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NBA Draft Stocks-SEC Conference

Posted on 10. Feb, 2010 by Justin Shulman in NBA Draft

With about a month's worth of games remaining on the regular season schedule, NBA draft prospects are jockying for position on the big boards.  NBA teams have their scouting systems out in full force and everything around this time of the year starts to get magnified and scrutinized.  With the lights shining bright, here are a few players from the SouthEastern Conference taking advantage of the opportunites, and a few players standing still and not seizing the moment.

STOCK RISING:

Demarcus Cousins, Kentucky (Freshman)

In a draft with few big men that keep one's attention, it's about time Demarcus Cousins has made his push ahead of the pack.  I mean how long could potential conditioning and maturity issues outweigh a stat line that reads 16.3 ppg, 9.8 reb, 1.9 blk, and 54% shooting from the field.  The impressive part is that Cousins has been putting up these numbers in 21.4 minutes per contest.  Translate that over a forty minute game and you are looking at the most dominant big man in the country.  Cousins over his last five games against the likes of Auburn, Arkansas, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss is shooting 58% from the field, scoring 19.6 ppg, grabbing 12 rebounds (6 offensive), and 2.6 blocks.  Demarcus is agile, has soft hands for a big and can play both facing the bucket and with his back to it.  From a skill set standpoint, the only other big in the same class is Derrick Favors, whose production thus far does not compare with Cousins.  As the draft gets closer and  teams settle into their draft slots, all the character questions surrounding Cousins will rise to the forefront.  The Louisville game highlights where he lost his cool will play over and over.  Comparisons to the Derrick Coleman's of the world will ensue.  At the end of the day if scouts are questioning his conditioning level and commitment now and Cousins is still considered one of the best bigs in the country, his half hearted effort is pretty good by my standards.  A top five talent but more likely to get selected in the back half of the top ten.

Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky (Freshman)

There was much speculation in the early going that playing Robin to John Wall's Batman would lead to Eric Bledsoe hanging around Lexington for his sophomore season.  However, there is a growing sentiment that Bledsoe's stock has soared so high that he will be in the lottery discussion.  The 2010 NBA draft is very thin at the point guard position, and apparently scouts have seen enough of Bledsoe's lead guard skills to annoint him one of the top three point guards in the coming draft.  Bledsoe has that killer instinct on defense and plays at a lightning quick pace on offense.  He has also shown scouts that he can shoot the basketball connecting on 47% of his three point shots.  Playing next to Wall, has given Bledsoe freedom, open looks, and excess exposure.  Eric will have a very tough decision to make once the season ends as these luxuries may or may not exist next season. 

STOCK FALLING:

Kenny Boynton, Florida (Freshman)

One of the most heralded players to ever come out of the state of Florida, Kenny Boynton elected to stay home and shoot the Florida Gators back to prominence.  An electric scorer, KB has come into the Gator program and shoot he has.  Boynton is currently ranked in the top ten players in the country with respect to three point field goal attempts.  The problem has been that Boynton has only connected on 27% of these attempts, and over fifty percent of his total field goal attempts have been from beyond the arc .  Boynton's shot just isn't falling the way it did on the AAU circut and high school scene.  One of the biggest question marks surrounding Kenny's professional potential has been whether he can run a team.  Boynton has focussed his attention on shooting himself out of his slump that running the team and developing improved point guard skills have almost become a second priority.  Regardless of the expectations, it might be a stretch at this point for an undersized, perimeter oriented shooting guard, who is struggling with his shot to hear his name called in the first round.  Gator fans should expect to see Boynton in Gainesville next fall.

Jeff Taylor, Vanderbilt (Sophomore)

After a succesful freshman campaign, Jeff Taylor put himself on the 2010 draft radar as a potential first round selection.  An athletic wing player and potential lockdown defender, expectations have been tough to live up to for Taylor.  Being 6-7, and athleticism being his biggest strength, Taylor projects out as a natural fit to play the three at the next level.  The only potential problem is that Taylor still struggles to create his own shot and doesn't have much of a perimeter game.  Taylor is currently connecting on 11% of his three point attempts.  Taylor's rebounds per game have also regressed, making it  difficult to see how an undersized power forward averaging 5.2 rebounds in the college game is going to transition to the wing position.  In his last three games, Taylor is shooting 36% from the field, averaging 9ppg, and 4.3 rebounds.  If the draft were to happen today, I can't envision Taylor even being considered for the first round let alone the first portion of the second.

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One Response to “NBA Draft Stocks-SEC Conference”

  1. anthony s 10. Feb, 2010

    I dont believe Bledsoe will leave early. And I don’t think he is Russell Westbrook so not sure why everyone has got such a man crush for this guy.

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