Draft Stock Report – Final Four
There’s nothing quite like success.
With a rather uneventful 2009 NCAA Tournament in the books, we can now turn our attention to more pressing matters, namely, the sweet science of projecting future NBA talent. But before bidding the Tournament adieu, here’s a look at which players helped and hurt their draft stock with their play in the Final Four. Due to their team’s dominant performance, it’s no surprise that three Carolina players make it on the Stock Up list.
Stanley Robinson | Connecticut
It appears Robinson will be making a wise choice by returning to Storrs for his senior season. All his strengths (and weaknesses) were on full display versus Michigan State in the semi-finals, as he started off the game strong, disappeared for what seemed like ages, only to come on strong again. His length and athleticism are NBA-ready, he just needs to improve his outside shot and become more consistent.
Ty Lawson | North Carolina
Perhaps the player who best helped his stock with his Final Four play is Lawson. Earlier this season he seemed destined to be a late first round pick—now he might be snatched up in the Lottery. His speed is well documented, but just as impressive is his decision-making (34 assists and only 7 turnovers in the Tournament) and his ability to push the pace or slow it down and run a half-court offense.
Wayne Ellington | North Carolina
Ellington’s chances of returning to Carolina for his senior season were probably put to bed with his stellar Final Four play. The Final Four MOP showed that he is more than just a spot-up shooter, by rebounding the ball well for a guard (6.5 rpg in Detroit) and working hard on defense. Considered a borderline first round pick, his play over the past few weeks of the season have probably ensured him of being a team’s first round pick.
Ed Davis | North Carolina
Davis was the Cole Aldrich (circa 2008) of this year’s Final Four, showing in limited playing time that he is a big time player. Long and athletic, Davis will benefit from returning to Roy Williams’ squad for his sophomore year, where he’ll become more of a focal point of the team. Look for him to be a top-10 pick in the 2010 rendition of the Draft.
A.J. Price | Connecticut
Heading into the Final Four there were already questions regarding Price’s decision-making: shot selection and “pure” point guard skills. His 5-20 shooting and 1 assist performance versus Michigan State did nothing to quiet these concerns.
Kemba Walker | Connecticut
Walker probably wasn’t going to enter this year’s draft anyway, but his disappearing act in the Final Four made that a definite. With Price graduated, he should benefit from being the full-time point guard for the Huskies next season.
Jeff Fox also writes about college hoops and the NBA Draft at College Hoops Net.