Just saw this on ESPN, Chad Ford is breaking down NBA Prospects in the tournament by region. Wanted to see what he had to say about all of the prospects, but it's Insider material. If anyone could post it here that would be great.
Just saw this on ESPN, Chad Ford is breaking down NBA Prospects in the tournament by region. Wanted to see what he had to say about all of the prospects, but it's Insider material. If anyone could post it here that would be great.
I hate insider.
East Region NBA prospects
1. Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State
The good: Sullinger has been the most productive freshman in the country. He's a monster in the paint -- both as a scorer and rebounder. He has long arms, boasts a very high basketball IQ and will surprise you with his play on the perimeter.
The bad: He's undersized. If Sullinger were 6-foot-11, he would be, hands down, the No. 1 pick in the draft. He's a solid athlete, but not as explosive as scouts would like.
The upside: Sullinger has drawn comparisons to everyone from Elton Brand to Paul Millsap. He has led Ohio State to a No. 1 ranking in the country and does it without flash. If he has a huge tournament, he could end up going No. 1 overall -- especially if a team such as the Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards or Detroit Pistons gets the No. 1 pick.
2. Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina
The good: Barnes is a skilled wing who can do a little bit of everything. He's been especially dangerous in the clutch this season. Barnes has ice water running through his veins and has killed a number of teams late with some great shooting. His high basketball IQ, smooth athleticism and even-keeled demeanor are all pluses.
The bad: He hasn't lived up to the hype. Barnes really struggled out of the gate and lost his place as the consensus No. 1 pick in the draft. Too often, Barnes settles for jump shots instead of taking the ball to the basket. His athletic abilities don't pop the way they do for other top prospects.
The upside: Barnes has been a different player since hitting a game winner against Miami in late January. Since then, he's been averaging 19 points per game for North Carolina, and the team is 12-2 in that stretch. If Barnes can have a few more big games in the tournament, he could move himself back into the conversation for the No. 1 pick in the draft.
3. Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky
The good: Jones is one of the most versatile players in college basketball. He can play multiple positions. He can score inside and outside and is a good ball handler, rebounder and passer. Combine that with Jones' 7-2 wingspan and terrific athleticism and you have a terrific NBA prospect.
The bad: Jones is streaky. He has struggled with his shot in the second half of the season and has stumbled in some critical games for Kentucky. At times, he doesn't display the greatest body language or motor.
The upside: When Jones gets things rolling, he's one of the most dangerous players in the country. Early in the season, there was talk about him as a potential No. 1 pick. The past month, he has struggled to stay in the top 10. If he can help take Kentucky deep, he'll be a very high lottery pick this summer.
4. John Henson, F, North Carolina
The good: Henson is one of the most unusual prospects in the country. Defensively, he's a nightmare for teams because of his great mobility, length, athleticism and motor. He can change the game with his defensive presence inside and out.
The bad: He's thin as a rail and still a major work in progress offensively. He doesn't have the strength to post up, and his jumper is still shaky.
The upside: NBA scouts have been debating Henson's pros and cons the past two years. Henson lacks strength and a discernable offensive repertoire, but he's a long, athletic bundle of energy who plays hard on both ends of the floor. Scouts believe the offense eventually will come, and his defensive abilities should make him a lottery pick.
5. Brandon Knight, G, Kentucky
The good: Knight is a quick, athletic guard who can play both positions in the backcourt. He has really good range on his jumper and can be a lockdown defender on the defensive end.
The bad: He's a tweener. Knight struggles to see the floor as well as other elite John Calipari guards, and he seems more comfortable as a scoring guard.
The upside: Knight isn't Rose, Evans or John Wall. But he has had a terrific freshman season and, in many ways, has been Kentucky's steadiest player. If scouts can get over what he's not and focus on what he can do, he has a chance to move back up into the lottery conversation with a great tournament.
SLEEPER: Tu Holloway, PG, Xavier
The good: Explosive guard who can put it in the basket and get his teammates involved. Thrives putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket. He is a good, tenacious on-the-ball defender with a high basketball IQ.
