NCAA Tournament: Top 10 Players Who Helped or Hurt Their 2011 NBA Draft Stock

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IIMarch 19, 2011

NCAA Tournament: Top 10 Players Who Helped or Hurt Their 2011 NBA Draft Stock

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    After a second round of thrilling buzzer-beaters, upsets and busted brackets, NBA scouts have taken notice of some special performances. A few players have raised their game to help lift their team past opening-round opponents, and others have gone down fighting the good fight, showing signs of their potential.

    The good were very good, putting up great numbers and raising some eyebrows with their play.  The bad were awful, with unimpressive showings and underachieving production. 

    We attempted to put together a list of both good news and bad news for these players, and will present them to you in a split.  First, we will break the bad news for the players who were disappointing, then attempt to lighten the mood with those who raised their stock in the NCAA tournament.

    That said, SwishScout.com presents the "Top 10 Players Who Helped or Hurt Their NBA Draft Stock."

    Note: On most players, you can click their name or school to take you to a more detailed profile for a more extensive scouting report on the respective prospect.

10. David Lighty (Ohio State): Hurt

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    10. David Lighty (Ohio State)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 8 PTS, 5 AST, 3-5 FGM-A


    For someone who is on the second-round draft fringe and fighting for his life to be selected in June, Lighty was tentative and passive in the blowout win. 

    I understand it's probably the least of his cares in terms of priority right now with his team getting the W, but the senior swingman should have plenty of further opportunity in the tournament to impress scouts.

9. Jeff Taylor (Vanderbilt): Hurt

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    9. Jeff Taylor (Vanderbilt)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 4 PTS, 9 REB,  1-10 FGM-A


    Taylor did little to dispel the notion he is unable to create his own shot or has consistency problems with just four points in Vanderbilt's loss. 

    He did grab nine rebounds, but he left Ezeli and Jenkins hanging in a very close game against Richmond.

8. Peyton Siva (Louisville): Hurt

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    8. Peyton Siva (Louisville)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 3 PTS, 3 AST, 5 TO, 4 PF


    While only a sophomore, Siva has plenty of time to mature and can grow into his talented game before he’s NBA-ready anyway. 

    However, foul troubles kept him out early, and he struggled to produce against Morehead State in the Cardinals loss, leaving the athletic sophomore playmaker looking underwhelming.

7. Josh Selby (Kansas): Hurt

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    7. Josh Selby (Kansas)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 4 PTS, 2 AST, 2-6 FGM-A, 15 MIN


    A preseason favorite to be a lottery pick in 2011, perhaps no freshman’s NBA stock has taken a free fall more than Selby's. 

    He didn’t play great, but nothing is more of an indication of his NBA readiness than a measly 15 minutes against Boston University.

6. Keith Benson (Oakland): Hurt

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    Keith Benson (Oakland)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 15 PTS, 11 REB, 3 BLK, 4 PF, 6-15 FGM-A


    The Golden Grizzly has nice numbers, but he was absolutely dominated by freshman Tristan Thompson throughout the game in the post. 

    Benson disappeared during stretches when his team needed him most, and being pushed around by Thompson in the paint clearly indicated the need to build at least 15-20 pounds of muscle in the next couple years for the league.

5. Kyle Singler (Duke): Hurt

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    Kyle Singler (Duke)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 11 PTS, 3 REB, 3 TO


    There’s no question as to whether Singler will get drafted, but the inquiry will be whether he warrants a first-round selection? 

    His production suggested no, and his recent poor play is pushing his stock to the second, which is a fall from grace after his magnificent performance as last year’s Final Four MOP.

4. Kalin Lucas (Michigan State): Hurt

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    Kalin Lucas (Michigan State)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 11 PTS, 5 AST, 4 TO, 4-14 FGM-A


    Yet another player fighting for his draft life and possible second-round consideration, the Spartans upset bid fell just short and closed the door on Lucas’ chance to show more. 

    Lucas was a winner on the NCAA level but he never really improved his game, casting doubt to his possible talents and potential in the NBA, where most will be inclined to pass at this point.

3. Terrence Jones (Kentucky): Hurt

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    Terrence Jones (Kentucky)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 10 PTS, 2 REB, 2 BLK


    Potential alone makes him a top-10 pick, but the Portland kid has struggled mightily for the Wildcats in postseason play. 

    The SEC’s leading rebounder only managed to snag two rebounds all game and his basketball IQ is still subpar, but Jones should bounce back after a lackluster performance.

2. Tu Holloway (Xavier): Hurt

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    Tu Holloway (Xavier)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 5 PTS, 5 AST, 2 REB, 5 TO, 1-8 FGM-A


    Many were banking on Xavier in their brackets because of the competitive spirit and scoring ability of Holloway, but he left them gasping for relief. 

    Holloway was a non-factor in the game, and the Musketeers never found their rhythm with him struggling, meaning his senior year is mandatory in the NCAA before he has any hopes in the NBA.

1. Scotty Hopson (Tennessee): Hurt

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    Scotty Hopson (Tennessee)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 4 PTS, 2 REB, 3 TO, 1-5 FGM-A


    The biggest loser of the second round was without a doubt Hopson, who is an NBA talent that got completely contained and in check by Michigan in a blowout. 

