Posts tagged with Nba Draft
It's been a while since we've popped the hood and checked out where the current Kansas University basketball players stand with regard to this year's NBA Draft.
By now, we all know that freshman guard Ben McLemore quickly has become one of the top prospects in the country and could very well be in line to be one of the top picks in the June 27 draft.
In this, the January edition of NBA Stock Watch, we'll look at exactly what all of the mock drafts are saying about McLemore and we'll also look into what's going on with the other Jayhawks who have a shot at getting drafted this summer.
Enough lead-in, though. You know how this works. So let's just get right to it.
BEN MCLEMORE: RS-FR., GUARD, 6-5, 195 pounds
Stock Assessment: Regarded in 2012 by Bill Self as the team's top pro prospect (even though he didn't play), McLemore certainly has shown why Self thought and said that a season ago. Gifted with incredible range, as pure a jump shot as there is and good size and great athleticism, McLemore certainly has what you're looking for in an NBA guard and also owns that always-important “upside” because he's still so young.
Average Mock Draft Position: 3rd
Current High: 1st (NBADraft.net)
Current Low: 5th (MyNBADraft.com, DraftExpress.net)
Overall Movement: + Rising + McLemore's stock continues to rise with each game. By now, he's proven himself to be more than worthy of this kind of hype and, as he continues to show improvement on defense and a well-rounded and polished offensive game, NBA scouts continue to fall in love with him. There's been some talk lately that he could be the top pick in the draft, but it certainly seems very likely, at this point, that he will at least be Top 5.
JEFF WITHEY: SR., CENTER, 7-0, 235 pounds
Stock Assessment: Entered the season as a likely first-round pick with the potential to creep his way into the lottery. There's no question that, defensively, Withey has what it takes to hang in the NBA, but in order to be a highly sought after prospect, Withey needs to get stronger and continue to develop offensively.
Average Mock Draft Position: 27th.
Current High: 24 (MyNBADraft.net and HoopsHype.com)
Current Low: 29 (HoopsHype.com)
Overall Movement: • Holding Steady • Despite being the front-runner for defensive player of the year, nationally, Withey continues to be slotted near the end of the first round in mock drafts. He's a legit 7-footer with good athleticism, but it seems like his light frame may be keeping him from moving up draft boards. Because big men are so tough to find, it's possible that Withey could surprise some folks with his pre-draft workouts and climb a little higher in the weeks leading up to the draft. For now, though, continued dominance on defense along with expanding his offensive game seems to be the best way for him to move up the board.
ELIJAH JOHNSON: SR., GUARD, 6-4, 195 pounds
Stock Assessment: In line to become the next great guard to come through Kansas, Johnson began his senior season with high hopes and even higher expectations. After losing Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson to the NBA, Johnson was the first player many thought about when talking about picking up their scoring slack. A different player than Taylor but every bit as athletic and armed with a better pure shot, Johnson has a chance to emerge as a rising prospect with a strong finish.
Average Mock Draft Position: 50th.
Current High: 48th (DraftExpress.com)
Current Low: Not listed (MyNBADraft.com)
Overall Movement: — Falling — A couple of these draft boards had Johnson as a late first-round pick heading into the season but his new role as this team's point guard and shooting numbers worse than most expected have dropped him into the second round in most cases. Because of his athleticism, explosiveness and solid size, Johnson has a chance to be a fast riser, but until he becomes a more consistent and efficient force on the floor for the Jayhawks, he'll likely remain a second-rounder for now.
Draft sites used for the player positioning portion of this blog include: NBADraft.net, MyNBADraft.com, DraftExpress.com, HoopsHype.com and DraftSite.com.
Blog from the Prudential Center: Thomas Robinson selected 5th by Sacramento; Tyshawn Taylor taken 41st
11:35 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell
Just talked on the phone a little while ago with Tyshawn Taylor, who seemed excited to be playing about 10 miles from his hometown of Hoboken, N.J.
“It’s not that far,” Taylor said. “It’s over one of those bridges over there.”
Be sure to check back to KUsports.com in the next few hours for complete coverage of the NBA Draft, which will include a column from Tom Keegan and full reaction to the day's events from Taylor and KU coach Bill Self.
