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NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (Elite Eight, Saturday Games)
by: Jonathan Givony - President, Mike Schmidt - D-League, NCAA Scout
March 26, 2006
A look at the prospects who helped and hurt themselves the most in the seventh day of action in the NCAA tournament.

Tyrus Thomas enters the conversation for the #1 overall pick with an explosive game on both ends of the floor in the biggest game of his career so far. Glen Davis completely outplays LaMarcus Aldridge both on the offensive and defensive end. Ryan Hollins awakens at just the right moment for UCLA. Rodney Carney and the Aldridge likely finish up their college careers with extremely disappointing performances. Those and much more in our seventh installment of the NCAA Tournament stock watch.

Sweet 16, Friday Games, Stock Up, Down and Neutral prospects

Sweet 16, Thursday Games, Stock Up, Down and Neutral prospects

Round of 32, Sunday Games, Stock Up, Down and Neutral prospects

Round of 32, Saturday Games, Stock Up prospects

Round of 32, Saturday Games, Stock Down and Neutral prospects

Round of 64, Thursday Games, Stock Up, Down and Neutral prospects

Round of 64, Friday Games, Stock Up, Down and Neutral prospects


Stock Up

Tyrus Thomas, 6-9, Freshman, PF, LSU

21 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 steal, 10-14 FG, 1-3 FT




Jonathan Givony

Read Tyrus_Thomas recently completed scouting report

If the Sweet 16 matchup with Duke on Thursday was Tyrus Thomas’ introduction to the national media and casual fans who are just now starting to pay attention to college basketball, his performance in the Elite Eight could be remembered as the one that permanently elevated him into the top 5 of the 2006 draft as well as firmly into the discussion for being the overall #1 pick.

Thomas did what we’ve come to expect from him in terms of defense and rebounding with 13 rebounds and 3 emphatic blocked shots, but it was what he showed on the offensive end of the ball this time, scoring 21 points, that really makes you wonder just how high his ceiling as a basketball player might be.

His presence was announced immediately to Texas’ outstanding frontcourt--considered one of the best in the NCAA—with an incredible tip-dunk he had jumping flatfooted directly underneath the rim to corral an offensive rebound with one hand from well above the cylinder and flush it down in one fluid motion. Texas had serious problems keeping a body on the slithery Thomas all game long as he was constantly in motion, losing his man on three different occasions for an effortless alleyoop within halfcourt sets. Till this point these were all things we’d seen many times out of Thomas, combined with the typical fantastic effort he put in defensively and on the glass that made this an extremely impressive first half performance with 8 points and 6 rebounds.

What we saw in the 2nd half was anything but expected, though. On two different occasions Thomas moved off the ball nicely and received it near the baseline from about 17 feet out. In both instances, Thomas put the ball on the floor and spotted up for a smooth looking mid-range jumper, which he swished impressively for a guy who has always been considered to be as raw as they come on the offensive end. He continued to show his perimeter skills by getting in the passing lanes on the other end and taking the ball the length of the floor to finish softly off the glass using his outstanding body control. On another occasion he again took the ball from the perimeter and attacked the hoop, spotting up this time for a face-up jumper inside the paint. This is the kind of offensive package no one would blink at if they saw from a small forward, but considering that Thomas is clearly just starting to figure out the type of player he is and will become after not having played any organized basketball until his junior year of high school, you have to wonder just how much untapped potential this late-blooming athletic freak has in him.

Thomas again showed his heartbeat, motor and passion after cramping up badly with 7 minutes and 30 seconds left in the game, leaving the floor in obvious pain but coming back into the game just a few minutes later before again coming to his knees in overtime after an emphatic rebound.

With LSU locking up a trip to the Final Four, there is just no telling how high his stock could rise now, as he’s shown to be as worthy a candidate as any player of being the #1 overall pick, especially with the inconsistency fellow candidates LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay have shown in the tournament so far. Any talk of staying another year has obviously become a moot point as there is simply no way to convince him that his stock will be any higher next year and he’s proven that he can hang with any player in the country regardless of his high school recruiting hype.




Glen Davis, 6-8, Sophomore, Center, LSU

26 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 block, 1 steal, 11-19 FG, 1-2 3P, 3-5 FT




Jonathan Givony

Glen Davis went a long way in proving his many doubters (of which we were a firm part) wrong with the way he performed in his matchup with potential #1 overall pick LaMarcus Aldridge. He absolutely outplayed him on both ends of the floor even though he noticeably gave up 3-4 inches, despite the two only being listed an inch apart officially.

