NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Dion Waiters #3 of the Syracuse Orange goes to the hoop against Andre Drummond #12 of the Connecticut Huskies during the quarterfinals of the Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Let's be honest: The Charlotte Bobcats are heading for a top pick in this year's draft and talking about potential Bobcats is one way to move past this depressing season. Charlotte is in the midst of its worst season in franchise history and will most likely have the best odds at landing the first overall pick, and by all accounts the No.1 pick will be Anthony Davis. But having the best odds doesn't guarantee the Bobcats anything, so pinning the team's hopes on landing Davis wouldn't be the best strategy heading into draft season.
March Madness is in full swing and with the first weekend of games behind us the Sweet 16 is set to begin. Instead of focusing on who is going to win each game and all of that business I'm going to focus on prospects. In some cases there won't be any for a particular team due to age (not all players are ready to come out after one year) or just a lack of NBA talent.
Let's get right to it after the jump
Syracuse Vs. Wisconsin
Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse--Waiters is the top prospect to play in this game and has been compared to a poor man's Dwayne Wade. He has a strong body and uses it to get to the rim but not as often as he should. The 6'4" sophomore guard will be undersized as a shooting guard in the NBA but doesn't possess the necessary skills to be a point guard. Most likely he'll settle in as a combo guard at the next level and could be a dynamic scorer once he develops a more consistent jumper.
Kris Joseph, F, Syracuse--Despite being pegged as a potential lottery pick a couple years ago it doesn't appear that Joseph will make it into the first round anymore. The Montreal native came on strong for the Orange in his sophomore season and turned in a solid junior year, but his senior season he didn't take the next step. Joseph struggles to get to the rim and his jumper is hit or miss. Right now it looks like he's a second round pick.
Jordan Taylor, G, Wisconsin--Taylor can flat out score the basketball. He doesn't get to the basket a heck of a lot and relies too much on his jumper, which will get sniffed out in the NBA. For being undersized at 6'1" he is a strong, physical guard and should find a home in the league as a backup point guard who is brought off the bench for scoring.
Michigan St. Vs. Louisville
Draymond Green, F, Michigan St.--If you watch college basketball to look at future pros this isn't going to be the game for you. Green is the only player who has a chance of making noise in the NBA next season and most likely at all in this one. At 6'6", 235 pounds Green is a load to handle in the college ranks and his big frame projects well in the NBA. For a player of his size he can stroke it from distance and he will be a force on the boards at the next level. Green doesn't come without question marks though; he isn't an explosive athlete and plays below the rim, which is always a concern when talking about the prospects of an individual playing in the NBA.
Ohio St. Vs. Cincinnati
Jared Sullinger, F, Ohio St.--Sullinger has produced in college but I worry about how he will fare against bigger and more athletic power forwards in the NBA. One thing he has going for him is that he is a true low post scorer. He uses his body well to shield off defenders and he has a nice touch around the rim. But he isn't going to rise over anyone and for him to be a productive player in the NBA he is going to have to develop a mid-range game. Likely would have been a top-5 pick had he left after his freshman season but in a loaded draft class it would be surprising to see him go within the first five picks now.
William Buford, G, Ohio St.--I love Buford's game. He's a smooth scorer and plays within himself and is a hell of a competitor. Still, he's going to need to add muscle if he wants to play in the NBA and he is a second round pick at best. Buford has upside as a scoring guard in the NBA, though.
Deshaun Thomas, F, Ohio St.--Thomas is versatile, long, athletic wing that can do a bit of everything. He's a terrific rebounder for his position and he has 3-point ranger. Some issues are that he falls in love with his perimeter game a little too much at times, which takes away from how dangerous he can be when he puts the ball on the floor. Likely a second round pick.
Yancy Gates, F, Cincinnati--I don't see Gates as a player at the next level but he is a load to handle in college. He's got a big, strong frame at 6'9" and 260 pounds. There are work ethic concerns with him and obviously character concerns after the brawl that took placer earlier in the season. But when motivated Gates is a guy that can be a force on the boards, especially on the offensive end. He needs to develop a more refined post game if he wants to make a mark in the NBA.
Marquette Vs. Florida
Bradley Beal, G, Florida--Beal has a good shot at being a top-5 pick if he declares after this season. He's a good shooter, defender and ball handler. At this point he's a bit of a tweener as he only weights 195 pounds. Adding muscle will be vital for him to make it in the NBA, but he has all the tools to be a very good shooting guard.
Jae Crowder, F, Marquette--The Big East Player Of The Year is relentless. He's always playing at 100 miles per hour and brings great energy to the court. What an NBA team would be getting is a smart player who plays within himself and would do all of the little things that is necessary to win. With the improvement he has shown this season he would be worth a second round pick.
Patric Young is another player to keep an eye on, but since he's told reporters that he will be coming back for his junior season I decided to keep him off the list. Most everyone on here is either graduating or it isn't known which way they are leaning at this point.
I'll be back tomorrow in the evening sometime with a look at Friday's prospects to watch.