The 2012 NBA Draft is Thursday night at 7 PM EST. The order has been decided, although not without controversy. Anthony Davis from Kentucky is the clear #1 pick, going to the New Orleans Hornets.
Experts have said that beyond Davis, there isn’t a lot of star power in the draft. If you dig deep though, you’ll find a few competitors that could soon be household heroes. Here are a few names to know before tomorrow night’s draft to make you sound intelligent in front of your friends and co-workers.
Jae Crowder, SF, Marquette- Versatility is useful in sports and Crowder is the king of versatile. Crowder is a tough competitor who can play defense on anybody in the league. His only weakness is his lack of a true position. Ed Wieland, the man who predicted that once unknown commodity Jeremy Lin had what it takes to be a star, is all over Crowder. Florida coach Billy Donovan says of Jae, “He impacts the game maybe more than any other player in the country.”
Damian Lillard, PG, Weber St.- The Weber State product is “the best point guard in the draft” according to ESPN. Not only is he unselfish on the floor, he can really knock down the three, shooting over 40%. NBA.com admires his diligent approach towards improvement for a guard that can already rebound and shoot free throws. Cal coach Mike Montgomery said of Lillard “He’s a really good player and a really good athlete.”
Perry Jones III, SF, Baylor- What’s up with Baylor and stud Treys? Jones III is a 6’11″ teenager who’s athletic and can shoot the three. He’s a fairly decent free throw shooter at 70%, and is incredibly raw with immense upside. Kentucky head coach John Calipari called him a “terrific player.” Jones’ coach at Baylor had high praise as well saying “At 25, you’ve got an NBA All-Star, potentially, multiple year All-Star.” Whoever drafts him is hoping is doesn’t take that long.
Royce White, SF, Iowa St.- White does a little bit of everything on the court, but comes with a little baggage off it. The immensely talented 6’8″ forward got kicked out of the University of Minnesota for theft a la Cam Newton, but landed on his feet at Iowa State. White shot 53% from the field while filling up the stat sheet every night; he was the only player in the NCAA to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks. NBA.com called him a “legitimate playmaker” and John Calipari says “Here’s a kid that would rather pass and get 15 assists than score a basket. It’s amazing. And he plays tough, and he’s got huge hands. So you’d better grab the ball with two because he’ll grab it with one.”
Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure- Nicholson is 6’10″ with a 7’4″ wingspan. He’s athletic, blocks a lot of shots and can alter plays as well. He shoots nearly 80% from the FT line which is unheard of for a big man. Richmond assistant coach Kevin McGeehan says, “He’s really terrific. He’s so, so good in the post. He can score every which way. And if you worry about all the damage he can do to you in the post, they’ll run a play outside the foul line, and he can make that shot every time. He’s also really improved as a 3-point shooter. Tough, tough kid to guard.”
Tony Mitchell, SF, Alabama- Physical, athletic and a human highlight reel. Has some character issues but his on the court performance is undeniable. He’s 6’6″ and can do it all. Should frequent the Sportscenter Top 10 similar to Blake Griffin. Auburn coach Tony Barbee said “He runs the floor like a gazelle and he finishes way above the rim. He’s shooting the ball so well from outside now, too. He presents so many different matchup problems.”
Aside from some allegations of “the fix being in”, the future of the NBA looks bright.
Trackback from your site.