NBA Draft Early Entry
By Doug Ferguson
Early this month we took a look at what might possibly unfold on draft night for the 2012 NBA Draft in Picks 1-10 and who could come out as the biggest winners and losers based on how things look to be shaping up. Now we are back with a look at the rest of the 1st round and how it could go…with our best bets at those who will miss the mark or hit a home run on draft night:
11. Blazers- Kendall Marshall/PG/North Carolina/6-4/SO
Blazers need a point guard and they hope Marshall falls here….if not look for Rivers or Lillard….
12. Bucks- Terrence Jones/SF/Kentucky/6-8/SO
When all is said and done the national title puts Jones back in the lottery even after a less-than-dominating season…..
13. Suns- Damian Lillard/PG/Weber State/6-2/JR
Whether Nash stays or goes he will have to be replaced in the near future…..
14. Rockets- Fab Melo/C/Syracuse/7-0/SO
Houston looks for the best upside as we see a string of bigs start to tumble…..
15. Sixers- Meyers Leonard/C/Illinois/7-0/SO
This could be good value for Philly as the Spencer Hawes experiment has run its course…..
16. Rockets- Tyler Zellar/PF/North Carolina/7-0/JR
Shades of Sampson and Olajuwon as Houston goes a little safer with their second 7 footer in 3 picks…..
17. Mavs- Dion Waiters/G/Syracuse/6-4/SO
An aging backcourt seems to match up well with picking a very fast riser
18. T-Wolves- Arnett Moultrie/PF/Mississippi State/6-10/JR
The bust factor is high with this one….Yoda told me that….
19. Magic-Andrew Nicholson/PF/Saint Boneventure/6-10/SR
Its obvious that the Magic will be trying to replace the shot blocking that they will almost certainly lose with Dwight Howard’s departure….
20. Nuggets- Jeremy Lamb/W/Connecticut/6-5/SO
Lamb will likely slip after the subpar season he had without Kemba Walker killing it next to him…..
Additional 11-20 analysis:
Best Value- Fab Melo
Not really projected to go high, I feel that somebody with double picks will take a chance. He made HUGE strides in his skill level and ESPECIALLY in strength and conditioning in his sophomore campaign for Jim Boeheim. Just as scouts notice good play in the tournament they also notice the dip in the Orange’s play without their big man during the postseason.
Biggest Reach- Arnett Moultrie
Moultrie has been a conundrum since being noticed by scouts a few years ago. Talent through the roof but also comes with the same baggage as his post mate in Starkville, Renardo Sidney.
Most Likely to Bust- Damian Lillard
No doubt Lillard showed he can ball this past season but there are always reservations about players who just pop up on the radar as lottery picks. Its quite possible that he could go as high as 6th which would put his bust factor through the roof.
21. Celtics- Doron Lamb/G/Kentucky/6-4/SO
Although Avery Bradley is tabbed as the replacement for Ray Allen, they will still want more firepower in the backcourt…..
22. Celtics- Quincy Miller/SF/Baylor/6-9/FR
There may not be a higher risk/reward pick out there….Miller has the talent to replace Paul Pierce one day….
23. Hawks- Marquis Teague/PG/Kentucky/6-2/FR
His brother is just starting to possibly come around but point guard is still their biggest need…..
24. Cavs- Tomas Satoransky/G/Czech Republic/6-8/1991
With a couple more picks at the top of the second round this will for sure be a trade or Euro that they can keep off the books for a couple years….
25. Grizzlies- John Jenkins/SG/Vanderbilt/6-4/JR
In their search for an O.J. Mayo replacement Memphis goes in-state for one of the Vanderbilt wings….
26. Pacers- William Buford/SG/Ohio State/6-5/SR
He seems to be a consensus second rounder but its hard to believe that such a versatile, decorated player will fall out of the first…..
27. Heat- Tony Wroten/PG/Washington/6-4/FR
Miami needs an inside big and a talented guard to distribute to their scorers…..Wroten is the latter….
28. Thunder- Tyshawn Taylor/PG/Kansas/6-3/SR
They will obviously need a replacement to backup Russell Westbrook sooner rather than later and Taylor is cut from the same mold….
