[quote=" Aaron Smith of NBA Draft.net "}
The Kemba-Knight debate
The panel of commentators debated this one. In my opinion, it's not even close, it's Brandon Knight in a landslide. What Knight did as a freshman was more than what Kemba did as a sophomore and his size and length gives him a huge edge.
In fact, Knight was widely rated above Kyrie Irving by recruiting analysts until the end of their senior years in high school. And unlike "some analysts" that reported Knight could fall into the second round during the season, we've remained high on him all season and rating Knight as the second best point guard prospect all along.
Knight vs Irving is probably a more legitimate debate and I think a case could be made for Knight. He won more in high school and is more proven at the college level. Sure Knight struggled early, but he was an elite prospect throughout highschool and has the type of character and killer instinct what will insure success in the NBA.
Charles Jenkins Over Hyped?
Charles Jenkins has been projected by some as a first round pick. But every scout I have spoken with has him in the 50s or lower. I 've watched him play a number of times and scoured through hours of his highlight footage and I see a player that scores primarily by bullying opponents inside of 12-15 feet of the basket. He's got a strong physique but he's an average shooter and at 6'3 he is very small for a shooting guard.
He doesn't show much in the way of point guard skills as far as I can tell. I also am not all that impressed by the numbers he put up this year because of the level of Hofstra's competition. Sure he averaged 22.6 ppg, with a 2-1 a/to ratio on 52% fg%, 82% ft and 42% 3p.
But keep in mind that Hofstra plays in one of the weakest conferences in the country. Of Jenkins 33 games, only 11 came against top 100 RPI teams and the team went 3-8 in those games. Teams looking for another Rodney Stuckey can keep searching.
Kyle Singler Underrated
Singler is getting sold short as a player that can't make it in the NBA. ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford said he thinks Singler will not make it in a rotation and be out of the league in 2-3 years.
Let's not forget how instrumental Singler was to last year's NCAA title for Duke. Duke 's system has a habit of making players look less athletic than they really are and this is a guy that was rated in the top 5 by many recruiting analysts in a class that included Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley Eric Gordon and Kevin Love.
He was forced into playing out of position his first 2 years and filled in admirably in the post. He was also getting talked about as a possible lotto pick after last year's title and now is considered a borderline first rounder.
Sure he lacks upside, but Singler has been one of the most consistent players in the NCAA over the last 4 years. His basketball IQ and feel for the game are tremendous.
He brings experience and character which in a draft heading into a lockout season are two highly desirable attributes. He shoots it much better than what he showed this year. He was much more productive over the course of his career than Chandler Parsons, yet somehow many people have become higher on Parsons.
Look for teams to come to their senses and for Singler to ultimately end up in the late first round and have a solid NBA career. He's too competitive, tough and versatile not to make it in the NBA.
Valanciunas May Ultimately Pull Out
We were reluctant to move Jonas Valanciunas to the 2011 mock draft due to the fact that we were hearing he may not end up in this draft, and there remains a real possibility that he will pull out.
While this appears to be the optimum draft for him to get a high draft position, the fact that he's a few years away from being NBA ready combined with his uncertain contract situation could be enough to scare teams in the top 10 away.
After speaking with his agent in Barcelona at the European Final Four, it appears that Jonas does want to stay in this year's draft. But whether he will still appears to be up in the air.
It will be interesting to see what kind of assurance Valanciunas can get from teams in the lottery considering his situation, and where a team will feel comfortable selecting him knowing it may be 2-3 years before he could come over and be productive.
Minnesota has had a lot of questions to answer after selecting Rubio with the 5th pick two years ago and not having anything to show for it thus far.
UCLA System Effect
After seeing Malcolm Lee twist his ankle and walk out in a boot at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas two days before, I was amazed to see him moving around so well at the combine.
His size and athleticism is intriguing and he's sure to help his cause in workouts leading up to the draft. Similar to a European team, the UCLA system makes it difficult for any individual player to standout stat wise.
Considering the success of recent UCLA players Love, Collison, Holliday etc, teams are sure to rethink their evaluations on both Lee and Tyler Honeycutt. Honeycutt looked good shooting it and although his shooting numbers were poor at UCLA, you have to consider the fact that UCLA likes to hold the ball late into shot clocks, disrupting the offensive flow and the emphasis on defense also takes away from shooting numbers. [/quote]