Draft Day Manifesto: Top Prospect Summaries

Posted by EJacoby on June 28th, 2012

The day is finally here! The 2012 NBA Draft commences tonight at 7:00 PM ET from Newark, New Jersey, at the Prudential Center and is televised live on ESPN. Rece Davis will host the ESPN coverage alongside Jay Bilas, Jeff Van Gundy, and Chris Broussard with field reporters Andy Katz and Ric Bucher also part of the broadcast. While the analysts will offer insight to viewers before and after every selection, there’s much more to know about each prospect than the four or five minutes in between picks. Scouting services like Draft Express and NBADraft.net spend all year preparing for this day with mock drafts on the line, and there are plenty of news sites to consult for in-depth coverage of different players. But here at RTC, we’ve got it all covered for you with full profiles of the top 35 available prospects that include an overview, strengths and weaknesses, player comparisons, scouting takes from Aran Smith at NBADraft.net, and more. Today we’re throwing in a one-sentence description to help you understand each player as he’s perceived heading into draft night. See below for quick references to all of our draft profiles and player summaries.

Draft day is here and the Hornets are on the clock, though we all know who they are taking (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • Anthony Davis, Kentucky – Best forward prospect in years with comparisons to Garnett and Russell has elite athleticism, agility, work ethic, and intelligence that leads to versatile contributions on both ends and the most dominant college defender in a decade.
  • Thomas Robinson, Kansas – Polished big man has scary NBA body and passionate work ethic and can contribute right away, but does he have All-Star upside against NBA length in the post?
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky – Youngest player in the draft isn’t a go-to scorer but is an incredibly passionate and athletic small forward who attacks on both ends and does everything his team needs.
  • Bradley Beal, Florida – Tough, athletic guard is the full package on both ends and has All-Star upside if his silky smooth three-point jumper starts falling more consistently in the pros.
  • Harrison Barnes, North Carolina – Never quite lived up to sky-high expectations at North Carolina yet can score 16-20 points easy and remains an intriguing pro prospect with a high ‘floor.’
  • Dion Waiters, Syracuse - Rising prospect is perhaps the most explosive scorer in the draft and scouts hope his tumultuous freshman season is not indicative of his future effort level on and off the court.
  • Andre Drummond, Connecticut – 18-year-old could become the next Dwight Howard or the next Kwame Brown, but his athletic intrigue and unique personality offers upside that he can eventually figure it out.
  • Damian Lillard, Weber State – Top point guard prospect is a knockdown shooter and unselfish floor general, but will he struggle adjusting from the Big Sky to the NBA?
  • Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut – Prototypical two-guard has offensive intrigue but lackadaisical effort can lessen his value to a team.
  • John Henson, North Carolina – Super long power forward is a beast defensively but can look like a stiff on offense at times and needs work with his post moves.
  • Austin Rivers, Duke – Elite isolation scorer with great confidence in his ability, but can he be a willing passer and find ways to contribute off the ball?
  • Meyers Leonard, Illinois – Fast riser is intriguing big man with enormous size and explosive skills, but doesn’t attack with confidence and can be wildly inconsistent.
  • Terrence Ross, Washington – Protoypical two-guard has great size and can shoot it from anywhere but also has a tendency to coast during games when he’s not featured offensively.
  • Kendall Marshall, North Carolina – College basketball’s best passer has unreal anticipation and floor awareness but must prove he’s not a liability as a shooter and defender.
  • Perry Jones III, Baylor – Physical ability is that of a #1 overall talent, but his passive nature means it’s unlikely he reaches his high ceiling unless something clicks at the next level.
  • Tyler Zeller, North Carolina – Polished center can contribute right away but lacks long term upside without elite strength or athleticism for his position.
  • Terrence JonesKentucky - Versatile but enigmatic, Jones needs a fire lit beneath him to end up producing with intensity.
  • Jared Sullinger, Ohio State – Medical issue has teams concerned, but fundamentally sound big man can get buckets in the post even if his athleticism isn’t ideal for an NBA four.
  • Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State – Bouncy big man can fill it up with points and rebounds but isn’t physically imposing on either end and must get meaner in the post.
  • Moe Harkless, St. John’s – Still 18 years old, Harkless has natural small forward ability but needs time to develop the smooth offensive game.
  • Marquis Teague, Kentucky – National Championship point guard is lightning fast end-to-end, but flaws in his decision-making and half court game require some development time in the pros.
  • Royce WhiteIowa State - Most unique player in this draft aces interviews and box score tests, but can he play without the ball and will his anxiety disorder hinder professional development?
  • Quincy MillerBaylor - Elite recruit with major upside but was hampered by a knee injury last season and could slip in this deep draft after an underwhelming overall season for Baylor.
  • Andrew NicholsonSt. Bonaventure - Skilled big man can thrive in pick-and-pop game, but a questionable motor and endurance against Atlantic 10 competition leaves room for concern.
  • Doron LambKentucky - One of the best shooters in this draft and already accepted his responsibilities as a role player at Kentucky and could be a nice rotation guard.
  • Tony Wroten, Jr., Washington – Super athletic guard has great floor vision but a broken jump shot and can be a polarizing player from one half to the next.
  • Draymond GreenMichigan State - All he did was win at Michigan State, but Green’s well-rounded game may not translate as well until he finds one skill he can excel at in the NBA immediately.
  • John JenkinsVanderbilt - Best shooter in college basketball is a sniper from everywhere but doesn’t make a major impact in any other areas at this point.
  • Fab MeloSyracuse - Showed exponential growth over two years at Syracuse and can protect the rim defensively but doesn’t feature much on offense.
  • Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt – Does many things well but nothing great, and currently fits in with the pack more than he stands out in any way.
  • Will Barton, Memphis – Can do it all offensively, but can skinny Barton impact a game without needing the ball in his hands?
  • Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt – Rim-protecting interior force who already has questions about his fluidity and is coming off a knee injury that hampered him all season.
  • Kevin Jones, West Virginia – Big East’s leading scorer and rebounder, but will he ever produce consistently in the pros given his seriously limited athletic tools?
  • Darius MillerKentucky - Glue guy with good size whose role in the pros will replicate exactly his role at Kentucky if he’s able to crack an NBA rotation.
  • Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas - Tough and athletic scoring point guard whose reputation as a walking turnover may drive NBA coaches nuts at times.
  • Scott Machado, Iona – The nation’s leading assist man who must quell concerns about his explosiveness and the level of competition he faced in the MAAC.
EJacoby (198 Posts)


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