29. Bulls- Kris Joseph/SF/Syracuse/6-7/SR
Nothing more that the Bulls like than athletic players that can guard the wings…..
30. Warriors- Darius Johnson-Odom/SG/Marquette/6-2/SR
Just playing off the Warriors pension for undersized guards that ball out of control…..
Additional 21-30 analysis:
Best Value- Tony Wroten
At one time a top 5 player in his high school class, he only really dropped out of that due to injury. He also fits what the Heat need like a glove if in fact that is where he goes.
Biggest Reach- Kris Joseph
All the players in the final portion of the first round are good value picks as far as I’m concerned but Joseph lost some of his luster this year and most have him as a sure second rounder.
Most Likely to Bust- Marquis Teague
Teague has all the talent in the world but is definitely the one Kentucky starter that should have stayed in school. He needs big time work on his jumper before he can be effective in a major way on the pro level.
By Doug Ferguson
Now that the NBA has held their draft lottery, it is time to take a look at what will likely happen on draft night. Here is a look at picks 1-10 and how the order is currently shaping up to look like…
1. Hornets- Anthony Davis/PF/Kentucky/6-11/FR
Davis was the guaranteed pick of anyone who won the lottery putting a lid on one of the wildest, one in a million journeys a player has ever traveled….
2. Bobcats- Thomas Robinson/PF/Kansas/6-9/SR
Last year Charlotte took a project post player, this year they go with one who is ready to play now….
3. Wizards- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist/SF/Kentucky/6-6/FR
Instability has loomed over this franchise like the dark cloud over Winnie the Pooh and his donkey and this kid is a rock….
4. Cavs- Andre Drummond/PF/Connecticut/6-11/FR
Teamed with the reigning rookie of the year Drummond and Tristan Thompson will be fighting over alley oops for years to come….
5. Kings- Harrison Barnes/W/North Carolina/6-8/SO
Barnes could easily slip further than this showing how fickle draft experts can be as he was a no doubt top overall pick to some if he were allowed tocome out high school….
By Doug Feguson
While the rest of the sports world with an interest in the NBA continues to discuss the ‘rigged’ NBA Draft lottery that took place last night or is scouring over the latest knee-jerk mock drafts produced following the lottery, NBE will work backwards and take a look at some key players who may not hear their name on draft night, but could very well make an impact in ‘The League’ in the future.
10 Players Who Most Likely Won’t Get Drafted But Could Play in the League
Every year much emphasis is placed on the mistakes NBA executives make as nearly a third of draft picks spend little or no substantial time in the league. In pointing out a team’s faults, many times not enough credit is given to the true diamonds in the rough found in the post-draft free agent pool. Here are 10 players who may not be seen on draft night, but may be on somebody’s roster when it really counts.
- Kim English/W/Missouri/6-6/SR
English has the size to defend most wings in the league. Not only does he have the measurables needed, but he is actually a proven defender in the Big 12. The 2-time All-Big 12 third teamer could be a solid system fit for a team who runs a similar pressing style to that of Missouri. He is also very confident in knocking down perimeter jumpers out to the NBA line.
Okay, I give you permission…No, really, you can admit that you’re now watching the NBA because if you’re not, you’re going to miss the best basketball you’ll watch all year over the next two weeks — I guarantee it for a number of reasons.
The defensive intensity — yes they play it in the NBA despite what everybody who doesn’t watch the NBA claims.
Stephen Jackson, and the energy he exerted last night trying to bother Kevin Durant was my favorite match up of the first game of the Western Conference Finals. A game, by the way, won by the Spurs, their 19th win in a row, despite the fact that they probably played at around 78% effectiveness offensively. Think about that. The Spurs played poorly — for them — on offense but still managed to pull it together enough to score 101 points and beat the Thunder by 3.
The Ball Movement
Watch how many open shots the Spurs get, how they send their opponent’s defense scrambling after either Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili get into the lane or turn a corner off the dribble. They’ll send a simple bounce pass to a cutter, throw back to a shooter, or attack the basket themselves. Any of these decisions inevitably lead to either an open shot or a series of pop-pop-pop passes that result in an open shot. The Spurs are skilled and surgeon-like offensively (an incredible 51% on 111 three-point-attempts vs the Thunder over the last two seasons). Which leads me to the next reason why you should watch this series in particular.
