Get inside March Madness with SI.com's Luke Winn in the Tourney Blog, a daily journal of college basketball commentary, on-site reporting and reader-driven discussions.
3/21/2006 04:28:00 AM
Conversation With ... An NBA Scout
Georgetown's Roy Hibbert boosted his draft stock with a 20-point game against Ohio State in the second round.
In the downtime between rounds of the NCAA tournament, the Blog checked in with an NBA scout to get his anonymous take on which players did the most to improve their draft stock on the first weekend:
1. Roy Hibbert, 7-foot-2 center, Georgetown, Soph.
Scout's Take: Hibbert really helped himself against Northern Iowa and Ohio State -- especially OSU, facing Terence Dials -- because he played so well and there's such a dearth of true big men in college. Hibbert has a chance to be a pro because he's so gigantic and skilled, but he's definitely not ready to come out yet. He still has to prove he can consistently perform -- but he's gone from just a prospect to a priority prospect.
2. Joakim Noah, 6-11 forward, Florida, Soph.
Scout's Take: Noah's shown more depth to his game. The passing element has always been there, but it hasn't always shown up so significantly in the box score. He's been putting up crazy stat lines in the tournament, plus he plays with such passion. He needs to get stronger, but his shoulders aren't too wide, so you question how much more weight they can carry. He's so interesting because of his energy level and his skill. It's unreal the way he's able to get out and run on the break.
3. Ronnie Steele, 6-2 guard, Alabama, Soph.
Scout's Take: Against Marquette and UCLA, Steele proved that he's a good prospect who knows how to run a team. He plays with such poise, and I think he's shown a greater ability over the past two weeks to shoot the ball. His shot had been a question for a while, but not as much anymore after putting up so many points [averaging 22.0 per game] in the first two rounds.
4. Glen Davis, 6-8 forward, LSU, Soph.
Scout's Take: He's shown a pretty versatile game, proving he can shoot from 15 feet out as well as drive the ball from the elbow and score. People still question his lack of length and explosiveness, but he's intriguing because he plays with such flair. I've heard people say, "He's just another Robert Traylor," but I think he brings a different attitude to the floor. Big Baby plays with character.
5. Craig Smith, 6-7 forward, Boston College, Sr.
Scout's Take: When I saw him last year, I said, "No way is he going to be a good pro." But he's shown me something. He's been able to put up big numbers [averaging 23.5 points and 14.5 rebounds through two games] while commanding a ton of attention defensively. He's still an under-sized power forward at a position that's really stocked, but he's a solid second-rounder. He reminds me a little of Anthony Mason, in the way that he has a huge body and knows how to use his rear end.