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.
3/28/2007 01:50:00 PM
Scout's Take: Whose Draft Stock is Up?
Chris Douglas-Roberts put together a standout performance vs. Texas A&M in the Regional Semifinals despite an ankle injury.
The Blog named its All-Second Weekend Team on Tuesday, and today turns to its most trusted NBA scout (Seth calls them "Finches," but we'll stick with standard nomenclature) for a different kind of starting five. Which players, our scout was asked, improved their draft stock the most over the course of the NCAA tournament?
Here were his picks, followed by commentary:
Greg Oden, C, Ohio State (Fr., projected for '07 draft)
Scout's Take: "I know we're talking about 'moving up,' and Oden can't really go much higher, but here's what's been reinforced: All the talk about taking [Kevin] Durant at No. 1 is ridiculous. If it was possible for Oden to have helped himself in that debate, he did. That blocked shot at the end of the Tennessee game -- that's why he's the No. 1 pick. He effortlessly rotated over and stuffed a potential game-winning shot, and there are about three guys on the planet who can do what he does defensively. I thought Joey Dorsey [of Memphis] would put up more of a fight in the Elite Eight, but Oden destroyed the guy. When you're framing this Durant-versus-Oden debate, it's not like you're talking about Michael Jordan versus Hakeem Olajuwon. You're talking about a higher-level Tracy McGrady versus Hakeem. And I know who wins that argument. Every single time. It's crazy that there even is an argument."
Jeff Green, F, Georgetown (Jr., projected for '07 draft)
Scout's Take: "There was a time when scouts worried about Green being able to make the positional transition from a 4 to a 3. That's historically the most difficult jump to make, because you're essentially switching from being an interior college player to a perimeter pro. Green has shown the ability to make that jump, flashing great ballhandling and spot-shooting skills. He's versatile enough that he'll still be able to defend some 4s, and play there in a smaller lineup, and there are probably some 2s that he could guard as well. He's one of those position-less college guys that facilitates winning with his passing, rebounding, and ability to play out facing the rim as a stationary passer in their Princeton offense."
Chris Douglas-Roberts, G, Memphis (Soph., projected for '08 draft)
Scout's Take: "Douglas-Roberts took a big step up in my mind. Even if he's not the most athletic guy in the room, he can really get to the cup. He's so smooth, and has such depth to his game -- he can handle, pass and penetrate. He's slippery around the basket. The other thing that I liked about Douglas-Roberts was the level of toughness with which he played; it was much higher than his body indicates he should be. He'll remain a 2-guard in the NBA, because he has the size and length for the position, but I don't think he's a threat to declare this year.
Roy Hibbert, C, Georgetown (Jr., projected for '08 draft)
Scout's Take: "This isn't necessarily my opinion; I still think he's a long way from being able to compete in the league, speed-wise. But a lot of scouts I talk to have really jumped on the Hibbert bandwagon during the tournament. He's really helped himself with what he's done starting from the semifinal round of the Big East tournament until now. Hibbert is the kind of center who's been forced to learn how to read defenses. The great passing ability that he's shown, plus the fact that he's played with a noticeable uptick in his passion and his energy, is great."
Malik Hairston, F, Oregon (Jr., projected for '08 draft)
Scout's Take: "This on is more under the radar. I watched Hairston his freshman year at Oregon -- when he came in with this huge rep, and was supposed to be Carmelo -- and he was bad. I almost wrote the guy off as being too un-athletic to be an NBA prospect at all. What I saw in the tournament this year, though, was a guy who had overcome that and learned to play with his limitations. Hairston was impressive. He has a very good way about him now, in terms of using his size, being able to score, pass the ball, and showing improvement with his shooting. To make the kind of steps that he's made, you have to have some desire to improve. I think if he continues to progress, and comes to Orlando [for the NBA's pre-draft camp] after next season he could be a solid second-rounder."