With that, we're going to sign off with our live coverage. Thanks for being a part of it.
10:03 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell
Tyshawn Taylor was selected with 41st pick in NBA Draft by Portland, who will trade him to Brooklyn.
9:47 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell
Here's Matt's story from New Jersey: Memorable hug, tears just part of emotional night for Thomas Robinson.
9:24 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell
The Chicago Bulls select Kentucky's Marquis Teague with the 29th pick. Turns out those earlier reports of the Bulls taking Taylor were a smoke screen.
Taylor will be a second-round pick.
9:05 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell
Thanks to the KU sports information department for sending this along: Here's audio from Thomas Robinson's press conference after he was selected with the fifth pick in the NBA Draft tonight.
8:25 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
A few more ...
(13) Phoenix — Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
(14) Milwaukee — John Henson, North Carolina
(15) Philadelphia — Moe Harkless, St. John's
(16) Houston — Royce White, Iowa State
(17) Dallas (later traded to Cleveland) — Tyler Zeller, North Carolina
(18) Houston — Terrence Jones, Kentucky
(19) Orlando — Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure
You have to wonder what Houston's pickup of Terrence Jones means for the future of Marcus Morris.
7:46 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
Let's catch up on the last few picks:
(6) Portland — Damian Lillard, Weber State
(7) Golden State — Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
(8) Toronto — Terrence Ross, Washington
(9) Detroit — Andre Drummond, UConn
(10) New Orleans — Austin Rivers, Duke
(11) Portland — Meyers Leonard, Illinois
(12) Houston — Jeremy Lamb, UConn
7:28 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
These two photos were sent our way via the KU athletic department from NBA.com:
7:21 p.m. Update by Matt Tait:
Three videos of Robinson as I followed him following his selection in the NBA Draft, including the first one, where he's congratulated by former teammates Marcus and Markieff Morris.
7:08 p.m. Update by Matt Tait:
A couple photos of Robinson doing interviews after getting selected by the Kings.
7:04 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
Robinson sheds a tear on television when being interviewed by ESPN. Obviously an emotional moment for him.
7 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
It's official: Thomas Robinson is selected fifth in the NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings.
6:55 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
This could turn out great for Robinson. Now, he could be matched up with DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento if the Kings take him at No. 5.
6:54 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
Cleveland takes Syracuse's Dion Waiters with the fourth pick. Major surprise there.
6:47 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
The Washington Wizards pass on the hometown selection and go with Florida's Bradley Beal.
6:44 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is taken second overall by the Charlotte Bobcats. It's the first time ever the two first picks in the NBA Draft have come from the same school.
6:40 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
No surprises with the first pick. Kentucky's Anthony Davis goes to New Orleans at No. 1 overall.
Waiting to see if Charlotte takes Robinson or if perhaps a trade is in the works.
6:35 p.m. Update by Matt Tait:
Thomas poses for a picture with his younger sister, Jayla.
6:33 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
Here's the aforementioned video of Robinson. If you can't hear, he says, "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk. KU all day."
6:22 p.m. Update by Matt Tait:
Pretty much just waiting now. Thomas Robinson was at his table in the Green Room by himself for a long, long time. No worries. He had plenty of visitors, as analysts from ESPN, other players and even a couple of other coaches came and say hey.
I got some video of him waving to the people back in Lawrence and saying, "Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU all day," but he's such a quiet talker and it's so loud in here that I'm not sure we'll be able to post it.
Jesse's working on it now.
No sign of the Twins or Jayla yet, but they can't be far behind. We're getting close now and Robinson seemed to be very relaxed, just as he was yesterday.
More to come ...
6:21 p.m. Update by Matt Tait:
Here's Thomas texting away in the green room while waiting for the first team to go on the clock.
6:15 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
I talked to Kansas center Jeff Withey a few days ago to get his thoughts about Thomas Robinson in tonight's draft.
"He’s for sure a top-five pick," Withey said. "I think he proved a lot throughout this year, making it to the championship game. He’s a winner. I think it would be stupid not to pick him up top five, and hopefully No. 2.
"I think Anthony Davis is definitely a lock for No. 1, so if Thomas can get that No. 2 spot, that’s awesome for him."
