NBA Draft 2011: The Top 60 Prospects on the Big Board
Only three days left until the 2011 NBA draft, and the anticipation is already mounting. Although weak by normal draft standards, this year's class is actually full of some amazing talents who will do nothing but succeed at the NBA level.
At this point, it looks like the No. 1 pick, which belongs to the Cleveland Cavaliers, will be either Duke point guard Kyrie Irving or Arizona forward Derrick Williams (pictured). Regardless of which player receives that honor, I am psyched for Thursday night.
As any draft-head knows, all eyes will be on the legendary "big board," where each player in the draft is ranked according to skills. The big board does not necessarily give the estimated order in which the players will be drafted, but rather ranks the best players available from top to bottom.
For all of you draft-heads out there, here is my personal big board, which features the top 60 draft prospects. Again, this is not necessarily the order in which these 60 players will go in Thursday night's draft, but how I've ranked them based on overall skill.
No. 1: Derrick Williams, F, Arizona
There's no doubt that Derrick Williams is the best all-around player in the 2011 NBA draft. He's aggressive on defense and has a great offensive game. Last year, he averaged 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds on 60 percent shooting, 56 percent from three-point range.
On stats alone, Williams is easily the most NBA-ready out of all the prospects. He's got great size at 6'8" and 241 pounds to go with a great work ethic, so he'll be a blessing to any team he joins.
No. 2: Enes Kanter, C, Turkey
On paper, Enes Kanter is easily the best center in the draft. He is 6'11", 260 pounds and just 19 years old. In the 2009 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship, he averaged 18.6 points and 16.4 rebounds and was named MVP of the tournament despite his team only winning the bronze medal.
Unlike most centers in this year's draft, Kanter already has the size necessary to compete with top big men in the league. As long as he is patient and makes himself coachable, he has a long and prosperous NBA career ahead of him.
No. 3: Brandon Knight, G, Kentucky
Despite having only one year of college ball under his belt, Brandon Knight has established himself as one of the top point guards in this year's draft.
He was the fearless leader of the Kentucky Wildcats team that advanced to the Final Four, taking out No. 1 Ohio State in the process. On top of that, he has been called the most mature player of all the draft prospects.
Knight is definitely more of an offensive point guard with averages of 17.3 points and 4.5 assists, but there's no doubt in my mind that he can be molded into an effective leader on the hardwood. He drives to the basket well, has a potentially deadly three-point shot and is a true leader.
Plus, it's no secret that his head coach, John Calipari, is a master of making players ready for the NBA in a short amount of time.
No. 4: Kyrie Irving, G, Duke
In all honesty, I don't understand why some teams are so high on Kyrie Irving. He's definitely a talented point guard, but he's also the draft prospect with the highest bust potential.
He averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists as a freshman to go with 46 percent three-point shooting, but that was as a freshman. Therein lies the reason Irving could be this year's biggest draft bust.
Deciding to enter the NBA draft is possibly the most immature decision Irving could have made. He had an effective freshman season but also only played in 11 games due to injury. Instead of immediately freaking out and declaring for the draft, he should have stayed at school for one more year to learn leadership and improve his flaws.
Now, he's just becoming a big risk for whichever team drafts him.
No. 5: Kawhi Leonard, F, San Diego State
Kawhi Leonard is, for someone of relatively small stature for his position at 6'7", an amazing talent. He averaged about 15 points and 10 rebounds per game as a sophomore, and since declaring for the draft, his stock has gone nowhere but up.
He reminds me a lot of Gerald Wallace in the fact that he is a top defensive player despite relatively average size, and his tremendous heart will only help him once he reaches the NBA.
Most importantly, Leonard is the type of player who can be a leader, and there is no shortage of NBA teams in need of one. Wherever he goes, he will be a franchise face in the making.
No. 6: Kemba Walker, G, Connecticut
Much like Irving, Kemba Walker is a point guard with a lot of bust potential. He is primarily an offensive point guard with a very limited passing game.
Walker is a fine leader and helped the Huskies win both a conference and a national championship this year, but he basically shouldered most of the load on offense. On top of that, he's VERY small at 6'1" and a spindly 172 pounds.