    The Vols' leading scorer only attempted five shots all game and did little to help, and while he has the potential and skill set, his production and inconsistency suggest he is not ready for the NBA yet.

Honorable Mentions: Helped

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    Honorable Mentions

    Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State)

    21 PTS, 10 REB, 1 BLK, 9-14 FGM-A, 3-5 3PM-A

     

    Talor Battle (Penn State)

    23 PTS, 5-11 3PM-A

     

    Kyrie Irving (Duke)

    14 PTS, 4 AST, 4 REB, 2 STL (in return from injury)

     

    Tyler Zeller (North Carolina)

    32 PTS, 9 REB, 3 BLK, 9-14 FGM-A, 14-19 FTM-A

     

    JaJuan Johnson (Purdue)

    16 PTS, 16 REB, 2 BLK

     

    Jordan Hamilton (Texas)

    19 PTS, 10 REB, 3 AST

10. Rick Jackson (Syracuse): Helped

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    Rick Jackson (Syracuse)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 23 PTS, 7 REB, 2 BLK, 9-11 FTM-A


    Hitting 9-of-11 free throws for a career 50 percent free-throw shooter is no small feat for the senior center.

    Jackson looked solid for the Orange and was aggressive at the basket, leading the team in scoring in a victory over the ISU Sycamores.

9. Jimmer Fredette (BYU): Helped

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    Jimmer Fredette (BYU)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 32 PTS, 7 AST, 4 REB, 10-12 FTM-A, 40 MIN


    Jimmer Time did his part and had a seemingly quieter performance than normal, which is quite odd to say for the nation’s leading scorer having 32 points. 

    The most impressive stats are his seven assists and 40 minutes of play, solidifying him as a true competitor and first-round-worthy selection who can do more than just score. 

8. Kemba Walker (Connecticut): Helped

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    Kemba Walker (Connecticut)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 18 PTS, 12 AST, 8 REB, 2 STL


    The Player of the Year candidate was incredible in the Huskies win over Bucknell, dishing out 12 dimes and snatching eight boards. 

    Everyone knows Kemba can score, but everyone forgets about his great rebounding ability and quickness that allows him to make plays in passing lanes as well.

7. Kenneth Faried (Morehead State): Helped

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    Kenneth Faried (Morehead State)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 12 PTS, 17 REB, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 4-17 FGM-A


    Shocking the nation is just one of the few stats for Faried, who braved high altitude in Denver with asthma, to put on an impressive rebounding performance. 

    Faried was only 4-of-17 shooting, but any NBA team knows they are drafting him for his great defense and rebounding, and that was clearly on display with his great motor in the Eagles upset.

6. Festus Ezeli (Vanderbilt): Helped

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    Festus Ezeli (Vanderbilt)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 21 PTS, 8 REB, 1 BLK, 8-10 FGM-A


    Near the end of the season, Ezeli developed into a serious offensive weapon in the post, and Vandy rewarded the 6’11” center with multiple post-up opportunities against Richmond. 

    Despite the loss, Ezeli is showing great progress in his development on both ends of the court and clearly has potential to entice NBA squads in June if he declares.

5. Trey Thompkins (Georgia): Helped

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    Trey Thompkins (Georgia)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 26 PTS, 11 REB, 1 STL, 11-14 FGM-A


    There’s no denying that Trey had a great season, and that success carried over to Georgia’s opening game against Washington. 

    The Bulldogs went home early, but an efficient shooting performance and some hits from three make Thompkins look all the better for a first-rounder if he intends to become eligible for the draft.

Derrick Williams (Arizona): Helped

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    Derrick Williams (Arizona)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 22 PTS, 10 REB, 1 BLK, 9-9 FTM-A, 6-11 FGM-A


    One of the NCAA’s best and smartest players was a force in the paint as usual, and he was the driving force behind the Wildcats being able to hold against Memphis down the stretch. 

    Williams had another huge game-saving block in the final seconds and continues to shoot the ball at a high rate, sharpening his inside-out game and potential perimeter play for the NBA.

3. John Henson (North Carolina): Helped

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    John Henson (North Carolina)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 28 PTS, 11 REB, 6 BLK


    Henson had a career-high 28 points and dominated the paint for the Tar Heels, turning his potential into tremendous production in their opener. 

    The length and athleticism of the 6’10” post player is intriguing, and if he keeps turning out big games, he could put himself in the picture for being a top-five pick in 2011.

2. Tristan Thompson (Texas): Helped

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    Tristan Thompson (Texas)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 17 PTS, 10 REB, 7 BLK, 7-14 FGM-A


    No stat can tell you how much Thompson dominated perennial NBA senior center Keith Benson, but I can tell you he absolutely owned the paint and shut down the Oakland star on defense. 

    The strength and motor of Thompson was on display against the Golden Grizz, and he continues to impress with dominating post defense.

1. Harrison Barnes (North Carolina): Helped

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    Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)

    Second-Round Key Stats: 24 PTS, 16 REB,  2 STL, 9-19 FGM-A


    Barnes is growing before our eyes and he looked dominant, taking over the game for UNC by continuing to make big plays and shots. 

    He didn’t shoot the ball that well from three (only 2-of-10), but when his confidence is high during games, he becomes a very different player who looks worthy of taking No. 1 overall in the 2011 NBA draft.