How the Lottery portion of the 2007 Draft fared in the NCAA Tournament
|07 Draft Lottery||Position||Player||Placement|
|Kevin Durant||Second Round|
|Mike Conley Jr||Finals|
|Jeff Green||Final Four|
|Brandan Wright||Elite Eight|
|Acie Law||Sweet 16|
|Thaddeus Young||First round|
|Julian Wright||Elite Eight|
How the Lottery portion of the 2006 Draft fared in the NCAA Tournament
|06 Draft Lottery||Position||Player||Placement|
|LaMarcus Aldridge||Elite Eight|
|Adam Morrison||Sweet 16|
|Tyrus Thomas||Final Four|
|Shelden Williams||Sweet 16|
|Brandon Roy||Sweet 16|
|Randy Foye||Elite Eight|
|Rudy Gay||Elite Eight|
|Patrick OBryant||Sweet 16|
|J.J. Redick||Sweet 16|
|Hilton Armstrong||Elite Eight|
|Ronnie Brewer||First Round|
How this years projected Lottery has fared thus far
|08 Draft Lottery||Position||Player||Placement|
How they Went Out
Considering this is likely the last time well be writing about the way these players performed in a college game, a short summary of how the projected lottery picks fared in their final showing is probably in order.
Michael Beasley, 6-9, Freshman, PF, Kansas
#11 seed Kansas State moved on to face #3 seed Wisconsin, a team that ended up being just too smart, disciplined, fundamental and well-coached for them to handle. He started off the game well, but did not show great poise down the stretch against this extremely stingy defensive team, forcing the issue even more than he typically does, driving into bricks walls in the lane in out of control fashion, and settling for off-balance fade-aways from outside, which just wouldnt fall for him in the second half. He played extremely poorly on the defensive end in particular, which has been his biggest weakness all season long. He at times struggles to maintain his focus on both ends of the floor, losing his concentration and making poor decisions. He contributed very little to his team in the second half, but one poor stretch of basketball obviously doesnt erase an entire season of fantastic play, so he still looks like the sure-fire #1 pick barring any major surprises.
Jerryd Bayless, 6-3, Freshman, PG/SG, Arizona
Bayless did not make up for his lack of aggression offensively with his play on the other end of the floor unfortunately. He struggled to fight through screens on numerous occasions, giving his matchup plenty of time to set his feet and get a clean shot off. When he was defending players head on, his lack of length, height and energy was clearly a poor mix in terms of contesting shots. Its pretty obvious that Bayless is going to have problems defending the 2-guard positionunless he improves dramatically here, that is probably something his next coach will have to live with. Were still talking about a supreme talent obviously, a virtual lock to be drafted in the top 10, but its pretty clear that Bayless peaked midway through the season and not at the very end. We must keep in mind that hes only a freshman, though.
O.J. Mayo, 6-5, Freshman, PG/SG, Southern Cal
Blake Griffin, 6-10, Freshman, Power Forward, Oklahoma
Griffin exhibited his typical combination of outstanding athleticism and terrific body control with his back to the basket and finishing around the paint, which is a cinch for him considering his huge hands, explosive leaping ability, great strength and extremely soft touch. He has excellent footwork and is very creative with the type of pivot moves he likes to use, often finishing with a sweet finesse move, a mix of scoop/flip shots and turnaround jumpers. If his first shot didnt fall, he was extremely quick off his feet and tenacious as always looking for the offensive rebound. He looks a lot more patient than he did earlier in the season, and has definitely adapted himself nicely to college basketball, even if he may not be around for too much longer.
Defensively, Griffin still doesnt seem to play with a great sense of urgency, either denying space in the post or closing out on shooters on the perimeter. This isnt anything shocking considering his youth, but when you look at how hard he plays offensively, you have to wonder why that doesnt translate as well to the other end of the floor. His skill-level also isnt incredibly high at this point, as he struggles finishing with his left hand and doesnt have much ability to face the basket, which he doesnt really need to quite yet.
