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Stock Up, Stock Down for Top 20 NBA Prospects in 2013 March Madness Tournament

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterMarch 21, 2013

Stock Up, Stock Down for Top 20 NBA Prospects in 2013 March Madness Tournament

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    The top 20 prospects in the 2013 March Madness tournament consist of players likely to declare this June or the next.

    Some of them come in riding heat waves from their conference tournaments. Others are trying to find the zone in possibly their last opportunity to impress NBA scouts.

    A few of our top prospects are participating in the NIT, so don't expect to find Baylor's Isaiah Austin, Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein or Maryland's Alex Len on this list.

    There's still room for draft stocks to improve, so the next few weeks could be crucial for some of these hopeful future NBA ballers.

20. Allen Crabbe, California, 6'6'', SG/SF

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    Stock Report:

    Though California enters the tournament with back-to-back losses, Allen Crabbe gave them 45 points of offense between the two.

    Though he only shot 4-of-13 between the two games, the fact that he was able to score points on off-shooting nights should be noted.

    Crabbe is a pure scorer with excellent 6'6'' size for the wing. He's got NBA range with the ability to separate on the perimeter or put it on the deck and finish on the move.

    He reminds me of Rip Hamilton—strictly an off-ball scorer who shoots off curls and attacks off angles.

    He offers second-round value, if he slips that far, because of his ability to put points on the board without dominating the ball.

    Crabbe is averaging nearly 19 points and six boards a game as a junior.

19. Doug McDermott, Creighton, 6'7'', SF

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    Stock Report:

    No matter what happens in the NCAA tournament, nothing will change the fact that over his last two years, Doug McDermott has shot a combined 128-of-260, or 49.2 percent from behind the arc.

    He's the best shooter in the country, and at 6'7'', he should be able to get his shot off at the next level.

    Unlike most NBA three-point specialists, McDermott can also score in the post or off cuts to the rim.

    If McDermott can take Creighton for a run in the tourney, he'll increase the odds of teams viewing him as more than just a one-dimensional prospect.

18. Spencer Dinwiddie, Colorado, 6'5'', PG/SG

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    Stock Report:

    Spencer Dinwiddie is averaging 18.2 points over his last four games, though he hasn't been shooting the ball as well as he'd like to.

    He's had a down year from behind the arc, yet still managed to hover just above the 35 percent mark.

    He reminds me of a smaller Evan Turner, with the ability to facilitate from the wing, score off the dribble or spot-up around the perimeter. Dinwiddie's ability to create his own offense, as well as set the table for teammates, is what gives him appeal as an NBA prospect.

    Dinwiddie isn't likely to declare in 2013, but a March Madness breakout on the national stage would be a nice way to transition from one year to the next.

17. Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan, 6'5'', SG

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    Stock Report:

    Tim Hardaway Jr.'s stock has fluctuated over the course of the year, which shouldn't be a surprise considering how reliant he is on perimeter offense.

    The No. 1 thing scouts want to see with Hardaway Jr. is consistency. And though the NCAA tournament is only four to six games at best, it will allow Hardaway Jr. to string together a couple of successful performances that result in Michigan wins.

    Hardaway is in a position where his stock isn't firmly set. The needle can move one way or the other based on just a few performances.

    It would reflect favorably on Hardaway if he's able to win a few games as "the guy" in the Wolverines offense.

16. Gary Harris, Michigan State, 6'4'', SG

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    Stock Report:

    Gary Harris has been fairly consistent throughout his freshman season, though he struggled in Michigan State's conference-tournament loss to Ohio State.

    Before that, Harris scored in double-figures in 11 of his last 12 games. He's an off-guard shooting at 41.3 percent from the floor, with the ability to get to the rack, pull up off the the dribble and defend the perimeter.

    He's unlikely to declare in 2013, but he can better position himself for 2014 with a strong March Madness.

15. Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, 7'0'', C

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    Stock Report:

    Steven Adams pretty much takes what's available without looking to get greedy.

