Draft Stock Before the Sweet 16 - 2014 NCAA Tournament
Before all of the teams have punched their ticket to the Sweet 16, NBA-DRAFT.COM is looking at which prospects on the NBA radar have helped and hurt their stock so far. There have been a lot of upsets like The Mercer Bears shocking the world and knocking out the Duke Blue Devils in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Then there have been in our opinion, not shocking upsets such as the No. 12 seeded Harvard Crimson sending home the Cincinnati Bearcats in the first round.
Andrew Wiggins - Kansas Jayhawks
Andrew Wiggins is back on top of most people's big board's easily in large part due to Joel Embiid's back injury which has kept him out of the tournament thus far. Wiggins has averaged 20.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in the tournament while leading his team into the round of 32 against the 10th seeded Stanford Cardinals. Wiggins hasn't impressed on the offensive end but, is the Jayhawks' best defender. Wiggins can lockdown the opponents best offensive threat. He is doing enough to occupy that top spot on most team's big board's.
Jabari Parker - Duke Blue Devils
Before the NCAA Tournament, Jabari Parker was locked in as a top 3 draft pick. Duke went on to be shocked by the Mercer Bears in the first round of the tournament . This was not an upset anybody saw happening. Parker did drop 14 points and grabbed 7 rebounds while being charged with 4 fouls. Coach K had to keep going offense for defense with Parker in the end of the game. Parker did have 4 fouls, but it was also a reflection of Parker's sub-par defense during the game. Is there any certainty that Parker has fallen out of the top 3 picks in the 2014 NBA Draft? No, but it is possible if other top prospects to have great tournaments and that Parker may get leap-forged and fall somewhere in the 4-5 range.
Dante Exum - PG/SG - Australia
Dante Exum is the top international prospect in this year's draft class and is obviously not playing in the tournament. While Exum has not been able to raise or solidify his draft stock, he also has not been able to hurt it either. Exum will need to play well at his pre-draft workouts and impress at the combine to keep his draft stock in the top 5.
Joel Embiid - Kansas Jayhawks
As discussed above, Embiid's draft stock has fallen out of the top spot due to his back injury that has slowed him down at the end of the season, and has now kept him out of the NCAA Tournament thus far. If the Jayhawks's are able to make it into the Sweet 16 and possibly farther, there is a chance Embiid can make his tournament debut. Embiid has sky high potential but, NBA team's will be sure to do a lot of checkups on his ailing back.
Julius Randle - Kentucky Wildcats
Julius Randle has averaged a double-double this season but has disappeared completely at times. During the SEC championship game during the SEC tournament, Randle fell off the map against Billy Donovan the top seeded Florida Gators. Randle totaled only 4 points and 7 rebounds. During Kentucky's first NCAA Tournament game, Kentucky beat Kansas State while Randle posted an impressive 19 points and 15 rebounds. Randle is still locked into a top 10 pick but has to not disappear in any of his team's remaining tournament games. Randle could jump into a top 3 or 4 pick with an outstanding rest of the tournament and some quality numbers and workouts at the combine and pre-draft workouts.
Marcus Smart - Oklahoma State
Marcus Smart and the Oklahoma State Cowboys were knocked out of the tournament in the first round by Gonzaga. Smart did his part by posting a monster line of 23 points, 7 assists, 13 rebounds, 7 steals and a block, but also turned the ball over 6 times. Smart has had a history of issues, some off the court, and some on the court but non-playing issues (suspension for pushing fans). Teams will have to be confident that his non-basketball issues will not be a problem at the next level for his draft stock to rise. Smart is locked in as a lottery pick.
Tyler Ennis - Syracuse Orange
Syracuse's talented freshman point guard Tyler Ennis, had his team knocked out in the 3rd round by the Dayton Flyers. Ennis has had a very solid tournament averaging 17.5 points and 4.5 assists with a 3-1 turnover ratio. Ennis did not hurt his draft stock but, the question is will the freshman sensation for the Orange declare for the draft or return to Syracuse for his sophomore season.
Zach LaVine - UCLA Bruins
Zach LaVine is another one of UCLA's guards that have sky high potential that NBA team covet (Russell Westbrook, Aaron Affalo, Darren Collison, Jrue Holliday). LaVine has been playing off the bench, but has the size and shooting ability that teams love. LaVine posted a dud in the Bruin's 2nd round matchup against Tulsa. If LaVine wants to impress scouts and NBA personnel, he will have to post a better line against Stephen F. Austin than he did against Tulsa (2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist). LaVine is another player like Syracuse's Tyler Ennis that may return to school for a second season.
Doug McDermott - Creighton Blue Jays
Doug McDermott, continued his impressive display during Creighton's first game of the NCAA Tournament. McDermott scored 30 points while shooting 56.5%. McDermott also led the Blue Days with 12 boards on the day. McDermott was 2-4 from beyond the Arc and made both of his free throw attempts on the day. Creighton takes on the Baylor Bears next and we do not expect anything McDermott to disappoint. McDermott appears to be a lock for the Lottery and maybe a top 10 pick.