Still, working in Walker's favor is that he's easily one of the most coachable players in the draft. He is the type of player who will come to work not just to play, but to learn. He has a very high ceiling and with patience will become a top point guard in the NBA.
No. 7: Jan Vesely, F, Czech Republic
I'm going to be honest here, folks. Normally I'm VERY skeptical about international prospects. They're usually over-hyped and more often than not turn out more like Darko Milicic and less like Pau Gasol. Still, teams seem to be enamored enough with Vesely that he deserves a high spot on the big board.
He has good size at 6'11" and could be a veritable force on the inside, but he's a bit skinny at 230 pounds. If he spends some time in the weight room, he'll surely become a viable inside force on both offense and defense in the NBA. Think Marcus Camby, but with less aggression on defense.
No. 8: Bismack Biyombo, F/C, Congo
This 18-year-old went from being an unknown to a near sure-fire lottery pick. He's somewhat small for his position at 6'9" and 240 pounds, but his 7'6" wingspan has blown scouts away. That measurement just screams "shot-blocker."
It's almost definite that Biyombo won't be a factor as a rookie because of his age. He still has a lot to learn about the NBA and what is expected on that level. With time and patience, he could become an unstoppable force on defense.
Think Josh Smith, minus the offense.
No. 9: Marcus Morris, F, Kansas
As one half of a famous set of twins, Marcus Morris seriously proved his worth as a big man last season. He averaged 17.2 points and 7.6 rebounds as the Jayhawks made it all the way to the Elite Eight before being upset by Virginia Commonwealth.
He has the leadership skills and intangibles to be a top forward in the NBA, but how well he does will depend on what team drafts him. He needs to be on a team that features its forwards prominently as well as its guards on offense.
Otherwise, he's just another athletic forward who can play defense while his skills on offense go to waste.
No. 10: Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania
Again, while I'm normally very suspicious of international prospects, Jonas Valanciunas is one that impresses me.
He's 6'11" and is a muscly (yet lanky) 240 pounds, but he has great all-around game and was a dominant big man in Europe. In a game against France during an Under-18 tournament, he scored 39 points and pulled down 19 boards.
His numbers won't be that ridiculous in the NBA, but Valanciunas will definitely have the potential to be an above-average big man for whichever team drafts him. He's still young at 19 and has time to develop, so he'll find success so long as his coaches are patient with him.
No. 11: Klay Thompson, G, Washington State
This young man is easily one of the top shooters in the draft. He has a natural touch from any spot on the floor, and in a run-and-gun offense he'll become a star. Like most shooters, his defense needs some work, but he has enough of a willingness to learn that defense can be coached into his game.
Look for Thompson to be one of the pleasant surprises who comes out of this year's draft class.
No. 12: Tristan Thompson, F, Texas
Tristan Thompson certainly has the potential to be an electrifying player, but he is such a team-first guy that he doesn't really allow himself to be.
In his one year at Texas, he only averaged 13.1 points to go with 7.8 rebounds. At first glance, this would appear as a hesitation regarding putting the team on his back when the game is on the line.
Yet Thompson will be just fine in the NBA. He isn't going to be the type of forward who can average 20 and 10 a game, but he'll be effective enough that he'll be a defensive forward in the same league as someone like Udonis Haslem, but with a better offensive game.
He's only 20, so give him a couple of years to mature.
No. 13: Markieff Morris, F, Kansas
Easily the more defensive of the Morris twins, Markieff Morris is someone who will have success in the NBA—just not on the epic level everyone expects him to.
Some scouts are comparing him to Rasheed Wallace minus the attitude, but I see him more like Robert "Big Shot Bob" Horry. Why? Well, because of one stat.
Morris averaged 13.6 points and 8.3 boards last season but also shot 42 percent from downtown. That's pretty amazing for someone 6'10" and 245 pounds. Thus, when he's drafted, his coach will most likely utilize his defensive talents on the inside but also draw up schemes for him to be left open for a big three-point shot late in games.
Either way, he'll do fine as a pro.