    Rarely does the offense go through him, and rarely does he seek it out. But Adams has shown glimpses of why he's been so highly touted over the past few years. At 7'0'', he's a tremendous athlete who moves effortlessly around the floor.

    Adams contributes as a pick-and-roll target, dump-off man and force on the offensive glass.

    He picks up a couple of easy baskets and some boards every game, but he's still years from being considered someone you actively look to feed.

    Another year at Pittsburgh seems in order.

14. Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, 6'5'', SG/SF

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    Stock Report:

    Jamaal Franklin didn't have his best scoring night in San Diego State's loss to New Mexico, but his 12 rebounds and five assists reflect his overall versatility.

    This is why Franklin has a good shot in the league. He doesn't need to score to be effective and doesn't need the ball in his hands for him to contribute.

    He averages nearly 17 points a game, but you wouldn't know it from watching. His point total sneaks up on you after a couple of put-back dunks and backdoor cuts.

    I like him as a surefire first-rounder, and teams should view him as a reliable complementary rotation player.

13. James McAdoo, North Carolina, 6'9'', SF/PF

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    Stock Report:

    James Michael McAdoo wasn't very effective in the ACC tournament, averaging just over 12 points and 5 boards through North Carolina's three games.

    He really hasn't done much to separate himself all year, and if he chooses to enter the draft, he'll be selling with a falling stock.

    McAdoo wouldn't get many minutes in an NBA rotation next year anyway, and would be best off returning for another year at school. He needs more time to develop offensively, but he also needs a year to revive his status as an elite NBA prospect.

12. Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, C, 7'0''

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    Stock Report:

    The bar is set for Kelly Olynyk and the Zags, who enter the Madness with a No. 1 seed in the West.

    This is an important tournament for Olynyk, whose draft stock still has room to improve. The NCAA tournament will give him a chance to show up the power schools, and in turn eliminate any fears that Olynyk's production has been a result of his competition in the West Coast.

    He was terrific in his conference tournament, generating buzz that's likely to stick with him til the NBA draft in June.

11. Glenn Robinson III, Michigan, 6'6'', SF

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    Stock Report:

    Glenn Robinson III missed all four of his free throws in Michigan's conference tournament loss to Wisconsin, finishing with eight points and three rebounds in a somewhat bland performance. 

    Without the freedom or elusiveness off the dribble to create for himself in the half court, most of his opportunities will come as the result of someone setting him up. Having to rely on others' creativity is going to result in inconsistent individual offense from Robinson.

    There's a lot of work to be done, which hopefully he takes care of in his second year at Michigan.

10. Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, 6'6'', PG

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    Stock Report:

    Michael Carter-Williams' draft stock has wavered over the past few weeks.

    He looked vulnerable against Louisville's pressure and overwhelmed by Georgetown's zone. Carter Williams has turned the ball over 16 times over his last three games. He also shot 2-of-7 from the stripe against Louisville, and 1-of-7 from the floor against Georgetown.

    There's a slot of sloppiness about his game that sometimes really isn't appealing.

    If he's able to guide the Orange to a couple of March Madness wins it might ease some of the concern raised during the conference tournament.

9. Trey Burke, Michigan, 6'0'', PG

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    Stock Report:

    Some are still torn on Trey Burke as an NBA player.

    Is he a Ramon Sessions type of guy you can use off the bench, or is he a Ty Lawson type you can use to help build your franchise?

    The difference could mean 10 picks in the draft.

    He enters the tournament as a favorite in the clubhouse for National Player of the Year, averaging 19.2 points per game while leading the country in assist-to-turnover ratio.

    He's solidified his status as one of the top-tier point guards in the class. Keep an eye on Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse, who will be competing directly with Burke for draft position this coming June.

8. Mason Plumlee, Duke, C, 7'0''

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    Stock Report:

    Despite the loss, Mason Plumlee played well against Maryland, finishing with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

    Plumlee's stock remains fairly stable. It rose to a new level to start the year and has remained steady ever since, reflecting borderline lottery status.

    He's got to continue taking advantage of every possession where he's featured in the offense, both facing up and back-to-the-rim.

