NCAA Tourney: Stock Watch
Updated: 2012 Big Board: Top 100 Prospects
Royce White, 6'8 SF/PF, Iowa State
The phrase "intriguing prospect" gets thrown around loosely, but if there was ever a term to describe Royce White, that has to be it.
We just haven't really seen a collegiate player impact the game the way White does, seemingly facilitating the offense from every position on the floor. One play that stood out to me over the weekend: White grabs a defensive rebound, dribbles it up the court, sets the offense from the top of the key, beats his man off the dribble and makes the dish to a teammate for an easy layup.
He's a human Swiss-Army knife with the tools to complete various tasks across the board. Physically he's strong and aggressive, and though not the most fluent athlete he possesses excellent mobility for a guy with his frame.
The one issue that scares teams is White's anxiety disorder. "Without that, he would be considered in the top 10, but until he is psychologically tested and checks out, he's not even a lock for the first round at this point".
White has moved into the first round in our 2012 mock draft.
CJ Leslie, 6'8 PF, North Carolina State
Have to recognize progression. And Leslie has gradually improved, expanding his offensive repertoire to the point where he's been the catalyst for a surging #11 seed in the NCAA tournament.
As a high schooler and college freshman, he seemed to excel based on sheer athleticism and size. But this year he looks like a basketball player, becoming a threat facing up and attacking the rim. The court is his trampoline, as he uses his incredible bounce and length to continuously make plays off the ball and above the rim.
He's averaging 18 and 8 over his last ten games, but scouts have reserved judgement on pronouncing him a first rounder at this point. He remains in our 2013 late first round.
James McAdoo, 6'9 SF/PF North Carolina
He's played over 20 minutes in five straight games, topping out at 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals in North Carolina's first win of the NCAA tournament.
McAdoo's combination of power, athleticism and fearlessness is going to take the act of "making plays off the ball" to a new level. He's a nightmare assignment in transition and on the glass, as we've already seen him throw down numerous putback dunks that can spark a team and a crowd.
While it's clear McAdoo's offensive game is raw, there's a least an established mold he's capable of filling. He's still in the process of figuring our where he's most effective as a scorer, and has made some strides the past few weeks picking and choosing his spots on the floor.
He seems to try a little too hard in limited time knowing his minutes come with an expiration date. But with a more consistent role as a sophomore, his comfort level and confidence should both rise.
It's become apparent that he's UNC's best prospect not named Harrison Barnes. Another year at UNC could vault him into even rarified air as he's a far better athlete than his high acclaimed teammate.
He's moved back up into the top 5 in our 2013 mock draft.
CJ McCollum, 6'3 G, Lehigh
McCollum showed off his prolific scoring ability when he dropped 30 in Lehigh's win over the Blue Devils. He reminds some of former Duke killer Juan Dixon.
The 6'3 scoring guard has averaged almost 25 a game over his past 7, converting both inside and outside the arc. Against Duke he was the best guard on the floor, showing up Rivers and Curry with some dazzling ball-handling and shakiness off the dribble.
While his 6 assists against Duke was his highest total since January, his ability to put the ball in the hoop could be an attractive quality for team with a dull backcourt.
McCollum has a lot of buzz following such an impressive game, knocking out Duke. Blue Devil coaches were said to describe him as a first rounder following the loss.
NBA scouts still have question marks and stop short to project him in the first round. But he could certainly get looks at the end of the first round after opening eyes to his silky smooth offensive skills against Duke.
Draymond Green, 6'6 SG/SF, Michigan State
A classic overachiever, play-by-play commentators gush over his old school and hard-nosed style of play.
The overall package Green offers is an attractive one, especially to traditional coaches who covet toughness and grit, along with a high IQ and an unselfish mentality. While he doesn't have any dominant strengths, it would be hard to argue that he's missing a weakness (except generating his own offense, which he won't be asked to do at the next level).
He triple-doubled in Michigan State's first game of the tournament, going for 24 points, 12 boards, 10 dimes and 0 turnovers. The second time he's done such, joining Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson as the only three players to "mess around" twice in the NCAA tourney.
The more Michigan State wins the better if reflects on Green, who is likely to receive the majority of the credit for his team's success. Scouts who still aren't sold point to his ball dominance and lack of foot speed as major hurdles.
