Michigan vs. Syracuse: NBA Comparison for the Starters in Final Four Showdown
Michigan and Syracuse will meet in the Final Four on Saturday in a matchup that will feature plenty of potential NBA talent.
The highlight of the game will undoubtedly be the point guard matchup, as Michigan’s Trey Burke has had an incredible sophomore year and is the front-runner for National Player of the Year.
On the other side, Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams has all the physical tools at 6’6” and possesses elite athleticism.
If they leave school after this season, both players figure to be lottery picks in the upcoming NBA draft.
Here are some NBA comparisons for all the starters in Saturday’s Michigan-Syracuse showdown.
Trey Burke, Michigan
Measurements: 6’0”, 190 pounds
Positives: Trey Burke is the best point guard in the country. He can score at a high level while also getting his teammates involved, averaging 18.8 points and 6.8 assists per game this season. Burke has shown he is not afraid of a big moment or a big stage, evidenced by his performance against Kansas down the stretch in the Sweet 16.
Negatives: Burke has good quickness, but he is not an elite athlete who can play above the rim. He also does not defend at an elite level.
NBA Comparison: Chris Paul
Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
Measurements: 6’6”, 185 pounds
Positives: Michael Carter-Williams is a 6’6” point guard with elite size and athleticism. He is a mismatch physically for most of his opponents and can score in a multitude of ways. Carter-Williams is a great passer and sees the floor well. He averaged 7.4 assists per game this season.
Negatives: Carter-Williams needs to improve his outside shot. He only made 29.7 percent from beyond the arc this season and 69.4 percent from the free-throw line. At times, Carter-Williams can be out of control and make poor decisions with the ball, averaging 3.4 turnovers per game.
NBA Comparison: Shaun Livingston
Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan
Measurements: 6’6”, 205 pounds
Positives: Tim Hardaway Jr. is a scorer who can put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. He can take the ball to the basket or can knock down a perimeter jumper. Hardaway also has the size to defend wings at the next level.
Negatives: Hardaway can have issues with shot selection, and he has also been a no-show in some instances this season. He had just two points on 1-of-11 shooting against Michigan State on Feb. 12.
NBA Comparison: Gerald Henderson
Brandon Triche, Syracuse
Measurements: 6’4”, 210 pounds
Positives: Brandon Triche is a solid player who does a little bit of everything for Syracuse. He averages 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game for the Orange in his senior year. Triche is a smart player who has a lot of playing experience.
Negatives: For the next level, Triche is a bit of a tweener. On the defensive end, his quickness could make it difficult to defend point guards at the next level while his height would make it difficult to defend wings. He also is not a great outside shooter, making just 29.2 percent from three this year.
NBA Comparison: Randy Foye
Nik Stauskas, Michigan
Measurements: 6’6”, 190 pounds
Positives: Nik Stauskas has good size for a wing, and he is an elite shooter, something that is always in high demand at the next level. Stauskas is shooting 44.9 percent from three this season. He also has a nice feel for the game, especially with his passing ability.
Negatives: Stauskas is not a great athlete and could get pushed around a little bit at the next level. Still, he is only 19 years old and should add strength as he moves through his college years in Ann Arbor.
NBA Comparison: Kyle Korver
James Southerland, Syracuse
Measurements: 6’8”, 215 pounds
Positives: James Southerland has the ability to knock down long-range jump shots, something that is a huge plus at 6’8”. He has really played well in his senior year, averaging 13.5 points while shooting 40.3 percent from three.
Negatives: Southerland is a great shooter, but he doesn’t bring much else to the table. He has good size, but after playing a 2-3 zone for four years, it’s tough to tell how he would transition defensively to the NBA.
NBA Comparison: Steve Novak
Glenn Robinson III, Michigan
Measurements: 6’6”, 210 pounds
Positives: Glenn Robinson III comes from a good background, obviously. He is the son of former No. 1 NBA draft pick Glenn Robinson II. Robinson III is an excellent athlete who can score in a variety of ways. He has taken his game to the next level in the NCAA tournament, averaging 13.5 points while shooting 62.1 percent from the floor. If he decides to come out, he will be a first-round pick in this year’s NBA draft.
Negatives: With Trey Burke dominating the ball for Michigan, Robinson has not shown a consistent ability to create offense for himself. Up until the NCAA tournament, he had also struggled in some of Michigan’s biggest games. He scored just two points in a loss at Indiana and two points in a loss at Michigan State.
NBA Comparison: Andre Iguodala
C.J. Fair, Syracuse
Measurements: 6’8”, 215 pounds
Positives: C.J. Fair has stepped his game up in his junior year, averaging 14.3 points while shooting 47.1 percent from the floor. He is a good athlete with great length, making him effective in Syracuse’s 2-3 zone. Fair is active on the boards, leading the team with 7.0 rebounds per game.
Negatives: Fair is a bit of a tweener. It is tough to see him keeping up with small forwards at the next level or banging down low with power forwards.
NBA Comparison: Tayshaun Prince
Mitch McGary, Michigan
Measurements: 6’10”, 250 pounds
Positives: Mitch McGary is big and physical, and he plays with a fantastic motor. Those are three attributes that can translate at any level. McGary is playing his best basketball of the season at the right time, averaging 17.5 points per game while shooting 73.3 percent from the floor.
Negatives: McGary finds a lot of his points through effort and determination, putting back misses and running the floor well. However, he isn’t at the point yet where Michigan can just dump it down to him on the block and have him get two points.
NBA Comparison: Nick Collison
Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
Measurements: 6’9”, 242 pounds
Positives: Rakeem Christmas does an excellent job anchoring the Syracuse 2-3 zone as a long, athletic defender who can protect the rim. He averages 1.8 blocks while playing just 20.8 minutes per game.
Negatives: Christmas is only a sophomore, but at this point, he does not have much of an offensive game. He has only attempted 13 shots in Syracuse’s four NCAA tournament games this season.
NBA Comparison: Joel Anthony