NIT 2012: Top Studs from This Year's Tourney

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2012

Sure, the NIT tournament isn't the NCAA tournament, but it's still basketball madness in the month of March.

Like the NCAA tournament, the NIT tournament was full of upsets and big shots, as well as possible future NBA players.

The NIT semifinals saw both high and low seeds, showing that it's a college basketball tournament that possesses excitement and unpredictability.

Let's take a look at some of the best players in the tournament, who also made it to the semifinals.  


Rodney Williams

After averaging 12.2 PPG and 5.6 RPG during the regular season, junior forward Rodney Williams amped up his game for the NIT tournament.

The first three rounds saw him score 21, 21 and 24 points, all while shooting better than .500 from the field.

The thrilling semifinal victory over No. 1 Washington saw Williams come up one rebound short of a double-double, scoring 18 points and snatching nine rebounds.

Unfortunately for Williams, Stanford was too much for both him and Minnesota, holding him to 12 points and five rebounds due to foul trouble.

Draft Express is predicting Williams as a second-round pick in the 2013 NBA draft.


Terrence Ross

Terrence Ross's Washington Huskies made it all the way to the semifinals of the NIT tournament before being ousted by Minnesota in overtime.

The sophomore guard was the leading scorer for a Washington team that finished the 2012 season with a 21-10 record, averaging 16.4 points per game.

Aside from his first-round performance—he scored 15 points in 34 minutes—Ross scored more points in the NIT tournament than in his regular-season performance.

Most notable was his second-round performance against Northwestern, when he scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 30 minutes to help the Huskies advance to the quarterfinals.

For his final two games in the tournament, Ross averaged 22.5 PPG, which only benefited his draft stock.

He's currently slated as a first-round pick in the 2012 NBA draft, according to Draft Express.


Chaz Williams

Massachusetts sophomore guard Chaz Williams' most impressive NIT performance came in the first round.

Averaging 16.9 PPG during the regular season, Williams went off for 28 against Mississippi State to help the Minutemen advance to the second round against Seton Hall.

For the entire tournament, Williams averaged 21.7 PPG while shooting better than .500 from the field. Williams shot just 41 percent from the field during the regular season.

Williams also shot well from beyond the arc, going 10-of-21 (.476) during the tournament, which is roughly five percent better than his regular-season numbers.

If Williams continues his solid play next season, we'll probably see him in the 2013 NBA draft.

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