NBA Draft Stock Watch: Sweet 16
With the first three rounds of the tournament now in the past, let’s check back and see how some players’ performances on the road to the Sweet 16 have effected their draft status.
Here are some of the players that helped, hurt or maintained their stock through the first three games of the tournament.
The same holds true for VCU senior forward Jamie Skeen whose all-around ability and leadership is helping the Commodores surge into the Sweet 16, and his name up draft boards.
A pair of Buckeyes are taking advantage of the spotlight, and the extra attention being paid to Jared Sullinger by raining three pointers. Both Jon Diebler (8 for 16) and David Lighty (9 for 10) have lit it up from behind the arc and have shown scouts that they can handle the pressure of being a top seed by peaking at the right time in terms of shooting from distance.
Maintained Their Place…
If there is a better and tougher player in the draft besides Arizona’s Derrick Williams, I’d like to see him. Thus far, he’s the MVP of the tournament regardless of what other player’s stats say.
Those people who thought BYU was going to be severely devastated by the loss of Brandon Davies forgot to tell Jimmer Fredette. 66 points in 79 minutes is a pretty good start to the tournament.
Purdue may have been knocked out early in the second round, but it won’t affect JaJuan Johnson’s standing to this point in the eyes of scouts. He left everything on the floor with his 25 point, 14 rebound 3-block performance in a loss to VCU.
Even with the injection of Kyrie Irving, Duke’s Nolan Smith has raised the level of his game in terms of attacking the rim and finishing drives. I knew Smith was an athlete, but he’s performing at his highest level and proving he’s a pro. We will have to see him perform in pre draft camps, but he’s a lock in the first round.
UNC’s Harrison Barnes needs to be a little more aggressive to the hole for me, he’s taken just six free throws in two games and has avoided contact, but it’s hard to argue with his overall consistency.
As was highlighted in a loss to Louisville in the Big East Tournament, Notre Dame’s Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis had difficulty spotting up and making shots when they faced rapid close-outs. Florida State did a great job of hurrying the Notre Dame shooters all night long, and playing at a speed that the Irish could never catch up with.
In a similar situation, Richmond’s Justin Harper is struggling from behind the arc, a skill that dazzled scouts all season. He’s just 2 for 9 in his first two games, both wins, but he’s has difficulty adjusting to the speed of the game.
Despite a gifted skill set, Kentucky’s Terrence Jones is proving he needs at least another year of seasoning. He has floated too much and has been far too passive in the first too game. He’s not putting the "pass" in passive, either. Just three assists in his first 60 minutes.
Same holds true for Texas’ Tristan Thompson who was completely overmatched and at times lost in the second round against Arizona. He needs to return to Austin to marinate a little longer.
Look for more notes from the Scouting Notebook as the Tournament goes on and make sure to check out the March Madness Page, which features in-depth game-by-game previews, insight from HOOPSWORLD’s Coach Anthony Macri and much more.