The Round Table: Prospect Madness
After an exciting NCAA tournemant, it's time for college's elite to declare for the ultimate goal, the NBA. We ask the editors to weigh in on the potential futures for these NBA bound studs.
1. It seems Anthony Davis is a lock as the first overall pick; if so, what's his ceiling/potential?
Danny: Davis has serious All-Star potential. He's the length/height of Dwight Howard, with similar defensive (shot blocking!) instincts, but needs to hit the gym. Davis has some guard skills too (quickness, handle, passing), as he was (believe it or not) a point guard in high school before hitting a ridiculous growth spurt. He can shoot OK for a center, and hits his free throws. Unfortunately, he'll be lost in the chaos of Charlotte. Lame.
Armaan: Anthony Davis is raw ... really raw. He has a guard's instinct in a center's body, giving him unparalled anticipation and awareness; he has the length of an African giraffe; but sadly he has the offensive skill of Kwame Brown (not THAT bad but you get the point). Davis will surely go number one in the draft, and he has the potential to be a star center; however, his offensive game needs work. Nonethelss, I love his maturity and poise for freshmen, and I'm sure he will learn quickly from NBA coaches on how to improve his game. Best of all though .... he is marketable. That unibrow could sell itself.
2. Who should be the number #2 overall pick?
D: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Kentucky was at its best when in transition, feeding the ball to MKG for hard drives to the hoop. At the moment, he's an incredibly athletic slasher with decent handle/shooting ability but that can be improved (hopefully) in the NBA. Plus, he goes balls-to-the-wall hard. That intensity will translate well.
A: Thomas Robinson. 6'10, 240 pounds, pure muscle. The kid is a beast: athletic, strong, fearless, intense, and, best of all, he is one of the best rebounders in the country. Great rebounding statistics in college always translate well in the NBA (see: Kenneth Faried, Kevin Love, and Paul Millsap). His one downfall though is his mid-range shot, something he must work on if he wants to become a superstar in the NBA.
3. Leaving aside whether or not Austin Rivers should have declared for the Draft (leaving Duke), what is his potential as a professional baller?
D: I hated Austin Rivers until his sideline interview during this Sunday's Heat-Celtics game. He didn't give off that classic Duke air of douchery that I expected him to (although many Duke ballers are class acts, I still don't trust 'em), so I'll give him a pass on personality. He has great quickness, shooting ability, and one-on-one skills, great assets for an NBA 2-guard, even if he's kind of small.
A: I loved Austin Rivers because I loved Duke, yet his decision to declare for the draft was just foolish. As of right now, his potential as a pro-baller is at highest a Nick Young level. Rivers has the poise and confidence to attack the basket like other great scorers in the league, as he is explosive off the dribble and nearly unstoppable on his off tempo pullup; yet he will have a much harder time converting against larger, more physical, and lengthier NBA opponents. But the boy has got the kind fo swag that cannot be taught. Moreover, he has matured quite a bit since the start of the Blue Devils season, making him a better leader and a classier player. Look for him to be picked near the top ten.
4. Who has "bust" written all over him?
D: Jared Sullinger. Sullinger may not be a complete "bust," but his flaws were certainly exposed in the NCAA tourney. I find Kevin Love comparisons a bit far-fetched, even if they are both successful yet undersized bigs. Love is an elite rebounder and hits almost two 3s a game. Sullinger hit only a few 3s all season, and his best trait is his low-post game. The catch is that Sullinger has more and more trouble the larger his defender is (shot 5-19 against Kansas' bigs), and in the NBA, they only get bigger. While he's a perfect example of a great college player, I doubt he succeeds to the same degree in the NBA, having possibly lost millions of dollars of draft stock due to his poor performance against Kansas.
A: Andre Drummond. I IDOLIZED him when he was in highschool: 6'11, 270 pounds, deemed the next Amar'e Stoudemire. But one year at UConn changed my perspective completely. I personally think he let his idea of his potential catch up to him, as he didn't have a dominant freshman year as envisioned. Though he grabbed 7 boards a game, he could have easily had 13. The effort is just lacking. That being said, Drummond doesn't have BUST written all over him, but he does have some high expectations that I don't see him reaching completely.
Armaan and Danny
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