Withey said the NBA Draft would be different for him this year because he knows so many players that are going to be selected.
"It’s definitely going to be cool to watch and fun to watch, rooting for Thomas and Tyshawn," Withey said. "I think Tyshawn is going to surprise a lot of people and go pretty high. It is definitely going to be something I’ll watch with a lot of people and make a day of it."
Withey also will be watching this year's draft knowing he could have been a part of it. He ultimately chose to return to KU for his senior year.
"It’s definitely something I thought about, but I’m happy with my decision," Withey said. "It’s definitely going to be cool to guess where I would have gone, but it’s probably a really stressful thing, and I’m glad I waited another whole year to have to deal with that."
6:11 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
A few more photos from Matt showing Thomas Robinson just before the draft.
5:45 p.m. Update by Jesse Newell:
Here are a few photos Matt has sent along from New Jersey:
This is the set for ESPN's broadcast of the 2012 NBA Draft from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., highlights the main portion of the draft floor.
Here's a look at the stage inside the interview room where the draftees talk to the media after they're picked. http://www2.kusports.com/users/photos...
Here's the view — bright lights and all — that Thomas Robinson will have while talking to the media after he is selected. That's former NBA star Ron Harper in the front row. Naturally, when the players are in there the room will be full.
And this is a quick look at the green room about an hour before draft time. Thomas Robinson will sit with his sister Jayla and her father, Angel Morris, a childhood friend from DC and his AAU coach. Former Jayhawks Marcus and Markieff Morris are expected to be here tonight, but they won't be at Robinson's table.
5:14 p.m. Update by Matt Tait:
Recently overheard an official with the Washington Wizards discussing their options. Sounded like a lot of what Washington does hinges on what happens with Robinson at No. 2. It sounds like if Charlotte stays and takes T-Rob, Washington will pick a different guy or trade down. If Charlotte stays and takes someone else, or trades and the new team takes someone else, Washington may look very hard at Robinson at No. 3.
Not huge news, obviously, but it was interesting to hear this from the Wizards.
In other news, I just saw a report that said the Celtics may be trying to trade up for Austin Rivers, the son of head coach Doc Rivers. My first reaction: What?!?!?!
I like Rivers, but I don't know why dad would want to trade up to get son. Talk about pressure. We'll see what happens.
More to come.
Original Post, 5:00 p.m.
Hello, and welcome to the official Draft Night blog from KUSports.com.
Matt Tait is live in Newark, N.J., at the Prudential Center, where Thomas Robinson is expected to go among the first five picks in tonight’s draft.
Also in New Jersey, although not in the arena, is hometown guy, Tyshawn Taylor, a four-year Jayhawk who could go as high as the mid-20s or could last into the middle of the second round.
It’s a very different night and experience for both guys, but one that expects to end with a lot of smiles and hugs.
Robinson, the runner-up in most national player of the year votes, will be joined in the Green Room by his 9-year-old sister, Jayla, his AAU coach, a friend from Washington D.C., and Angel Morris, the mother of former KU players Marcus and Markieff Morris, who were drafted in this very building one year ago.
As is customary, most of today was spent with rumors flying around and teams trying to jockey for position on the draft board. Those moves — if they’re made — could impact Robinson directly, who has a good shot at going second overall if Charlotte stays there but could drop to four or five if Charlotte trades the pick.
Dropping to four or five sure doesn’t sound like a bad deal, and it seems safe to assume that Robinson won’t be in the Green Room for long.
Although the past several weeks were spent with these guys traveling all over the country working out with this team or the other, that’s all behind them now. All that remains is for NBA commissioner David Stern to call their names and the euphoria that follows to ensue.
We’ll be here all night offering our thoughts on the picks and Matt will be checking in from Newark, N.J., as often as possible with pics, videos and his thoughts.
Hang out all night or keep checking back whenever you can. It’s Draft night and that’s becoming more and more of a big deal for Kansas fans.
For those looking to kill time before the first — or maybe the second — pick, here’s Matt’s story from yesterday, which looks at what Robinson and Taylor did in their final days leading up to tonight’s big moment.
Stay tuned for much, much more and enjoy the draft!