With the 2012-13 college basketball season at a close, there hasn’t been a drastic amount of change in our weekly big board.
However, at least one prospect shot up the rankings for his efforts during the NCAA tournament and could become a lottery pick when all is said and done.
Let’s take a look at the latest top-30 rankings and get an idea of how the draft may wind up playing out in June.
Last week’s big board can be found here. Please note this is not a mock draft, but an overall ranking based on grade. Grade for each prospect is based on athletic ability, production in college (or overseas), measurements and NBA projections.
No. 1: Nerlens Noel, PF/C, Kentucky (Remains No. 1)
As expected, Noel declared for the draft on Monday and could become the No. 1 pick.
The big man plays with great energy and has immense shot-blocking skills, making him an ideal selection for a number of size-starved teams in the lottery
No. 2 Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State (Remains No. 2)
Smart’s a prototypical PG prospect with perfect size and playmaking, scoring and rebounding ability for the position. While he’s still a bit raw, a few teams will consider him at No. 1.
No. 3: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas (Remains No. 3)
McLemore is one of the best shooters and pure scorers in the class, but he has to work on his consistency. The Kansas star’s mediocre outings over the last few weeks of the season and into the tournament have certainly hurt his stock.
No. 4: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV (Up from No. 6)
Bennett is an intriguing prospect, but many are put off by his 6’8” height and consider him a tweener.
The Rebels star is meant to be a power forward and will likely man the position in the NBA. He’s strong and skilled enough to get what he needs in the paint, while having the ability to drag his man out to the three-point line.
He may not be quick enough to play the 3 full-time, but he shouldn’t have to if he’s producing down low.
No. 5: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown (Remains No. 5)
Porter is the top small forward in this class and does everything at a high level. While he may not project as a franchise scorer, he’ll become a major asset for a team where he could become the third or fourth option.
He made his intentions to declare for the draft known on Monday, making a few teams in the lottery quite happy.
No. 6: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan (Down from No. 4)
Burke’s incredible sophomore campaign culminated in a national championship game appearance and sweep of the major Player of the Year awards. Perhaps knowing it might be impossible to top that outing, the young man recently declared for the draft.
His stock might slip a bit between the tournament and the draft, but the Wolverines star will not fall outside the lottery. He’s a proven winner with great scoring skills, a knack for facilitating and no fear of making the big play.
No. 7: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana (Remains No. 7)
Oladipo is a tenacious defender and efficient scorer who doesn’t need the ball in his hands to impact the game. There are plenty of organizations that would love to add a player like this to the roster.
No. 8: Glenn Robinson III, SF, Michigan (Up from No. 9)
Robinson III is another young U-M star who found his stock significantly up after the tourney. He addressed his biggest concern (not being able to score against top-notch competition) and came up with some great outings in front of a national audience.
He’ll likely come off the board in the lottery if he declares in 2013.
No. 9: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State (Down from No. 8)
Harris would greatly benefit from another year under Tom Izzo in East Lansing, but the freshman has an NBA-ready scoring touch.
If he’s able to improve the rest of his game and continue honing his bucket-making ability, this young man will soon be a star.
No. 10: Michael Carter-Williams, G, Syracuse (Remains No. 10)
Carter-Williams is an intriguing talent, as his size and passing ability are well above average.
Unfortunately, his handle and shooting touch leave much to be desired, making him somewhat of a risk to take early in the draft.
No. 11: Alex Len, C, Maryland (Up from No. 13)
Len has an excellent low-post game with plenty of different moves. Unfortunately, he’s been reluctant to demand the ball and truly show the will to dominate a game during his time with the Terps.
No. 12: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA (Remains No. 12)
The fact that Muhammad is actually 20, instead of 19 as previously believed, is going to hurt his stock more than many people realize.
For now, we have the swingman lingering in the latter portion of the lottery, but he could drop into the back half of the draft with a single poor showing leading up to the draft.
No. 13: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana (Down from No. 13)
Zeller made the wise decision to declare after his sophomore year, as the level of competition for a lottery spot is only going to rise in the coming seasons.
He may not project as a superstar, but the Hoosiers big man is NBA-ready, runs the court like a deer and is able to finish around the hoop with ease.
No. 14: Mitch McGary, PF, Michigan (Unranked last week)
McGary is the fastest riser on our board and it seems a number of teams around the league have had their interest piqued by this super frosh. The big man dominated in March Madness and proved that he’s an elite rebounder with a great low-post presence.
