NBA Draft 2013: Stars Whose Stock Has Slipped Most During Postseason Tournaments
Postseason college basketball tournaments aren't simply about watching which Cinderella will pull off the biggest upset.
A lot of the fun can be from watching the biggest names in the postseason help to carry their teams to major success. Even if those teams flame out, a star can be remembered with a strong performance.
Both the NCAA tournament and NIT can be proving grounds for some of the sport's biggest stars. NBA scouts will expect the big stars to step up in the biggest games of the season. A poor performance alone won't condemn players to the fringe of the first round, but it certainly won't help.
Here are three players who haven't helped themselves this postseason.
Alex Len, C, Maryland
You can't coach size. For that reason, someone is going to take a gamble on Alex Len.
The big man has done very little in the NIT up to this point. When facing off against teams like Denver and Niagara, you would expect him to assert himself. Instead, Len has combined for just 13 points, six rebounds and four rebounds combined against the Pioneers and Purple Eagles.
There have been plenty of tall players drafted early mostly on potential. It's so hard to find skilled big men, so teams reach to find the next dominant post player.
Len doesn't look to be that kind of player. He could very well play a decade or more in the league, but teams shouldn't be expecting him to be a consistent All-Star.
Shabazz Muhammad, SG, UCLA
Most of the problems for Shabazz Muhammad don't have anything to do with basketball. As if you thought the roller coaster season for Muhammad had reached its conclusion, then came news that he is in fact 20 years old, not 19 as previously thought (h/t Ken Bensinger and Matt Stevens of the Los Angeles Times).
It's a major issue that he's all of a sudden aged in such a short period of time. While it may only be one year, it calls to attention what could be some character flaws.
Muhammad put up good numbers while a member of the UCLA Bruins, but you couldn't help but feel that what is likely his only season in college was a massive disappointment, even without the age controversy.
Alex Poythress, PF, Kentucky
Kentucky's lackluster season was topped off with a loss to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT. The Wildcats have been steadily heading downhill ever since Nerlens Noel, eventually reaching their nadir in the 59-57 loss to the Colonials.
Alex Poythress in particular had a game to forget. He shot 3-of-7 from the field for just six points. While Poythress isn't a prolific scorer, it wasn't unreasonable to expect him to have a big game. He also only collected two rebounds.
As of right now, Poythress doesn't look to be any more than a mid-first-rounder. He's not going to force his way into the top 10 with a performance like that.
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