NBA Draft 2012: Grading the Tourney Performances of Every Prospect

Sim RissoFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2012

NBA Draft 2012: Grading the Tourney Performances of Every Prospect

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    There are plenty of players who have really boosted their draft stock with excellent performances in the NCAA tournament.

    Take Carmelo Anthony for example.

    Anthony would have likely been a first-round selection in the 2003 NBA draft, but after leading Syracuse to a national championship, Anthony was selected No. 3 overall.

    This year is no different. There are several players in this year's tournament who could see their draft stock rise with solid performances during March Madness.

    Here are grades for this year's draft prospects during the NCAA tournament. The parameters for evaluation are that the players must project as a first-round selection and they had to have played at least three games in the NCAA tournament.

    So players like Andre Drummond and Austin Rivers aren't up for consideration because UConn and Duke were knocked out in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

    With that, let's get to the grades:

Anthony Davis, Kentucky, Power Forward

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    Davis was widely regarded as the top prospect entering the tournament. So far, he's done nothing but back that up during the tournament, averaging 14.5 points and 11 rebounds. He's also done an excellent job guarding the rim, as he's averaging 4.5 blocks, including six blocks against Baylor in the regional finals.

    Grade: A

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky, Small Forward

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    Kidd-Gilchrist started out slow, only averaging 5.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in the first two tournament games, but he's really turned it on in the regional semifinals and the regional finals. Over those two rounds, he's averaging 21.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, shooting 56 percent from the field.

    Grade: B-

Bradley Beal, Florida, Shooting Guard

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    Beal was extremely consistent through Florida's run in the tournament, which ended in the regional finals with a loss to Louisville. He averaged 15.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and three assists. He also had an excellent performance in the regional semis, scoring 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field.

    Grade: B+

Thomas Robinson, Kansas, Power Forward

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    Thomas Robinson has been a rebounding machine for the Jayhawks. He's averaging 12.5 rebounds a game during the tournament. He also had five offensive rebounds in the win against Purdue and six offensive boards in the victory over North Carolina State. He's also been a consistent scorer, scoring in double-digits in all four games and averaging 15.8 points.

    Grade: A

Cody Zeller, Indiana, Center

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    Cody Zeller found a way to fill the stat sheet in all three of Indiana's tournament games. In the first round, he scored 14 points, brought in six rebounds, dished out four assists and came up with six steals. He followed that up with 16 points and 13 rebounds in the second round. Then in Indiana's final game—a loss to Kentucky—he scored 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting and added seven rebounds.

    Grade: A-

James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina, Power Forward

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    McAdoo was inconsistent for the Tar Heels. He had a very good game during his opening round performance of 17 points, six rebounds (five of them offensive), four assists and six steals. He also played poorly at times, like his regional semifinal performance of only six points, two rebounds, one assist and three turnovers.

    Grade: C

Harrison Barnes, North Carolina, Small Forward

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    Barnes' scoring was consistent throughout North Carolina's tournament run, averaging 14 points and never scoring more than 17 points or fewer than 12 in any particular game. The problem for Barnes was that while his scoring totals were consistent, his shooting stroke was not.

    After shooting 38.7 percent (which is still pretty bad) from the field in the first two rounds, Barnes' field-goal percentage plummeted to 26.6 percent in the next two rounds.

    Grade: C-

Perry Jones, Baylor, Power Forward

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    Jones improved his play as Baylor continued to advance through the tournament. After scoring nine combined points in the first two games, he averaged 15.5 points per game in Baylor's next two tournament games.

    He also played solid against Anthony Davis in the regional semifinals, scoring 17 points and getting eight rebounds against the nation's top prospect.

    Grade: C+

Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, Power Forward

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    Sullinger has definitely made his presence felt. Whether he's scoring, rebounding or defending the basket, he's found a way to distinguish himself. He's scored double-digits in every game. He's shooting 54.8 percent over the last three games. He's averaging 8.3 rebounds throughout the tournament. He even blocked five shots against Loyola in the opening round.

    Grade: A

Tyler Zeller, North Carolina, Center

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    Zeller's two good games were really good. In the opening round, he scored 17 points, got 15 rebounds and blocked four shots. In the third round, he had 20 points, 22 rebounds, eight offensive rebounds and four blocks.

    His two down games weren't even that bad. He notched 11 points and six rebounds in the second round. Then in Carolina's loss in the regional finals, he scored 12 points, hauled in six rebounds and blocked four shots. He also shot better than 50 percent from the field in both games.

    Grade: A-

Terrence Jones, Kentucky, Power Forward

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    Jones' play in the tournament has been in line with his play during the regular season. He's averaging 13.5 points and 8.8 rebounds during the tournament after averaging 12.6 points and 7.2 rebounds during the regular season.

    However, he did have an excellent game in the opening round, scoring 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting and bringing in 10 rebounds.

    Grade: B-

Quincy Miller, Baylor, Small Forward

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    Miller's performance in the NCAA tournament was somewhat of a disappointment. He only averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds. He also had five turnovers in four games, compared to only four assists. While his upside is still enormous, the NCAA tournament certainly was not the best display of it.

    Grade: D

Dion Waiters, Syracuse, Shooting Guard

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    Waiters' performance in the tournament was average. His 18-point, three-rebound, two-steal and one-assist performance against Kansas State in the second round was pretty good. On the other hand, his nine points on 2-of-8 shooting with one rebound and two assists against Ohio State was pretty bad. His other two games were just OK.

    Grade: C

C.J. Leslie, NC State, Power Forward

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    Leslie's scoring was consistent in NC State's run to the Sweet 16. He averaged 15.7 points. But the rest of his game was below expectations. After averaging 7.3 rebounds in the regular season, he only averaged 5.6 during the tournament. He also only had one steal in three games after averaging nearly a steal per game in the regular season.

    Grade: C+

Draymond Green, Michigan State, Small Forward

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    While the Spartans didn't reach their goal of the Final Four and a national championship, it certainly wasn't due to lack of production from Green. Green was ridiculously good throughout the tournament.

    He tipped it off by posting a triple-double in the opening round with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. He followed that up with double-doubles in the next two games.

    In the second round he had 16 points and 13 rebounds with six assists. Against Louisville, in the third round, he had 13 points, 16 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. But the Louisville defense also forced Green into six turnovers.

    Still, 13.7 rebounds per game for a small forward listed at 6'6" is mind boggling.

    Grade: A

Marquis Teague, Kentucky, Point Guard

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    Teague did a really nice job in the first three rounds. He was efficient distributing the ball and he scored in double-digits in all three games, including a 24-point and seven-assist performance against Iowa State in the second round.

    But in the regional finals, he took a step backwards. He only scored eight points and dished out three assists. He also had four turnovers, giving him a negative assist-to-turnover ratio.

    Grade: B-

Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas, Point Guard

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    Taylor has not played up to his standards during the tournament. Luckily for him, the Jayhawks are still alive, so he has another opportunity to get it going.

    So far, Taylor is 0-for-17 from three-point range in the tournament. He's also got an assist-to-turnover ratio of 15-to-13. Taylor needs to start knocking down some three-pointers and he needs to do a better job of protecting the ball.

    Grade: D

Doron Lamb, Kentucky, Shooting Guard

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    Tyshawn Taylor has been absolutely ice cold from three-point range. Doron Lamb, on the other hand, has been lights out from beyond the arc.

    In Kentucky's four tournament games, Lamb is 9-of-15 from three-point range, including a 5-of-7 performance against Iowa State in the second round.

    Overall, he is 21-of-37 from the floor and averaging 16.8 points per game.

    Grade: A