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NBA Draft Preview: How Is College Season Changing Pro Fortunes?

Zachary CohenContributor IIIFebruary 1, 2011

NBA Draft Preview: How Is College Season Changing Pro Fortunes?

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    The NCAA Season has been full of surprises as always, and players have seen themselves rise in NBA mock drafts while others have seen their stocks fall.

    Mid-majors have stepped up and joined the nation's elites, and some of the usual marquee teams have found themselves barely on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. 

    Here's a list of 5 players whose stocks have risen and 5 players whose stocks have fallen for the upcoming draft (*If some of these guys enter as underclassmen). 

Jimmer Fredette

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    Jimmer Fredette: Stock Rising

    Although his brother T.J has slid down the ranks as a rapper, Jimmer is moving up the mock draft boards. 

    The combo guard from Brigham Young has led his team to rank #9—sitting pretty with a record of 20 wins and 2 losses. Jimmer is averaging 27.6 points per game, which leads the nation in that category. 

    With the ability to shoot the ball as quickly and as far away as he can, there's no questioning whether or not he'll be an effective scorer in the NBA—if he can run off of the screen.

    Some believe he can create for himself and that he reminds them of a cross between Steph Curry and Deron Williams. For this reason alone, Jimmer could be drafted by a lottery team. 

Demetri McCamey

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    Demetri McCamey: Stock Rising

    Although he wasn't known last season by anybody besides those who got killed by him in the Big 10, McCamey has put himself on the map this season. 

    At a big 6'3'', McCamey plays the point guard position for a good Illinois team. He's averaging 15.1 points and 6.9 assists per game. He also happens to be shooting 49% from three point land.

    McCamey plays basketball the right way—he is efficient and helps his team win games.

    For that reason, McCamey should have himself going early second round in the 2011 NBA Draft. 

Derrick Williams

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Derrick Williams: Stock Rising

    Coming into the season, Arizona was raving about their forward, Derrick Williams. A couple of months later, NBA scouts are seeing exactly why. Williams is as talented a player as there is in the nation now and he's only a sophomore. 

    The 6'8'' Williams is averaging 19.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 64% from the field and 70% from three-point land.

    The only downside to Williams is that he might be a little small for his position, but the recent success of Michael Beasley in the NBA could bode well for the way he plays.

    Going into the season Williams was supposed to be a mid-to-late first rounder, but now some mock drafts have him being a top five pick with some saying he should go number one overall. 

Kawhi Leonard

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    Kawhi Leonard: Stock Rising

    San Diego State is 21 and 1 this season, with their only loss coming to a BYU team in which their star player, Jimmer Fredette (mentioned earlier) could not miss. One of the main reasons for the Aztecs' success is small forward, Kawhi Leonard. 

    Proving to be this year's "versatile guy that every team can use", Leonard is averaging 15.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He's doing this at a height of 6'7'' and a body that is nowhere near the production he could put out after he works with NBA trainers. 

    With Leonard at the small forward position on an NBA team, you'll get a guy who can score the basketball, defend and rebound like a center—doing it all while moving like a guard.

    Mock drafts have Leonard going mid 1st round and some as early as the lottery.

    Pretty good for a guy who wasn't supposed to be drafted at all before the season started...

Kyrie Irving

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    Kyrie Irving: Stock Rising

    Pretty weird that I have a guy who hasn't played in nearly two months as a player whose stock is rising in the upcoming draft, isn't it?

    Well, it's not because of what he's done this season as much as what other players have failed to do. 

    This upcoming draft lacks another pure point guard—Irving is the only one. Before he was injured, Irving averaged 17.4 points and 5.1 assists per game. He moved the ball well—reminding some of New Orleans Hornets' superstar Chris Paul.

    The rest of college basketball is full of undersized shooting guards and point guards with a shoot-first mentality. For that reason, even though Irving hasn't played, he has moved up draft boards.

    The NBA is a point guard league now and the center position is fading away. Without other options, teams know that if they want a point guard, Irving is the answer. 

Mason Plumlee

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    Mason Plumlee: Stock Falling

    Before the season, scouts raved about Plumlee's athletic ability and skill-set.

    As the season progressed, not so much.

    Plumlee has played his way from a mid-to-late first-rounder in this year's draft to a mid-to-late second-rounder this year, or late first-rounder next year. 

    Plumlee is averaging just 6.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game when expectations were much higher.

    It was never suspected Plumlee would fail to crack double digits in rebounding and scoring this season.

    At 6'10'' and jumping ability like his, his production has disappointed fans and scouts alike, to say the least. 

Durrell Summers

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    Durrell Summers: Stock Falling

    After two very impressive runs in the NCAA tournament, Durrell Summers was showing people that he could be a first-round talent in the NBA. This season has changed a lot for the 6'5'' Spartan. 

    Once a reliable scorer for MSU, Summers is shooting just 42% from the field this season, and disappearing in big games has become a habit.

    Summers is going to need one hell of a finish in his senior year to propel himself back into the first round or even early second round. 

Chris Wright

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    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Chris Wright: Stock Falling

    Mr. Reliable came back this season with Austin Freeman to address some unfinished business in the Big East.

    Well, only Austin Freeman has done that so far,r with Chris Wright playing mediocre basketball in comparison to what he's capable of. 

    A year removed from a career season, Chris Wright is now averaging two and a half points per game less than last year and more turnovers—12.7 points and 3.0 turnovers a game.

    A player that seemed like he could easily be a solid NBA backup is now facing the reality that he may not be drafted.

    Watching him against Villanova in the second half of last game was sad, as Chris could barely even put the ball on the floor without turning it over. He also scored zero points in that game against some tough competition. That does not spell good news for the senior. 

Fab Melo

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    Fab Melo: Stock Falling

    He was a long shot to go in this years draft, but there was a chance. Now it would be horrible for him to enter, after having played his way out of any chance at of being picked in next year's draft.

    Fab Melo was considered one of the most intriguing prospects in this years draft. 

    Well, Fab has been nothing near fabulous. He's averaging just around 10 minutes a game and only scoring 2.1 points per game in those minutes.

    He cannot stay out of foul trouble and he is very turnover prone. Those who thought this guy had a chance of going early in this year's draft have been shown just how raw this kid really is. 

Harrison Barnes

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Harrison Barnes: Stock Falling

    You've probably all been waiting for me to talk about young Harrison. Well, here it is. The player who was once considered the "sure thing" in this year's draft has almost played himself out of the lottery.

    Barnes has been compared to Kobe Bryant and LeBron James throughout his life, and now he seems to be nothing more special than Marvin Williams. 

    Barnes is averaging just 12.5 points per game and 40% from the field on an average-at-best North Carolina team.

    He has failed to put them over the top in a season where they were ranked high amongst many preseason polls.

    Barnes has potential, but—like such players as DeMar DeRozan in the past, you must show that you can play against the better competition and not just dominate in high-school. 

    Barnes was a shoe--in for first overall, but now he's looking at mid-to-late first-round this year, or late lottery next year. 

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