The bad: Holloway can get enamored with having the ball in his hands. His jump shot is a bit streaky, and he's small for the NBA.
The upside: Holloway hasn't gotten a lot of press, but he's been the most important player on a very good Xavier team this year. He has many of the pluses of Jordan Crawford without some of the personality issues that scared teams with Crawford. If he can lead Xavier to a few upsets, he could rocket up the board.
Others to watch: Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina; Travis Leslie, G, Georgia; Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia; Kris Joseph, F, Syracuse; Doron Lamb, G, Kentucky; William Buford, G, Ohio State; Mouphtaou Yarou, PF, Villanova; Rick Jackson, F, Syracuse; Isaiah Thomas, G, Washington; Matthew Bryan-Amaning, F, Washington; Maalik Wayns, PG, Villanova; Fab Melo, C, Syracuse; David Lighty, G, Ohio State; Deshaun Thomas, F, Ohio State; Jimmy Butler, F, Marquette; Vander Blue, G, Marquette; Kevin Jones, F, West Virginia; Justin Holiday, F, Washington; Terrence Ross, SG, Washington; Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina; Corey Stokes, G, Villanova; Corey Fisher, G, Villanova; Dominic Cheek, G, Villanova; C.J. Wilcox, SG, Washington; Darius Johnson-Odom, G, MarquetteThe West Region is stacked with NBA draft prospects. I count an impressive five potential lottery picks (six if Duke's Kyrie Irving plays) and a few other potential first-rounders in the group.
If you're a GM and need to pick one region to scout, this would be it.
1. Derrick Williams, F, Arizona Wildcats
The Good: Williams is, along with Kenneth Faried, the most efficient player in college basketball. He's a proven low-post scoring threat, especially off the dribble. But he's added a killer 3-point shot to his arsenal this season. (He's shooting an insane 60 percent from 3.)
The Bad: Not much. He's a bit of a tweener. He's going to have to be a 3 in the NBA. He's a solid athlete, but not an elite one.
The Upside: Williams was not a blue-chip recruit coming out of high school, which means the NBA has been a little slow on the uptake. But not anymore. Every NBA team I've spoken with has him in the top five on their board. While no one thinks he'll be a superstar, they think he's going to be a terrific pro in an otherwise so-so draft.
2. Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut Huskies
The Good: Walker may be small in stature, but he has a HUGE heart. He has taken UConn on his back this season and has become one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball. He has great quickness, speed in the open court and has really improved his jump shot this season.
The Bad: He's probably closer to 5-foot-9 or 5-10 than the listed 6-1 height. Is he really a point guard? He doesn't seem to have the same feel that other top point guards do.
The Upside: I wouldn't bet against Walker, especially not after his heroic performances at the Maui Invitational and Big East tournament. He's fearless. If there was one guy you'd put your money on to have a big tournament, it's him. The rest of his team may let him down, but Walker has earned the respect of everyone, including NBA GMs. A likely top-10 pick.
3. Kawhi Leonard, F, San Diego State Aztecs
The Good: A long, athletic forward with huge hands, a great motor and the ability to score from just about everywhere. He's a great rebounder too.
The Bad: Another player without a well-defined position. Ideally he'd be a few inches taller. He's not a great shooter yet. Can disappear sometimes in big games.
The Upside: Last year we had Leonard listed as a sleeper. Now that he plays on the No. 6 team in the country, that sort of talk has died down. But now the expectations may be almost too high for him. He's still developing his game offensively, but when you watch him, it's hard not to see what makes him special. NBA scouts love guys with intangibles, and Leonard appears to have them.
4. Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas Longhorns
The Good: Thompson is, in the words of our David Thorpe, "a beast." He's one of the better offensive rebounders in the country, has developed a solid offensive game, plays his heart out and is a terrific athlete with long arms.
The Bad: He's still a bit raw offensively. He's undersized for his position. Still working on a perimeter game.
The Upside: Thompson got off to a bit of a slow start, but he's often been Texas' best player down the stretch. Jordan Hamilton is a much flashier player, but it's the dirty work that Thompson is willing to do in the paint that pushes him ahead of Hamilton on many draft boards.
