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NBA Mock Draft 2012: Predicting the College Studs Whose Stock Will Rise in March

Bradlee RossCorrespondent IIOctober 10, 2016

NBA Mock Draft 2012: Predicting the College Studs Whose Stock Will Rise in March

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    March Madness is right around the corner, and it will afford many young college players the chance to improve their 2012 NBA draft stock.

    Players like Kentucky's Anthony Davis and North Carolina's Harrison Barnes play for great college teams and can greatly improved their draft stock by lifting their respective teams to big NCAA Tournament runs.

    Here's a mock draft with each selection graded on his ability to improve his stock in the Big Dance.

1. Charlotte Bobcats: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Minimal

    Unlike for most college stars, that rating isn't a bad thing.

    Anthony Davis is going to be the No. 1 pick no matter what he does in the NCAA tournament. The only thing he can do is make the Charlotte Bobcats love him more.

2. Detroit Pistons: Harrison Barnes, F, North Carolina

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Average

    I like Barnes as the No. 2 overall pick and definitely as a lottery pick. However, if he can lead the Tar Heels to a long run, he can guarantee Top 5-pick status in the draft. And he may need to.

3. Washington Wizards: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Great

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a potential future as an elite perimeter defender at the next level. Showing that he can be that go-to defensive guy in the NCAA tournament will be the best thing possible for his draft stock.

    However, if he fails, it could hurt him as well.

4. Toronto Raptors: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Great

    I've got tons of respect for Thomas Robinson as a college player. But I'm still not sure how good he'll be at the next level.

    If he can carry Kansas deep into the tournament, I'll be much more convinced about his NBA potential.

5. Sacramento Kings: Jeremy Lamb, G, Connecticut

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Average

    Right now, it's extremely tough to tell where Jeremy Lamb will end up in this draft. That's what makes it difficult to read his chances to improve his stock.

    Even if UConn makes a decent run, I doubt it will improve Lamb's stock. But what brings up the chance is Kemba Walker last year. His NCAA run built his draft stock, and the same could conceivably happen to Lamb.

6. New Orleans Hornets: Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Great

    Andre Drummond is a legitimate center with NBA-caliber size. Every NBA team needs a big man who will turn it around.

    A deep run for UConn could give NBA scouts the game tape they need to believe that Drummond is that big man.

7. New Jersey Nets: Brad Beal, G, Florida

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Average

    Brad Beal is a reach at this pick, but I feel like it's a reach someone will take.

    It could be a solid NCAA showing, or it could just be a team seeing something that most of the rest of us don't. Either way, Beal is a solid player who could help himself.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Perry Jones, PF, Baylor

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Great

    Perry Jones is a very talented and athletic player. However, he's disappeared against the better, more physical teams this season.

    A deep NCAA run would require the kind of toughness from him that NBA scouts are looking for.

9. Utah Jazz: Terrence Jones, SF/PF, Kentucky

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Average

    Terrence Jones is a better-than-solid player for Kentucky, but he is a bit of a tweener between the 3 and 4 positions.

    Playing against good NCAA tournament competition might show scouts which position he will be better suited for. Otherwise, a tournament run won't do much for him.

10. Phoenix Suns: Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Great, but unlikely

    Meyers Leonard could greatly improve his draft stock by helping Illinois make a run in the tournament.

    However, there is no chance of that happening if they don't get in. It will take some serious magic for his team to get in.

11. Milwaukee Bucks: Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Great

    Even though Jared Sullinger has been on the NBA radar for a while, he could still stand to improve his stock.

    He's extremely skilled, but not the most athletic big man. If he can perform big against elite competition, he'll show himself to be ready for the NBA.

12. New Orleans Hornets: Quincy Miller, SF, Baylor

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Average

    Quincy Miller is a very good freshman for the Baylor Bears. However, a deep run probably won't help his stock much.

    The only way it would, is if he had a monster tournament in which he overshadowed the rest of his team. Unlikely to happen on a team that talented.

13. Houston Rockets: Terrence Ross, SG, Washington

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Great

    Not a lot of people have heard or seen much of Terrence Ross. We can blame the West Coast for that.

    If he can get into the tournament and impress some people, especially against a really good team, he could greatly improve his stock.

14. Memphis Grizzlies: Tyler Zeller, PF/C, North Carolina

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Minimal

    Most NBA teams have probably seen enough of Tyler Zeller to know what he is. He's an offensively talented big man who lacks the strength to defend at the NBA level.

