March Madness is right around the corner. Austin Rivers was money in last nights Duke VS North Carolina game. How high did I place him in this mock draft? Once March Madness ends I will focus on getting Round 2 up.
1. Brooklyn Nets Anthony Davis Power Forward Kentucky Freshman The last two years I correctly predicted the lottery winner. I thought the Wizards would get Wall in 2010 because of the Arenas situation. I said the Cavaliers would win the lottery with the Clippers pick in 2011 and it happened.
The Clippers are already sick now with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Imagine how disgusting they would be if they added Derrick Williams to that core instead of trading the #1 pick to Cleveland. By disgusting, I mean dropping 100 points on opponents on a nightly basis.
I think this years lottery comes down to three teams the Nets, Knicks, and Hornets. The New Jersey Nets will become the Brooklyn Nets next season. There will be a temptation to give them the top pick. The New York Knicks have to give the Houston Rockets their 2012 first round pick unless they end up picking in the top 5. I think the Knicks end up in the playoffs or end up with a top 3 lottery pick in June’s NBA draft. Then to wrap things up you got the New Orleans Hornets who may not have Chris Paul next season. I decided to give the Nets the top pick for now since their relocating from New Jersey to Brooklyn.
Brook Lopez has been injured for most of the season at center. Kris Humphries had to move from the 3 at small forward his natural position to the 4 at power forward to help bolster the Nets woeful defense. Humphries also had to move out of the Kardashian home, but that is another story for another day.
A player like Anthony Davis would help solidify the starting 5. Anthony Morrow and Deron Williams have executed at guard. Humphries could move back to power forward with Anthony Davis and Brook Lopez playing defense.
Andre Drummond was my clear cut #1 prospect heading into the year. Drummond is a raw project despite his massive potential. Anthony Davis has really emerged as the #1 prospect with Kentucky’s brilliant play in 2011.
Anthony Davis is 6 foot 10 220 pounds and can play small forward, power forward, or center. Davis is best suited at power forward. Davis has averaged 14 points a game and 10 rebounds per game in 2011. Davis was the #1 overall recruit in the Class of 2011.
Its pretty amazing that the #1 recruit from the Class of 2010 Harrison Barnes, the top recruit from the class of 2011 Anthony Davis, and the former #1 recruit from the class of 2012 Andre Drummond are all in this draft class. You also got Jared Sullinger who has posted 10 double doubles for the Buckeyes in 2011 along with Austin Rivers as potential top 5 options.
2. New York Knicks Austin Rivers Shooting Guard Duke Freshman Austin Rivers was money with his 3 point shots against the Tar Heels. The Knicks have Jeremy Lin and Iman Shumpert at point guard. Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire can play forward with Tyson Chandler at center. The only hole for the Knicks is finding a shooting guard.
I realize the Knicks have the 12th worst record. I just feel like if the draft is fixed then the Knicks will have a lottery pick and potentially the #1 overall pick because they keep their first round pick if they end up picking in the top 5. The Knicks traded their draft pick to the Houston Rockets. The pick is lottery protected meaning the Knicks keep the pick if New York ends up with their top 5 pick.
The Knicks have a lot of pieces in place when healthy. The New York Knicks are a lot closer to contending than many people believe. One game changer from the 2012 NBA Draft may be all that the Knicks need to make an Eastern Conference run.
Austin Rivers was 6 for 10 shooting 3 pointers. Rivers scored 29 points hitting 6 three point shots in Duke’s 85 to 84 win against the North Carolina Tar Heels on the road. Duke was ranked 9th heading into the contest with the Tar Heels being ranked 5th. Rivers stepped up in a critical rival game which is something you have to take into account.
Austin Rivers was money shooting three point shots against the North Carolina Tar Heels in Duke’s 85 to 84 road win over the North Carolina Tar Heels. Rivers is the son of Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. Doc Rivers was so proud of Austin when Duke beat North Carolina on the road. Enjoy it now Doc, because Austin may be the final piece to the New York Knicks Championship puzzle if they end up picking this high.
Plus Mrs. Rivers won’t know whether to root for Doc’s Celtics or Austin’s Knicks. I love the headline already, and I know more people who are a part of the NBA would feel mutual if the Knicks do not crack the NBA Playoffs.