No. 14: Chris Singleton, F, Florida State
Chris Singleton is everything a coach wants in a player. He drives hard to the basket, can nail the occasional shot from downtown, plays great defense and, most importantly, is a leader. A broken foot suffered last season raised questions about his health, but he should be good to go once the season starts.
The only issue with Singleton is how well his game will translate to the pros. He only averaged about 13 points per game last season to go with 6.8 rebounds, and the odds are pretty good that his offense will drop in the NBA.
Still, this man plays defense out the wazoo. His heart and determination will make him valuable to any team.
No. 15: Donatas Motiejunas, F, Lithuania
Out of all the international prospects expected to go in the first round, Donatas Motiejunas is the one with the most bust potential. He's 7'0" but only weighs 215 pounds. That just won't fly in the NBA.
Still, he was enough of a force in Europe that he just can't be ignored in the first round. Last year, while playing in Italy, he shot 42 percent from three-point range. Considering his size, that's incredible. Look for him to slowly become incorporated into offensive schemes over the course of his rookie season.
No. 16: Tobias Harris, F, Tennessee
Despite just one year of college ball under his belt, Harris has exhibited tremendous maturity in the weeks leading up to the draft. He is a great leader and plays well on both sides of the court, and the Tennessee scandal that marred his one and only year at school is nothing but a distant memory in his mind.
His leadership skills remind me a lot of Shane Battier, but Harris will be more of a force on offense. Look for him to step up as his team's alpha dog by his second or third season.
No. 17: Kenneth Faried, F/C, Morehead State
Here we have the sleeper of the 2011 NBA draft. Kenneth Faried may not look like a top defensive player at 6'8" and 225 pounds, but he's actually the all-time leading rebounder in NCAA history. Say what you want about his apparent lack of offensive game—this man is going to be great in the NBA.
A lot of analysts have compared him to Dennis Rodman, but Faried reminds me more of Charles Oakley. While Rodman solely played defense and paid zero attention to his offensive output, Faried is constantly looking to improve. That being said, he'll be a blessing for whichever team drafts him.
No. 18: Jimmer Fredette, G, BYU
Unlike the rest of America, I refuse to buy into the hype surrounding Jimmer Fredette. I find his game extremely one-sided and think that he is a glorified Steve Kerr who will be nothing more than a bench shooter on the professional level.
Still, there's one thing that can't be denied: The kid can shoot.
What sets Fredette apart from other shooters is his leadership abilities. He was the captain of his team in college and made some pretty amazing shots that carried his team to victory, but this is the pros. In order to succeed, he's going to need to work on his passing and his defense.
Given how he takes coaching well, this won't be a problem at all.
No. 19: Tyler Honeycutt, F, UCLA
Tyler Honeycutt reminds me a lot of this one kid who was on my high school basketball team years ago. He was of average size but really skinny. His shooting was inconsistent, and he wasn't very strong on the inside. Still, he got minutes for one reason: He played ridiculous defense.
Honeycutt is that player. He stands 6'8" but is a painfully thin 190 pounds. His overall shooting is about average, and in the NBA he won't be known for his offense. Still, this man has tremendous heart and will be a great defensive forward for whichever team drafts him.
Think Bruce Bowen, but minus the dirty play.
No. 20: Josh Selby, G, Kansas
Josh Selby's NBA career will go one of two ways. He'll either be a top point guard similar to Rajon Rondo, or he'll be a bust and thus become Dajuan Wagner 2.0. The Wagner comparison comes from the fact that Selby was a top high school player before going to college.
His decision to enter the draft was an interesting one, as he only had a few impressive games at Kansas and struggled for minutes in the others. Still, Selby is great from downtown and crashes the boards more than any other point guard I've seen. With the right coaching, he'll be amazing.
No. 21: Jordan Hamilton, G, Texas
Jordan Hamilton was the offensive machine at Texas last year. Paired with Tristan Thompson, the Longhorns were a force to be reckoned with. Both will be in the NBA next year, and I can see Hamilton finding his calling as a top shooter.
He was a decent rebounder in college as well, but chances are that his future team will utilize his talents on the offensive side of the court. He shot 38 percent from three-point land last year and averaged 18.7 points.
