Final Four 2012: Top NBA Draft Prospects to Watch

Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterMarch 26, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats is interviewed after their 82 to 70 win over the Baylor Bears during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The top teams in college basketball may have only just booked their trips to the Final Four in New Orleans, though they'll have to find room at the inn alongside the legions of NBA scouts who've already staked out their spots for the last weekend of the 2012 NCAA tournament.

And for good reason. All four of the last teams standing will land in the Big Easy with pro prospects to spare. Let's have a look, then, at the top draft talent for each of the blue bloods set to play ball in the Bayou this weekend.


Anthony Davis, Kentucky

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist certainly deserves a shoutout here, seeing as how he's probably be the No. 1 pick in just about any other year, thanks to his blend of speed, athleticism, versatility, handles, heart and hustle.

But this isn't any other year, and MKG isn't on just any other team. He's largely been overshadowed this season by fellow Kentucky freshman phenom Anthony Davis, and for good reason. Davis has the size and the length to be a dominant defensive force down low (as evidenced by his best-in-the-nation 4.6 blocks per game) as well as the skill set to be an offensive threat from just about anywhere on the floor.

He can thank his upbringing as a guard and his late growth spurt for that.

Davis is already a fantastic player and, just two weeks past his 19th birthday, comes equipped with heaps upon heaps of that all-important upside. 

Chane Behanan, Louisville

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 24:  Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals talks with Chane Behanan #24 while taking on the Florida Gators during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional Final at US Airways Center on March 24, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizon
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Louisville will be hard-pressed to go toe-to-toe with Kentucky's cavalcade of pro talent on Saturday, especially with its own presumed dearth of NBA draft prospects.

That being said, don't overlook Chane Behanan. The 6'6", 250-pound freshman is a physical presence on the wing for the Cardinals, with an uncanny ability to throw his mature frame around to tremendous effect.

Behanan's lack of a consistent shooting stroke (17.6 percent from three, 58.8 percent from the free-throw line) is likely to keep him in school for at least one more year, though he certainly has the talent and the moxie to be a productive pro down the line.

Jared Sullinger, Ohio State

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 24:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after defeating the Syracuse Orange during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional Final at TD Garden on March 24, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/G
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Say what you want about Jared Sullinger's size, but there's no doubting the kid's ability to play the game the right way. The Ohio State standout is a bit undersized for a power forward and could stand to shed a few more pounds, though his skills in the post are light years ahead of just about anybody else in this year's pool of potential draftees.

With continued work on his conditioning and his jump shot, Sullinger could very well carve out a nitch for himself in the frontcourt not unlike the one that Kevin Love has ridden to perennial All-Star status.

Thomas Robinson, Kansas

ST LOUIS, MO - MARCH 25:  Thomas Robinson #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrates after they won 80-67 against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Midwest Regional Final at Edward Jones Dome on March 25, 2012 in St Louis, Misso
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Simply put, Thomas Robinson is a man among boys in the class of 2012. The 6'10", 240-pound junior already has an NBA body and an inside-out game to be a force from 16 feet in, at the very least.

The biggest concern, for now, rests in Robinson's lack of a proven track record, as he's only just become a consistent contributor this season.

Still, there's no denying Robinson's physical gifts or his mental toughness, given the tremendous obstacles he's had to overcome in his personal life during his collegiate career. Don't be surprised to see Robinson selected within the first five picks if he decides to declare for the draft.

And for the team that gets him to be more than happy to have him.