Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2011 NBA Draft Stock Watch: November Edition

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
As November comes to a close, we can only reminisce about a wonderful opening month of College Basketball.

We witnessed a display of marquee athletes showcase their unique talents and skills.

There were many key players who were hyped up before the season as a possible one-and-done, or NBA draft bait after the season.

However, the elite has already separated themselves from the rest.

Here is a look at some college stars who has rising and falling NBA draft stock.


Kyrie Irving - Duke (Lottery Pick)

Kyrie Irving wasn't touted as the best player in the 2010 recruiting class, but he sure does look like the best point guard in all of College Basketball. In one of the biggest games in his early career, Irving faced AP Preseason All American Jacob Pullen and the No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats, and dismantled them. Irving posted 17 points, five rebounds, and five assist.

He is also fortunate enough to average 14.5 points, 5.8 assist (team-high), 3.7 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.

However, more than stats meet the eye with Irving. His blazing quick speed, and ability to finish around the rim with both hands is very beneficial. He had NCAA scouts drooling while in high school, now the NBA scouts get a full look as well.

Jared Sullinger - Ohio State (Lottery Pick)

Jared Sullinger is one of the best big men in the nation right now. The No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes have a lot of depth, but what put them over then-No. 8 Florida Gators was the play of Sullinger.

Sullinger has been a beast acquiring 15.2 points, and 8.6 rebounds per game. He is very precise with the ball in his hands. He makes the smart plays and scores at a very high percentage.

He has the ability to score with his back to the basket, or facing up and putting the ball on the floor. Right now, Sullinger is converting 62 percent of his shots, as well as converting at the line 14-of-21 (66%) times.

Nonetheless, Sullinger is a key commodity due to his strength, ability to score, and his willingness on offense.

Kemba Walker - UConn (Lottery Pick)

Kemba Walker has blossomed into a complete point guard this season for Jim Calhoun. Walker has led his Huskies to two top-10 victories in two days, despite not even being given a chance before the Maui Tournament.

With Walker leading the way, the Huskies are now a top-10 team in the polls. His ability to score on every possession puts pressure on the opposing defenses. However, he isn't shy about passing the ball dishing out 3.6 assist per game.

He also gets on the glass grabbing 4.2 rebounds per outing, and acquiring 2.2 steals. He has great speed, and his leadership ability is felt on and off the court. Walker could become on of the top guards in the country as the season progresses.

Terrence Jones - Kentucky (Lottery Pick)

Initially, Terrence Jones should have been a Washington Huskie. However, he changed his mind and went with the Kentucky Wildcats which proved to be the right choice for the 6-foot-9 forward. Jones has been impressive in every game for the Wildcats.

He seemed to be the fuel that Kentucky runs on. His 29 point, 13 rebound, four block performance led Kentucky over Oklahoma. He also hurdle adversity against his the school he decomitted from, Washington, and came away with 16 points, 17 rebounds, and four blocks.

Jones' stats are easy on the eyes, but what also helps his cause as an NBA lottery pick is his consistency. Jones has stayed consistent for Kentucky since he played his first game. He currently puts up video game statistics with 21.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 2.2 assist, and 1.6 steals.

His statistics show he can play almost any position on the court. At times, you will witness Jones pushing the ball up for Kentucky. Jones has great ball-handle, a high basketball I.Q. and is a very talented wing man.

Nolan Smith - Duke (Late First Round)

Many scouts didn't believe Nolan Smith could run a offense as a true point guard. Well, those scouts are getting a full dose of what Smith can actually achieve. Smith is averaging 5.7 assist as an off-guard to talented freshman Kyrie Irving.

However, you see promise in Smith. He has the ability to drive the lane and finish around the rim consistently. He also has great court vision and always finds his teammates.

The athletic ability is there, and so are the point guard skills. Smith is currently averaging a team-high 16.8 points per game. He is also ripping down 5.2 rebounds per game.

With continued consistency, Smith could elevate his draft stock continually.

(Others to watch: Draymond Green, MSU; Alex Oriahki, UConn; Tristian Thompson, UT; Jordan Hamilton, UT)


Harrison Barnes - North Carolina (Lottery Pick)

Harrison Barnes was suppose to be Mr. Do it all for the North Carolina Tar Heels. However, Barnes has turned in a (0-12), (4-12), and (3-12) shooting night from the field.

Despite the cold start for the talented freshman from Ames, Iowa, I believe he still has a chance to be taken in the lottery. He is still averaging 11.3 points, and 6.3 rebounds per outing. Barnes has yet to shake his cold shooting from mid-range, which is definitely commendable with time.

Down the season, Barnes will get back into a groove and compete for the No. 1 spot at the 2011 NBA draft.

Shelvin Mack - Butler (Early Second Round)

Shelvin Mack had a great summer playing against some of the best players in the NCAA. However, that only improved his scoring ability. Mack averaged 17.2 points in November, but did not show leadership in some games down the stretch.

Sometimes I remind myself that Mack is clearly a shooting guard stuck inside a 6-foot-2 frame. During Louisville's season-opener, Butler was down and Mack did little to help the Bulldogs get back into the game except fire bad attempts at the basket.

Also, the loss against Edwardsville, Mack just couldn't get into a groove shooting the ball leaving the game 3-of-13 (23%) from the field.

Mack has to prove he can lead Butler in the right direction, while slimming down on his turnovers; almost three per game.

Elias Harris - Gonzaga (Late First, Early Second)

Elias Harris is capable of creating a lot of havoc on both ends of the floor. After posting an impressive 14.9 points, and 7.1 rebounds his freshman season, Elias has accumulated 9.2 points, and 4.2 rebounds his sophomore year.

Harris struggles has come from the lack of confidence. He doesn't take enough shots to key the defense worried about him on offense. He has only been in double-figures twice through five games.

His highest scoring game came against Marquette, where he took a season-high 18 field goal attempts. He also grabbed a season-high eight boards.

Harris inability to create his own offense has become evident throughout November. The talented forward should look to become more effective on offense, and start utilizing his huge frame.

(Others to watch - Jacob Pullen, KSU; Kalin Lucas, MSU; Chandler Parsons, UF;)

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