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NBA Draft Stocks - Big 12 Conference

Posted on 01. Mar, 2010 by Sharif Wanas in NBA Draft

With about a month's worth of games remaining on the regular season schedule, NBA draft prospects are jockeying 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 Atlantic Coast Conference taking advantage of the opportunities, and a few players standing still and not seizing the moment.

Stock Rising:

Xavier Henry, Freshman (Kansas Jayhawks)

The former McDonald’s All-American and Oklahoma native has not disappointed this season. Henry exploded into the college basketball world in his first game netting 27 points in a lopsided victory over Hofstra. He currently sits second in scoring at 13.9 a game, on an already star studded Jayhawks team that returned the likes of Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, and both the Morris brothers. The smooth shooting Henry boasts an NBA type body and isn’t afraid to drive the bucket and finish above the rim. He is an underrated defender, and uses his length and strength to get into passing lanes and match up on the ball. After going through a rough patch at the beginning of conference play, Henry has really stepped up his game and is averaging 18 points per game on 54% shooting from the floor in his last 5 games, including back to back 23 and 24 point games versus Colorado and Oklahoma at home. Expect Henry to continue his strong play and his draft stock to rise, as Kansas is poised to make a strong push towards the Final Four. It should come as no surprise when Henry is selected as a lottery pick. The top ten is also a strong possibility if Kansas indeed goes the distance and Henry continues to play the role he has of late.

James Anderson, Junior (Oklahoma State Cowboys)

The Cowboys leading scorer has been on a tear as of late and is by far Oklahoma State’s leading scorer averaging 22.5 a game good for 6th nationally and 1st in the Big 12. Anderson has increased his play dramatically over his time in Stillwater seeing his points rise from 13.3 in his frosh season, 18.2 in his sophomore year to 22.5 a game this year. Impressively consistent, Anderson hasn’t had a single game this year in single figure scoring. He has also become a much more complete player averaging 6.1 rebounds per game. There is no doubt that this kid has an NBA ready offensive game as he uses screens effectively combined with high confidence and seemingly endless range. The only real knock on Anderson is that he has gone through spurts of being a black hole, and seems to look for himself rather than creating for his teammates. Look for the slender shooting guard to be a fringe lottery pick come June.

Stock Falling:

Willie Warren, Sophomore (Oklahoma)

Warren might not only be the biggest slider of the Big 12, but perhaps the biggest in all of college basketball. The reigning Big 12 freshman of the year and preseason All-American opted to come back for his sophomore year after he would have been a surefire top 20 pick in last year’s draft. He noted that he wanted to improve his game and lead a team without Blake Griffin. Despite averaging 16.3 points per game, Warren has been tremendously inconsistent this season, which includes a 3 for 14 shooting performance against Virginia Commonwealth. Expected to become the leader on coach Capel’s Sooners, Warren has forced shots and had terrible body language this season. Returning for a sophomore year has given scouts a lot of time to examine and pick apart the weaknesses in Warren’s game. Scouts believe he will be undersized in the NBA, at only 6’4, and has taken considerable heat for having a slow release in his shot. This is not the season Warren envisioned. He is battling mononucleosis as well as the thought of his Sooners missing out on the big dance. Expect Warren to declare this year, but may fall towards the last 5 of 6 picks in the first round.

Craig Brackins, Senior (Iowa State)
Brackins was a lock on most mock drafts as a first round pick coming into his Junior year at Iowa State. As a sophomore he averaged 20.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game and could have declared early but opted to come back to a Cyclones team that had a chance to be successful in the Big 12. This decision has hurt Brackins as the emergence of teammate Marquis Gilstrap has put a dent into Brackins production. Brackins' points are down by nearly 4 ppg while his rebounding has also suffered. He has seen his shooting percentage drop, most specifically attributed to a Chicago State game (2 for 12) and an important home conference game against Oklahoma in which he went 3 for 17. The 6’10 forward has had trouble dealing with some of the bigger post players in the Big 12 due to his slender frame of a generous 230 pounds. However, he does possess the ability to be a game changer on defense, boasting 6 games with at least 3 blocks, including a season high 6 against Chicago State, but has been known to take possessions off on the defensive end which has labeled him inconsistent. Look for Brackens to fall into the early second round after being touted as a first round player.

Tags: , , , , Sherron Collins, Willie Warren,

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