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Scott Howard-Cooper

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Kansas' Thomas Robinson (right) may be looking up at only one other player in the June Draft.
Jeff Jacobsen/Kansas Athletics

Tournament revealed little new about Draft's wannabes


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
Rank Player Height Weight Position School Comments
1. Anthony Davis 6-10 220 PF Kentucky The best player on the best team.
2. Thomas Robinson 6-10 237 PF-SF Kansas From 2011 shadow of the Morris twins to good chance for the top five.
3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 6-7 210 SF Kentucky Versatile wing defender played his way up the board as a freshman.
4. Bradley Beal 6-5 195 SG Florida Prototype shooting-guard game and the ability to pass as well.
5. Andre Drummond 6-11 275 C Connecticut A physical marvel who will go early on potential alone.
6. Harrison Barnes 6-8 210 SF North Carolina Scorer must continue to compensate for lack of athleticism.
7. Jared Sullinger 6-9 280 PF Ohio State True power player who knows how to score inside and rebound.
8. Jeremy Lamb 6-5 185 SG Connecticut Fluid wing will score from most spots on the court.
9. Cody Zeller 6-11 210 C Indiana The younger brother of better-known Tyler impresses with offense.
10. James Michael McAdoo 6-9 220 SF North Carolina Gets noticed despite understated role on a team with several lottery picks.
11. Damian Lillard 6-2 185 PG Weber State The top point guard on the board is a scoring point.
12. Perry Jones 6-11 235 PF Baylor Enigmatic sophomore will be a high risk-high reward pick.
13. John Henson 6-10 220 PF North Carolina Potential as major defensive presence will increase with more muscle.
14. Kendall Marshall 6-4 195 PG North Carolina Moved up with nice postseason before breaking right (non-shooting) wrist.
15. Meyers Leonard 7-0 245 C Illinois Mobile 7-footer can pass and has a shooting touch. Needs strength.
16. Austin Rivers 6-4 203 SG Duke The preseason hype slowed on Docs son, but the NBA interest did not.
17. Terrence Jones 6-9 244 SF Kentucky Lottery talent has yet to harness the potential or consistent energy.
18. Tyler Zeller 6-11 240 C North Carolina Nice offensive skills, but lack of strength a concern.
19. Arnett Moultrie 6-10 230 PF Mississippi State Scores inside and out with good speed and mobility for a big.
20. Tony Wroten 6-5 205 SG-PG Washington Freshman combo guard could climb.
21. Jeffrey Taylor 6-7 225 SF Vanderbilt Standout defender who uses big-time bursts to get to the basket as well.
22. Quincy Miller 6-9 210 SF Baylor Talent wrapped in inexperience and a season coming off knee surgery.
23. Moe Harkless 6-8 210 SF St. Johns Big East Rookie of the Year scores and a great rebounder.
24. John Jenkins 6-4 205 SG Vanderbilt One of the best shooters on the board, with deep range.
25. Terrence Ross 6-6 195 SG Washington Emerging sophomore can play either wing.
26. Andrew Nicholson 6-9 225 PF St. Bonaventure Can score from the perimeter or the post.
27. Mason Plumlee 6-10 235 PF Duke Teams will take that size and mobility and mold it into something.
28. Dion Waiters 6-4 215 SG-PG Syracuse Scoring combo guard came off the bench for Orangemen.
29. Draymond Green 6-7 235 SF Michigan St. Versatile and experienced, but likely cant play power forward as in college.
30. Fab Melo 7-0 255 C Syracuse Teams envision a shot-blocking presence with work on the boards.
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