If that doesn't scream "clutch NBA shooter," then I don't know what does.
No. 22: Nolan Smith, G, Duke
Nolan Smith is going to be a great NBA point guard one day. He's a bit small at 6'2" and 185 but has the perfect balance when it comes to shooting and passing the ball. Last year, he averaged 20.6 points but also 5.1 assists.
Most importantly, Smith is a leader. He longs to be coached and to learn how to improve his game in any way possible and is a fine mentor to younger players. Eventually, he'll be something of a Chauncey Billups type, but with more of a likelihood to pass the rock.
No. 23: Darius Morris, G, Michigan
In terms of point guard stats alone, Darius Morris is the best in the draft at his position. Last year, in his first year running the Wolverines offense, he averaged 15 points and 6.7 assists. To add on to that, he has great size for a point guard at 6'4" and 190 pounds.
He may have entered the draft a little early (he's just a sophomore), but Morris has already proven he can be a top leader, as his team gave Duke a run for its money in the NCAA tournament. Give him some time to work on his three-point shot, and he'll be one of the best point guards in the NBA.
No. 24: Justin Harper, F, Richmond
This young man didn't really break out until last year. Fortunately, that happened to be his senior year, and he averaged 17.9 points and 6.9 boards, shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc.
Harper is talented, but his going to a small school could work against him. As great as Richmond's run was, the fact that he didn't receive much press until this year could ultimately stab him in the back as he tries to compete with the rest of the forwards.
Still, if Harper transitions well to the pros, the sky will be the limit.
No. 25: Kyle Singler, G/F, Duke
I like to think of Kyle Singler as the ultimate swingman. He can shoot, rebound, play defense, etc. The bigger question is, what will he be in the NBA?
Regardless of where Singler ends up, his coach will find some use for him. Whatever that use is, Singler will bring his best game night after night and be a valuable contributor even if he averages just two points a game.
No. 26: Reggie Jackson, G, Boston College
This young man sat out combine workouts with a knee injury, but teams shouldn't let that concern them. The fact remains that last season, Jackson averaged 18.2 points while shooting 42 percent from three-point land.
Even if it's just as a shooter off the bench, Jackson is sure to have a promising NBA career.
No. 27: Shelvin Mack, G, Butler
Like some of the others on this big board, Shelvin Mack is a glorified shooter. His game is very one-sided, and based on stats alone, he shouldn't be a first-round pick.
Still, the diminutive guard has proven to be a fine leader, and on the professional level that matters a lot. He'll continue his hot-shooting ways while also being one of the most mature rookies of his draft class.
No. 28: Alec Burks, G, Colorado
It simply astounds me that some experts have Alec Burks as a lottery pick. He is easily the most overrated player in this year's draft, and while his 20.5 points per game last season were impressive, his 29 percent three-point shooting was not.
In all honesty, I see him becoming Michael Redd 2.0. He'll be a decent shooter, but not much of an athlete. In the end, it will hurt him...badly. Still, there are teams out there in need of a guard, and thus Burks will go in the first round.
No. 29: JaJuan Johnson, F, Purdue
JaJuan Johnson is skinny at 6'10" and 221 pounds, but his low-post game in college was incredible. He averaged 20.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and even 2.3 blocks. There's no reason to doubt that he'll bring those talents to the NBA, but he needs to do some work first.
If Johnson does want to continue his dominance on the professional level, he needs to spend some time in the weight room. Another 20 pounds of muscle will make him a top force in the key as well as one of the most feared power forwards/centers in the NBA.
No. 30: Chandler Parsons, F, Florida
Chandler Parsons is easily one of the most underrated players in the draft. He has good size at 6'10" and 220 pounds and can simply do it all on the court. He can score on the inside, rebound the ball and, on occasion, nail a key three-pointer.
Like JaJuan Johnson, Parsons needs to spend some time in the weight room before even thinking about becoming a top NBA player. Once that happens and he's put on a team, he'll be just fine.
No. 31: Marshon Brooks, G, Providence
His Providence Friars might not have been that good of a team, but Marshon Brooks was the lone bright spot for that squad. He averaged 24.6 points and, even more amazing, seven rebounds. The latter stat is pretty incredible considering he's only 6'5" and weighs 190 pounds.
