NBA Draft 2012: 10 Most Impressive Prospect Highlight Videos on YouTube
The 2012 NBA draft is less than 36 hours away. Tensions are high, film reels are moving and prospects are doing any and everything to offer scouts and general managers a last final impression.
Throughout this all, we're all forgetting what matters most. It's not the combine, it's not the individual workouts and it's not the hype. It's what they've done with an equal level of talent on the floor with them.
God bless the highlight video creators.
To take a look back at the 2012 college basketball season, that very method will be shown appreciation. From the no-name wonders to the obvious draft choices, there have been quite a few who have separated themselves from the pack with their play and production.
Here are the ten players whose loyal fans and supporters have shown us all what we should expect. The ten best highlight videos entering the 2012 NBA draft.
Honorable Mention: Doron Lamb, Kentucky Wildcats
Let's get something out of the way: Doron Lamb was the best offensive player on the Kentucky Wildcats. Beyond that, he was also much more than an outstanding jump shooter.
Lamb will be a star scorer. Just don't believe that he's limited to such a trait.
10. Scott Machado, Iona Gaels
This isn't your signature YouTube video where shock and awe mixes with flash and excitement. Instead, this video displays the advantage Scott Machado has over every other point guard prospect available: his ability to develop a play while utilizing all four of his teammates.
Machado makes sure that his team is never idle, constantly directing the Iona Gaels to where they're supposed to be. He makes sure that everyone gets the ball in their hands early, thus improving team chemistry and the all-around flow of the offense, and puts on a clinic in footwork and positioning.
Scott Machado sees every play develop before it occurs. From the second the ball is inbounded to the final shot of the possession, Machado knows how things are going to develop. On defense, he's capable of doing the exact same thing.
If you love systematic basketball, this is your video. If you love highlights that will make your jaw drop, learn to appreciate the small things.
9. Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas Jayhawks
The NBA has become a point guard driven league, with nothing quite as valued as a guard who can both push the tempo and pick apart a half-court defense. If you agree with that statement, you'll love this video.
Tyshawn Taylor may be the best ball handler in the nation. He's a menace in transition as his change-of-direction skills are unmatched, hesitation fakes unstoppable and ability to finish around the basket uncanny. He's also a threat to torch your half-court set with those very skills, utilizing his blazing speed, flash-like quickness and overwhelming upper-body strength to attack the rim.
This video sums all of that up and offers some beautiful pieces of basketball eye candy to go with it.
8. Austin Rivers, Duke Blue Devils
Hate him or love him, the kid is a walking highlight reel.
Austin Rivers is a phenomenal ball handler, excellent jump shooter and elite finisher around the basket. He's also a fearless penetration artist who will take the contact whenever he needs to, still finishing the and-one regardless of who or what stands in his way.
This video gives you what you want from Rivers: beautiful crossovers, breathtaking layups and a few clutch buckets to top it all off. How could you not like this?
7. Jared Cunningham, Oregon State Beavers
Are you looking for the steal of the draft? Look no further than Jared Cunningham out of Oregon State.
Cunningham has true star potential. This video displays just that, as the Pac-12 star pairs point guard court vision with elite shooting guard slashing, both attacking and facilitating his team to victory. While many have compared Dion Waiters to Dwyane Wade, it's actually Cunningham with the greatest similarities.
Cunningham is an elite prospect in terms of finishing around the basket. He's also a much-improved jump shooter and steal maestro on the defensive end of things. Consider Cunningham to be "the one who got away."
6. Thomas Robinson, Kansas Jayhawks
Watching Thomas Robinson fight off contact and still finish around the basket was a treat. Seeing a balance of low-post, face the basket and penetrating scoring skills was outstanding. Watching Robinson exert an equal amount of effort on the defensive end of the floor was the clincher: Robinson is a stud.
SwishScout does an excellent job of highlighting each of those traits and abilities, including Robinson's responsible tendency to help on double-teams and pry the ball loose. If you're looking for a video that will truly tell you what a player is about, this is your video.
Robinson is tenacious, responsible and passionate. You don't get much better than the man they call T-Rob.
5. Tony Wroten Jr., Washington Huskies
"Spectacular" is the perfect word to describe Tony Wroten Jr.
From the flashy passes to the creative dribble to the powerful finishes, Wroten is something to marvel at every time he touches the ball. Watching him pick pockets, block seemingly wide open jump shots and jump over helpless defenders just adds fuel to the fire of those who believe Wroten is an elite point guard prospect.
It also helps that he stands at 6'6".
This video may be SwishScout's best work, as the calm-paced music sets the stage for the sometimes eloquent play of Tony Wroten to be admired in the proper mind. A beautiful video for an outstanding athlete with a bright, bright future.
4. Andre Drummond, Connecticut Huskies
For those who have wanted to witness a series of dunks, blocked shots and close-to-the-basket finishes, you've got it. And boy, does this video make Andre Drummond look like something or what?
What's most impressive about this highlight video is Drummond's positioning and basketball IQ. Not only does the UConn center know where to be and when to be there, but he knows exactly how he's supposed to finish the play. Evidence of such a claim can be found in the pick-and-rolls, transition finishes and offensive rebounds that Drummond creates for himself.
While many will label him as a major risk, Drummond is actually one of the safest bets possible. He's displayed a great feel for the game and thrives in almost all intangible areas. The fact that he can rip a backboard down is just an added benefit.
3. Bradley Beal, Florida Gators
Aside from utilizing one of the best songs in the history of rap, this video highlights one of the best players of this draft class in a way that truly defines his game. That player, of course, is do-it-all shooting guard Bradley Beal.
The highlights sum Beal's game up perfectly. From his endless range to his tenacity in attacking the basket, Beal is as special an offensive player as they come. He finishes around the basket with both power and finesse, making defending the sharpshooter an even more difficult task as he can easily take an opponent off of the dribble.
Beal is also an excellent shooter, intelligent defender and brilliant rebounder. Not bad for a player who was once considered to be a mere jump shooter.
2. Anthony Davis, Kentucky Wildcats
Upon watching this video, it becomes crystal clear why Anthony Davis is the consensus choice for the first overall draft choice. AD controlled any and everything that came close to the basket, and that's not an exaggeration.
1. Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut Huskies
When you're a shooting guard with a seven-foot wingspan, it's hard to imagine your highlight videos lacking in any way. Fear not, ladies and gentlemen, as Jeremy Lamb does not disappoint.
Prior to the highlights themselves, we're offered a great look into the mind of Jeremy Lamb. His approach as a player, the respect of his teammates and even a bit of praise from Barack Obama.
Yes, that Barack Obama.
Once the video begins, the highlights offer more than enough moments to excite and entice. Lamb displays his elite ball handling and jump shooting skills, all the while offering us some of the best dunks of the year. Whether he pans out or not, you won't find a better highlight machine than Jeremy Lamb.
Just check the 3:19 mark if you disagree.