Davis used his outstanding combination of strength, skill, incredible nimble feet and intelligence to have his way with Aldridge both offensively and defensively. He powered his way into the lane on a number of occasions and altered the release of his shot well enough to prevent the extremely long Texas center from sending it back.

Aldridge barely attempted to take the ball strong at Davis on the other end and instead was forced to settle for weak turnaround jumpers and soft fadeaways all game long. On the glass, Davis overcame his lack of length and vertical leap to snatch away a number of rebounds which were right in Aldridge’s area, knowing how to use his body to carve out space and letting his incredibly soft hands do the rest. He was in constant attack mode the entire game and scored in a variety of ways, whether it was with the jump hook, the soft mid-range jumper off the dribble or fading away, or even an unlikely 3-pointer in overtime that might have been the dagger for the Tigers.

It’s still not entirely clear to this particular writer how his game translates to the next level, but Davis has done almost everything in his power to convince that it will, and may have earned himself his fair share of looks in the first round based on the way he played.




Ryan Hollins, 7-0, Senior, PF/C, UCLA

14 points, 9 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, 6-7 FG, 2-11 FT




Jonathan Givony

For four long years, UCLA fans have been waiting for their highly touted and incredibly underachieving 7 foot athletic freak to begin to realize his potential. Thankfully for them, it finally came at the best time possible, as Hollins was the lone bright spot in an astonishingly ugly game that saw them advance to the Final Four.

Hollins had a major case of senior urgency once March of his final season rolled around, putting up some of the best statlines of his entire career in a 3 week span leading up to tonight’s game.

It started with an extremely impressive 9 points in the first 9 minutes on 4/4 shooting from the field. He was extremely active around the hoop, going up strong to the basket time after time with some exceptionally athletic moves, being very active on the glass. He got his hands on all kinds of rebounds, and played with the type of energy and confidence that we just hadn’t seen out him in any game outside of this 3 week stretch.

He used his quickness to draw 2 quick fouls on the same monster athlete and body in Joey Dorsey that gave Patrick O’Bryant so many problems in the Sweet 16, and got to the line a career high 11 times. Hollins amazingly only converted on two of those attempts, but considering the soft touch he usually shows from mid-range, this has to be more a product of jitters at this huge stage rather than an inability to actually knock down a free throw.

A few of the moves he made taking the ball to the basket and using his exceptional length to finish are the type of plays that few big men in college basketball can make. Hollins slithered his way around the defense, made two massive strides towards the hoop and took off for a jam from very far from the rim but still managed to convert in impressive fashion. Drawing a charge on one particular play, a move he has always been far too soft to make in the past, really shows us that the lightbulb might be finally coming on for him at just the right moment for UCLA. Hollins showed us sparks of potential at times over the past few years, but it was always the kind of fleeting effort that made you wonder why he can’t do more often. We considered him a strong candidate for a Portsmouth invite in an article last month right before he broke out, but now if he shows up, there might actually be some excitement from scouts about seeing what he can do outside of UCLA’s system.




Stock Neutral

Darius Washington Jr., 6-2, Sophomore, Point Guard, Memphis

13 points, 5 steals, 4 rebounds, 5-6 FT, 4 turnovers


Mike Schmidt

Washington was the only member of the Tigers who really showed up today, though he couldn’t do quite enough to get his team the victory. He was pretty quiet in the first half, running the offense more than looking for his own shot. Though he mostly made good decisions, there were a few occasions when Washington drove too far into the lane with no place to go with the ball. Darius came out in the second half and tried to shoulder the scoring load for Memphis, as it was quite obvious that his team was on the verge of a blowout if someone didn’t try to make something happen. He used his blazing speed and body control to make some nice layups in traffic, and generally showed more fire and passion than any of his teammates combined. When Washington wasn’t able to finish in traffic, he was able to initiate some contact to get himself to the free throw line. He used his quick hands to create turnovers, which led to 5 steals throughout the game, but still might have gambled a little too much on defense. In crunch time, Washington made a nice driving layup, but passed up a couple good looks to give the ball to his struggling teammates who appeared to be more open but still missed badly regardless. It is good for a point guard to defer to his teammates, but Darius could have been much more assertive with his own scoring in crunch time, considering his teammates struggled the whole game.

