NBA Draft 2012: Underrated Talents Who Will Shock Scouts at Combine
The NBA draft has a few name-brand players like Anthony Davis, Jared Sullinger, Thomas Robinson and Harrison Barnes. However, once you get past the top 10, there are few recognizable names.
That’s what happens when the majority of players leave after one or two years of school.
That being said, there are multiple players from smaller schools who have gone under the radar strictly because of the size of the school for which they played.
With the NBA draft combine coming up on Thursday, here are three players who have the ability to do wonders for their draft stock with only three weeks to go until the big day.
Moe Harkless, SF, St. John’s
Despite playing in the Big East, Harkless received virtually no pub this season for an underachieving Red Storm squad. In his one year in college, he averaged 15.3 points and 8.6 rebounds.
At 6'8", he has incredibly long arms that suggest he could be a stout defender on the defensive end of the floor. Combine his length with an outstanding vertical, and you have a swingman that can be a prolific rebounder as well.
He has the athleticism and quickness to create his own shot off the dribble, and he can move without the ball.
While he’ll need to improve his jumper (20 percent on threes), there is a bright future for this 19-year-old.
Royce White, SF/PF, Iowa State
The physical freak may stand at 6’8’’, but he has a 7’1’’ wingspan and is a playmaker that just so happens to have the body of a power forward.
At 260 pounds, he is a load in the post that has a terrific back-to-the-basket game. Remember when he went for 23 and nine against Davis and Kentucky in the tournament while shooting 9-of-12 from the floor?
In his one year of college, he scored 13.4 points while shooting 53 percent from the floor. He also grabbed 9.3 rebounds and dished out 5.0 assists on a team with few options. He has great vision for a big man and can be an incredibly versatile player in the right system out of the high post.
His Achilles' heel is his 49 percent mark from the free-throw line, but if there was ever a skill that could be honed in the NBA, it’s free-throw shooting.
Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure
Scouts aren’t thrilled with the fact he checks in at 6'9" and 240 pounds, but ask Kenneth Faried how life in the NBA is at 6'9".
Nicholson is capable of holding his own in the post with a 7'1" wingspan and sound strength.
He has shown stark improvement in all four years of his career and has suddenly turned into a dangerous three-point threat. After shooting a grand total of six in his first three seasons, he drilled 43 percent (23-of-53) in an example of how he has continued to develop his game.
What Nicholson lacks in athleticism he makes up for in motor and superb intelligence.
Sure, he averaged 18.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in a mediocre Atlantic 10, but there is no doubt his efficient offensive game and newly-found three-point ability will translate to a successful NBA career.
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