NBA Draft 2012: Overrated College Stars Who Will Fail to Meet Expectations
Just 10 days after an exciting and compelling NCAA tournament finish, which saw Kentucky win a record 38 games and the NCAA Championship, the most talented college basketball players in the country are preparing for the NBA draft.
The 2012 NBA Draft takes place June 28 at 7 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN.
That night, a select few college players will see their lifelong dreams come true, while hundreds more see that dream disappear before their eyes.
For teams, many hope the player(s) they select will turn into a star or even superstar, while just as many end up as busts.
This list looks at which hyped college players will end up failing to meet expectations.
Projected: No. 12 by ESPN
This shooting guard that just completed his sophomore season with UConn knows how to play the game well, but can it translate to the NBA?
Lamb possesses great quicks and explosiveness and an ability to create offense for himself off the dribble. He shoots the ball well, using a smooth pull-up in the lane, and he can even knock down outside shots from a spot-up perspective at times too.
And while Lamb's wingspan (7'1”) is huge for his 6'5” height, he's too slight to make it big in the NBA. At 185 pounds, Lamb was already too small to take much contact in college, which hurt his ability to finish around the rim and to rebound against bigger or even similar-sized players.
While many players are able to gain weight and strength at the NBA level, some worry Lamb won't be able to do so because of his relatively narrow shoulders. And it's not just that he's out-physicaled by other players, his confidence is in question too.
Projected: No. 10 by ESPN.com
Much like Lamb, Zeller's questions rely in his strength.
At 6'11” Zeller possesses prototypical height to play the center position at the NBA level.
But even at the college level, Zeller was out-muscled by opponents as they easily sealed him off down low to get open looks at the rim from close up. It's not only that he's relatively weak compared to other bigs, he doesn't have much of a mean streak and physical play rattles him.
He's an under-skilled rebounder, which will have to be a key component of his game at the next level and doesn't bode well for his potential as a NBA baller.
Projected: No. 10 by nbadraft.net
Lillard can fill up the basket, there's no doubt about that. He was one of the top scorers in the nation last year at 24.5 points per game, but how well will that translate to the NBA level?
In the Association, point guards are expected to be pass-first, whereas Lillard is a shoot-first one. Yes, he can learn to pass the ball more willingly, but he has other things working against him as well.
Lillard played at Weber State, so some scouts question his ability to play against the elite-level talent that he will inevitably face at the professional level. He hasn't faced much of it to this point, playing only two full seasons at Weber State due to an injury that kept him out of most of the 2010-11 season.
Projected: No. 31 by nbadraft.net
He is a talented pure shooter, but he's also able to attack the rim, which he doesn't do nearly often enough.
He falls in love with his jumper instead of aggressively going to the hole.
And when he plays in isolation situations, Buford's handling is questionable at times.
On defense, he's a bit of a liability as well as he's a poor perimeter defender and can carry frustration in his offense into the defensive end, allowing opponents to easily score on him.
Projected: No. 13 by ESPN
Henson is tall, at 6'10”, and his 7'4” wingspan makes him ludicrously long.
But at a mere 220 pounds, he just doesn't possess the size and strength to compete with the big boys in the NBA.
It's not just his weak body that is his weakness, though, Henson has slow feet and is uncoordinated when moving laterally.
And due to his light weight, Henson is a three-fourths tweener type player, unable to knock down shots from the perimeter and too small to bang with the bigs down low. Another huge red flag is the junior's inability to block out, as he relies completely on his length and leaping prowess to grab rebounds.
That style of play simply won't cut it at the professional level.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being your Denver Nuggets Featured Columnist, Rich is the Denver Broncos and CSU Rams Examiner and Kurtzman also writes for Blake Street Bulletin, Stadium Journey and Mile High Hoops.
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