POP — Gregg Popovich is the best basketball coach in the world and he has been for several years. He’s completely gone away from the style that won 4 titles and embraced a new one that gives his team their best chance to win. A lot is being made, incorrectly, in the media today of Pop’s “snarling plea” to his team to get nasty heading into the 4th quarter last night. Pop was not snarling, in fact he was rather calm and his plea actually began with the question “Are we having fun yet?” He then went on to explain to his team that this — the Playoffs and trying to win a championship — isn’t going to be easy. The “nasty” comment was meant to relate what needed to go into the effort that every single aspect of the game had to include in order for his team to come out victorious. How they needed to drive the ball extra hard, how they had to move the ball with more urgency, how they had to understand just how good the dudes wearing the other jerseys are and what it’s going to take to best them. A lot of coaches really think they’re smart. They think they’re geniuses and they’re not afraid to explain that to you. Popovich is exactly the opposite, he’s not interested in letting anyone know how smart he is, he just wants to coach his team in his way and be left the hell alone. But here’s the thing: Pop is truly that dude that all those other posers think they are. Pop could actually sit down with the world leaders in different areas and hold his own. He could really be doing anything he wanted to do in life and it’s his choice to coach ball because he loves it that much and understands its what makes him happiest. I had to laugh at a piece I read out of Orlando bemoaning the fact that Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard had missed out on their chance to be another version of Pop and Tim Duncan. I laughed because just a few weeks ago I read a profile of Duncan in SI that included the story about how Pop flew to Duncan’s home in the Virgin Islands and spent 4 days or so with his new draft pick swimming in the ocean and talking about life on the beach. It went on to explain that when Duncan was weighing leaving the Spurs for Orlando about a decade ago that he and Pop figured it out over beers in Pop’s backyard. Let’s just say I can’t see Van Gundy, and especially Howard, being able to even have a conversation that didn’t go through the media first. But yeah, they could’ve been another Pop and Duncan. Anyway, Popovich is really good, the best at his craft, and any coach worth his salt realizes that. So watch how he does it with a mixed bag of talent and personalities. Watch how his bench reacts, how the dudes not playing are standing right behind him during short timeouts. It’s the perfect example of a team, an example that’s too often missing in today’s sporting landscape, especially at the highest level. My last reason is just that, the level.
Talent and Pace
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are exquisite talents. Diamonds really. Durant is a 6’10″ scorer in the mold of, well, how about a mixture of George Gervin, Michel Ray Richardson and Larry Bird? He’s so rare, moves so smoothly with or without the ball and plays so hard that it’s really just ridiculous how freaking skilled and good he is. Plus he plays through contact and doesn’t bitch over every little call. Westbrook is a jet, a young point guard still coming into his own while being the third player in NBA history to accumulate 5,000 points, 1,900 assists and 1,300 rebounds in his first 274 games (Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson are the others). Tim Duncan is a top-10 player of all time and probably this generation’s most under-appreciated superstar. He’s got 4 titles and is working towards a 5th. Tony Parker is as fast or faster than Westbrook with the ball in his hands. Ginobili is an offensive force who flings his body all over the floor.
The pace of last night’s game was like what the Chicago Skyway would be if they gave every driver Turbo Porsches at the toll booth. It was crazy last night although a bit sloppy. Both teams will only get sharper now that the series is underway. Do yourself a favor if you dig basketball and watch.
You won’t be sorry.
According to the Connecticut Post, a href=”http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/UConn-s-Andre-Drummond-going-pro-3477403.php”>UConn Freshman Andre Drummond is Going Pro, bringing the total of underclassmen to declare for the 2012 NBA Draft to 28. Drummond joins Connecticut sophomore Jeremy Lamb on the list of early entrants. The Huskies are not eligible for the NCAA Tournament in 2012 due to a sub-par score in the NCAA’s APR, but both player was expected to make the decision to enter the NBA Draft regardless.
WWW.DraftExpress.com has Drummond (2) and Lamb (12) both going in the top half of June’s draft.