    The further Duke goes in the tournament, the better chance he has at striking interest from general managers.

7. Victor Oladipo, Indiana, 6'5'', SG

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    Stock Report:

    Victor Oladipo's stock remains steady with his lottery upside intact.

    There isn't much more he can show at this point in terms of his offense. For Oladipo, he needs to continue playing his brand of basketball—defending with high intensity, finishing cuts and making plays off the ball.

    When the seas part and the opportunity presents itself, that's when Oladipo should look to attack off the dribble.

    He's a lot closer to the Tony Allen comparison than he is to the ridiculous Dwyane Wade ones. But Tony Allen is an integral cog in an NBA's rotation. Look for Oladipo to play a similar role for someone else.

6. Cody Zeller, Indiana, 6'11'', PF/C

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    Stock Report:

    Cody Zeller struggled to get himself easy baskets against Wisconsin, finishing just 4-of-10 for 13 points and 11 boards.

    It's nothing we haven't seen before, as Zeller as times tends to fade when the defense takes away the post. This is nothing a face-up jumper can't fix. We just haven't seen Zeller go to it enough.

    But there isn't much Zeller can do fundamentally this late in the year to raise his 2013 stock. If Zeller wants to make an impression and improve his chances of going top-five, he'll need to put Indiana on his back and demonstrate some toughness.

5. Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, 6'6'', SG/SF

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    Stock Report:

    With Jordan Adams on the shelf, Shabazz Muhammad scored 14 points on 5-of-13 in a loss to Oregon.

    It wasn't the offensive outburst the Bruins were hoping for. Muhammad is limited off the dribble, rarely taking the ball from the perimeter and getting to the rim.

    He can score with his back to the basket and off runners in the lane, but squaring to the basket and beating his man off the bounce isn't currently in Muhammad's repertoire.

    Now the clear-cut No. 1 option in the offense, Muhammad has to go into take-over mode. UCLA needs it, and so does Muhammad's draft stock.

4. Anthony Bennett, UNLV, 6'7'', SF/PF

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    Stock Report:

    Anthony Bennett seems to have gotten over his shoulder injury. He went for 15 points and 11 boards against New Mexico after dropping 19 points on Colorado State and 23 against Air Force.

    He looks energetic and explosive, actively looking for the ball in the post and showing confidence as a three-point shooter.

    Bennett got a little too confident in his stroke against New Mexico, missing 6-of-his-7 attempts from behind the arc. But the fact that it's in the repertoire this early is a good sign moving forward.

     

3. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, 6'4'', PG

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     Stock Report:

    Marcus Smart enters March Madness with his stock sky high, averaging 21 points over his last four games.

    The combination of a scorers' size and physical build, to go along with a point guard's mentality, is a blend you rarely find at the college level.

    He won't be downgraded if Oklahoma State doesn't fare well this March. Smart is a low risk, high reward draft option, and should be the top choice for a team looking for a new lead guard.

2. Otto Porter, Georgetown, 6'8'', SF

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    Stock Report:

    Otto Porter's draft stock has hit a high at just the right time.

    He'll enter the NCAA tournament as the motor that powers the No. 2 seed Georgetown Hoyas. Porter's strong play all year has given him protection for a time like now. Even if Porter struggles in the tournament and the Hoyas get bounced early, he should still maintain his status as an elite 2013 prospect.

    A strong tournament on the other hand could allow him to participate in the No. 1 overall conversation, given the team that wins the lottery is a fit.

1. Ben McLemore, Kansas, 6'5'', SG

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    Stock Report:

    Ben McLemore enters the Madness as our No. 1 overall prospect, which is a label he's earned over the last month of the season.

    McLemore wasn't much of a factor in his conference tournament, but he didn't have to be— Kansas was involved in three straight blowouts.

    He combines a sense of NBA-readiness, safety and future potential, along with a two-way skill set worthy of starting long-term job.

    Depending on who lands the No. 1 overall pick, McLemore will be a candidate regardless of what he does the rest of March.

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