For NBA hopefuls, March really was madness
APR 09, 2013 5:30p ET
With that in mind, here’s whose stock rose and dipped during Louisville’s championship run:
Trey Burke, 6-0, Soph., G, Michigan
Scouts admire his overall competitiveness, long-range shooting ability and scorer’s mentality. What they’re not sold on is whether or not he’s a point guard at the next level — or a considerably undersized shooting guard.
Either way, no one expects Burke to be an NBA All-Star. But scorers off the bench are always needed, and he could potentially fill such a role as sort of a poor man’s Kemba Walker.
Gorgui Dieng, 6-10, Jr., C, Louisville
As well as the Cardinals played during the regular season, Dieng was barely on anyone’s radar until March. That’s when his explosiveness around the basket, particularly when it comes to blocking shots, came to light.
Like most everyone in this draft, Dieng isn’t viewed as the type of player who will change the course of your franchise. But the fact he possesses the athleticism to help protect the rim makes him a likely first-round pick.
Mason Plumlee, 6-11, Sr., Duke
Scouts had very little interest prior to the tournament, considering Plumlee little more than someone with a big body and soft game.
Then came the tourney, and Plumlee displayed a decent amount of mobility and moxie to go with his large frame. He probably won’t ever be a scorer at the next level, but he suddenly seems like someone who can do more than just take up space.
In this draft, that could make him lottery-worthy.
Cody Zeller, 6-11, Soph., PF/C, Indiana
There was a time, and not long ago, when some folks had Zeller pegged as a probable top-three pick. Then Zeller struggled to get off his shot against a conglomerate of non-NBA prospects in the Hoosiers’ loss to Syracuse.
Scouts hardly consider Zeller soft, but they’re now wondering if he has the low-post game to be anything more than a garbage man in the NBA.
It probably wouldn’t hurt for him to stay in school another year to redeem himself. If the draft were today and Zeller declared, he’d probably be selected in the 9-14 range.
James McAdoo, 6-9, Soph., F, North Carolina
There’s little doubt McAdoo is a smooth, skilled player who can shoot. But the tournament did nothing to answer the most pressing doubt: That being whether McAdoo is a small or power forward.
He doesn’t possess the strength to bang down low or the ball-handling or passing skills to hang with NBA wings. It wouldn’t hurt for McAdoo to develop a few go-to moves either, as he sort of makes it up on the fly.
Like Zeller, McAdoo was once considered a sure-fire lottery pick. Now, McAdoo could slide all the way to the late 20s.
Tim Hardaway Jr., 6-6, G, Jr., Michigan
He has a good name and great height for someone who can really handle the ball and potentially play the point in the NBA. Those are all good things.
The bad: Hardaway hasn’t really improved much since his freshman season, remaining a spot-up shooter with so-so range. He also hasn’t proven he can stay committed defensively for an entire game.
Like so many kids of former NBA players, Hardaway is a little lax and may have reached his ceiling while still in high school. His team reached the title game, and he had plenty to do with it. That means something to scouts.
But the player scouts compare Hardaway to most is Kyle Weaver – and Weaver is in the D-League.