In the NBA, he'll primarily be used as a shooting guard. With his natural touch, he'll slowly become a threat.
No. 32: Trey Thompkins, F, Georgia
Trey Thompkins is 6'10" and weighs 245 pounds. Last season, he averaged 16.4 points and 7.6 rebounds to go with 1.7 blocks and even shot 31 percent from downtown. That being said, why is he so low on the big board?
Well, here's your answer, folks. Apparently, Thompkins has something of an attitude problem. In the NBA, there's just no room for that unless you play like Rasheed Wallace.
Thompkins is good, but he isn't Wallace good. Thus, unless he can keep his attitude in check, his future in the NBA could just be that of an average player.
No. 33: Davis Bertans, F, Latvia
Having watched a lot of footage of him, I really want Davis Bertans to do well in the NBA. Believe me, I do. Yet I just don't think he's ready.
He has the height at 6'10" but is just too small at 210 pounds. Scouts said that while talented, he looked lost in a traditional five-on-five setting.
That being said, if he enters the NBA now, I don't see him as anything more than Vitaly Potapenko 2.0. Such a shame considering how he can dunk with authority as well as shoot well from three-point land.
No. 34: Jeremy Tyler, F/C, Japan
Jeremy Tyler is an interesting player. He took the same route as Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings in that he chose to forgo college in favor of playing abroad. He played in Israel and Japan before entering his name in this year's draft.
There isn't much in terms of stats to go on regarding Tyler, but his size suggests that he will, with time, become a top big man in the NBA. He stands 6'11" and weighs 260 pounds and is just 20 years old.
An ideal location for him would be a team with an already established veteran center who can mentor him and prepare him for taking over that spot in the starting lineup someday.
Maybe Tim Duncan would like to volunteer his services.
No. 35: Nikola Vucevic, F, USC
In his junior year at USC, Nikola Vucevic made the most of his time on the court. He averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds and made 35 percent of his three-pointers. Yet compared to the rest of the offensive big men in the draft, Vucevic is at a disadvantage.
Last year also had the misfortune of being his breakout season, so some may view his decision to leave school a year early as foolish with his game still in need of fine-tuning. Still, when Vucevic is on, he is ON. Thus, he'll be fine with the right coaching.
No. 36: Nikola Mirotic, F, Montenegro
Nikola Mirotic is much like Davis Bertans. He's talented but just too small and unprepared for the NBA at this time. He's 6'10" and weighs just 210 pounds. Considering the size of other power forwards in the NBA, he'll get eaten alive.
Besides that, Mirotic only averaged 8.1 points and 3.8 rebounds last season for Real Madrid. Still, he's got long arms working for him. Thus, he could probably find work as a shot-blocker.
No. 37: Alex Tyus, F, Florida
This man flew under the radar until the start of the NCAA tournament this past year. At that point, he turned on the afterburners and became a rebounding machine. Against Jimmer Fredette and BYU, Tyus scored 19 points while also grabbing 17 boards.
He's small at 6'8", but Tyus could easily become a tough presence in the middle for a team in need of rebounding. The numbers might not be there, but the heart certainly is.
No. 38: Norris Cole, G, Cleveland State
Given his small size of 6'1" and 175 pounds, Norris Cole is just a freak of nature. As a senior, he averaged 21.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. The man is great at driving to the basket to draw a foul and has a decent three-point shot.
His size will keep him out of the first round, but let me sum up Cole's skills this way: He's everything Kyrie Irving would have been had he stayed in school.
No. 39: Isaiah Thomas, G, Washington
Much like Cole, Isaiah Thomas' size keeps him in the second half of the big board. Standing just 5'10", Thomas was the point guard of the Washington Huskies squad that won the Pac-10 last season. Still, he plays like someone much bigger.
Besides being a great passer and driving to the basket hard consistently, Thomas has one of the most beautiful shots I've ever seen. Combine that with his maturity, and he'll be great running the pick-and-roll for his future team.
