NCAA Tournament: Stock Watch (round of 32, #1), Stock DOWN/NEUTRAL

NCAA Tournament: Stock Watch (round of 32, #1), Stock DOWN/NEUTRAL
Mar 19, 2006, 03:34 am
A look at the prospects who hurt themselves the most or didn't do anything to their stock in the third day of action in the NCAA tournament.

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.

Stock Neutral

Dee Brown, 6’0, Point Guard, Senior, Illinois

15 points, 6 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals, 5-18 FG, 2-6 3P, 3-3 FT


Jonathan Givony

This was obviously not the way Dee Brown wanted to end his college career. Starting off the game about as poorly as we’ve seen all season, it was a miracle that Illinois even managed to stay in it until the very end. Brown had doughnuts on his stat-line until there were 5 minutes left in the first half, coming up with 0 points, 0 assists and 0 rebounds on 0-6 shooting and facing a 14 point deficit. He was completely shut down during this stretch by extremely long and athletic 6-7 swingman Bobby Jones, smothered by his size and length and unable to create anything for himself off the dribble. We’ve spoken about the weaknesses he has creating shots for himself off the bounce, but here Brown was completely exposed.

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 Brown’s 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. He’s 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

Mike Schmidt

After leading Alabama to victory in the first round against Marquette, Ron Steele had a good game against UCLA, but came short of advancing to the Sweet 16. Unlike in the opening round, Steele didn’t get as many assists against UCLA, but he did score efficiently and attacked the paint enough to get 10 free throw attempts for the game. A few times late in the game, Steele committed to his decision too soon, which lead to a couple of turnovers when he didn’t have anywhere to go with the ball. He made a few clutch shots down the stretch, including three free throws after being fouled in the act of shooting, but in the end it wasn’t enough. Steele did show off his awesome handle, and his ability to kick the ball out from the lane.

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

Mike Schmidt

After dominating Marquette inside in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Davidson displayed flashes of an even more polished offensive game against UCLA. He made a few nice moves inside where he was able to control his body and wait until there was no threat of his shot being blocked before putting the ball in the hoop. Davidson also hit 3 mid-range shots within the flow of the offense, and was a threat to score every time he touched the ball. He did next to nothing on the glass, however, and played some very clueless help defense. UCLA drove the ball into the paint throughout the entire game, and neither Davidson nor his teammates were able to stop them from scoring inside.

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 he’ll be playing with fire.

Tyrus Thomas, 6’9, Freshman, Power Forward, LSU

7 points, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 assist, 3/4 FG, 1/1 FT, 20 minutes


Rodger Bohn

While the SEC Freshman of the Year is still coming off of a severe ankle injury, he has dramatically changed each of LSU’s two tournament games on the defensive end. Thomas’ incredible leaping ability combined with his good timing make any opposing player coming into the lane think twice about shooting the ball. Helpside defense aside, the redshirt freshman did a great job of playing man to man defense in the post, staying out of foul trouble, and contesting every single shot that his man put up.

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 5’11 to 6’8. 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 6’9 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 wouldn’t be surprised at all to see this athletic freak throw his name in the draft this year and wind up shaking the commissioner’s 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

Mike Schmidt

It was easy to see Acie Law’s value to the Aggies tonight against LSU. 2 minutes and 38 seconds into the game, Law picked up his second foul and was forced to go to the bench. A few minutes later he returned to the floor when his team only had 1 point scored in the game. Law led them back from a double digit deficit, and the first half ended with a tie. The game continued to be close the entire way and Law made some clutch plays in the 2nd half to give his team a chance to win, but it just wasn’t enough against the more talented LSU squad.

For the second game in a row, Law proved that he’s 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 wasn’t 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 he’s a good passer, but doesn’t 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.

Stock Down

Adam Morrison, 6'8, Junior, Small Forward, Gonzaga

14 points, 9 rebounds, 5-17 FG, 4-7 FT

Jonathan Watters


We all know Adam Morrison is impossible to stop on most nights. But what about when he's not hitting 15 foot fadeaways and contested 3-pointers with ease? Tonight was an opportunity to see Morrison when he's not at his best. The results were somewhat mixed. After a quiet first half in which JP Batista shouldered most of the scoring load, Morrison attempted to take over early in the second. After bricking several contested jumpers, he initiated an altercation with Indiana's Roderick Wilmont underneath the basket, which led to a double technical foul. Mark Few quickly pulled Morrison from the game.

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

Jonathan Watters

Marco Killingsworth had a great opportunity to impress the scouts tonight against a big-name opponent (JP Batista) that probably didn't have the physical tools to defend him very effectively. Unfortunately, Killingsworth wasn't up to the task. While he still managed to score on several nice back to the basket moves, he never came close to taking over offensively, and the Hoosiers needed his presence badly in this one.

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, 6’9, Sophomore, PF/C, Texas A&M

6 points, 3/8 FG, 4 rebounds, 4 fouls, 2 turnovers in 18 minutes

Rodger Bohn

The highly touted Jones was a big flop today against LSU, playing only 18 minutes because of fouls picked up due to his inability to guard LSU’s talented duo of Tyrus Thomas and Glen Davis. When in the game, the Aggie sophomore was frustrated by the more athletic Thomas and the stronger Davis, reverting to soft turnaround jump shots instead of his usual power game. Even Joseph’s high point of the game, his late game lay-in, was blocked into the basket by Tyrus Thomas.

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

Mike Schmidt

In the final game of his senior season, Mensah-Bonsu looked unimpressive against two NBA-caliber big men in Josh McRoberts and Shelden Williams. Clearly not 100% after his knee injury, he was unable to hold his position in the post, and didn’t show any skills when he received the ball in the post. Mensah-Bonsu had 2 of his shots swatted away by Williams, who along with McRoberts, pushed him on the other end of the floor. The Duke duo finished with 31 points combined. From what we’ve seen all year long in the way he has just not improved whatsoever from his junior season, things aren’t looking good for Pops. Right now he lacks fundamentals on either end of the court, and much of his college production resulted from his outstanding athleticism. Pops Mensah-Bonsu will need to show that he has the potential to develop some skills if he wishes to have a career in the NBA, and he needs to do it quickly.

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