NBA Draft stock report: Duke vs. North Carolina edition


austin rivers duke

Duke’s comeback at North Carolina Wednesday night capped off by a game-winning, buzzer-beating three-pointer by Austin Rivers added another chapter to one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.  Several likely NBA Draft first round picks were on display in Chapel Hill.  Let’s check in to see which Blue Devils and Tar Heels helped or hurt their NBA Draft Stock.

Here’s a look at The Sports Bank’s 2012 NBA Mock Draft and our insanely early 2013 NBA Mock Draft.

Austin Rivers, SG, Duke, Fr.
Doc’s son takes a lot of flack for being a selfish, cocky player on the court, but he backed it all up Wednesday night with his clutch three in the final seconds.  He is the only player on the Duke roster who can create opportunities for himself and wants the ball in his hands at the most important times of the game.  Rivers was 6-10 of three, displaying his NBA range from distance but also showed his ability to create off the bounce.  He is a likely lottery pick if he declares after this season but Rivers could use another year in college to get stronger, work on his defense, and learn how to better play off the ball.

Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina, Sr.
The senior was all over the floor in the first half scoring 19 points but was slowed down in the second half including a couple of critical missed free throws down the stretch.  Still, Zeller did enough in the first half to back-up the talk of him being a potential lottery pick.

Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina, Soph.
It was a tale of two halves for Barnes who was held without a field goal in the first half, but finished with 25 points on the night.  He showed the aggressiveness in the final twenty minutes that many feel he lacks to show on a consistent basis and that was evident against Duke.  When he gets going, he is one the best scorers in college basketball but he tends to disappear too frequently.

James McAdoo, F, North Carolina, Fr.
UNC coaches want to see more aggressiveness out of McAdoo and the freshman showed some glimpse of his ability but still does not seem completely comfortable at this point of his career.  He picked up four fouls in just 12 minutes of play.  While he has the potential of being a top five pick down the line, he certainly needs another year of experience under his belt before he even considers leaving for the NBA.

Mason Plumlee, PF, Duke, Jr.
The middle Plumlee finished with just eight points but did end up grabbing fourteen rebounds.  However, his weaknesses were exposed as he couldn’t help the Blue Devils sure up the glass as Zeller and Henson combined to grab 10 offensive boards.  Zeller also went off in the first in the first half, finishing with 23 points as a good share of them came with Mason guarding him.  Plumlee is what he is; an athletic big who is not very physical and limited with his offensive game.  Wednesday night’s game hurt him way more than helped him.

P.J. Hairston, SG, North Carolina, Fr.
With the Heels losing Dexter Strickland for the season, Hairston has taken on a bigger role but not made the impact that UNC was hoping for.  He was scoreless against the Blue Devils, missing all three of his shot.  Hairston is just 2-16 from three since Strickland’s been out of the line-up which is discouraging since his outside shooting is supposed to be his biggest weapon.

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 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.

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