No. 40: Malcolm Lee, G, UCLA
This man is a shooting guard who just shouldn't have entered the draft this year. He only averaged 13.1 points and shot 29 percent from downtown. Not exactly numbers you'd expect from a shooter.
Still, Lee's leadership qualities cannot be ignored. His teammates looked up to him, and with time he could become a decent bench guard in the NBA.
No. 41: Travis Leslie, G/F, Georgia
Here we have the best athlete of the 2011 NBA draft. At 6'4" and 205 pounds, it's amazing how Travis Leslie averaged 7.2 rebounds per game last year to go with his 14.4 points. Easily, he's this year's Landry Fields.
However, Leslie has a reputation for being something of a hot dog and showboater. If he doesn't mature by the start of the season, his time in the NBA will be relatively short.
No. 42: Cory Joseph, G, Texas
Cory Joseph will be the NBA point guard who comes off the bench and drains threes, much like Ron Harper in the latter stages of his career. As great an athlete as he is, his stats from his one year at Texas aren't impressive. He averaged just 10.4 points and three assists but shot 41 percent from three-point range.
Given how he seems to have one strength, he had better get used to using it on the professional level.
No. 43: Jon Leuer, F/C, Wisconsin
Jon Leuer has good size at 6'10", 225 pounds, but he has history working against him. More often than not, tall white American guys do not do that well on the NBA level. He averaged 18.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season, as well as shooting 37 percent from downtown, but how well will that translate to the pros?
I can see Leuer as a Christian Laettner type. He'll average anywhere from 10 to 15 points a game and pull down about five or six rebounds. More importantly, he'll be able to nail a clutch shot when needed.
Beyond that, however, his skills will be very limited.
No. 44: Jordan Williams, F, Maryland
Easily the toughest big man in the ACC, Jordan Williams will carry his toughness with him to the NBA. He stands 6'10" and weighs 260 pounds and will probably average about 13 and 10 a game on the professional level.
The only thing he needs to work on is his shot-blocking. Once that's taken care of, he'll be a threatening presence in the middle.
No. 45: Jimmy Butler, G, Marquette
Like Duke's Kyle Singler, Jimmy Butler is a great swingman. He can simply do it all, whether it's driving to the basket, putting up a three or playing solid defense. As is the case with most swingmen, the only issue awaiting Butler in the NBA is what his job will be exactly.
Either way, the team that drafts Butler is in for a treat. He's a great player and an even better leader. Look for him to slowly make his presence known in the pros.
No. 46: Keith Benson, C, Oakland
Benson is a 6'11", 230-pound center. His senior year, he averaged 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and an incredible 3.6 blocks per game. He also shot 39 percent from three-point range.
Need I say more?
No. 47: Rick Jackson, F, Syracuse
At 6'9", 240 pounds, Rick Jackson has the potential to be the second coming of Glen "Big Baby" Davis in the NBA. Easily the best big man in the Big East, he averaged 13.1 points and 10.3 rebounds to go with 2.5 blocks per game. It's no secret that his toughness will be missed in Syracuse next season.
He won't be a starting forward, but look for him to become a big man off the bench in the NBA. His offense might drop, but his defensive tenacity will never fade away.
No. 48: Demetri McCamey, G, Illinois
Mark my words: If there's going to be a second-round sleeper, it's going to be Demetri McCamey. His lack of point guard skills works against him, but he's so good at driving to the basket and shot selection that teams will be crazy to pass on him.
Let me put it this way. He only averaged 14.6 points last year but also shot 45 percent from three-point territory. On top of that, McCamey is a natural leader who, if called upon, will put the team on his back and carry it to victory.
No. 49: David Lighty, G, Ohio State
As a fifth-year senior, Lighty quickly established himself as a top shooting threat this past season. A true shooting guard, he averaged 12.1 points and shot 43 percent from downtown.
He's got the height for the NBA at 6'5" but lacks the athleticism that goes with his 220-pound frame. Either way, some team will give him a shot.
No. 50: Jon Diebler, G, Ohio State
This man is easily one of the deadliest shooters in NCAA history. Teams would be nuts not to pick him. Let's not forget that Jonny "3bler" made 10 three-pointers in one game against Penn State last season.
