NBA Draft Stock Watch

With the NBA Draft order set, mock drafts are now falling into order a lot easier. However, with the order set, that won’t provide answers for some of the most questionable prospects in the draft. When it comes to making it in the NBA, you have to have the size, strenght, IQ, and specific skill set based on position in order to make it in the NBA. While some players come in with all of the above, many lack 1 or 2 and this puts them on the fringe of where in the draft they go or if they even go at all. Lets take a look at some of the more questionable prospects in the draft.

Georgia State Guard, RJ Hunter

RJ Hunter had a decorated career at Georgia State under his dad as head coach. At 6’6, 190 pounds, Hunter definitely has the size and strength to play shooting guard at the next level. After averaging 19.7 points per game, theres no question if RJ can score. What scouts are taking a closer look at is his efficiency. Hunter was underwhelming shooting 39% from the floor and 31% from 3 point range. However, scouts are looking through that noticing he was the face of a team that relied on him to shoot a lot, sometimes contested and off balance jumpers. In the right system and role in the NBA, scouts thing he can 44% field goal and 40% 3 point shooter he was during the 2013-2014 season at Georgia State. Look for Hunter to go late in the 1st round.

Kentucky Guards, Andrew and Aaron Harrison

Both Aaron and Andrew Harrison were big time prospects coming out of high school. After a freshmen year that saw them play well but not spectacular, they decided to stay another year at Kentucky. Still both did not do much to help there cases for the NBA Draft. However, they’re leaving Kentucky for the NBA. At 6’6 about 210 pounds each they make for interesting guards in the NBA. Both can play point but aren’t necessarily great facilitators. Could they have been hurt by playing with so many other great players at Kentucky that their minutes and overall numbers were diluted? Sure, and thats what any NBA team is hoping if they draft them. These guys will look to be picked in the 2nd round or catch on with someone via Summer League play.

Syracuse Power Forward/Center Rakeem Christmas

Rakeem Christmas burst onto the scene this season for the Orange averaging 17.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. Problem is, this wasn’t your typical 25-7 Syracuse Orange squad. Christmas did if for an 18-13 team, 9-9 in ACC play and missed the Big Dance. Another red flag is senior season point total eclipsed his previous 3 years on campus point total together. Where was this Christmas the previous 3 years? Can he continue to play at this level for years to come? Can his 6’9 225 pound frame hang with the NBA big men? He’s a tough prospect to project but someone should take him in the 2nd round.

16 Remain

After one weekends worth of play, we have our Sweet Sixteen teams. Along the way, we saw one #1 seed, one #2 seed and two #3 seeds fall. #1 seeded Villanova lost to #8 seeded North Carolina State 71-68. #2 seeded Virginia lost to #7 seed Michigan State 60-54. Both #3 seeded Iowa State and Baylor lost in their opening round games to #14 seeds UAB and Georgia State.

Of the 16 teams that remain, 5 are seeded a 6 or higher, those teams are #6 Xavier, #7 Michigan State, #7 Wichita State, #8 North Carolina State, and #11 UCLA. UCLA is an interesting case. Many analyst didn’t even have UCLA as one of the last four out, so the fact that they made the tournament left many scratching their heads. UCLA has however since taken care of business defeating #6 Southern Methodist University and #14 UAB (defeated #3 Iowa State). UCLA will take on #2 Gonzaga on Friday. Gonzaga, who normally underperforms in the tournament took care of #7 Iowa who shocked many when they man handled #10 Davidson.

In the East of the bracket we no longer have #1 Villanova or #2 Virginia left. That leaves #3 Oklahoma and #4 Louisville as the top teams left in that region. Oklahoma takes on #8 North Carolina State while Louisville face #7 Michigan State. It will be interesting to see which team of these four emerges and punches their ticket to the Final Four.

No one has yet to knock off the #1 overall seed Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky took care of business with #16 Hampton in their opening round game and then took on #8 Cincinnati. While the Bearcats put up a fight, Kentucky in the end was still too much. The Wildcats now have #5 West Virginia on Thursday. Will Kentucky finish the season undefeated and tournament champs?