Purdue guard Jaden Ivey is going to start his sophomore season as a projected lottery pick.

Ivey is fresh off helping Team USA to the gold medal at the U-19 World Cup this summer. He was arguably one of the two best players on the team throughout the tournament, alongside Gonzaga commit Chet Holmgren.

He was also excellent down the stretch of his freshman season with the Boilermakers. He averaged 17.1 points per game over his final seven contests while shooting an admirable 46.1 percent from the floor and 34.9 percent from 3-point range.

After the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday, several draft experts released their way-too-early mocks for the 2022 cycle. Ivey made the lottery for both ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie.

In Givony’s mock, Ivey lands at No. 12 to the Memphis Grizzlies. He’s the third guard to come off the board, trailing G-League Ignite guard Jaden Hardy and Alabama freshman J.D. Davison.

Vecenie went as far as to call him his top prospect amongst all players returning to college basketball next season. Here’s an excerpt from Vecenie’s mock, where he ranks Ivey at No. 8 overall:

“My top prospect among those returning to college hoops. Ivey had an absolutely spectacular close to last season. He averaged 16 points, four rebounds and two assists in his final 10 games, leading Purdue down the stretch. He followed that up with an All-Tournament performance in the U19 World Cup as the lead guard of the gold medal-winning team. More of a scorer than a distributor, Ivey has a terrific first step and lives in the paint. He has potential as a three-level scorer due to his ability to separate, but the key going forward will be proving that he can shoot from distance.”

Ivey is hoping to lead Purdue to its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament berth this season.