Griffin has a lot of room to improve on his all-around game, but also has a great deal of talent to help accomplish that. Once considered a lock to return for his sophomore season, a sprained MCL in one knee and a partially torn meniscus in another has at least given him cause for pause in regard to that final decision. Recent rumors since Oklahoma was eliminated indicate that he is a lot more likely to enter the draft than once thought, especially if his head coach Jeff Capel decides to leave for greener pastures (South Carolina?), which is looking more and more likely by the day apparently.
Eric Gordon, 6-3, Freshman, Shooting Guard, Indiana
Neither has his shot selection, though Gordon continued to heave up bowling balls from well beyond the NBA 3-point line (some of which werent even close), even though he obviously needed to get himself easier shots at the rim. When he did try and take the ball to the basket, though, he was often met by Arkansas 7-footer Steven Hill, who managed to send back at least three of his dunks. Gordon was forcing the issue inside the arc too, settling for tough fade-away jumpers with bigger and longer defenders draped all over him contesting his shot, and he had very little success on those either. The refs didnt do him any favors, as he was called for a palming violation, a travel and two offensive fouls which could have gone either way. Gordons average ball-handling skills and lack of mid-range look like more and more of an issue these dayssome scouts we spoke with are even questioning just how athletic he truly is, which we still somewhat disagree with. At this point, a lot of his problems seem to be mental, see him missing 4 of 6 free throws in this game as a perfect example, if the constant scowl he had on his face wasnt a clear enough sign. That's really not a big surprise considering the turmoil Indiana has gone through, which has to have played a role in the slump he's in. Gordon should be able to rebound during the pre-draft process with some strong workouts and much needed positive PR, but there will be question marks about just how heavily to weigh the last 6 weeks of the regular season against the first 12 until he actually steps out on an NBA court.
DeAndre Jordan, 7-0, Freshman, Center, Texas A&M
Defensively, things werent any better. He left his defender wide open for at least four wide open jump-shots, not hedging and recovering quickly or aggressively enough on pick and roll plays, and did a poor job denying position inside the paint, which gave Kevin Love a fairly easy jump-hook shot right over him. His lack of awareness was really exposed when he was supposed to switch on a screen and cover Darren Collison, but instead tried to get his teammate to switch back in mid-possession, and ended up giving up an easy 3-pointer.
Jordan did not finish off the season very well at all, scoring in double-digits just four times in all of January, February and March, after he was able to do so nine times in November and December. Its pretty obvious by now that Jordan is a project with a capital P, one that will demand a great deal of nurturing and patience before hes able to contribute much of anything in the NBA. He obviously needs another year in college to help prepare him for the pros, but the danger of not improving enough and damaging his stock badly may be too much to risk, even if its rumored that he is currently leaning towards staying. Thats the sad state of the NBA draft unfortunately. Jordan will have to develop a great work ethic and love for the game if hes going to have any chance of achieving his great potential.
Chase Budinger, 6-7, Sophomore, SG/SF, Arizona
The other end of the ball was a completely different story, though. Budinger struggled badly on virtually every defensive possession he was directly involved with, struggling to fight through screens, giving up too much space on the perimeter, not being very physical or aggressive, getting beat off the dribble due to his poor lateral quickness, and at times not even getting a hand up trying to contest shots. In the 10 defensive possessions we counted that he was directly responsible for, he got scored on nine times (giving up five 3-pointers, and one 3-point play), for a total of 24 points. The one stop he got (more due to his matchup missing an open look than any great defense) resulted in an offensive rebound and put-back for West Virginia. This part of his game is a big concern NBA scouts have with Budinger, and its something he must put more effort into at the next level.
Budinger came into this season sporting somewhat unrealistic expectations about the type of player he truly is, partially stemming from fact that Lute Olsen called him the best freshman I ever coached. Some were disappointed that he failed to assert himself as a go-to guy for Arizona, as thats just not the player he is. Even though he couldnt quite live up to the hype, he is still an excellent prospect, and will likely develop into an outstanding role player in the NBA. With Olsen now returning to Arizona after a year off, Budinger has a tough decision in front of him regarding whether to leave for the NBA.