The NBA Draft Stock Report checks in on which college basketball players have either helped or hurt their future draft position. This edition focuses on which Big Ten players have opened some eyes or disappointed since the start of the season.
Brandon Paul, SG, Illinois, Sr.
Talk about a breakout season. Paul would be my Big Ten Player of the Year right now if I had to pick since he has been simply awesome for the surprisingly undefeated Illini. He can score effectively from anywhere on the floor and shown an increased amount of maturity with his decision-making and shot selection. (I credit first year head coach John Groce since I think Bruce Weber was a terrible coach at Illinois.) If Paul continue to play at this level all season long, it would be hard pressed to keep him out of the first round.
Trey Burke, PG, Michigan, Soph.
Burke flirted with the NBA Draft this past summer but wisely chose to return for his sophomore season and as a result, has developed into one of the top point guard prospects in college hoops. His maturity and leadership running the show has been crystal clear but he can also score the rock as well when needed. Burke might lack the ideal size for an NBA point guard but has still worked himself into late lottery/mid first round discussions.
Nick Stauskas, SG, Michigan, Fr.
The frosh is one of the top three point gunners in the country shooting a beyond impressive 60.5% from distance. He is more than a one-trick pony however, also boasting a fairly well rounded offensive game that has allowed him to score in double figures in every game but one this season. There is no real threat of him jumping to league after this season but he has shot himself onto scout’s radars early in his collegiate career.
Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana, Jr.
Due to his defensive prowess and incredible athleticism, Oladipo is one of the key glue guys in college basketball. His jump shot is still a work in progress but with the Hoosiers’ continued success this season, Oladipo will climb up NBA Draft lists and he could potentially be a late first round pick whether he decides to leave Indiana after this season or return for his senior campaign.
Trevor Mbakwe, PF, Minnesota, Sr.
The sixth year season just hasn’t looked the same since returning from an ACL injury that cost him most of last year. His playing time has diminished perhaps as a precaution because of the injury and while he has been effective for stretches, lacks the athleticism that he once possessed. He was a borderline first round pick when at full strength but now it appears like the second round will be his landing spot. It will be interesting to see how his effectiveness improves as the season gets deeper.
Drew Crawford, SG, Northwestern, Sr.
Crawford hasn’t fully taken over the go-to option role for the Wildcats like many expected him to with John Shurna exhausting his college eligibility. He has struggled shooting the ball compared to past years and I can’t see him being drafted if he continues to play at the level he has thus far this season.
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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.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.
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