NBA Draft Stock Report (12/26/10)

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renardo sidney fight

Mississippi State‘s Renardo Sidney pretty much put the dagger in his NBA Draft stock when he got into a fist fight with teammate Elgin Bailey in the stands of the Diamond Head Classic.  The oft-troubled Sidney is featured in this week’s NBA Draft Stock Report which takes a look at which college basketball players have helped or hurt their draft status in the past week.  Click here for The Sports Bank‘s 2011 NBA mock draft.

By: David Kay

BUYING:
Josh Selby, G, Kansas, Fr.

Selby’s long-awaited debut at Kansas started with a bang as he scored 21 points including the game-winning three-pointer in the Jayhawks two-point win against USC.  The freshman combo guard followed up that performance by scoring 18 points in a victory versus Cal.  He has shown why he has lottery potential with his ability to score the basketball from the outside or by attacking the rim.  The biggest question surround Selby is whether his game translates to the next level as a point guard or shooting guard?

Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State, Jr.
Thompson might be the most purer shooter in college basketball.  He has range well beyond the three-point line and as Wazzu continues to stack successes this season, Thompson’s light will shine brighter.  His lack of strength is his biggest obstacle in transitioning to the next level but he could be a J.J. Redick-type player on the right team.  If he does declare for the 2011 NBA Draft, he would likely be a borderline first round pick but that status could improve if Thompson continues to light it up from deep in Pac-10 play.

Darius Morris Michigan

Darius Morris, PG, Michigan, Soph.
Taking over the full-time point guard role for the young Wolverines, Morris has emerged into one of the better assist men in college hoops as he is third in the nation averaging 7.5 dimes per game.  He is also a capable scorer putting up almost 16 points per contest and scoring in double figures in every game but two.  At 6-4, he possesses good size to an NBA point guard and while he likely will not be turning pro this summer, Morris is definitely somebody to keep an eye on as conference play kicks into gear.

SELLING:
Renardo Sidney, PF, Mississippi State, Soph.

After waiting a season-plus to make his collegiate debut, Sidney was suspended just one game into his Mississippi State career for “conduct detrimental to the team.”  Then in Hawaii, two days before Christmas, Sidney and teammate Elgin Bailey got into a Ron Artest-like fight in the stands at The Diamond Head Classic because Bailey would not move his feet out of the aisle when Sidney wanted to make a trip to the concession stands.  True story.

As if there were not enough red flags surrounding Sidney, this latest incident kills his NBA Draft stock.  No team will give him the guaranteed money of a first round pick so he will have to hope that someone takes a second round flyer on him despite all these character issues.  More than likely, Sidney has D-League written all over him if does declare for the draft this summer which seems very likely due to his status at Mississippi State being up in the air.

Scotty Hopson, SG, Tennessee, Jr.
As Hopson goes, Tennessee goes.  So when the Vols lost three straight, it should come as no shock that Hopson really struggled during that stretch going 8-31 from the field, 1-10 from three.  That streakiness and lack of consistency has been Hopson’s Achilles heel throughout his collegiate career.  His has all the talent and athleticism to be an intriguing NBA prospect but until he can prove to be a night-in, night-out scoring threat and not shoot his team out of games, he will remain a likely second round prospect.

Keith Benson, F/C, Oakland, Sr.
I was buying Benson’s stock last week but after his performance against Ohio State, we saw his major weakness.  Benson struggled on both ends against more physical players in the Buckeyes Jared Sullinger and Dallas Lauderdale, scoring just eight points and fouling out in 27 minutes.  He is not an NBA center and needs to improve his perimeter game if he wants to be a power forward at the next level.  That factor will keep him out of the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft.

Check out our in-depth feature on Benson.

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 former contributor for The Washington Times Communities.  You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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  1. I’m pleased you guys have picked up on Darius Morris. He has completely come alive and his fancy passing is indictitive of it, as he’s not afraid to be a magician out there on the court. Last season he deferred way too often to Manny Harris. This is Darius’s team and he knows it.

    Won’t be too long before you guys and the rest of the hoops analysts will notice Jon Horford’s talents. I already have and he’ll be in the NBA with his brother in about 4 years.

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