NCAA Tounament 2011: 10 Guys Who Helped Their Draft Stock in Round 1
With round one in the books, it's time to recap what happened before today and tomorrow's games. Plenty of guys helped their stock, while others hurt it.
The NCAA tournament is always jam packed full of action, and Thursday and Friday were no different.
Within the first two games of the tourney, Morehead State hit a crucial three with only seconds remaining and Matt Howard hit a buzzer beating layup to advance Butler.
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Even though Trey Thompkins' Georgia Bulldogs fell to Washington, the junior had a good game. In fact, if Thompkins wouldn't have been able to control the post, this game would have been extremely ugly.
Thompkins posted 26 points and 11 rebounds. The next leading scorer for Georgia had just 12 points.
Adding to his impressive scoring total, Thompkins can shoot. He went 11-for-14 from the field, 2-for-2 from three-point land and 2-for-2 from the free throw line.
Thompkins might not have boosted his stock much, but it certainly didn't drop. Expect Thompkins to be a middle first-round steal for someone in this year's draft.
Kevin Anderson, Richmond
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Being under 6-feet, Kevin Anderson is easily overlooked by NBA scouts. However, he plays a big game.
In an upset over Vanderbilt, Anderson went off for 25 points, four assists, one steal, with just one turnover. He shot a solid 10-for-24 from the field including 4-for-9 from three.
Teammate Justin Harper is regarded as the true NBA prospect, but he wasn't overly impressive against the Commodores.
Harper posted 13 points, four rebounds and two assists.
If Anderson can put together one or two more 20-plus point performances in wins, he could see himself selected in the second round come draft time.
Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
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Like his teammate and front court mate John Henson, Tyler Zeller had a great first round game.
In the offensive showcase UNC displayed, Zeller posted 32 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. More impressively Zeller sank 14-of-19 free throw attempts.
Scouts aren't big on Zeller, and the big man isn't even supposed to enter this years draft.
However, watching him play makes one wonder why he isn't on scouts watch lists.
He has a good body, knows how to use it and the whole UNC offense goes through Zeller.
With UNC looking to make a deep tourney run, Zeller might have the most to gain out of anyone in the entire field.
Kemba Walker, Connecticut
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Kemba Walker might not have boosted his stock a whole lot in round one, but he sure avoided it dropping.
Kemba and company put on a show against Bucknell, drubbing the Patriots 81-52. Like most UConn wins this year, it was topped off on the shoulders of Kemba Walker.
In 35 minutes, Kemba went for 18 points, 12 assists, eight rebounds, two steals and just two turnovers. This stat line was huge for his NBA stock for several reasons.
First, the turnovers. Kemba's decision making has long been in question, but against Bucknell he was able to avoid the turnover bug.
Second, the assists. Along with his "lack" of good decision making, Kemba has been seen as more of a scorer than passer.
If Kemba can keep posting high assists, low turnover and solid points, he will continue to see his stock rise over this tournament.
Jon Leuer, Wisconsin
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Right now, Wisconsin senior Jon Leuer is seen as a late first-round or early second-round pick. If Leuer wants to get the guaranteed money of the first round, he will need to keep putting up lines like he did against Belmont.
Wisconsin has a good point guard in Jordan Taylor who sets up Leuer for open shots routinely.
Leuer finished the game against Belmont with 22 points, seven rebounds and one block. He also shot 7-for-12 from the field, including 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Those shooting numbers are incredibly efficient.
Leuer is seen as a "finesse" player, who doesn't exactly want to bang around in the post. Rather, Leuer would bring his defender out to the three point line where he could stroke the three or dribble by his slower defender.
Jon Leuer will need to keep up his inside-out play throughout the tournament, presenting himself to a team that plays a similar style.
Anticipate Leuer being drafted by San Antonio, Boston or Dallas.
Chandler Parsons, Florida
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Parsons is known as a "do-it-all" guy, and he proved it in the first game of the tournament.
The senior from Florida is currently seen as a early second rounder and needs to have more quality games to get himself into the guaranteed money of the first round.
Parsons posted 10 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds, two steals and one block. This type of all around production is what Parsons is very well known for.
He has been a late blooming player in his college career and still has time to get better along the way. Parsons definitely has time to get better and improve his game and should become a solid role player in the NBA.
If Florida can continue to advance in the tourney, Parsons should see himself selected late in the first round.
Trsitan Thompson, Texas
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Tristan Thompson is a guy whose stock waivers by the day. On Friday versus Oakland University, Thompson stepped up and led the team.
Thompson went off for 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks. Yes, seven blocks. The blocks were a University of Texas record in the NCAA tournament, forever engraving his name in the books.
However, when watching the game, it was more about Thompson's presence down low. He altered shots, grabbed rebounds and frustrated the offense all game long.
If Texas continues to win, nobody would benefit more than Tristan Thompson.
At the end of this tournament, Tristan Thompson is very capable of playing himself into the top five picks.
John Henson, North Carolina
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Henson, along with most of his team, had a great game Friday. The lanky freshman is full of potential and put it on display versus Long Island.
Henson posted 28 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks.
This type of stat line is what scouts want to see out of Henson every game. He has the ability to disrupt a game in several ways and needs to take advantage of his skills.
Scouts are afraid of Henson for his inconsistencies at this point. He draws comparisons to another skinny power forward in Anthony Randolph, and that's not necessarily a good thing.
If Henson wants to boost his stock, he will need to keep carrying UNC round after round in this tournament.
Rick Jackson, Syracuse
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The big man from Syracuse had a solid game against Indiana State on Friday. Jackson recorded 23 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 36 minutes of action.
While the rebounding numbers are pretty low, they aren't terrible because it can be hard to get easy rebounds when just standing around in a zone.
If Syracuse wants to go deep in this tourney, Jackson will need to impose his will down low.
Jackson is listed at 6'9" and 235 pounds, but you wouldn't know it if you saw him. The senior from Syracuse is huge, literally.
He has a DeJaun Blair like body type and bullies defenders around all game long.
If 'Cuse can keep winning in this tournament, Jackson could see himself drafted in the first round in this year's draft.
Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
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Faried helped pull off possibly the biggest upset of this entire tournament. Behind his 12 points and 17 rebounds, the Eagles took down Louisville 62-61.
Faried shot an unimpressive 4-for-17 from the field and 4-for-6 from the free throw line. He was often double- and triple-teamed and didn't do a great job of passing the ball out. While the shooting numbers were bad, Faried won't be drafted to score.
He's an explosive, elite, top notch athlete who grabs any loose ball in sight. Just watching him leap from the floor so quickly and suddenly is amazing.
He is a bit undersized at 6'7", but plenty of power forwards that height have succeeded in the NBA. Faried will be a skinnier quicker version of Paul Millsap, Dejaun Blair and Jason Maxiell.
Faried and Morehead State will face off against another upset team, Richmond, on Saturday. Anticipate Faried to dominate the glass once again, possibly boosting his stock into the lottery.