Though Darius Washington performed well in the NCAA Tournament, it wasn’t enough for his team to get to the final foul. If he didn’t struggle with a thigh injury throughout the season, he might be the perfect candidate to enter the NBA draft. Right now, Washington will have to evaluate his draft stock and decide if he would like to enter the draft. There is certainly a possibility that Washington could receive some interest from the NBA somewhere in the first round, but he might be best served returning to school to try and solidify himself as a lottery pick in 2007.




PJ Tucker, 6-5, Junior, Small Forward, Texas

10 points, 4-11 FG, 13 rebounds, 6 assists


Mike Schmidt

After a marvelous season winning the Big 12 player of the year award and being the most consistent player for Texas all season, Tucker struggled a bit on the offensive end against LSU and is now on his way back to Austin. He hit a couple shots from 15 feet out, but his usual post up shots and layup attempts near the basket just weren’t falling for him consistently. Tucker did make his second three pointer of the season late in the game, and was a beast on the boards as usual. He also displayed some very nice passing ability throughout the game, and finished with 6 assists. The transition Tucker has made from being a post player to a fulltime wing has gone very smoothly thus far, and he has the tools to be a power 3 in the NBA. All early indications now point to PJ entering the NBA draft to see where he stands in the eyes of the league. To best help his draft stock and work his way into the first round, Tucker will have to display the ability to hit his perimeter shot with consistency, as well the potential to defend the type of quicker wing players we usually find on the perimeter in the NBA.




Stock Down

LaMarcus Aldridge, 6-11, Sophomore, PF/C, Texas

4 points, 2-14 FG, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks




Mike Schmidt

For the second time in the NCAA tournament, Aldridge followed a dominant performance with a no-show, playing very tentatively against the much bigger Glen Davis and the super-athletic Tyrus Thomas. Aldridge proved that he will need to continue to add bulk to his frame, as Davis took him out of position with his width and strength the entire game. His shot wasn’t falling either, and rather than attacking the basket to try and draw contact, he settled for fadeways and turnaround jumpers throughout the entire game.

On the defensive side of the ball, he was better, though he found himself caught out of position a couple times, which lead to easy hoops for the LSU bigs. Aldridge did use his length to block 5 shots, however, 3 of them coming on Davis, and was pretty good handling the glass with the exception of a few instances in which he didn’t go up strong enough for the rebound. He made a few small fundamental errors that young big men often make, including bringing the ball down on an offensive rebound rather than holding it high and going right back up to the hoop. This off game came at the worst possible time for Aldridge as well, considering we now know it was his last game of the season, and his struggles came against some NBA-caliber big men.

Though he struggled against LSU, Aldridge proved throughout the season that he possesses all the raw tools necessary to become a dominant NBA big man. His use of these tools has been inconsistent throughout the entire season, but he is still young and improving as a player. Aldridge is in a good position to declare for the draft and take advantage of the potential he has displayed throughout the season, although he has been implying that he might not. A couple bad performances here or there don’t take away from the player that he can become, but it does lead us to believe that it will take him some time to establish himself as a legit presence in the NBA.




Rodney Carney, 6-7, Senior, SG/SF, Memphis

5 points, 2-12 FG, 2 rebounds, 4 fouls, 26 minutes


Mike Schmidt

In his last college game, Carney struggled like he has in many games throughout his college career. He couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end of the ball throughout the game, and his frustration got him in foul trouble on the defensive end. In games where Carney can’t get into the offensive flow in the first few minutes, he usually struggles, and this was no exception. Against UCLA, he kept taking the ball to the hoop, but shied away from contact near the rim, and didn’t finish inside. His three point shot never went down until the points were meaningless, and Carney’s only real contribution came on a 12 foot turnaround within the first 10 minutes of play.

Carney’s last college game proved why his draft stock is hard to gauge. After having a great game against Bradley, he was nowhere to be found. For a senior player especially it might be hard for NBA teams to invest a top 10 pick in a player who has been so up and down with their game throughout his career. There is no doubt that Rodney Carney will impress the scouts with his physical abilities and perimeter shooting at the workouts and in the combine, but their will always be some doubt about how ready and able he is to contribute over a grueling 82 game season until he actually goes out and does it.