ESPN’s people will salivate over Austin Rivers VS Doc Rivers in a friendly Celtics VS Knicks rivalry with deep history. The New York Knicks and Boston Celtics are the only two original teams from the BAA Basketball Association of America that was founded in 1946-1947 before the BAA eventually became the NBA.
You already have Red Sox VS Yankees, Patriots VS Jets, and Patriots VS Giants, and Bruins VS Rangers. Austin Rivers going to the Knicks makes the Knicks VS Celtics rivalry relevant for the NBA again. I’m not saying Knicks VS Celtics isn’t a rivalry. Its just sort of irrelevant right now when you stack the Knicks VS Celtics rivalry up against other rivalries featuring Boston and New York sports teams. New England and New Jersey fans could make the case for the NFL teams. These rivalries mainly focus on teams in the Boston and New York region.
3. New Orleans Hornets Andre Drummond Center Connecticut Freshman The New Orleans Hornets have Emeka Okafor at center. Okafor’s best days happened when he was the Bobcats power forward. Andre Drummond may be a huge project. Drummond has huge potential though.
Drummond was listed as the original #1 prospect for the class of 2012 before being graduating from high school early after being held a grade back. Drummond enrolled in at Connecticut becoming one of the top late recruits in 2011 and the rest is history.
Drummond may need a year or two to adjust to the NBA. The Hornets are two years away from competing so they will use their 2012 and 2013 draft picks to rebuild by taking the best players available. By the time the Hornets have enough pieces in place, Drummond should maximize his immense potential at center.
4. Charlotte Bobcats Harrison Barnes Small Forward North Carolina Sophomore Harrison Barnes was the top prospect in the recruiting class of 2010. Barnes may have been the top pick in the 2011 NBA Draft if he opted to leave school as a freshman.
Barnes got off to a cold start as a freshman before going on a late season scoring spree as a true freshman. Barnes had one game in the ACC Tournament where he dropped 40 points a game.
Barnes averaged 15.7 points per game as a true freshman. That total has gone up to 17.7 points per game in 2011. Barnes has the skill set to be a complete player at small forward.
Charlotte needs help everywhere except point guard. Charlotte has their future point guard with rookie Kemba Walker. Bismack Biyombo should move from center to power forward. Neither Tyrus Thomas or Boris Diaw has played to an acceptable standard at forward. Both players have scored less than 8 points per game. The Bobcats have two no name guards averaging 12 points per game.
Barnes managed to post 25 points in North Carolina’s game against Duke despite the loss. Barnes should still be a top 5 pick at this point.
The Bobcats pretty much have to take the best player available here. I have to believe that player is Harrison Barnes. The Bobcats majority owner was a North Carolina small forward and arguably the greatest NBA player of all time. Michael Jordan would love to take Harrison Barnes under his wing and make him this generations version of Michael Jordan. Maybe that would get the Charles Barkley’s and Stephen A Smith’s of the NBA universe to stop giving constant praise to LeBron James.
5. Washington Wizards Jared Sullinger Power Forward Ohio State Sophomore Sullinger managed to average 17.2 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game anchoring the #1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes prior to the 2011 NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. Sullinger would have gone first overall if he declared last season. Sullinger opted to return because he wanted to win a Championship. Ohio State lost to a Kentucky team in the Sweet Sixteen. The Wildcats made it to the Final Four and are much stronger this season. The Wildcats appear to be the team to beat in 2011-2012.
Jared Sullinger had some early success as a sophomore against quality competition. Sullinger dropped 16 points in an 81 to 74 win over the Florida Gators in Ohio State’s 2nd game of the year. Suller would then go on to drop 21 points against Duke in an 85 to 63 win over the Duke Blue Devils two weeks later.
After Sullinger’s hot start in November he endured some struggles in December with road losses against the Kansas Jayhawks and the Indiana Hoosiers.
Ohio State lost to Illinois on January 10th 79 to 74 on my 21st birthday. Ever since the Buckeyes loss to the Fighting Illini on my 21st birthday the Buckeyes have been 6-0 beating Indiana, Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Purdue. Sullinger struggled against the Wisconsin Badgers on the road last season as a true freshman.
