NBA Draft 2011: Kyrie Irving, Jimmer Fredette and the Best Point Guard Prospects

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NBA Draft 2011: Kyrie Irving, Jimmer Fredette and the Best Point Guard Prospects
Bob Levey/Getty Images

When trying to evaluate how college players will fare in the NBA, it's important to consider the different roles they might have on the next level.

Most college stars have to make the transition to becoming a role player: Adam Morrison didn’t have the athleticism to replicate his gaudy scoring average in the NBA, but that lack of foot speed also made him a liability defensively, which very few role players can afford to be.

Conversely, role players in college might have the athleticism to slip right into a similar role in the NBA despite not putting up huge stats in March.

Sherron Collins was a college legend at Kansas, a three-year starter who won a national title and became one of the sport’s all-time winningest point guards. Tyshawn Taylor, his replacement, has frustrated many Jayhawk fans with his inconsistent, up-and-down play over the last three years.

But Collins, at 5’11'', 215 pounds, is most effective dominating the ball, something that was never going to happen in the NBA. As a result, he’s already washed out of the league. Taylor, meanwhile, is an excellent athlete at 6’3'', 185 pounds with the wingspan to defend both guard positions and the shooting ability to spot up on the three-point line (38 percent this season) off of better players.

Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday averaged less points and assists at UCLA than Darren Collison.

While collegiate achievements shouldn't be overlooked, in many cases, Player A can be worse in college than Player B, but better in the NBA.

With that in mind, here's a look at the top nine 6'3'' and under guards in the 2011 draft. While many are point guards, some are more suitable as scorers and will likely be combo guards off the bench.


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