Posted Apr 4 2012 9:07AM
The post-tournament analysis is easy. Kentucky earned the title with an uncommon level of composure for a team that relied heavily on freshmen. This is no ordinary No. 1.
The impact on the NBA Draft, meanwhile, is not as clear, although it is a safe bet that the impact of the tournament on the June 28 selections will be oversold by some. The fact is, no one played at a significantly different level during the tournament compared to the rest of the season.
Among the notables, Kendall Marshall of North Carolina boosted his stock before a broken wrist. NBA front offices were sending out a search party for Marshall's teammate, Harrison Barnes. But both trends can be reversed. Nothing happened for anyone that cannot be undone with nearly three months before the selections.
The real perspective on the value general managers put on the tournament?
Kyrie Irving played hurt last season at Duke in the only test under the brightest lights of his college career and was still the clear choice as the first pick. He separated himself from Derrick Williams, one of the postseason stars, with an abbreviated regular season and the private showcase for the Cavaliers. And now he's going to win Rookie of the Year.
Enes Kanter did not play last season while serving an NCAA suspension at Kentucky for receiving improper benefits while previously with a Turkish team. His "games" were limited to practicing with the Wildcats. Because of the long layoff, no one in the entire Draft was surrounded by as many urgent questions about his level of play. No freshman campaign, no tournament ... and he still went No. 3 to the Jazz.
With that in mind, the post-tournament mock draft, reflecting front-office impressions of the last few weeks of games and players who announced in recent days they are staying in school:
|Top 30 NBA Draft Prospects|
|Wall Leads Wizards over Nets|
Nets vs. Wizards: John Wall records 33 points and six assists as the Wizards sweep the season-series with the Nets.
|Wall's Big Night|
John Wall records 33 points and six assists to the lead the Wizards in their season-sweep of the Nets.
Kirk Hinrich misses on the triple and Taj Gibson rebounds for the inside bucket but Jason Thompson denies the shot out of bounds with strong emotion.
Isaiah Thomas throws the deep lob to Quincy Acy who elevates over Mike Dunleavy and throws it down with authority.
|Steal And Slam|
Darius Odom-Johnson gets the steal and makes the sweet feed to Ed Williams for the flush.