G J’Covan Brown (Texas): Brown is a household name for many given the fact that he was the leading scorer as a junior at Texas. But with many projections placing him at the back end of the second round, he could end up being a pick that provides more value than expected. Brown averaged 20.1 points and 3.8 assists per game last season, both significant improvements from 2010-11. And while his decision-making could still use some refinement, Brown’s assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4) and turnover percentage (16.0%) in 2011-12 were the best of his career in Austin.
G Jared Cunningham (Oregon State): First-round athleticism but Draft Express has Cunningham slotted into the early part of the second round. That likely means that Cunningham is a player who could work his way into the first round with good workouts, provided he display the ability to consistently knock down perimeter shots. Cunningham shot just 33.8% from three as a junior and 34.4% for his career in Corvallis, but his scoring (17.9), rebounding (3.8) and assist (2.8) averages in 2011-12 were all career highs.
F Moe Harkless (St. John’s): With more names entering the draft Harkless slipped from teetering on the edge of the lottery to the latter stages of the first round. That may be a bit low for a guy who along with D’Angelo Harrison carried much of the offensive load for the Red Storm in 2011-12. And while the Big East Rookie of the Year didn’t experience a great amount of success in the wins department, Harkless’ versatility was evident on a nightly basis. And Harkless did this while playing at the ‘4’ on most nights; more freedom to roam at the next level could pay off for whichever team selects him.
F Hollis Thompson (Georgetown): Thompson improved both his scoring (12.8) and rebounding (5.5) numbers as a junior, but it feels like he left Georgetown without realizing his ceiling in college. At 6-8, the Los Angeles native is capable of being a match-up problem on the wing, shooting 47.7% from the field and 43.9% from three in three seasons. Thompson didn’t take too many shots at attacking foes off the dribble in college, and if he can show in workouts that he’s capable of doing so at the pro level Thompson could rise up draft boards.
F Royce White (Iowa State): White had an outstanding season at Iowa State, leading the Cyclones to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2005. But pro drafts tend to also mean the digging up of past foibles (“red flags”), which could lead to a drop in his stock. And while there is a need for teams to do their due diligence that would prove to be a mistake with White. If teams were to use this as an excuse to drop White out of the first round, someone’s going to end up with a steal early in the second.
Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson has been known as one of the best dunkers in the country for the last few years. So you knew the 6-foot-6 wing was going to attempt the latest internet dunk craze that’s been going around.
Some call it the, “5-point play” in which the dunker makes a 3-pointer and immediately sprints following the shot release to catch the make for an under-the-legs dunk.
It’s as tough as it sounds and Ferguson makes it look easy.
Bol Bol is the son of former NBA center Manute Bol, and the younger Bol is earning quite a bit of attention himself as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018.
The 6-foot-11 Bol showed off some of his freakish coordination and athleticism on Friday night, by ripping a steal and taking it coast-to-coast for an under-the-legs dunk in the middle of a game at the Jayhawk Invitational.
Bol will be one of the players to watch this spring as he plays with KC Run GMC.
Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year
“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”
The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.
CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.
The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.
The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.
The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.
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