Archive - 2012 - Article
It is a given that many of the top players in a class will leave as freshmen or sophomores. But some talented players take time to develop at the college ranks, and that often results in a more NBA ready prospect. Last year Thomas Robinson and Damian Lillard both had breakthrough junior seasons to skyrocket up draft boards.
The first NBADraft.net College Power 16 of the season has a decided Big Ten Conference flavor near the top.
The Indiana Hoosiers and Michigan Wolverines are 1-2 and Ohio State No. 5.
It doesn’t end there.
Jetting to No. 12 is one of the surprise teams of the season so far, Illinois, which rolled the competition (USC, Chaminade and Butler) by an average margin of 23 points.
Interestingly enough, Coach John Groce’s club struggled when it returned home, finally eking out a 63-62 win over Gardner-Webb on Sunday.
This year's EA Sports Maui Invitational had some highly competitive contests highlighted by a dramatic last second game winning three by Butler's Rotnei Clark to defeat Marquette and a shocking Butler win over UNC, in which they held a 30 point lead at one point. While it was disappointing for NBA scouts as few unheralded prospects surfaced, and the talent level was down from past years, it was an exciting event nonetheless. Here is a look at the top 5 prospects from my viewpoint after watching the event first hand and speaking with scouts.
Our first extended mock draft of the season. While this doesn't appear to be a particularly strong draft, the same thing was said around this time last year and a number of rookies are showing signs of becoming stars. Team needs are not factored into this mock and won't be until the draft order is set at the end of the NBA season.
Hard to believe this will be the last year in the Big East with the regular cast of characters.
Before leaving, Syracuse looks to have one last run in them for the conference title, with another balanced, deep group of young talent and savvy veterans. Louisville also returns at the top with their suffocating defense and experienced rotation, earning the number 2 ranking in the country. Everyone else in the bunch looks to be fighting for that next spot, as we enter the new year with all sorts of parity. The door is open to anyone that wants to walk through it.
With a horrendous football season almost at its end, the Big Ten Conference rejoins the national conversation. The Big Ten had six bids to March’s NCAA Tournament (tied with the Big 12 for second-most) and four advanced to the Sweet 16 — tied for the lead among all conferences.
In a move that was largely centered around football, the SEC welcomes in two new teams this season. Missouri and Texas A&M join the fold making the conference that much more formidable on the hardwood. Missouri is coming off of one of the best seasons in program history while A&M is looking to continue the steady success they have achieved over the last few years under Bill Gillispie and Mark Turgeon. Kentucky has dominated this conference for the better part of three years but this season will be a challenge for John Calipari's squad.