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NBA Draft 2012, Final Four Edition: Which Prospects Will Climb Charts Tomorrow

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 30, 2012

NBA Draft 2012, Final Four Edition: Which Prospects Will Climb Charts Tomorrow

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    The Final Four is finally here and quite a few prospects for the 2012 NBA draft are going to have one more chance to make an impact on the largest stage yet. 

    Although one-game sample sizes are always tough to use in evaluations, some games are simply more important than others. These games would qualify. 

    As a heads up, don't expect to see players like Jeff Withey, Elijah Johnson, Peyton Siva, Gorgui Dieng or Deshaun Thomas here because they most likely won't be declaring for the NBA draft until 2013 or later.

    But you can expect to see each and every one of the 10 players who are expected to both be eligible for the draft and also be drafted in either of the two rounds. 

    Read on to find out who they are and how their stock will change on Saturday?

William Buford

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    School: Ohio State

    Position: Shooting guard

    Year: Senior

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 14.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists

     

    William Buford has been having a tough tournament so far, but his decline has been largely overshadowed thanks to the continued dominance of Jared Sullinger and the emergence of Deshaun Thomas. 

    But on the stage of the Final Four, it's tough to be overshadowed by anyone. Everything is put under a microscope and that doesn't bode well for Buford, unless he can turn it around quickly. 

     

    Prediction: Stock down

Anthony Davis

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    School: Kentucky

    Position: Power forward 

    Year: Freshman

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 14.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 0.9 assists

     

    Anthony Davis is locked in as the No. 1 pick of the 2012 NBA draft, and nothing that happens on Saturday is going to change that.


    Prediction: No change

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

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    School: Kentucky

    Position: Small forward

    Year: Freshman

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 11.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists

     

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is going as high as No. 2 on many mock drafts, but no matter how well he plays, he won't have any shot at overtaking his teammate for the top overall pick. 

    Despite Louisville's prowess on defense, I can't see MKG getting shut down to such an extent that he drops out of the top five picks of the draft. 


    Prediction: No change

Terrence Jones

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    School: Kentucky

    Position: Small forward and power forward

    Year: Sophomore

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists

     

    With the exception of a lackluster performance against Royce White and the Iowa State Cyclones, Terrence Jones has been having a terrific tournament. 

    He's coming off a tremendously well-balanced game against Baylor, one in which he scored 12 points, pulled down nine rebounds, dish out out six assists, blocked three shots and stole the ball twice.

    Look for that dominance as Jones tries to make a statement against a Louisville defense that ranks first in defensive efficiency according to Ken Pomeroy. 


    Prediction: Stock up

Doron Lamb

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    School: Kentucky

    Position: Shooting guard

    Year: Sophomore

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 13.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists

     

    Doron Lamb is one of the most consistent scorers on the Kentucky Wildcats, but in a Final Four contest where defense will reign supreme, it's going to be hard for him to improve his stock enough to move into the first round. 

    Lamb will score his fair share of points, but as has happened so often this season, he's going to be perceived as just one more member of the supporting cast that makes Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the rest of the first-rounders on John Calipari's squad look good. 


    Prediction: No change

Darius Miller

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    School: Kentucky

    Position: Shooting guard

    Year: Senior

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists

     

    Everything that applies to Doron Lamb will also apply to Darius Miller. 


    Prediction: No change

Thomas Robinson

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    School: Kansas

    Position: Power forward

    Year: Junior

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 17.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists

     

    Thomas Robinson is locked and loaded as a top-five pick in the upcoming 2012 NBA draft, and nothing that happens during the Final Four is going to change that. 

    If he fails to make an impact and the Kansas Jayhawks get destroyed by the Ohio State Buckeyes, it will be chalked up as another bad performance during a tough tournament for Robinson and he'll be drafted in the top five. 

    If he completely dominates Jared Sullinger and the Jayhawks advance to the championship game, he's still not going to go any higher than No. 3. 

     

    Prediction: No change

Jared Sullinger

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    School: Ohio State

    Position: Power forward

    Year: Sophomore

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 17.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists


    Jared Sullinger was expected to contend for the National Player of the Year awards prior to the start of his sophomore year, and despite his continued excellence throughout his second season at the collegiate level, this campaign has largely been viewed as a disappointment. 

    The Ohio State big man has looked quite good during the tournament and a dominant performance against Thomas Robinson, which I believe is coming, will lead to his stock rising back up into the early portion of the lottery. 

     

    Prediction: Stock up

Tyshawn Taylor

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    School: Kansas

    Position: Point guard

    Year: Senior

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 17.3 points, 1.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists

     

    When you're a senior, you're looking to make a big mark during your final games at the collegiate level. Tyshawn Taylor has the opportunity to make one hell of a mark during the Final Four because of his matchup. 

    When the Kansas point guard dribbles the ball up the court on Saturday, he's going to be going up against Aaron Craft, the nation's best on-ball defender at the guard position. 

    Taylor's performance is the key to this game because he can go for 20 points—or what seems like 20 turnovers—on any given night. Despite my expectation that Jared Sullinger outshines Thomas Robinson in the paint, I believe that Taylor will have one last sensational performance and be the hero for the Jayhawks. 


    Prediction: Stock up

Marquis Teague

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    School: Kentucky

    Position: Point guard

    Year: Freshman

    2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists

     

    Some people have been calling Marquis Teague the weak link on this Kentucky Wildcats squad, but those people clearly haven't been watching the heavily-favored Wildcats over their last few games.

    Teague has developed into a perimeter force who maturely commands the offense and can create points for himself. Plus, he's still the same great defender he's always been.

    This tournament has been Teague's personal coming out party so far and that parade is going to continue for at least one more game.  


    Prediction: Stock up

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