Below is an alphabetical list of the 28 players currently declared for the NBA Draft as early entrants:
Harrison Barnes, F, North Carolina
Will Barton, G, Memphis
J’Covan Brown, G, Texas
Dominic Cheek, G, Villanova
Jared Cunningham, G, Oregon State
Andre Drummond, F, Connecticut
Moe Harkless, G/F, St. John’s
John Henson, F, North Carolina
John Jenkins, G, Vanderbilt
Perry Jones III, F, Baylor
Jeremy Lamb, G, UConn
Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois
Damian Lillard, G, Weber St.
Kendall Marshall, G, North Carolina
Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
Khris Middleton, F, Texas A&M
Arnett Moultrie, F, Mississippi State
Austin Rivers, G, Duke
Thomas Robinson, F, Kansas
Terrence Ross, G, Washington
Renardo Sidney, F, Mississippi State
Jared Sullinger, F, Ohio State
Hollis Thompson, F, Georgetown
Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse
Maalik Wayns, G, Villanova
Royce White, F, Iowa State
Tony Wroten, G, Washington
BJ Young, G, Arkansas
No shock to anyone who understands how this works and how a kid like Gibbs ticks. He was in it 100% because that’s how he does everything — that doesn’t mean he would ever make a decision that wasn’t sound (he’s too smart to do that). Here’s the full release from Pitt’s Greg Hotchkiss but the most important thing to understand is Pitt will have their sniper back and everybody can re-adjust those stupid April top-25′s everyone seems to think they have to post.
PITTSBURGH—Junior guard Ashton Gibbs announced Saturday that he will withdraw from the 2011 NBA Draft and return to the University of Pittsburgh for his senior season. Since he did not sign with an agent, Gibbs retained the option to withdraw from the draft per NCAA rules. The NBA Draft Early Entry withdrawal deadline is on Sunday, May 8.
“I am extremely excited that Ashton will return to the court for us next year,” Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon said. “We encouraged and supported Ashton in his pursuit of NBA Draft possibilities. Ashton and I had numerous discussions dating back to last year and during the process. Anytime you are an All-Big East First Team player, the professional field is something we encourage our players to look into. Ashton is a tremendous representative for the University of Pittsburgh. He embodies everything you want in a student-athlete and has always made decisions for the right reasons. This is just another example.”
“In discussing my options the last couple of weeks with my family and Coach Dixon, I feel that it is in my best interest to return to Pitt for my senior season,” Gibbs said. “The NBA can wait a year. I look forward to continuing the success that we’ve established here at Pitt and finish my collegiate career with all of my teammates and fellow senior Nasir Robinson. It will also be extra special to earn my degree.”
As one of the nation’s top shooters and scorers in 2010-11, Gibbs earned AP All-America honorable mention, USBWA and NABC All-District honors while becoming just the ninth player in school history to be selected to the All-Big East First Team. He ranked third among NCAA Division I leaders in 3-point field goal percentage (49.0 percent), fifth in 3-point field goals made per game (3.3) and 18th in free throw percentage (88.9 percent). He also led the Panthers in scoring for the second straight season (16.8 ppg.) and also set a Pitt season record for 3-point field goals made (102).
On the year, Gibbs scored 20 or more points 12 times, reached double figure scoring in 26 of his 31 games played and converted three or more 3-pointers in 20 contests. As a sophomore in 2009-10, Gibbs was named the Big East Most Improved Player, earned Second Team All-Big East honors and was a Bob Cousy Award finalist.
A two-time Big East Academic All-Star, Gibbs enters his senior season ranked among Pitt’s career leaders in scoring (1,207 points, 23rd), 3-point field goals made (216, 4th), 3-point field goal percentage (44.1 percent, 2nd) and free throw percentage (87.9 percent, 2nd). In 100 career games played and 64 starts, he has averaged 12.1 points, scored 20 or more points 23 times and converted at least three 3-pointers in 43 games.
Pitt returns two starters (Gibbs and Robinson) and seven of its top-10 letterwinners from a squad that won the Big East regular season title outright with a 15-3 record, finished 28-6 overall, earned a No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th consecutive season.