    It's very unlikely that he'll do anything in the NCAA tournament to dispel that reputation.

15. Portland Trail Blazers: Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Average

    The biggest positive for Kendall Marshall heading into the NBA is the reputation of UNC point guards that have gone before him.

    Both Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton have proven themselves as starting NBA point guards.

    Marshall could improve his stock a bit, but probably not very much. NBA teams know that he's a good product.

16. Boston Celtics: Austin Rivers, SG, Duke

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Great

    To me, Austin Rivers is a tweener between point guard and shooting guard right now. He's too small to be the prototypical shooting guard, but he doesn't really seem to have point guard skills yet.

    If he showcases some of those skills or just generally tears it up in the tournament, he could become a Top 5 pick, especially given his pedigree.

17. Atlanta Hawks: Arnett Moultrie, PF/C, Mississippi State

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Great

    Arnett Moultrie is ridiculously athletic and offensively gifted. His biggest downside is his inexperience as a post player.

    If he can play at a high level against elite competition in the tournament, he could assuage some doubts that NBA teams may have about him.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Minimal

    Doron Lamb is an overlooked player on this Kentucky squad. Unfortunately, he won't get as much credit as he probably deserves if the Wildcats make a big run in the Big Dance.

    He has the potential to be a steal for the team that gets him, but he won't make big noise in March.

19. Los Angeles Lakers: Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Minimal

    Myck Kabongo is a really nice college point guard, but he plays on the worst Texas team in over a decade.

    Unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that we'll see Kabongo in the tournament, which is just a shame, because he might be the most complete point guard in this draft.

20. Orlando Magic: Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Minimal

    Sadly, Damian Lillard is another nice point guard that probably won't be in the tournament.

    Weber State has had a very good season, but being in the Big Sky conference won't do it any favors.

    We'll have to wait to see this guy against good competition, unless his team can win its conference tournament.

21. Denver Nuggets: Mason Plumlee, PF, Duke

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Average

    Mason Plumlee is like all Duke big men. He's underrated athletically and is extremely intelligent.

    Plumlee will be a guy that plays solid defense at the next level. If he can show that he's more than just defensive beef up front, he'll improve his stock.

22. Boston Celtics: Fab Melo, C, Syracuse

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Great

    Fab Melo might have the biggest upside of any center in this draft. He's a legit 7-footer with great potential.

    If he can showcase some of that potential in a big game against elite competition, he'll have a great shot of shooting up draft boards.

23. Atlanta Hawks: Patric Young, PF, Florida

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Great

    Patric Young is extremely athletic and explosive around the rim. It's that type of ability that can impress scouts in this tournament.

    Young needs a few good games out of nowhere against good teams.

24. Dallas Mavericks: Evan Fournier, SF, International

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    Chance of Improving Stock: None.

    Evan Fournier is a French player, so obviously, he can't play in the NCAA Tournament.

    The only way he could be helped is if other players underperform and fall.

25. San Antonio Spurs: Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Average

    Dion Waiters is a combo guard, which can have a terrible effect on a player's professional career.

    If he can have a good tournament, he might be able to convince some team to take a chance on him.

26. Indiana Pacers: William Buford, SG, Ohio State

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Average

    William Buford is a good, athletic 2-guard who is a very good shooter. It's unlikely that he'll do much to impress scouts in the tournament that will change his draft stock.

    However, it is possible. He's a very solid player.

27. Philadelphia 76ers: John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Great

    John Jenkins is the most talented player on a dangerous Vanderbilt team that could pull a key upset or two in the tournament.

    If that happens, Jenkins will be a big part of it, getting him big press and the attention of scouts.

28. Chicago Bulls: Kevin Jones, PF, West Virginia

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Minimal

    Kevin Jones is a solid big man who will probably be a defensive banger at the next level. There isn't much for him to do on his team that will change the opinions NBA teams have about him.

    He's probably destined to fall where he will.

29. Miami Heat: Toma Satoransky, PG/SG, International

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    Chance to Improve Stock: None

    Toma Satoransky is another international player. He can't improve his stock in this way for obvious reasons.

30. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt

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    Chance to Improve Stock: Average

    As with his teammate John Jenkins, a few key upsets by Vandy could put Jeffery Taylor on the map as far as the NBA goes.

    He's very talented and could improve his stock somewhat with a few good games.

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