Dee Brown finishes his college career on a sour note in a loss to Washington. Ron Steele exits but not before he shows the entire country that one of the best PGs in America will be playing for Alabama next season. Adam Morrison struggles badly from the field but still manages to advance to the Sweet 16. Marco Killingsworth is eliminated from the tournament after not disappointing in his last game against Gonzaga.
The Stock UP prospects for this round can be found HERE.
Dee Brown, 60, Point Guard, Senior, Illinois
15 points, 6 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals, 5-18 FG, 2-6 3P, 3-3 FT
To his credit Brown managed to get himself together and with 5 minutes made a 180 degree turnaround back to the player the entire nation grew to adore these past few years. He executed extremely well on the pick and roll and even started having success taking the ball to the hoop. A buzzer beating 3-pointer capped off an outstanding run that cut the deficit to just two points at the half. He continued his excellent play for most of the 2nd half as Illinois built up a comfortable lead, looking at his absolute best pushing the tempo of the game in transition and getting his teammates involved.
Brown then went cold again with about 7 minutes to go in the game, not even making one field goal during that stretch. A poorly executed play to try and tie the game with 6 seconds remaining in the game resulted in a contested 30 foot 3-point attempt that went off the back of the rim, ending Browns fantastic college career on a sour note, and again showing us how tough it can be to create space for himself to operate.
His fate is now in the hands of whichever agent he will choose and the NBA GMs who will watch him travel around the country for private workouts. Hes made a pretty good case for himself to be drafted in the 1st round, but that now depends on how he performs from here on out as well as how many underclassmen decided to enter the draft.
Ron Steele, 6-2, Point Guard, Sophomore, Alabama
21 points, 4 assists, 4 turnovers, 5-11 FG, 2-6 3P, 9-10 FT
Despite the loss in the second round, Ron Steele proved on the national stage that he should be mentioned when talking about the best point guards in the nation. He is showing much better scoring ability than he did his freshman season, and has rock solid point guard skills as well. Over the past month of the season, Steele proved that he can lead a team and be productive in the clutch while vastly elevating his draft stock. Though it is doubtful that he declares this season, watch out for Ron Steele next season when he has a chance to be the man on Alabama next to some more polished players and solidify himself as one of the best point guard prospects in the country.
Jermareo Davidson, 6-10, Junior, PF/C, Alabama
12 points, 5-7 FGs, 1 block
As a junior, it would be perfect if Davidson could enter his name into the draft this year to test his stock and stay in if he hears what he likes. Unfortunately he already burned his draft card last season, making that a non-option unless he is willing to jeopardize his very obvious NBA future by being drafted in the 2nd round, as he is clearly not ready for the NBA. He proved to be a capable offensive player in his two games in the NCAA tournament, but his help defense and rebounding displays against UCLA and throughout this season were less than desirable for a player going into the draft. It would be best for Jarmareo Davidson to return his senior year and prove he can be a dominant force inside on both ends of the floor to solidify a slot in the first round. Otherwise hell be playing with fire.
Tyrus Thomas, 69, Freshman, Power Forward, LSU
7 points, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 assist, 3/4 FG, 1/1 FT, 20 minutes
Offensively, Tyrus showed off some excellent ball handling skills, breaking down his defender time after time from the perimeter and making his way inside the paint. Playing outside of the paint is nothing new to Thomas, as he was a guard until his junior year of high school before he shot up from 511 to 68. The Louisiana native showed great passing ability from the high post as well, getting the ball to Glen Davis with no problems whatsoever. Not to be forgotten of course, Tyrus topped the night off with one of his signature emphatic slam dunks that got the crowd off their feet.
NBA scouts realize that Tyrus Thomas is a very rare player athletically, and is just beginning to tap into the immense amount of potential that he has. At 69 and 215 lbs., he has a frame suitable of adding another 20 lbs, and still might not be done growing. Despite the talk of definitely staying another year, we wouldnt be surprised at all to see this athletic freak throw his name in the draft this year and wind up shaking the commissioners hand during the top half of the lottery. The serious injury that had him on crutches just a few weeks ago has apparently made him think twice about the virtues of passing up being a surefire lottery pick.
Acie Law, 6-3, Point Guard, Junior, Texas A&M
15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 5-16 FG
For the second game in a row, Law proved that hes a player that should have the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. His mid-range jumper with 17 seconds left broke a tie, and it took an amazing three point by Darrel Mitchell to top his shot. Law has the ability to get into the lane very easily thanks to his outstanding quickness and body control, and has a pretty nice stroke on the perimeter to boot. In this game, his shot wasnt falling for most of the game, but he still made plays for his team and gave them a chance to win.
If Acie Law can come back his senior year and prove that he can be more of a consumate floor general, his draft stock will improve drastically. Right now hes a good passer, but doesnt really control the offense the way an NBA point guard should. Law really opened some eyes in the tournament with his clutch play, and has one more year to boost his stock solidly into the 1st round.
Adam Morrison, 6'8, Junior, Small Forward, Gonzaga
14 points, 9 rebounds, 5-17 FG, 4-7 FT
Upon returning, Morrison quit looking for his own offense. With Indiana's best defenders still shadowing him relentlessly, the lane opened up for Erroll Knight, Jeremy Pargo, Sean Mallon, and other slashing 'Zags. Morrison focused on other things that we don't see from him very often, such as defense and rebounding. And of course, it was Morrison's driving layin with 3:01 to play that ended the Indiana rally, shifting the momentum back to Gonzaga.
It should be noted that Gonzaga didn't need a great game out of Morrison tonight. He should be commended for recognizing that it wasn't his night, and deferring to his teammates. At the same time, I have to wonder if we would have seen a more productive Morrison on one of these nights at the beginning of the year. That amazing ability to backcut at the perfect time, the relentless running of the floor, and the countless easy points around the basket (only 7 FTA's on the night) just weren't there tonight, and haven't been there as much in the latter stages of the season. Even as far as getting his teammates involved, you would think Morrison could have registered more than 1 assist on the evening with all the attention he was getting.
Nonetheless, every player has an off night. It will be interesting to see how Morrison responds in the Sweet Sixteen, going up against a great defensive team in UCLA.
Marco Killingsworth, 6'8, Senior, Power Forward, Indiana
12 points, 5 rebounds, 6-13 FG
At the same time, Killingsworth displayed many of the traits that have earned him a bit of a "one dimensional" label. He was thoroughly dominated by JP Batista on the defensive end, wasn't much of a factor on the glass, and committed 4 turnovers (right at his season average). Most importantly, it was Killingsworth's foolish decision early in the second half to talk back to an official that led to a technical foul and a spot on the bench. Indiana was completely overmatched on the interior without him, and he wasn't a factor the rest of the way.
In the end, this wasn't a stock destroying game for Killingsworth. The issues mentioned have been evident since early in the Big Ten season. However, this was a missed opportunity for Killingsworth to show off what he can do against a player that he will likely be competing against for a spot in the draft.
Joseph Jones, 69, Sophomore, PF/C, Texas A&M
6 points, 3/8 FG, 4 rebounds, 4 fouls, 2 turnovers in 18 minutes
After this performance, it should be a no-brainer that Jones returns to the Aggies next year. While he did have an impressive sophomore campaign, the Texas native still has a ways to go before he should consider entering the draft. Being an undersized power forward at only around 6'8 or so who plays below the rim, after another year of development and more emphasis on rebounding we might be able to talk about Jones as a prospective NBA player. Right now, though, those talks are a bit premature.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu, 6-9, Senior, PF/C, George Washington
4 points, 2 rebounds, 2-5 FG, 3 fouls, 13 minutes
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