Stock Watch: Irving, Williams

        Duke's Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams of Arizona put on a show last night, displaying their talents and making their case of why they should each garner strong consideration for the No. 1 overall pick in June's NBA Draft. Williams, the 6'7" combo-forward went off for 32 points, including 25 in the first half on 5-of-6 from 3-point range. Irving, the draft's top point guard, scored 28 points off the bench in 31 minutes of action- the most run he's gotten since early-December due to his toe injury.

        With one more week of practice under his belt after missing 27 games, Irving looked solid, deserving of the No. 1 spot we have promoted him to on our Big Board. The fact that he came back to play and produce in Duke's three tournament games should alleviate any concerns GMs have had about his injury, especially with his 28 points last night. The rust looked pretty well worn off last night.

        His main competition for the No. 1 pick, Derrick Williams, has some concerns himself, but its pretty obvious that its Irving-Williams or Williams-Irving atop the 2011 NBA Draft. Although he's a "tweener" as a small forward / power forward prospect, and a bit undersized as a 4, his performance last night against Duke's bigs, should help his stock even further. He was on a scoring rampage in the first half, knocking down several outside shots and also putting the ball on the floor and taking it strong to the rim. He's productive and efficient, no matter what position you put him at on the floor.

By President Corey Ruff - 3-25-11