TCT’s Game of the Week features #11 Ohio State going up against...
Evaluating the NBA potential in NCAA Tournament standouts
Hancock was the epitome of hard work paying as the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament exploded for 42 points in two games to seal Louisville’s third title, given his role as a glue guy on the Louisville team, it would not be surprising to see him reprise the same role on a team that holds a late first round or early second round pick, high basketball IQ guys are hard to come by nowadays and Hancock sure has plenty of that.
His dad is adamant Smith should declare for the draft, but hey it’s true strike the iron while it’s hot, his stock would never be as high as it is right now, he averaged almost 25 points in 5 tourney games until the title game. But in seriousness, 6 foot 2 and unpredictable? Never a good combination for the big leagues, but then again, could prove to be a spark plug for some teams lacking that second unit aggression, nonetheless a solid career overseas awaits.
The knock on Siva’s game has always been his jumpshot, and the senior has never been able to dispose of that tag, now with a championship and another Final Four on his belt, Siva would hope to parlay that into a first round selection, but the thing is with point guards that can’t shoot and a short wingspan is that they won’t stick around in the league for long, here’s hoping Siva could turn the corner on his jumper and be at least a quality back-up in the League.
The thing with selecting bigs in the draft that is mind boggling is the lack of scouting by teams on most parts, look how Hasheem Tabheet turned out, and look at Serge Ibaka, it is always a gamble with this position, but Gorgui Dieng has quietly solidify his position as a quality late lottery pick with the potential of going higher, a center who can pass, shoot the mid range jumper, defend the paint? The second coming of Hakeem? Dieng could turn out to be a steal, or just one of those Jerome Moisos flameouts.
A sophomore who led his team in scoring and assists, Burke made probably the most impressive shot during the tournament when he knocked down a 30 footer to force overtime against Kansas, listed a 6 foot, Burke isn’t the biggest of athletes, but has drawn comparisons to Chris Paul. Burke’s acumen of making tough shots would be tested against higher athletic competition in the NBA, better work on that floater, nonetheless Burke’s a prolific scorer and setup guy though, so the comparison must be something, but the last time I heard someone compare point guards, it was Derrick Rose and Jason Kidd.
White guy crashing the boards and hitting tough rebound put backs? This cannot be, but wait it is, Wolverine freshman McGary rejuvenated Michigan when he was inserted into the starting five back in January and guess what, they made it to the title game, showing a good knack for the basketball and strong rebounding skills, it won’t be surprising for him to carve out a niche for himself ala Nick Collison.
Tim Hardaway jr
The son of the UTEP two step fame, Junior is obviously taller than dad, and has a smooth outside game to complement his already NBA ready body, but the problem is Hardaway’s love for the three pointer has caused him more problems than help, and mind you the college line is nearer, would it be a problem going forward? Here’s hoping pre draft workouts help his stock in this “weak” draft.
Being a year older than his fellow underclassmen hasn’t created any issues for McLemore as he looks like the typical NBA prospect, he passes the eye test too, 6 foot 5 that can shoot threes, dunks the basketball with flair and runs the floor well. From game tape, he’s a little bit suspect on defense, and tends to coast during games, but catch him on a good night he could drop 30 like it’s nothing. A lottery pick, he has All-Star potential this kid.
Michael Carter Williams
A 6 foot 5 point guard who prefers to dish out dimes than score? That’s something very new, not seen since Shaun Livingston. But Carter Williams does a very good job of not only passing the rock but also grabbing caroms and scoring the basketball whenever he needs, growing into the leader the Orangemen sorely needed, with a plethora of point guards already in the league, Carter Williams is one of those point guards GM would love to pick but would also prefer to see him develop a few more years. A solid mid to late first round pick nonetheless.
Defense Defense Defense, everything Oladipo does screams defense and versatility, a classic tale of improving your craft in college, Oladipo’s progress in his four years in Bloomington are one of the cases GMs around the league and David Stern would love to use to increase the age requirement, On paper Oladipo looks like he could do everything, shoot the basketball, dunks, plays strong defense, and a team player, he could be special.
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