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Scouts in the Crowd (Feb22-28)

Posted on 22. Feb, 2010 by Justin Shulman in nba-draft

With June's NBA draft creeping to the forefront, we have been in touch with some of our contacts around the league to see what games and matchups scouts will be attending.   There is a heavy Big East flavour in this weeks preview.  Here's a look at the key matchups and biggest games taking place over the course of the next week.

 

February 22

(7) West Virginia at Connecticut

Big Monday features a plethora of potential NBA draft selections in Da'Sean Butler, Devin Ebanks, Kevin Jones, Kemba Walker, Jerome Dyson and Stanley Robinson.  The mountaineers are fighting to stay near the top of the conference and claim one of the first round byes for the Big East Tourney while Uconn is seeking a marquee win to help get them off the bubble. 

Devin Ebanks vs. Stanley Robinson

In the preseason Ebanks would have been the easy choice if you had to decide between these two stud swing forwards.  But a little thing called consistency has vaulted Stanley above Ebanks if the draft were going to be held today.  Over the last three games, Ebanks has been playing at the level he finished last season.  In my eyes, Stanley has cemented his draft stock as a late lottery to late teen selection while Ebanks is just starting to trend up.  Ebanks has more at stake personally while a win for Uconn could get Robinson more exposure come March.

Oklahoma at (1) Kansas

The second game of Big Monday's double header featres the underachieving Sooners vs the country's top ranked team.  While this won't be the most exciting game it will feature some exciting matchups.  A Kansas win, will clinch a share of the Big 12 regular season title and extend their home winning streak to 58 games, making it the longest serving in the nation.

Willie Warren vs. Xavier Henry

The 2010 NBA draft Shooting Guard Rankings have Warren and Henry ranked second and fourth respectively.  Evan Turner is the clear cut first guy off the board and after that Warren, Henry, and Avery Bradley are in a dog fight jockying for position, in that next tier of players off the board.  Oklahoma's struggles have hurt Warren's stock in my opinion and Henry has had a roller coaster freshman campaign.  At times, Henry is the best player on the court and at others he appears to be a true freshman.  Tonight's head to head matchup could propel one over the other for teams who are targeting the position.

February 23

(13) Georgetown at Louisville

Just another league game in the otherwise baddest conference in the land.  Two teams fighting for seeding and a potential bye in the conference tournament.  Georgetown is on their first two game losing streak of the season while Louisville has reeled off three straight wins including a road win at Syracuse.  This game will be won in the paint and it features a pair of bigs from the class of 2008.

Greg Monroe vs. Samardo Samuels

Samuels scored a career best 36 points against Notre Dame last week, and is starting to play to expectations that were put on him as a parade all american coming out of high school.  His counterpart Monroe, needs to demand the ball and will Georgetown to a win.  Monroe is a guaranteed lottery selection but Samuels has a lot to gain in the eyes of the scouts with a strong performance.

February 24

South Florida at (8) Villanova

Nova has been struggling of late and needs to get it on track before their much heralded showdown against the Cuse on Saturday in the Carrier Dome.  South Florida is fighting for their lives in the Big East and a road win of this magnitude will surely get the selection committee's attention.

Dominique Jones vs. Corey Fisher

Two scoring guards who like to get in the lane and play physical.  This matchup should have a tremendous impact on the winner of this game.  No guards have had much success guarding the likes of Jones this season but Fisher has the lateral quickness to stay in front of him and is strong enough not to let Jones overpower him.  Scouts have been seen at most Villanova games this year so a big game against the plethora of Wilcat guards should help boost Jones' stock even more.

February 27

(8) Villanova at (3) Syracuse

Saturday Night, ESPN gameday crew, two top ten teams, 34 thousand plus fans in attendance and a Big East regular season title and # 1 seed in the conference tournament at stake-nothing else needs to be said.

Scottie Reynolds vs. Wes Johnson

Syracuse and Villanova are playing for all the marbles and while everyone is concerned about team, this game may also be the one that determines the individual award for Big East Player of the Year.  Reynolds and Johnson will be 1-2 on most ballots and with so many eyes on this game, you can expect it to be more heavily weighted towards the potential outcome of the award.  Johnson has lost some of his early season momentum but you can be sure that the Cuse crowd will do everything in their power to shift the momentum is Wesley's favour.  Expect an electric atmosphere on Saturday night. 

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