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.
Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt, Sr.
I was pretty down on Taylor’s stock entering the season, seeing no reason why some team should take him in the first round. However, Taylor continues to impress me and it wouldn’t shock me if he goes as high as the late teens. He has drastically improved his outside shot, hitting 46.5% of his triple tries this season. Taylor has always been athletically gifted and has really used that on the defensive end where he has guarded pretty much every position but center. He has a chance to be a very solid role player in the NBA. (Plus, I love the emotion he showed on senior day. That type of kid could play for me any day.)
Robbie Hummel, SF, Purdue, Sr.
Hummel has increased his level of play down the stretch as the Boilermakers have won five of their last six to solidify their at-large status in the NCAA Tournament. The fifth-year senior is averaging 23.7 points and nearly 10 boards per game during that stretch. There are still going to be questions about Hummel’s recent injury history and his lack of athleticism, but he is beginning to look more and more like a solid second round pick who could stick on a roster due to his intangibles as opposed to a month ago when he completely fell out of my mock draft.
Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State, Soph.
I know Sullinger had 22 and 18 versus Northwestern, but let’s be honest, the Wildcats have zero post presence so that’s the type of game he should have put together. Prior to that, the Buckeye big man just didn’t look like himself. He had just 31 points and 20 rebounds in Ohio State’s previous three games; two of which were losses. Teams are being more physical down low with him and it seems to be frustrating Sullinger who hasn’t been able to take advantage of the contact. Sullinger is averaging about six free throws per game this season but got to the charity stripe just nine times in the those previous three games. Too often this season, it seems Sullinger is trying to prove that he has a capable face-up game rather than going to work down low. It wouldn’t shock me if he slid to the mid-lottery after being a projected top five pick earlier this season.
Tu Holloway, PG, Xavier, PG
The Musketeers’ struggles this season have been well-documented and Holloway’s lackluster play continues to be a factor in why ‘X’ is firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble. He entered the season as an All-American candidate but has been unable to duplicate the numbers and success of his junior season. In a must-win game versus St. Louis earlier this week, the point guard formerly known as Terrell had just 4 points and 4 assists. It is very likely that Holloway goes undrafted this June.
Reeves Nelson, PF
If you have not read Sports Illustrated’s telling article on the UCLA basketball program, please do so. It’s terrific and incredibly revealing about the struggles the Bruins have faced the past few years. I couldn’t help but chuckle when it said in the article that Reeves Nelson is currently training for the NBA Draft in Modesto, California. Yes, the same Nelson who was kicked off the UCLA team, then released by the Lithuania team he signed with, and was pretty much thrown under the bus as a huge reason for why the Bruins’ program has taken a bit of a free fall. Reeves, you can work all you want, but no chance in hell you are getting drafted.
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.Follow paulmbanks