5. Mason Plumlee, PF/C, Duke Blue Devils
The Good: Plumlee is a terrific athlete. He runs the floor well and can jump out of the gym. He's a very good rebounder and shot-blocker.
The Bad: He's still really raw offensively. He doesn't have much of a low-post game yet.
The Upside: Plumlee was supposed to have a breakout season for Duke this year, but it hasn't really happened. He's not featured in their offense and has really relied on putbacks for his offense this season. Still, scouts are undeterred in their belief that he's a potential lottery pick. You just don't find many players with his size and athleticism.
SLEEPER: Keith Benson, PF/C, Oakland Golden Grizzlies
The Good: Benson is another great athlete who runs the floor well and shows excellent quickness and athletic ability for a big man. He's a very good shot-blocker, rebounder and even has a face-the-basket game out to about 15 feet.
The Bad: He lacks strength to play in the post. He can get a bit lazy at times and doesn't always engage every play. He struggled to defend stronger players in the paint.
The Upside: Scouts have wanted to write him off for two seasons, but Benson has been too good to ignore. Oakland has played a number of tough opponents, and Benson has produced. If he can do it on the biggest stage, he could easily move into the first round. There just aren't many big men in this draft.
Others to watch: Jordan Hamilton, F, Texas; Tobias Harris, F, Tennessee; Nolan Smith, G, Duke; Kyle Singler, F, Duke; Darius Morris, PG, Michigan; Scotty Hopson, SG, Tennessee; Alex Oriakhi, PF, UConn; Cory Joseph, PG, Texas; Yancy Gates, PF, Cincinnati; J'Covan Brown, G, Texas; Wesley Witherspoon, F, Memphis; Roscoe Smith, F, UConn; Seth Curry, G, Duke; Talor Battle, G, Penn State; Tim Hardaway Jr., G, Michigan; Lavoy Allen, PF, Temple; Will Barton, G, Memphis; Will Coleman, PF, MemphisThe Southeast Region is the weakest region in the NCAA Tournament as far as NBA draft prospects.
I count only one potential lottery pick and just one surefire first-round pick in the entire group. It doesn't mean it won't produce the NCAA champ. But as far as NBA scouts are concerned, if they're going to skip a region, this would be the one to skip.
1. Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU Cougars
The Good: Fredette is a scoring machine who can fill it up from anywhere on the floor. He has crazy range on his 3-point shot and also is adept at finishing around the basket. He's tough and he's a winner. He's unafraid to put his team on his back. When he's double- and triple-teamed, he shows that he can be a willing passer as well.
The Bad: He's not an explosive athlete. He's not a stiff, but he's not in the same league with the ultra-quick point guards the draft has produced the past few years. He's also undersized if he projects as a 2 in the pros. His defense is as bad as his offense is good.
The Upside: There's no player in the draft who can divide NBA scouts the way Fredette does. Some see his toughness, shooting ability and basketball IQ and are convinced he'll find a way to be a serious NBA player -- either a point guard like Steve Nash or a big-time shooter like Ben Gordon or Stephen Curry. Others see an undersized 2-guard who lacks lateral quickness and doesn't have a position. They scream Adam Morrison at worst, Eddie House at best. Fredette has been awesome on the big stage in the past. If he can take an undermanned BYU team deep, he's probably a lottery pick.
2. Patric Young, PF/C, Florida Gators
The Good: Young has the body of an NBA All-Star. He's a tough, physical player who can dominate the paint as a rebounder and shot blocker.
The Bad: He's been one of the least effective offensive players in the country. He's averaging just 3.3 ppg in 18 mpg.
The Upside: How can a player averaging 3.3 ppg be considered a first-round pick? NBA scouts are convinced Young has the potential to be a dominant defensive big man whether he gets his offensive game going or not (think Ben Wallace). His body is NBA-ready, as is his defense. If he shows he's a game-changer on the defensive end the next few weeks, the lottery is not out of the question for him.