Thus, keep an eye out as Diebler becomes the second coming of Steve Kerr, but with twice the awesome.
No. 51: DeAndre Liggins, G, Kentucky
Given how he's listed as a guard, DeAndre Liggins certainly doesn't play like one. He only averaged 8.6 points per game last season and still decided to enter the NBA draft.
He might be good for sinking a three here and there, but I'm guessing that Liggins will be one of the last picks of this year's draft.
No. 52: E'Twaun Moore, G, Purdue
Another pure shooter, E'Twaun Moore is sure to have an opportunity to shine in the NBA. The only problem is that he has very few skills besides shooting.
He averaged 18 points per game last season on 40 percent three-point shooting, but his 5.1 rebounds per game won't follow him to the NBA. Until he works on his defense, he's destined to become a shooter and nothing more.
No. 53: Corey Stokes, G, Villanova
This man is a shooter. Nothing more, nothing less. The positive thing about that is he's good at it. In his senior season at Villanova, he shot 43 percent from beyond the arc.
Look for a team needing offense off the bench to gamble on Stokes.
No. 54: Charles Jenkins, G, Hofstra
Charles Jenkins is another electrifying shooter in this year's draft class. During his senior season at Hofstra, he averaged 22.6 points and made 42 percent of his threes. Yet that could ultimately be his undoing in the NBA.
While Jenkins is a great shooter, his 6'3" size will demand him to be a point man in the NBA. Given his lack of a strong passing game, he will struggle with that at first. Unless a team is willing to make him a full-time shooter, his career will be short-lived.
Such a shame for someone whose shots became legendary on YouTube.
No. 55: Jacob Pullen, G, Kansas State
Jacob Pullen had a great senior season in which he averaged 20.1 points per game, but that's sadly all there is to his game. Combine that with a small 6'1", 200-pound build, lack of defense and, worst of all, an attitude problem, and Pullen's chances of making it in the NBA are slim.
Unless some GM decides to draft him as a Nate Robinson type, he might not even make it off the big board.
No. 56: Ben Hansbrough, G, Notre Dame
As long as teams need shooters, there will be a spot for Ben Hansbrough in the NBA. Look for him and his 43 percent three-point shooting to be drafted late in the second round.
No. 57: Chris Wright, G, Georgetown
Chris Wright's stock fell after he broke his hand towards the end of the regular season. He's small for a point guard at 6'1", but his leadership skills and intangibles are just too good to pass up.
He won't be the point guard who shoots the lights out, but Wright can be a Derek Fisher type who makes effective passes as well as sinks clutch shots before going back to play lockdown defense.
The kid is a true leader, and he deserves his chance in the pros.
No. 58: Chris Wright, F, Dayton
Chris Wright is an enigmatic player. Sometimes he aims for more offense, and other times he's all about the defense. He averaged 13.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game last season, and given his role as a leader for the Dayton Flyers, teams will definitely be looking at him in the draft.
The only issue with him is consistency. To borrow a saying from Forrest Gump, Chris Wright is like a box of chocolates—you never know what you're going to get out of him. It's never a bad thing, but some certainty would be nice.
No. 59: Matt Howard, F, Butler
Here are three words to describe Matt Howard: leadership, toughness and adrenaline. Now to explain all three.
First, he was the ultimate leader for the Butler Bulldogs last season as the team reached its second consecutive NCAA championship game. Butler lost, but Howard never stopped showing the intense toughness he exhibited all tournament at any point.
Finally, it was obvious that his adrenaline was pumping, as his energy level never dropped.
His overall skills (16.4 points, 7.7 rebounds per game) may not follow him to the NBA, but it's no secret that Howard will be given a shot by a team and provide great depth off the bench.
No. 60: Cam Long, G, George Mason
When George Mason made another run to the NCAA tournament this year, Cam Long was the fearless leader and point guard. He averaged 15.1 points a game and basically carried the team before it lost to Ohio State.
The stat that stands out with Long is his 43 percent three-point field goal shooting, and if there's one stat that will carry him to the NBA, it's that.
It's not the prettiest shot, but look for a team rounding out its bench to give Long a shot in the second round of the draft.