2011 NBA Draft Preview: Kyrie Irving and the 10 Best Guard Prospects

Trevor Lowry@@TheTrevorLowryContributor IApril 14, 2011

2011 NBA Draft Preview: Kyrie Irving and the 10 Best Guard Prospects

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    This year's NBA Draft is packed with talented guards. 

    Although Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker were the two most popular guards this year, Kyrie Irving is on the verge of becoming the No. 1 overall draft pick.

    To say the least, there is some serious talent this year in the NBA Draft coming from the guard position.

    Here is a look at the top ten guards in the 2011 NBA Draft

10. Klay Thompson, Washington State

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    Klay Thompson is one of the best shooters in all of college basketball. With that said, he has a lot of range on his shot.

    Thompson has great basketball IQ and he is a very good ball-handler. Not to mention, he is a very good passer and he knocks down his free-throws.

    Thompson is a very good shooting guard, but he is also capable of playing point guard. 

9. Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut

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    Jeremy Lamb is a very talented guard, who is capable of playing both guard positions.

    Lamb helped his draft stock tremendously in the NCAA Tournament.

    Averaging only 11.1 PPG on the season, Lamb averaged 16 PPG in the tournament and proved to be a great defensive player.

    To start the season, scouts said that Lamb had a long way to go before he could become an NBA prospect.

    With an amazing NCAA Tournament showing, Lamb has raised his stock from not even being in the draft to possibly being taken in the first round or early in the second.

8. Reggie Jackson, Boston College

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    Reggie Jackson led Boston College in scoring this year with 18.4 points per game. With a seven-foot wingspan, Jackson is a very good rebounder for his position.

    Jackson is very athletic and his shot is getting better and better. Not to mention, he can run a basketball team. 

    Jackson is a sleeper in this draft, but some people think he is good enough to be a lottery pick. 

7. Shelvin Mack, Butler

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    Shelvin Mack led the Butler Bulldogs to another magical run in the NCAA Tournament. So magical that the Bulldogs played in their second consecutive championship game. Unfortunately, just like last year's championship, they came up short.

    Mack is the perfect point guard. He has great ball-handling skills and is a good shooter with range. Mack is also a good passer and leader. 

    Coming into the year, scouts had high expectations for Mack. However, he struggled with his shooting for most of the season. 

    In the NCAA Tournament, Mack seemed to find his shot and played very good basketball.

    Mack seems to be a late first-round to early second-round pick at this point. 

6. Nolan Smith, Duke

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    As soon as Nolan Smith took over at point guard for the Duke Blue Devils, he became one of the best players in the nation. 

    Smith is a very good guard and gets his team involved. He is also a really good shooter.

    However, when he is not knocking down shots he can get to the hoop and make baskets. 

5. Alec Burks, Colorado

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    Alec Burks was the 2009 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, and he did not disappoint in his sophomore year, leading Colorado in scoring with 20.5 points a game. He also had 6.5 RPG. 

    Burks is a 6'6" shooting guard, and very capable of being a great NBA player.

    Although Burks' draft stock has been on the decline, he can really play some ball. With improvement on his shot, he can be a really good guard in the NBA. 

4. Jimmer Fredette, Brigham Young

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    Jimmer Fredette was simply one of the best, if not the best, players in all of college basketball this year.

    Fredette was the best scorer in the NCAA, and can shoot from anywhere on the court. There's no telling how far his range extends. 

    He led the nation with 28.9 PPG and was awarded the Naismith Trophy after his amazing season. 

    Although some people think Fredette will be a bust in the NBA, I think he will be a very good player at the next level due to his great ball-handling, passing, amazing scoring ability and toughness.

    All of these attributes are what makes a good guard in the NBA and are typically what teams are looking for. 

3. Brandon Knight, Kentucky

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    Brandon Knight's draft stock is on the rise due to Kentucky's performance in the NCAA Tournament. Knight led the Wildcats to the Final Four, and they just came up short of the championship game. 

    Knight is a very quick player, so he is capable of beating his man and making it to the hoop. He is also a great shooter with good range.

    Although Knight started the season slowly, he proved he was well worth the hype and a big reason why the Wildcats made it so far.

    With a pretty good season and a decent NCAA Tournament, Knight is now considered one of the best point guards in the draft. 

2. Kemba Walker, Connecticut

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    What more is there to say about Kemba Walker?

    Walker led the Connecticut Huskies to five straight victories to win the Big East Tournament, but he did not stop there. Walker also led the Huskies to victory in the NCAA championship game. 

    Without Walker, UConn simply would not have made it as far. Walker is one of the biggest names in all of college basketball, and rightfully so. 

    Kemba Walker is an amazing point guard who gets to the rim at will, has a great shot, amazing ball-handling and is a great passer. 

    Walker is a very tough and clutch player and he proved all season long why he was one of the top guards in all of college basketball. 

1. Kyrie Irving, Duke

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    Although Kyrie Irving was injured for most of his freshman season with the Duke Blue Devils, he proved to be one of the best point guards in all of college basketball.

    When he came back from his toe injury in the NCAA Tournament, he picked up right where he left off.

    Irving is a complete point guard. He showed balance between scoring and passing. He has great court vision, a high basketball IQ, and he also has a great shot with range. 

    In his handful of games, Irving showed people his potential and how great of a player he can become. 

    With this said, he is the best guard in the 2011 NBA Draft