3. Tyler Honeycutt, F, UCLA Bruins
The Good: Honeycutt isn't flashy, but he's the sort of player who is a jack of all trades. He can be a solid shooter, decent rebounder, handles the ball well, sees the floor and has a nice basketball IQ.
The Bad: Honeycutt doesn't really stand out in any one area. He's not a great athlete, has struggled with his shooting at times this season and his numbers, across the board, have been pretty pedestrian.
The Upside: There were high hopes for Honeycutt coming into the season, and he's shown flashes of being an NBA prospect. But for the most part, he's been a disappointment. If NBA GMs take any solace, it's in the fact that UCLA prospects in Ben Howland's system come out the other side pretty NBA-ready. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Darren Collison and Jrue Holiday all have been better in the pros than their college stats indicated they would be.
4. Jon Leuer, PF, Wisconsin Badgers
The Good: The big man has been one of the most efficient players in college this season. He's an excellent shooter for a big man who can stretch defenses all the way to the 3-point line. He's also a pretty good ball handler for a big and can create his own shot off the dribble.
The Bad: Leuer isn't a great athlete. He doesn't have great strength for an NBA 4. And, to top it off, he's not a great rebounder for a player his size.
The Upside: There are a number of NBA teams who need stretch 4s in their offensive schemes, and as far as big-men shooters go, Leuer is one of the best in the draft. Despite playing in the Big Ten, Wisconsin always goes a bit under-scouted. Leuer and teammate Jordan Taylor are probably a bit underrated right now. A big tournament will change that.
5. Elias Harris, F, Gonzaga Bulldogs
The Good: The versatile forward can be an explosive scorer both inside and out. He runs the floor well, can create his own shot and can be a good rebounder.
The Bad: He's really struggled this season. His numbers are down across the board. He will have to shake the label of a tweener.
The Upside: Had Harris declared for the draft last season, he likely would've been a mid-first-round pick. But he's having a terrible season. Scouts are scratching their heads a bit -- especially because Harris is already 21 years old. A great tournament could re-establish him as a legit first-rounder, but it's going to take a lot of work.
Sleeper: Shelvin Mack, G, Butler Bulldogs
The Good: Mack is a big-time shooter with deep range on his jump shot. He's tough, physical and built like a tank. Despite his size, he's deceptively quick and a good floor leader.
The Bad: He's struggled a bit with his jump shot this season. Scouts see him as a tweener. Does he have the requisite vision to be a point guard in the pros? If not, he's undersized.
The Upside: Mack helped his stock quite a bit last season playing alongside Gordon Hayward. He's struggled to make big improvements over his sophomore season, however. Another big tournament from Mack and Butler could put him back on the first-round bubble.
Others to watch: Durrell Summers, G, Michigan State; Malcolm Lee, G, UCLA; Josh Smith, C, UCLA; Jordan Taylor, G, Wisconsin; Keith Appling, G, Michigan State; Kenny Boynton Jr., G, Florida; Chandler Parsons, F, Florida; Kalin Lucas, PG, Michigan State; Dwight Hardy, G, St. John's; Jacob Pullen, G, Kansas State; Draymond Green, F, Michigan State; Jamar Samuels, F, Kansas State; Gilbert Brown, G, Pittsburgh; Brad Wanamaker, G, Pittsburgh; Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State; Robert Sacre, C, Gonzaga; Dante Taylor, PF, Pittsburgh; Matt Howard, F, Butler; Curtis Kelly, F, Kansas State; Alex Tyus, PF, Florida; Vernon Macklin, F, Florida.http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/blog?...aft&id=6219681The Southwest Region has a lot of talent but not many NBA draft lottery prospects. While the East Region had as many as five potential lottery picks and a few other potential first-rounders, this Southwest group really only has one or two.
1. Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris and Thomas Robinson, Fs, Kansas Jayhawks
The Good: Kansas has the best front line in the NCAA. Marcus Morris is the best offensive prospect of the group. His ability to be equally effective with his back to the basket and on the perimeter is special. Markieff Morris has improved his offensive game, though it's not quite equal to Marcus' yet. Markieff, however, is an inch taller and has proven to be a better rebounder and shot-blocker. Robinson comes off the bench for Kansas, but on most teams he'd not only be a starter but a star. Robinson is the most athletic of the group. He has a crazy motor, plays terrific defense and is an emerging offensive player in his own right.
The Bad: Scouts are worried that Marcus may be a tweener in the NBA. His natural position in college has been at the 4, but teams feel he may need to switch to the 3 in the pros. Is he quick enough? Markieff is still a bit rawer than Marcus offensively. Will he be a consistent enough threat in the pros to warrant a lottery pick? Robinson has the most physical tools, but he's the rawest of the three with the ball in his hands. He has talent, but it's still emerging.
The Upside: This may surprise Kansas fans, but most of the NBA execs and scouts I speak with have Robinson ranked as the best pro prospect of the Jayhawks. His elite athleticism and NBA-ready body have scouts drooling. If he declares this year, he's a likely lottery pick. Scouts debate about whether Marcus or Markieff will be the better pro prospect. Marcus is more polished, while Markieff has a physical advantage that matters in the pros. All three will hear their names in the first round if they declare for the draft.
2. Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State Eagles
The Good: Faried is the best rebounder in college basketball. He has a crazy motor and is a terrific athlete. His offensive game has been slowly coming along, too.
The Bad: Faried is a bit undersized for his position. He also lacks the strength NBA teams are looking for at the 4. Can he get anything going offensively in the NBA?
The Upside: For the past two years, we've listed Faried in the "sleeper" category. No more. NBA scouts know him well, and many believe he'll be a lottery pick on draft night. His energy and knack for grabbing rebounds is elite -- some go so far to say Dennis Rodman-esque. A big game or two for Morehead State should be the icing on a terrific career.
3. Jeff Taylor, F, Vanderbilt Commodores
The Good: Taylor is one of the best athletes in the game. He's an explosive leaper who excels out in transition. He has dramatically improved his jump shot over the past three years.
The Bad: Taylor still hasn't had that breakout year that scouts predicted he'd have. He still struggles to dominate offensively (he rarely takes guys off the dribble), and even though his shot is much better it still needs work for the next level.
The Upside: His athletic ability alone makes him a legit first-round prospect. If he were to land on the right team (think one that gets out in transition a lot) he could have a great pro career. He has wilted a bit in big games over the past few years. If he can take over in the tournament, he could rocket up the draft board.
4. JaJuan Johnson, F, Purdue Boilermakers
The Good: Johnson is a long, athletic and big with a surprising face-the-basket game. He has improved every year in school, is a proven shot-blocker and has dramatically increased his free throw percentage.
The Bad: Scouts are still figuring out exactly how his game translates at the next level. He lacks the strength to mix it up inside but doesn't quite have the perimeter skills to dominate at the next level.
The Upside: Sometimes scouts overscout seniors. Johnson has improved so much and he has the athleticism scouts are always looking for. He just needs to show he can fit into a role in the pros. If Purdue goes deep, he may finally convince them he's a legit first-round pick.
5. Khris Middleton, G/F, Texas A&M Aggies
The Good: Middleton has a great midrange game. He can get his shot off against just about everyone.
The Bad: He's thin. He's not always aggressive hunting for his shot. He could improve his 3-point shooting.
The Upside: Middleton is ranked No. 39 on our board, but it's a bit deceptive. A few teams have him ranked much, much higher and think he could be a Richard Hamilton-type player in the NBA. If Middleton and Texas A&M get it going the next few weeks, he's going to rise. He seems like the type of prospect that is going to succeed at the next level.
Sleeper: Justin Harper, F, Richmond Spiders
The Good: Harper is a face-the-basket 4, who has been on fire from the 3-point line this season, shooting a red-hot 46 percent from 3. His length and athleticism are also big pluses at the next level.
The Bad: He's fallen in love with the jumper and sometimes becomes a bit one-dimensional. For his size, he should be a better rebounder and shot-blocker. Some scouts think he's a bit on the soft side.
