Early look at top 30 prospects for 2011 NBA draft
UNC's Harrison Barnes is a complete player and appears to be a coach's dream
Defending national champ Duke boasts four players in the top 30; KU has three
UConn's Kemba Walker and Duke's Kyrie Irving seem to be the top point guards
With the 2010 NBA draft taking place on Thursday night, it's time to take a look at the next crop of NBA hopefuls. Here's a far-too-early ranking of the top 30 prospects for the 2011 NBA draft.
* Each player is listed with his school year for the forthcoming season.
1. Harrison Barnes, North Carolina, Freshman
Shooting Guard/Small Forward
6-foot-8, 210 lbs.
Barnes is a complete player with all the physical tools and intangibles NBA teams look for in a franchise-caliber talent. He can score, pass and defend, steps up in the clutch, and appears to be a coach's dream.
2. Perry Jones, Baylor, Freshman
6-11, 220 lbs.
Jones is a freakishly athletic power forward with legit perimeter skills. At 6-11, he still handles the ball in open floor and makes shots from the perimeter. He is a tantalizing talent, but he's not always intense or productive enough.
3. Jan Vesely, KK Partizan Belgrade (International)
6-11, 240 lbs.
A versatile, oversized small forward who plays with great intensity and produces at the highest level of European basketball. Vesely's an excellent defender who is still somewhat raw offensively.
4. Jonas Valanciunas, Lietuvos Rytas (International)
6-10, 230 lbs.
Valanciunas is an inside-oriented European player with good size and length. The big man can score with his back to the basket and rebound and is already seeing minutes at a high level of competition. He must continue to prove himself in a bigger role next season.
5. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, Freshman
6-8, 250 lbs.
The Buckeye-to-be is a dominant low-post player with great hands and scoring instincts. He is extremely intelligent on and off the court. Sullinger may be undersized and not overly athletic, but he's tremendously productive nonetheless.
6. Donatas Motiejunas, Benetton Treviso (International)
7-0, 215 lbs.
This athletic and highly skilled European big man has major talent and upside. Though his productivity was inconsistent in Italy last season. The seven-footer must improve as a defender and rebounder.
7. Josh Selby, Kansas, Freshman
6-1, 180 lbs.
Selby is an unbelievably athletic combo guard with fantastic scoring instincts. He can create shots at will, but must improve his playmaking ability and shot-selection.
8. Jeff Taylor, Vanderbilt, Junior
6-6, 200 lbs.
Taylor boasts notable athleticism and is one of the best defenders in college basketball. But he is still raw offensively, especially as a perimeter shooter. The Vandy stud has big upside, but must show he can step up and be productive on a consistent basis.
9. Kyrie Irving, Duke, Freshman
6-1, 172 lbs.
A smart, talented, versatile point guard who plays the game with great swagger. Irving must improve playmaking ability and defensive skills. He'll give Duke another dimension, but will need to learn how to pick his spots as a freshman.
10. Mason Plumlee, Duke, Sophomore
6-11, 210 lbs.
Plumlee's an ultra-athletic power forward with an intriguing skill-level. He has shown flashes of great potential, but must improve toughness and defense. Also he has to continue filling out physically.
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