The NBA Draft Stock Report checks in on which college basketball players have made a name for themselves in the past week; either helping or hurting their future draft position. With conference play underway, we get a better understanding of how NBA Draft prospects respond to playing better competition than some of the cupcake opponents they face in the non-conference.
Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky, Fr.
The Wildcat freshman continues to stake his claim as to why he will likely be the top overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. His 27 point, 14 rebound, 7 block performance against Arkansas was dominating in all aspects as he showed off his ability as a perimeter defender, matching up against the Razorbacks’ guards for several possessions. Strength is and will be the biggest concern regarding Davis’ transition to the next level as well as his all-around development on the offensive end. However, his production, potential, and willingness to work on his game is a total package.
Tyshawn Taylor, PG, Kansas, Sr.
Tyshawn Taylor has had an up-and-down career in Lawrence. He had an impressive freshman season but struggled to find any consistency during his sophomore and junior campaigns. Though he still makes too many boneheaded decisions (4.1 turnovers per game), Taylor has become the player Jayhawk fans were hoping to see during his senior season. He has put together back-to-back 28-point performances against Iowa State and then unbeaten Baylor. Taylor is dangerous off the bounce but is also shooting the ball much better from the outside, connecting on almost 45% of his triple tries. If he continues to play at a high level this season, it is possible that he could slip into the late first round.
Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton, Soph.
This is probably a long overdue “buying” but McDermott is in Player of the Year discussions for a reason. At 24-plus points per night, he is shooting a ridiculous 53% from three and 63% from the field. He also rebounds exceptionally well averaging 8.5 a night and while somewhat limited athletically, plays extremely hard on both ends. It’s easy to say his numbers are bloated because McDermott plays in the Missouri Valley, but he scored at least 24 points against UAB, Iowa, San Diego State, Nebraska, Tulsa, and Northwestern so he can score against just about anybody. McDermott is more than likely a four-year player at the college level but with how talented he is on the offensive end, there would certainly be some team willing to use a first round pick and have him as a scoring option off the bench.
Adonis Thomas, G/F, Memphis, Fr.
It is unlikely that Thomas was going to be a one-and-done and that possibility took a hit when Thomas underwent ankle surgery that figures to sideline him for the remainder of the season. It is pretty simple; when you are not on the floor, you can’t help your draft stock.
Alex Len, C, Maryland, Fr.
Because of his 7-1 size, the Ukranian has some buzz surrounding his future as a pro. After sitting out the ten games of the season due to NCAA suspension, Len made his impact felt right away for the Terps against cupcake opponents. However, his production has dipped since ACC play began and it’s pretty clear he is nowhere near ready for the NBA. In his last three games, Len has as many points as fouls (8) and hasn’t been able to take advantage of his size due to a lack of strength. He will certainly need at least another year at Maryland but has first round potential down the line.
Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt, Sr.
Maybe Ezeli isn’t 100% healthy… but he has not provided the impact in the middle that most expected him to this season. His size is his biggest attribute but he has lacked the dominance and aggressiveness in the middle that somebody his size could and should have. There is still a chance Ezeli could be a late first rounder but right now he looks more like a second rounder.
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 on the web.
You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.