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Final Four: Stock Watch

Tue, 04/05/2011 - 10:36pm

Hopefully you all have recovered from the horrific event that took place on Monday night. That was about as painful a shooting performance (Butler 18% fg) as you will ever see, and happening on such a grand scale made it even more agonizing. The only positive being that it was a close game for the first 20 minutes....

Congratulations to the UConn Huskies and the perseverance of their leader on the court (Kemba Walker) and off the court (Jim Calhoun). Calhoun proved that he 's got "true grit", winning a title at age 68, the oldest ever for a head coach. He's not only one of the elite coaches over the past 25-30 years, he might be the absolute best coach at combining winning basketball with developing NBA talent. He instills confidence in his players like no other. To see the transformation Jeremy Lamb has made in 4 months is absolutely mind blowing.

Kemba WalkerKemba WalkerAnd hats off to Kemba Walker. We've discredited his NBA potential all year, and he's proven to be a fearless warrior, a tremendous leader and a winner. His size may ultimately keep him from achieving greatness at the next level, but he has proven to be the most valuable player on any team this season and will be tough to pass up for teams needing a point guard in the late lottery area.

Rising

Kemba Walker 6-0 171 PG UConn Jr.

All he does is win tournaments. First the Maui Invitational, then the Big East, and now the NCAA.

Despite shooting just 11-30 fg and 1-9 from 3 in the Final Four, Kemba was the catalyst, taking the Huskies on his back and willing them to victory. His stock continues to climb.

Against Kentucky, Kemba had 18 points and 7 assists and made a key steal on Brandon Knight late in the game which helped seal the victory. He didn't dominate Knight like in their early season match up, but he came away with the win and outscored Knight by a point.

Kemba's shot was off in the title game, hitting just 5-for-19, but he found other ways to contribute. He came up with key defensive plays and continued to lead his team, despite his frustrating shooting performance. This was an extremely ugly, grind it out game and Kemba kept scratching and clawing.

Walker finished with a 23.4 ppg average in the tournament connecting on 40% from the floor and 29% from 3. He was incredibly efficient from the line hitting 44-49 free throws (90%).

Had UConn fallen short of a title, it's hard to imagine Walker would have been a top 10 pick and lottery might have slipped from his grasp as well. But teams love winners and he stands an excellent chance of being a top 10 pick after guiding the Huskies to the title.

Detractors will point to his size: he appears shorter than 6 feet in shoes and its effect on his defensive ability. As well as his shoot first mentality. Can he effectively run a team on the next level?

He's done enough to make teams consider him as a potential starting NBA point guard and should get looks from teams as early as the 8th pick.

Jeremy Lamb 6-5 180 SG UConn Fr.

Jeremy LambJeremy LambA star is born.

No player improved their draft stock over the course of the tournament more than Jeremy Lamb.

The ironic story about Jeremy's father Rolando knocking out Calhoun's Northeastern team with a game winning shot early on his coaching career, and then Jeremy ending up being so instrumental in Calhoun winning the title this year is beyond incredible.

Just as he'd done in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, Lamb took over in the second half showing what a clutch performer he is.

After going scoreless in the first half, it was his early second half surge that helped push the Huskies out to a commanding lead over Butler. He finished with 12 points on 4-8 shooting.

He's got a little Kevin Durant to his game with his incredible length, pure shooting ability, calm demeanor and same ice water running through his veins.

The freshman averaged an incredible 16.2 ppg, 12-19 from 3 (63%), 58% from the floor and 81% from the line over the six games.

There has been some speculation that Lamb could decide to enter his name in this year's draft. And while he has moved himself into being a likely first rounder just based on his potential, he really would be selling himself short by making the jump now. He shows a great deal of potential and still has a lot of maturing to do both physically and skill wise.

He needs to add weight, improve his ball handling ability and become an all around player or he's a lot more likely to get lost in the shuffle and never reach the level he's supposed to.

Shelvin Mack 6-2 190 PG/SG Butler Jr.

For the second year in a row, Mack led the Bulldogs to the title game.

His 24 points on 8-11 shooting against VCU in Saturday's game gives him a lot of momentum if he indeed decides to enter this year's NBA draft. It's hard to imagine his stock will be any higher next year.

He's not a conventional point guard and a case could be made that if you take him out of the Butler system, he's not nearly as effective. But he is a big game performer who can really stroke it from outside.

Despite shooting just 4-15 from the floor, numbers don't tell the entire story and mack likely didn't hurt his stock with his performance.

Mack was the only player that could score for the Bulldogs against UConn. The Huskies keyed their defense around stopping him and it was effective as he was forced to either pass the ball or force shots. He knocked down 4 three pointers including one which took the lead going into the half.

Jamie Skeen 6-9 240 PF VCU Fr.

Skeen got a chance to showcase his skills on the biggest stage and despite VCU going down, he had a tremendous showing with 27 pts on 10-17 shooting.

He has pulled out of PIT, with good reason. He's likely tired after playing 6 games in the tournament and really doesn't need to showcase himself any further after playing so many games in front of scouts during the tournament.

He should have an excellent chance to get drafted after showing excellent shooting ability, and clutch play in the tournament.

dododo
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hath80
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He's got a little Kevin

He's got a little Kevin Durant to his game with his incredible length, pure shooting ability, calm demeanor and same ice water running through his veins. Also, you can use drm removal tool to remove drm protection from itunes, zune, amazon legally.

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