It wasn’t a star studded field but the Charleston Classic did afford college basketball nuts like myself to check out some competitive early season hoops. Led by their spectacular guard play, the Colorado Buffaloes claimed the tourney title. Though their play didn’t thrust them into the national spotlight, it certainly caught my attention and probably opened the eyes of some NBA GM’s as well. Here are some players who either helped or hurt their 2013 NBA Draft Stock.
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Askia Booker, PG, Colorado, Soph.
Junior forward Andre Roberson gets plenty of buzz in terms of Buffs with NBA potential but Booker was terrific in earning tourney MVP honors averaging more than 19 points per game in Charleston. He showed off his athleticism with a tomahawk dunk in transition, can break down defenders off the bounce, and shoot it from distance. Booker does need to become a better distributor since he projects to be a point guard at the next level due to his 6-1 height. He is not a first round pick this year but that could be the case down the road if he continues to play at a high level.
Spencer Dinwiddie, G, Colorado, Soph.
What really sticks out about Dinwiddie is his versatility on the defensive end due 6-5 height and length along with his lateral quickness. He held Dayton’s best player Kevin Dillard to 10 points on 4-12 shooting in the first round, limited Pierre Jackson of Baylor to 12 points on 3-11 shooting in the semi’s, and did a solid job on Murray State’s Isaiah Cannan in the second half of the title game. Offensively, he was average but the fact that he can play either guard position, is effective off the bounce or shooting the three makes him an NBA prospect who wasn’t really on my radar just a couple of weeks ago.
Cory Jefferson, PF, Baylor, Jr.
Last season Cory Jefferson was stuck behind the likes of Perry Jones, Quincy Acy, and Quincy Miller; all 2012 NBA Draft picks. Jefferson is now getting his opportunity and making the most of it early on. He did struggle in Baylor’s opening game versus Boston College but combined for 37 points on 14-17 shooting and 23 rebounds against Colorado and St. John’s. On top of that, he had 26 and 13 in the Bears’ season opener versus Lehigh. Jefferson is physical, athletic, explosive at the rim, shown signs of a decent mid-range game, is an active defender, and attacks the glass on both ends of the floor. With more minutes and scouts constantly checking out Baylor’s 7-1 freshman Isaiah Austin, Jefferson will slowly start to get more recognition which will put him on the draft radar.
Ryan Anderson, F, Boston College, Soph.
Despite missing BC’s final game in Charleston because of an ankle injury, Anderson raised some eyebrows with his 25-point performance against the lengthy Baylor frontcourt of Austin and Jefferson in the opening round. That came after he went off for 29 and 17 boards in the Eagles’ season opener. Anderson is a well-rounded threat on the offensive end with the ability to score with his back to the basket, off the bounce, or from distance. Like the three players listed above him here, he won’t be a high pick but is definitely someone to watch out for on what figures to be a bottom of the barrel ACC squad.
No draft prospect really disappointed. Baylor’s Jackson and Austin, Canaan, Jakarr Sampson of St. John’s, and Roberson all had their moments but also showed their weaknesses as well. The Red Storm’s Phil Greene and Chris Obekpa look like they have some upside to them as well.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)