He’s yet to make a decision on whether or not to forego his eligibility, but McGary would be insane not to make the leap to the NBA while his stock is through the roof. He’s likely not going to have another chance to get picked in the lottery, or possibly even the first round.
Don’t be surprised when this red-hot prospect declares and comes off the board in the top half of the draft this June.
No. 15: C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh (Down from No. 14)
McCollum is an elite scorer no matter which way you cut it, making it insignificant whether or not he plays the point or runs as an undersized 2. Either way, he’s not going to be much of a passer.
What is important is that he pans out as a guard that can shoot and put up points with regularity, as every suitor he has will be looking for someone to generate instant offense.
No. 16: Mason Plumlee, PF, Duke (Down from No. 15)
Plumlee is an energy guy who hustles hard on every possession and possesses as a motor that just won’t quit.
His ceiling isn’t as high as some of the younger prospects, but this Blue Devils senior will find a way to make an impact in the league.
No. 17: Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga (Down from No. 16)
Olynyk’s low-post offense and face-up game are coming along nicely, but his defense and lack of athletic talents will make him a liability at times.
We suspect he’ll wind up in the lottery due to his seven-foot frame, but the organization that tabs him will need to be careful.
No. 18: Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville (Up from No. 22)
Dieng’s showing in the national championship game just further proved this young man is ready for the big time.
While he’s inconsistent and raw, the junior center is chock-full of talent. It may take a few years, but Dieng will definitely be playing a major role in the Association.
No. 19: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State (Down from No. 17)
Franklin is one of the top athletes and rebounders in the class, regardless of position. Once he hones his jumper, this young man could become a serious weapon.
No. 20: Dario Saric, SF, Croatia (Down from No. 18)
Saric is the top European prospect this year and there’s a chance he becomes the next great international player in the NBA.
His playmaking ability is top-notch, his basketball I.Q. is through the roof and his scoring ability is coming along nicely. We may not see him stateside for a few seasons, but Saric will be worth the wait.
No. 21: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia (Down from No. 19)
Caldwell-Pope’s Bulldogs weren’t the best team during his tenure with the school, but the young guard is an elite prospect.
He has perfect size, long-range shooting ability, tough defensive tendencies and everything else a front office will be looking for in an off-guard.
The stud needs to work on his handle and mid-range game, but Caldwell-Pope is well worth a shot in the mid-to-late portion of the first.
No. 22: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan (Down from No. 22)
Hardaway Jr. proved he would fire away from deep and make big plays for a team. He does need to tighten up his shot selection and work on his handle before being considered for major minutes on a pro team.
No. 23: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas (Down from No. 21)
The Jayhawks senior should be able to carve out a career for himself due to his seven-foot stature, shot-blocking skills and defensive mindset.
Withey isn’t ever going to be more than a fourth or fifth option, but his talents on the other end and intangibles make him worthy of a pick in this range.
No. 24: Isaiah Austin, PF, Baylor (Down from No. 23)
Until Austin bulks up, he’s nothing more than an interesting prospect with the skills to play the 3 and the size of a skinny 4. He may become a great stretch PF, but it will take some work in the gym.
No. 25: Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton (Down from No. 24)
McDermott is a lights-out shooter who has found a way to get his numbers on a nightly basis, despite the defense focusing all of its efforts against him.
That is a great sign and any contending team that needs a shooter who can come off screens and take open shots should nab the Creighton star.
No. 26: Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky (Down from No. 25)
Goodwin’s upside and athleticism are tantalizing, but his production is awful. Until he starts to play in control and develops a jumper, the Wildcats star is nothing more than bench fodder.
No. 27: James Michael McAdoo, PF, UNC (Down from No. 26)
McAdoo hurt his stock tremendously by not improving at all during his sophomore campaign. If he decides to leave Chapel Hill, a team that needs size and versatility will stop his slide in the latter portion of this draft.
No. 28: Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas (Unranked last week)
Kabongo reminds us a bit of Rajon Rondo due to his unselfishness and drive-and-kick game.
He’s a pure point guard who puts his teammates first, often looking to set up the easy shot rather than take his own. Many franchises at the next level need this kind of player and Kabongo should find himself a first-round suitor.
No. 29: Tony Mitchell, SF, North Texas (Down from No. 28)
Mitchell may be disappointing as a projected scorer, but his athleticism and rebounding ability will all but insure he’s a top-30 pick.
No. 30: Rudy Gobert, PF/C, France (Down from No. 29)
This massive Frenchman could wind up making an impact in the NBA some day, but his rights will likely be used as trade bait.
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