Final Four: Kemba Walker and Each 2011 NBA Draft Prospect on Display in Houston

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2011

Final Four: Kemba Walker and Each 2011 NBA Draft Prospect on Display in Houston

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 26:  Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates after a play towards the end of the game against the Arizona Wildcats during the west regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Butler, Connecticut, Kentucky and Virginia Commonwealth are all on their way to Houston to play in the 2011 Final Four.

    As an NBA guy, the only time I pay really close attention to college basketball is during March Madness.  And during those games I find myself wondering which players can compete at the next level.

    This year's batch of Final Four teams features several players who could be selected in this June's NBA Draft...

Shelvin Mack

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 26:  Shelvin Mack #1 of the Butler Bulldogs reacts during their game against the Florida Gators in overtime of the Southeast regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at New Orleans Arena on March 26, 2011 in New
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Current Draft Stock: Second Round to Undrafted

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 215 lbs

    Position: Point Guard

    NBA Comparison: Ben Gordon

    Mack is a junior so there's a good chance he'll be back at Butler next season.  However, if he does declare for the draft, there could be some interested teams.

    On the season, he's averaging 16 points and four assists a game.  In the tournament, he's shown even more of an ability to score.

    In Butler's four victories, he's averaging more than 21 points a game.  He's shown the ability to score in a variety of ways against big time competition, and that will pay off in June if he enters the draft.

Matt Howard

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 24:  Matt Howard #54 of the Butler Bulldogs reacts during their game against the Wisconsin Badgers during the Southeast regional of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at New Orleans Arena on March 24, 2011 in New Orleans, Lo
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Current Draft Stock: Second Round to Undrafted 

    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 225 lbs

    Position: Power Forward

    NBA Comparison: Eduardo Najera

    Howard has been a huge part of Butler's second Final Four run in as many seasons.  

    His chances of being drafted are certainly slim, but his play in the tournament may inspire a team to take him in the second round.

    He's averaging 17 points and eight rebounds a game on the year, and shooting 50 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point range.

    He doesn't look like an NBA player, but his work ethic, attitude and ability to come up big in clutch situations is hard to ignore.

Kemba Walker

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 26:  Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates after a play towards the end of the game against the Arizona Wildcats during the west regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Current Draft Stock: Potential Lottery Pick

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 172 lbs

    Position: Point Guard

    NBA Comparison: Brandon Jennings

    I've been down on Kemba Walker for most of this season, saying he looks like the next Jeff Teague to me.  However, the more I see him, the more I think he can be successful in the NBA.

    He's not the most efficient scorer, and he's obviously not a traditional distributing guard, but his winning attitude has been central to UConn's nine-game winning streak.

    If he can manage to carry his team to two more wins, he'll be a national champion and a possible top-five pick in this June's draft.

Jeremy Lamb

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 26:  Jeremy Lamb #3 of the Connecticut Huskies dunks the ball against the Arizona Wildcats during the west regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 26, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Phot
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Current Draft Stock: Second Round to Undrafted

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 185 lbs

    Position: Shooting Guard

    NBA Comparison: Ray Allen

    If I had to guess, I'd say Lamb will be back for his sophomore season at UConn.  But there has been some chatter regarding his pro prospects lately.

    He's an extremely long (seven-foot wingspan) and athletic wing who can shoot from outside (37 percent from three-point range).

    He's averaging just 11 points a game on the season, but he's been much more potent in the tournament.  In UConn's last four wins, he's putting up over 18 a game.

Alex Oriakhi

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 26:  Alex Oriakhi #34 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates after defeating the Arizona Wildcats to win the west regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 26, 2011 in Anaheim, California.
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Current Draft Stock: Second Round to Undrafted

    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 240 lbs

    Position: Center 

    This is another Husky who could very well stay in college for next season.  But this run by UConn is drawing attention for the whole team, and that includes Oriakhi.

    If he does declare for the draft, he'll probably have to perform pretty well in the combine and in his individual workouts with teams.

Jamie Skeen

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    SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 27:  Jamie Skeen #21 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams reacts during the southwest regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament against the Kansas Jayhawks at the Alamodome on March 27, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas.  (
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Current Draft Stock: Second Round to Undrafted

    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 240 lbs

    Position: Power Forward

    Who in the world could have foreseen a Final Four showdown between Butler and Virginia Commonwealth?

    VCU's unbelievable run over the last few weeks could very well get senior forward Jamie Skeen drafted in the second round of this summer's NBA Draft.

    He's been an integral part of their success, averaging 15.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.  He can score inside and out (he's shooting nearly 40 percent from three-point range).

Bradford Burgess

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    SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 25:  Bradford Burgess #20 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams shoots against the Florida State Seminoles during the southwest regional of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Alamodome on March 25, 2011 in San Antonio, Te
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Current Draft Stock: Second Round to Undrafted

    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 225 lbs

    Position: Small Forward

    Burgess possesses basketball's most important skill in abundance.  He is a great shooter.  In this tournament, he's been particularly impressive from three-point range.

    On the year, he's averaging over 14 points a game and shooting over 40 percent from the outside.  In VCU's last four games he's hit 13 out of his 18 three-point attempts.

    He also rebounds well (more than six a game), and has a very wide body for a wing player.

Doron Lamb

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    TAMPA, FL - MARCH 17:  Doron Lamb #20 of the Kentucky Wildcats attempts a free throw against the Princeton Tigers during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 17, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Current Draft Stock: Late First to Early Second Round

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 183 lbs

    Position: Shooting Guard

    Lamb has emerged as yet another Calipari freshman phenom.  He's one of the best three-point shooters in the country, and his midrange game is solid as well.  Plus, he's a very natural scorer and a decent athlete.

    Calipari's sent plenty of one-and-done guys to the league over the last few years, but there's still a chance Lamb will come back for his sophomore season.

Brandon Knight

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    TAMPA, FL - MARCH 19:  Brandon Knight #12 of the Kentucky Wildcats defends against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 19, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. Kentucky won
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Current Draft Stock: Potential Lottery Pick (and rising)

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 183 lbs

    Position: Point Guard

    NBA Comparison: Jason Terry

    John Calipari has sent three really good point guards to the NBA in the last three years (Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and John Wall).

    It looks like he may be sending another potential star in Brandon Knight.  The hype around him was a lot louder before this year, but he'll still be drafted in the first round.

Terrence Jones

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    TAMPA, FL - MARCH 19:  Terrence Jones #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats gets set to shoot a free throw attempt against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 19, 2011 i
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Current Draft Stock: Lottery Pick

    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 226 lbs

    Position: Small Forward

    NBA Comparison: Lamar Odom

    Terrence Jones has had a solid freshman season.  He's the Wildcats second leading scorer, and leads the team in rebounding and blocks.

    He's displayed great athleticism and versatility over the course of the whole year.  He handles the ball extremely well for a player of his size.

    Also, his size is deceiving.  He may only be 6'8", but his wingspan is 7'3"