Thursday, June 26 is fast approaching as NBA franchises continue to scout potential draft additions to their rosters.
There are still plenty of factors remaining that will dramatically alter how the draft process shakes out. The 2014 NCAA championship game is one such factor.
This game features a star-studded field, many of which will declare for the NBA draft once the dust settles. These prospects have much to gain, and plenty to lose, based on their performances on such a big stage.
Let's highlight the top prospects that will be participating in the finals and determine how their performances could potentially affect their draft stock.
Julius Randle, F, Kentucky
Randle has simply been a double-double machine this season. He's already obtained 24 to lead the NCAA and still has one game remaining.
One of the most aggressive players in the paint, Randle is effective on both ends of the court.
Offensively, he attacks the glass and uses his size to gain an advantage over opponents. He's a big factor for his team's second-chance attempts as well, collecting offensive boards and recording putback dunks with frequency.
On the defensive end, he's just as effective. He uses his body nicely to put himself in position to gather rebounds with ease.
On the season, Randle is averaging 15.1 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game. With those numbers, any NBA team would love to secure Randle's services.
Randle is already seen by multiple experts as a top-five selection. With one more solid performance against a very good Connecticut team, he will only solidify that notion.
Shabazz Napier, G, Connecticut
One of the nation's biggest threats from anywhere on the court, a solid performance from Napier in the finals could go a long way.
He was being overlooked by many as a first-round prospect; however, that is beginning to change.
Napier has seen his draft stock rise throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. With a couple huge performances, including dropping 25 points on Villanova, his name is starting to appear in the first round of mock drafts.
Kentucky's defense poses a big threat to Napier. They are long and athletic and could make it difficult for the guard to get many open looks.
For Napier to impress scouts enough to continue surging up draft boards, he must be efficient. By taking shots at the appropriate times and distributing the ball effectively to his teammates, he'll prove his worth as a first-round prospect and well-rounded player.
Aaron Harrison, G, Kentucky
Harrison has been one of the most exciting players to watch throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. His buzzer-beating three-pointers have only increased his hype.
Before his prowess in the tournament, Harrison's name didn't show up in many Round 1 mock drafts. He could continue to make believers out of the media, scouts and NBA executives if his prowess behind the arc shows up once again in the finals.
Harrison should be given many attempts in the championship game, as Kentucky may find it difficult to penetrate a stout Connecticut defense.
There's plenty to gain for Harrison in the upcoming contest. A great showing could pit him as a late first-round pick; however, if he regresses on the big stage, he could remain in the ranks of the mid-second round.
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