The Upside: Harper really didn't get much NBA buzz until his breakout senior season. Now he's all the rage. He is No. 33 on our Big Board, but all he really needs is a big performance to boost him safely into the first round.
Others to watch: Josh Selby, G, Kansas; Chris Singleton, F, Florida State; Jereme Richmond, F, Illinois; Demetri McCamey, PG, Illinois; Tyshawn Taylor, PG, Kansas; Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt; E'Twaun Moore, G/F, Purdue; Ben Hansbrough, G, Notre Dame; Nikola Vucevic, F, USC; John Jenkins, G, Vanderbilt; Xavier Gibson, PF, Florida State; Jon Kreft, C, Florida State; Peyton Siva, PG, Louisville, Terrence Jennings, PF, Louisville; Michael Snaer, SG, Florida State; Brandon Paul, SG, Illinois; Mike Davis, PF, Illinois; Elijah Johnson, PG, Kansas; Austin Freeman, G, Georgetown; Alex Stepheson, PF, USC; Chris Wright, G, Georgetown
Which translates into this being a pretty weak draft.
Fixed.The Southeast Region is the weakest region in the NCAA Tournament by far.
Derrick Williams is a joy to watch. Hopefully he'll get a matchup against Hamilton in the second round.
Come to the Dark Side -- There's cookies!
I'm really interested in see what happens to Shelvin Mack. There are sometimes he is just lights out, and other times completely invisible.
I wonder if Jimmer fell into the Pacers laps at 15 would they take him? They can get a veteran big in free agency that could help sooner than any draft pick. So a shooter like Fredette might come in handy.
For a team drafting in the top 10, yeah this is a weak draft. But for a team drafting where we are......I think that we can draft a solid player ( assuming Bird and the Scouts do their job ).
[I]Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.
Jimmer a pure PG? He's practically the opposite.
I see Jimmer as maybe a..middle class man's Ben Gordon.
I'm sure Bird would take him.
I don't want Jimmer. Great shooting but definitely not a great athlete, and I think his ballhandling could be better. I want a point guard who is great at running a team much more than I want a great shooter. I'm not convinced he can score like that at the pro level, and I'd be pretty concerned about his defense. I'm sure others would like him much more than I do.
Darren Collison, AJ, and your boy Stephenson might be as well.
Lets not forget that Darren has ran the offense decently in the last 3 games. But Jimmer could never guard a NBA PG. That is why he may be the next Steve Kerr.
This is going to be a year where after the top 6-7 picks you will be not even looking at possible starters but whether they can even crack a rotation on a middle-of-the-pack or worse team.
With that level of expectation, I wouldn't mind Ferdette as a better ball-handling & physically stronger version of Eddie House, meaning not a real "1" but a tiny 2 that can fill a niche role. I don't buy the Curry comparisons at all. If Lance ever got to be the man to play backup PG, he could flip-flop on D and guard SGs, making a sweet shooting smaller 2 like Ferdette a realistic backup, if he's able to guard even some of the BACKUP PGs or BACKUP SGs.
Last edited by Slick Pinkham; 03-18-2011 at 10:33 AM.
Price is, Collison could be. Both of them, right now, have a much easier time creating shots for themselves than other people.
1. Being able to individually create shots for your teammates doesn't define pure PG. There's other things..like running an offense..which define it.
2. Being able to do that well, is often what separates all star level PGs from your average PG.
3. Hence, it's hard. DC and AJ are going to to have to develop that. But it's their second year. And it's hard..and right now they are both better at creating their own shot when the offense gets stagnant, so that's what they do. Young guys do what they are comfortable with.
I'm almost 100% sure the Pacers trade their draft pick. May they try to acquire another one.. sure, but I believe they will trade the 1st rounder for a proven player
Last year Bird seemed iffy with trading a fairly decent lottery pick and he brought in a potential star player with it, but with there good chance we'll make the playoffs, we will have the 15th pick.
Bird offered our draft pick to Memphis for Mayo and I think he'll try it again.
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