Its good to see that Sullinger has the mental skill set to avenge that brutal road loss. Jared Sullinger has recorded 10 double doubles in 2011-2012.
6. Detroit Pistons Thomas Robinson Power Forward Kansas Junior Thomas Robinson has really emerged in 2011-2012. Robinson has had some very productive games for the Kansas Jayhawks with the departure of the Morris twins.
Robinson had 11 points and 12 rebounds in a loss to Kentucky. Robinson followed that up with 20 points and 12 rebounds with a win against Georgetown. Robinson had 15 points and 10 rebounds against UCLA after the Georgetown game. Robinson managed to have 16 points and 15 rebounds against Duke despite losing 68 to 61 in November.
Robinson had 21 points and 7 rebounds against Ohio State in December. Kansas would defeat Ohio State 78 to 67 in that contest. Ohio State was ranked 2nd in the nation at that time. Ohio State was undefeated in that game despite Jared Sullinger not playing.
Thomas Robinson scored 15 points while tallying 14 rebounds against the Kansas State Wildcats. The Jayhawks played well defensively in their inner state rivalry with Kansas State. Rock Chalk Jayhawk prevailed 67 to 49.
Kansas swept the Baylor Bears by winning in both of their meetings this season. Robinson got double doubles against Baylor on both contests.
7. Toronto Raptors Bradley Beal Shooting Guard Florida Freshman Bradley Beal has scored a minimum of 9 points or more in each game since January 10, 2012. Besides the Ole Miss win where Beal had 9 points, Beal has scored 11 or more points in each game since the Gators win against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Beal was able to drop 14 points on the #1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats despite struggling in a 78 to 58 loss to #1 ranked Kentucky. Beal plays shooting guard at Florida.
Beal may have to move to point guard due to his size. Beal has the size of a 1 at point guard and the shooting ability of a 2 at shooting guard.
8. Sacramento Kings Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Small Forward Kentucky Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 12 points in a win against Kansas. Perry Jones only had 5. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist can play small forward or power forward. Perry Jones is a power forward only. Sacramento may be more intrigued by Gilchrist because of the versatility.
9. Utah Jazz from Golden State Warriors Perry Jones Power Forward Baylor Sophomore The Jazz have the luxury of taking the best player available. Perry Jones is clearly that player at this point in the 2012 NBA Draft.
10. Cleveland Cavaliers Terrence Jones Small Forward Kentucky Sophomore Terrence Jones can play either power forward or small forward. The Cavaliers need a 3 at small forward. Terrence Jones is the best player available here.
11. Phoenix Suns Terrence Ross Shooting Guard Washington Sophomore The Suns need a shooting guard. Terrence Ross is a 6 foot 6 shooting guard. Ross has been a dominant force in the Pac 12. The Suns may consider Terrence Ross with this pick.
12. New Orleans Hornets from Minnesota Timberwolves via Los Angeles Clippers Jeremy Lamb Shooting Guard Connecticut Sophomore Jeremy Lamb has the size of a point guard playing the 1. Jeremy Lamb plays shooting guard for Connecticut. Jeremy Lamb can shoot or pass the ball effectively.
Jeremy Lamb is averaging 17.2 points per game. Connecticut is 15-8 on the season. Connecticut has 6 Big East losses plus they face Syracuse on the road in Saturday’s contest in what could be a must win game.
13. Memphis Grizzlies John Henson Power Forward North Carolina Junior John Henson could make a legit power forward for the Grizzlies. I feel like the Grizzlies need one more power forward to solidify things.
14. Portland Trailblazers Quincy Miller Shooting Guard Baylor Freshman Quincy Miller has the versatility to play shooting guard or small forward. The Baylor freshman would provide outstanding value for the Portland Trailblazers at this spot. Miller has the shooting of a 2 at shooting guard and the size of a 3 at small forward. Miller could really get under looked.
15. Milwaukee Bucks Doron Lamb Shooting Guard Kentucky Sophomore The Bucks need a starter at shooting guard. Doron Lamb has been a very effective starter for Kentucky at shooting guard.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves from Utah Jazz William Buford Shooting Guard Ohio State Senior The Timberwolves could use a center or a shooting guard. The Timberwolves can make Kevin Love the starting center and have Derrick Williams start at power forward.
