlete with insanely long arms who possesses great leaping ability and is really quick for his size. He’s already a defensive force (six multiple-block games this season), and is a strong rebounding presence (7.9 rebounds per game). Offensively his game is still pretty raw, but he can finish well in transition.