Green is bound to get taken before some higher upside guys bases on his ability fit in and make others better without disrupting chemistry of the current ingredients. Basically he's like a crisp slice of bacon.
If Michigan State keeps on truckin into the tourney, look for Green to get looks in the late first round with a likely range of 25-40.
Andrew Nicholson, 6'9 PF, St. Bonaventure
Nicholson is averaging 25 points over his last nine games, carrying his team to an A-10 tournament championship and NCAA tournament birth.
He's been on the radar for years, but just solidified a spot with as good of finish as he could have hoped for. Nicholson is a beast down low, and has complimented his strong interior play with a soft touch on the perimeter. He's more than doubled his three-point attempts from a year ago, converting at an impressive 43% clip. In fact, over his last 9 games he's hit 19 of 30 (63%) from behind the arc. Nicholson's improved touch has translated at the stripe as well, where he's shooting an impressive 77%.
One can argue that outside Jared Sullinger and maybe Tyler Zeller, Nicholson has the most advanced post game in the draft pool. He's become one of the better all-around power forwards in the country, and has set himself up to for first round consideration.
Andre Drummond, 6'10 PF/C, Connecticut
The most memorable thing about Drummond's tournament performance was the sight of him laughing with teammates on the bench in the midst of a losing ball game. His behavior adds fuel to the fire that he just doesn't have the passion for the game that it takes to become great.
He scored just 2 points in the biggest college game of his career. Houdini couldn't perform a better disappearing act.
With his size and athleticism he should never disappear, especially in a lose-or-go home environment. Drummond's inability to get involved is more of a reflection of the typical adjustment process that comes with being a big man, so we shouldn't overreact. But while his development has hit a plateau, his competing draft-mates are on the rise.
Before the season we would have said there's no way he slips out of the top 2. Now it wouldn't be surprising at all to see players like Thomas Robinson, Harrison Barnes and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist be taken in front of him.
Drummond's lack of passion for the game has scouts on high lottery teams sweating bullets with the thought of putting their jobs on the line with either drafting or passing on the enigmatic bigman.
Drummond has fallen to 5 on the current mock. He will have a chance to move back up with strong workouts, but there's a great deal of negativity surrounding him from scouts after such a pourous finish to the season.
Perry Jones, 6'11 SF/PF, Baylor
Jones is struggling to find a rhythm, and looks about as comfortable as a large man flying coach. He just can't find that zone, that comfort level that allows him to effectively use his gifts on a consist basis.
He scored 2 points in a danger game against South Dakota State and 7 in a win over Colorado that was won off the fingertips of Brady Heslip, who sunk 9 three-pointers. He's been a non-factor in the two most important games of the year, and if it wasn't for Heslip's 14 threes through two rounds, we could be talking about Jones as a potential scapegoat.
What's concerning about Jones is that he hasn't improved in any particular facet of the game. His scoring and rebounding numbers are practically identical while his field goal percentage dipped below the 50% mark. He's had two years to work out some of the kinks, and yet most of them still exist. Not a good look entering a talented draft.
Jones is likely to dazzle in workouts with his length and athleticism and should be a solid one-on-none jumpshooter. It's possible a team in the 7-10 range falls in love or a team moves up to grab him. But it's just as likely that Jones slides into the late lotttery or even late teens.
Mason Plumlee, 6'10 PF, Duke
There's just no sign of his game expanding past catch and finishing and tip-ins at the rim. Which don't get me wrong is a nice service to offer with his size and athleticism. It just won't warrant any attention until the end of the first round.
Plumlee could decide to return to Duke for his senior year and a chance to play with younger brother Marshall. Or jump to the NBA and try to perform well in workouts and grab a spot in the late first round.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter @NBADraftnetWass
Updated: 2012 Big Board: Top 100 Prospects
During the tourney Royce White repeatedly reminded me a lot of bigger stronger Andre Iguodala with his complete body of work. Plays tough defense, rebounds, can handle and run the offense. Looking forward to him developing a bit more of a jumpshot.
this post is very similar to chad ford's on espn insider. the only difference is they had kendall marshall and elijah johnson on the up and just drummond and jones on the down.