NBA Draft Stock Report (1/8/11)


Marcus Jordan UCF

Michael Jordan’s son is proving that he is more than just that.  Central Florida’s Marcus Jordan has led the Knights to an unbeaten record and and as a result, has seen his NBA Draft stock improve.

The NBA Draft Stock Report checks in on which players have made a name for themselves in the past week; either helping or hurting their future draft position.  Click here for The Sports Bank’s 2011 NBA Mock Draft.

By: David Kay

Marcus Jordan, SG, Central Florida, Soph.

Michael’s middle son has played a huge role in leading UCF to an unblemished mark this season.  Despite seeing about the same playing time, Jordan has doubled his scoring from his freshman year.  He has scored 26 points in each of his last two games getting to the free throw stripe 25 times due to his strength and ability to get to the basket.  Jordan can also stroke it from deep shooting 43% from distance.  At 6-3, he is under-sized to play the shooting guard at the next level, but will certainly get looks whenever he decides to enter the draft; and not just because of who his father is either.

jordan taylor wisconsin

Jordan Taylor, PG, Wisconsin, Jr.
There is no real chance of Taylor leaving Wisconsin early, but I am starting to think he has a great chance of being drafted in 2012.  I have seen Taylor play pretty much every game since arriving at UW, (since I live in Madison and cover the Badgers) and do not see a kink in his game that would prevent him from getting to the next level.

He has an incredible 4.24 assist/turnover ratio, is shooting almost 40% from three, uses his quickness and physicality to get to the rim, and is a solid defender.  Taylor may not blow anyone away with his athleticism but understands the point guard position and that should translate well for his league potential.

Nolan Smith, G, Duke, Sr.

Because of Kyrie Irving, Kyle Singler, and Mason Plumlee; Smith often gets overlooked as a draft prospect on a talented Duke team.  However, Smith is coming off 28 and 33 point performances this past week against Miami and UAB respectively.  My biggest question regarding Smith is whether he is a true point guard at the next level or will have to play the two.

Since taking over the point guard duties from Irving, Smith has become a better facilitator; dishing out 38 assists and committing just 16 turnovers during his last six games.  Those stats do not jump out at you but are certainly an improvement.  At this point, Smith should get late-first round looks depending on which underclassmen declare for the draft.

Kris Joseph, SF, Syracuse, Jr.

The Canada native has always been praised for his athleticism and ability to finish around the rim.  However, there were concerns about his outside shot heading into the season as he hit just 22% of his triples as a sophomore.  Joseph has upped that mark to 35.8% this year while continuing to display his ability to get to the rim and thrive in the open floor.  If he can continue to show strides with his jumper, Joseph will almost certainly be a top-20 lock and could possibly sneak into the late lottery.

Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence, Sr.

Brooks went from not even being on my draft radar at the start of the season to someone who has a solid holding on a second round pick.  He has raised his scoring average from 14.2 per game last season to 23.4 so far in 2010-2011.  He is shooting an impressive 50.8% from the floor which means he is getting good looks at the basket and not forcing a whole lot of shots.  Brooks is a decent outside shooter, but really excels at getting to the basket.  He is also an effective rebounding for his size, grabbing 8.3 boards a game.  Brooks has elevated his game against better competition scoring 27 against Syracuse and 28 versus Pitt.

Alex Oriakhi, PF, UConn, Soph.

Part of the reason for UConn’s struggle early in the Big East play is the absence of a second go-to player to compliment Kemba Walker. Oriakhi was expected to step into the role but has been a ghost in the Huskies’ two conference losses, posting just eight points and one rebounds against Pitt and zero points and six boards versus Notre Dame.  Foul trouble has played a major factor as he combined for just 42 minutes in those games.  He has first round potential but needs to become more of a consistent factor and better groomed offensive player before he thinks about leaving for the NBA.

Herb Pope, PF, Seton Hall, Jr.
The Hall’s first year head coach Kevin Willard said all along that he was going to ease Pope back into the line-up due to the near death scare he suffered last May when his heart nearly gave out on him.  That has been the case as Pope’s minutes have decreased meaning so to have his numbers.  The most alarming statistic is his field goal percentage dropping from 46% last season to 36% this year.  He is shooting the three ball more which factors into that dip since he is not a consistent outside shooter.  After briefly declaring for the draft last summer, Pope is in for good if he decides to enter this summer.  However, with his medical condition obviously still a factor resulting in a drop in his level of play, Pope likely would not get 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 and is a former contributor for The Washington Times Communities.  You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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