This is the first update of the ’12 NBA Draft board. The first projections were just that. Projections. Now that we are almost a month into the college basketball season, let’s see who has moved up, down or off the draft board.
1. Perry Jones, Baylor – Probably the most skilled player in the draft. Can handle the ball at 6’10 and has range out to the three-point line. Needs to work on making his jump shot more consistent. Has only played two games this season, but I like what I have seen so far.
2. Harrison Barnes, North Carolina – He has taken his game to a whole new level in his sophomore season. He has improved his three-point % and overall field goal percentage. Can take over games with his offensive consistency.
3. Thomas Robinson, Kansas – Robinson has an NBA-ready body and the game to go with it. He has been the consistent force in the middle for Kansas while the rest of the team finds their roles. The dude can play ball. Averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds a game.
4. Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut – His offense has been unreal at times this season. Since UCONN’s lost to UCF, Lamb has been averaging 17 ppg and shooting 61% from the field. Making adjustments is a key to being successful at the next level.
5. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky – He might be the best player on Kentucky’s team. His numbers don’t overwhelm you, but he can score, defend, rebound, and make plays. What more do you need?
6. Anthony Davis, Kentucky – Didn’t play that well in Kentucky’s loss to Indiana. He is still a very talented player with a lot of upside. He needs to improve his offensive game if he wants his stock to rise.
7. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State – Despite the doubters saying that he won’t be effective at the next level, Sullinger has quietly gone about his business. Sullinger is averaging 19 and 10 and shooting 62% from the field. I think he can be effective at the next level.
8. Marcus Denmon, Missouri – He has surprised a lot of scouts and me with his play so far this season. Missouri is a very under-rated team and so is Denmon. Not big for a two-guard (6’3), but he plays smart and with heart. Did I mention he can score? (21.3 ppg)
9. Brad Beal, Florida – My first take on Beal was spot on wrong. Yes, he has been inconsistent at times, but he is averaging 15 ppg and is a big reason why the Florida Gators are ranked #12th in the nation.
10. Terrence Jones, Kentucky – I was disappointed that Jones didn’t show up in the clutch against the Hoosiers on Saturday. He sat out the last six minutes, I think, because he didn’t do anything when he was in the game. He is still a talent, but you have to question where his head is at sometimes.
11. John Henson, North Carolina – He has had a great season so far. Henson will, more than likely, win ACC Defensive Player of the Year, but he has also improved his offense. He has shown the ability to knock down jump shots and when you combined that with his shot-blocking ability, he could become a real player at the NBA level. He needs to put on some more weight though.
12. Austin Rivers, Duke – He is Duke’s best play-maker. Rivers has a smooth offensive game that makes him a hot prospect at the next level. Perhaps another year in school would do him good?
13. Andre Drummond, Connecticut – I am not afraid to admit that I have jumped off the Drummond-bandwagon. He hasn’t shown me much on the offensive end, except that he can miss free-throws. He is a good defender, but he needs to improve a lot before he moves up on this board.
14. Kevin Jones, West Virginia – If they haven’t already, NBA scouts will fall in love with this guy. He has improved his offense, decision-making, finishing around the rim, and defense. He is having a great senior season for the Mountaineers.
15. Royce White, Iowa State – Normally, you don’t want your power forward playing the point guard position. But that’s what Iowa State has White doing. White is averaging an absurd amount of turnovers (3.8), but he is averaging 4.1 assists per game. He can also score and rebound. He has an NBA-ready body.
16. William Buford, Ohio State – He can score and defend. Buford will be the x-factor if Ohio State reaches the Final Four.
17. Maalik Wayns, Villanova – He has continued his hot start. He is averaging close to 19 points a game (18.7) and over five assists per game (5.2).
18. John Jenkins, Vanderbilt – He can flat-out shoot. He might shoot up this draft board if he continues to have big games. Let’s see if he can dominate Kentucky and Florida the way he has been doing everyone else.
20. Tu Holloway, Xavier – His numbers are down a little bit from last season, but he is averaging two-less minutes per game. Now he is suspended for his involvement in the fight that took place against Cincinnati. Holloway is a play-maker that can play at the next level.
21. Mason Plumlee, Duke – Plumlee is extremely athletic. He has really come into “his own” this season. His numbers aren’t outstanding, but he has been consistent.
22. Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette – He can really score. His last few games haven’t been his best, but he will show up when he is needed most.
23. Draymond Green, Michigan State – He is the engine of the Spartans. He is their best play-maker and plays the power forward position. He reminds me of DeJuan Blair, but with better play-making ability.
24. Rodney Williams, Minnesota – He has really found himself over the past two weeks. Williams is long and athletic, with good play-making ability on the defensive end. Another guy who doesn’t have outstanding numbers, but he has serious potential.
25. Mike Moser, UNLV – Didn’t show up against Wisconsin and I don’t know why. Still, I think scouts should take a long, hard look at Moser. He can play.
26. Shabazz Napier, Connecticut – His scoring has dropped off since the beginning of the season, but the assists numbers are still there. So is his play-making ability, too.
27. Quincy Acy, Baylor – Acy has great defense ability. Long and athletic, he can block any shot he contests.
28. Tyler Zeller, North Carolina – Big-bodied, low-post player. Zeller has shown spurts of being a really good college player, but he has been inconsistent at times as well. I still think he is worth a first-round pick though.
29. Doug McDermott, Creighton – McDermott is one of the biggest surprises this season. He is averaging 24 ppg and 9 rpg. He is efficient and consistent. It has been a small sample size, but I don’t expect him to trend downward.
30. Tim Frazier, Penn State – Frazier is off most of scouts’ radars because he doesn’t play for a big-time basketball school. Frazier is averaging 17, 5, and 7 a game (points, rebounds, assists) and is only 6’1 and 160 lbs. He is a prospect.