Shawne Williams, 6-9, Freshman, SF/PF, Memphis

8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 2 steals, 2-10 FG, 1-5 3P, 3-6 FT


Mike Schmidt

Williams started off the college season hot, but regressed significantly shortly after and performed extremely inconsistently throughout the year. In his final game of the season against UCLA, Williams played like a freshman. On offense he is out of control driving to the hoop too often, as he appears to make up his mind on what he is going to do before he even sees what the defense is giving him and regardless displays average ball-handling skills. Williams displayed some ability to post up smaller players, but he was unable to finish any of his moves. His horrendous shot-selection which has been killing him all season long again came back to haunt him tonight, and despite his excellent form and hot shooting early in the season, the 6-9 college power forward will finish his freshman year shooting just 42% from the field and 31% from behind the arc on nearly 5 attempts per game.

Though he has very good long term potential, Shawne Williams lacks a great deal of polish and experience right now, not to mention a true NBA position. It would be wise for him to stay in college another season to work on his game, because it’s very difficult to see any way in which he could slip into the first round considering the talent we find at the wing positions in this year’s draft.




Daniel Gibson, 6-3, Sophomore, Shooting Guard, Texas

15 points, 5-12 FG, 3 rebounds, 1 assist


Mike Schmidt

Against LSU Daniel Gibson once again showed us why he doesn’t need to just go back to school, he needs to fly back. His shot selection throughout the entire game was shaky, and his decision making looked as bad as ever when in the rare instance that he would put the ball on the floor. Gibson again showed that he lacks the point guard skills to play the position at the NCAA level, which is the main reason he needs to return to college. Gibson sometimes displays good passing ability and has awesome penetration ability, but appears totally lost when trying to run a half court set, the reason he was moved off the ball earlier in the season. He has good scoring ability and nice athleticism, and has all the physical attributes necessary for a point guard at the next level, but has yet to put anything together on the mental side of the game. If Daniel Gibson can return to Texas and show some kind of point guard skills in his junior year, he might have a chance to start thinking about the NBA again next season.
 
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Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com mike.schmidt@draftexpress.com .

 

Tyrus Thomas
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 217 lbs.
Birthday: 08/17/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: McKinley
Previous Team: LSU , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #4 in 2006 Draft
by the Trailblazers
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
6.8 Pts, 4.3 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


Glen Davis
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 298 lbs.
Birthday: 01/03/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: University
Previous Team: LSU , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #5 in 2007 Draft
by the Supersonics
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
4.0 Pts, 2.3 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


LaMarcus Aldridge
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 234 lbs.
Birthday: 07/19/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Seagoville
Previous Team: Texas , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 2006 Draft
by the Bulls
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
15.4 Pts, 6.6 Rebs, 3.4 Asts


Ryan Hollins
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 10/10/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Muir
Previous Team: UCLA , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #20 in 2006 Draft
by the Bobcats
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
2.6 Pts, 2.8 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Rodney Carney
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 204 lbs.
Birthday: 04/05/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Indianapolis Northwest
Previous Team: Memphis , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #16 in 2006 Draft
by the Bulls
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
5.0 Pts, 2.0 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Rudy Gay
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 222 lbs.
Birthday: 08/17/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Spalding
Previous Team: Connecticut , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #8 in 2006 Draft
by the Rockets
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
12.3 Pts, 3.5 Rebs, 2.3 Asts


Joey Dorsey
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 265 lbs.
Birthday: 12/16/1983
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Laurinburg Institute
Previous Team: Barcelona , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #3 in 2008 Draft
by the Trailblazers
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible:
Quick Stats:
2.2 Pts, 4.0 Rebs, 0.4 Asts


Patrick O'Bryant
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 249 lbs.
Birthday: 06/22/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Blaine
Previous Team: Bradley , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #9 in 2006 Draft
by the Warriors
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
9.1 Pts, 6.6 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Darius Washington
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birthday: 12/07/1985
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Edgewater
Previous Team: Nymburk , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
10.0 Pts, 5.5 Rebs, 4.0 Asts


PJ Tucker
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 05/05/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Enloe
Previous Team: Suns , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #5 in 2006 Draft
by the Raptors
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
5.1 Pts, 5.9 Rebs, 1.7 Asts


Shawne Williams
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 227 lbs.
Birthday: 02/16/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Laurinburg Institute
Previous Team: Memphis , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #17 in 2006 Draft
by the Pacers
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
9.0 Pts, 4.8 Rebs, 1.1 Asts


Daniel Gibson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 02/28/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Jesse Jones
Previous Team: Texas , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #12 in 2006 Draft
by the Cavaliers
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
5.4 Pts, 1.3 Rebs, 1.8 Asts


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