I think you have to get a shooting guard who can step in as a starter. That shooting guard may be Ohio State senior William Buford. Buford managed to score 29 points against Purdue the other day. William Buford and North Carolina center Tyler Zeller are competing to be the top senior drafted in June. Right now, Buford holds a slight edge.
17. Los Angeles Lakers Marques Teague Point Guard Kentucky Freshman While I would like to see the Lakers make a move at small forward, I think you have to make a move for point guard here. Kentucky point guard Marques Teague is a steal if he slips this far. Calipari seems to develop a legit point guard each year. There are a lot of teams set at point guard which is why I had Teague slide a little further than most expect.
The Lakers can draft Teague and groom him as the point guard for the future in Los Angeles. Teague can become the star in Los Angeles once Kobe Bryant retires. Teague would begin his career in Los Angeles as the Robin to Kobe Bryant’s Batman scoring ability.
18. Denver Nuggets Myck Kabongo Point Guard Texas Freshman The Nuggets go with the best player available. I feel like Myck Kabongo is that player at this point if he declares.
19. Dallas Mavericks Kendall Marshall Point Guard North Carolina Sophomore The Mavericks have luxury to take the best player available. Marshall is that player at this point.
20. Houston Rockets Mike Moser Small Forward UNLV Sophomore The Rockets take the best player available with their 20th overall pick. Moser makes too much sense if he slips this far.
21. Boston Celtics Arnette Moultrie Small Forward Mississippi State Junior Arnette Moultrie has the skill set to become a successor to Paul Pierce. Moultrie is somewhat of a 2 year project player.
22. Orlando Magic Damian Lillard Point Guard Weber State Junior Lillard missed his sophomore campaign with an injury. Lillard currently leads the nation with 25.5 points per game right now. Orlando has Dwight Howard at center, Howards backups playing power forward, Turkoglu at small forward, plus Jason Richardson and JJ Reddick splitting minutes at shooting guard.
The only option left by process of elimination is point guard. The Magic get lucky by landing the point guard that leads the nation in points per game. Someone needs to leave me a sticky note so I remember to pick Weber State as a dark horse to make the Sweet 16 when March Madness arrives. The Weber State Wildcats are currently 18-4 with a 10-1 record in conference play in the Big Sky. Montana is also 10-1 in Conference play. The Montana VS Weber State winner in the Conference Championship will likely represent the Big Sky with the loser on the outside of the tournament once Selection Sunday approaches.
Weber State will have more bulletin board material for Jeopardy if they fail to win their conference tournament to make the big dance. I’ll take 2012 Small Schools that got robbed on Selection Sunday for 200 dollars. What is Weber State.
23. Boston Celtics from Los Angeles Clippers Festus Ezeli Center Vanderbilt Senior Ezeli may be a backup center. Ezeli is the top player available here, so the Celtics would be wise to select him.
24. Atlanta Hawks John Jenkins Shooting Guard Vanderbilt Senior The Hawks go for the best player available with John Jenkins at this spot. You see back to back Vanderbilt players getting selected here.
25. San Antonio Spurs Augusto Cesar Lima Power Forward Brazil The Spurs could use an international player to groom for the future. Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Richard Jefferson, Tim Duncan, and DeJuan Blair can be an effective starting 5. Depth is needed though. The Spurs can take an international player and groom that player here.
26. Indiana Pacers Tomas Sotaransky Shooting Guard Czech Republic The Pacers can go with a depth player here given their surplus of quality starters.
27. Philadelphia 76ers Evan Fournier Shooting Guard France The 76ers take an international player to develop since they have so much depth here.
28. Miami Heat Lucas Noguiera Center Brazil The Heat opt for an international player here. Noguiera has the size and potential despite being a major project to develop. The Heat will take a chance on him.
29. Chicago Bulls Kris Joseph Small Forward Syracuse Senior Kris Joseph is a steal at this point. Joseph could actually provide Kyle Korver some intense competition at the small forward spot.
30. Oklahoma City Thunder Renardo Sidney Power Forward Mississippi State Junior The Thunder have most of the pieces in place. I feel like adding that final piece at power forward hielps. Sidney is a 6 foot 10 power forward from Mississippi State. Sidney could help the Thunder and win a starting job at power forward.