Saturday, August 20th, 2011

2012 NBA Draft: Prospects 1-30

Published on July 29, 2011 by Scott Shirley   ·   7 Comments


I broke down the top 30 NBA 2012 prospects in segments, now here they are 1-30. This is a lot stronger draft class than last year’s draft class. Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger would have both been top 3 picks in this year’s draft. Plus this year’s incoming freshman class has a lot more talent.  As you will notice, there are a ton of players from North Carolina and Kentucky on the list.

1. Harrison Barnes SF North Carolina Soph. 6’8” – Barnes got off to a slow freshman season, but as the season went on his was one of the best players in college basketball. His game reminds people of Joe Johnson with more aggressiveness. Barnes’ jump shot is textbook; he is an effective three-point shooter. Barnes really has an excellent mid range game; he really can create his own shot. Barnes is a clutch player; he made a lot of clutch shots for UNC last year. Smooth would describe his offensive game. His body is NBA ready with his length; he could add a few pounds. He can finish inside the lane with his strength; he also runs well in transition. Barnes is also an effective rebounder especially on the offensive glass. He needs to improve his ball handling; he also needs to attack the rim more, since sometimes he’s relies too much on the jump shot.

2. Anthony Davis PF Kentucky Fr. 6’10” – It’s hard to image that just a couple years ago in high school Davis was a guard, now he has grown into a power forward. His game reminds people of Kevin Garnett. Davis has great length and size, and he just needs to add some muscle. Davis is an outstanding athlete with great quickness and leaping ability. Offensively he has a great shooting touch around the basket. He also has a nice jump shot he can even make three pointers. He excels at running the floor in transition. Davis is a dominant rebounder and shot blocker thanks to his length. Davis really needs to work on his post moves and getting stronger in the paint; if he does that he will be unstoppable.

3. Jared Sullinger PF Ohio State Soph. 6’9” – As a freshman Sullinger was the most dominant post player in college basketball. Sullinger already has a NBA body with his length and weight. He excels at scoring in the post, and he is unstoppable down there. He has very good touch around the basket thanks to his soft hands. He has a jump hook. Sullinger gets to the free throw line a lot. His shooting stroke is nice and sweet; he can even make threes. With his body it’s no surprise he is an outstanding rebounder, and a great shot blocker. Sullinger, whose dad was a high school basketball coach, has great basketball IQ. He must work on being a better overall athlete; he needs to work on his quickness and leaping ability. He also forces some shots sometimes. Think Kevin Love.

4. Perry Jones PF Baylor Soph. 6’11” – Yes, a top college basketball player is playing at Baylor. Jones would have been a top pick in this year’s draft, but he decided to come back for another year. Jones may be tall, but he plays like and has the skills of a guard. He is a superb athlete, with great quickness and leaping ability. He has very good ball handling skills, which help him break down his defender 1 on 1. Jones has a very good mid range game; he can make that 15-foot shot. He runs the floor very well. He is a great rebounder because of his length. He really needs to work on his effort level, because some nights he doesn’t bring it, very inconsistent. Despite being a power forward Jones is not very tough in the paint and is not a great finisher, he just plays like a guard. Think Tracy McGrady.

5. Michael Gilchrist SF Kentucky Fr. 6’7”– Yes, another top freshman going to Kentucky. Gilchrist is really athletic with explosive leaping ability; he also has great quickness. He excels at attacking the rim; he can finish with the best of them. He also likes to run the floor and finish in transition. He has pretty good ball handling skills, and he is also a great passer for a big guy. Gilchrist brings intensity on defense; he can block shots. He has great length, but he could add some muscle. Gilchrist needs to work on his shot offensively. His mechanics really need to get better. If he can make his jump shot he will really be a complete player. Think Andre Iguodala.

6. Quincy Miller PF Baylor Fr. 6’9” – Yes, a top recruit is headed to Baylor. Miller’s offensive game compares most to Kevin Durant. I am not saying he is Durant but that’s how he plays the game. He has excellent dribbling skills for his size, he can breakdown the defense with his superb quickness. Once he breaks down the defense he can pull up for the jumper or drive the whole way to the basket. His jumper is real smooth, and he can hit the outside shot. Miller has great length but he needs to add about 10 to 15 pounds of muscle, he needs the added strength to finish in the lane. Miller also needs to work on his shooting mechanics and shot selection.

7. James McAdoo PF North Carolina Fr. 6’9” – McAdoo, one of the top freshman in the country won’t even start at North Carolina, because they are loaded with talent. McAdoo’s game reminds many Tar Heel fans of James Worthy. He already has a NBA type body, with the length and strength. He is an excellent athlete, who excels offensively running the floor. Around the rim he has nice touch and can finish with his strength. McAdoo is a great rebounder; he uses his body well. He is also a very good defender who can guard out on the perimeter; he can also block shots. McAdoo still needs to improve his offensive game. He needs to work on his post moves. He needs to work on consistently making his jump shot.

8. Bradley Beal SG Florida Fr. 6’4” - I really like this kid’s game; I think he might be the best freshman in this class. Beal can flat out shoot the basketball that’s what he is best at. His stroke is real smooth; he has a quick release. He has excellent range on his shot. Beal is not just a shooter; he can get to the rim, and finish with his strength. He is a very versatile scorer. Another thing I like about Beal is that he is a tough player with very high basketball IQ. Beal needs to improve his ball handling as well as his passing ability. He could also work a little of his defense.

9. Austin Rivers PG Duke Fr. 6’4” – Yes, he is the son of the Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. Rivers is a flat out scorer kind of like Stephen Curry. Rivers has outstanding shooting range, he also excels at the mid range game, and he can also drive to the basket and finish with great touch. Rivers has excellent ball handling skills, which allows him to go by his defenders. Rivers is an explosive athlete with a quick first step. He really needs to get better on defense end if he wants to play at Duke. He also needs to work on getting his teammates involved more, and he can be a ball hog sometimes.

10. Terrence Jones PF Kentucky Soph. 6’8” – Jones decided to stay for his freshman season at Kentucky which I think was a very good idea. Jones is a very versatile player that plays either inside or on the perimeter; he is very athletic. Jones has great size and length. He is a very good ball handler for being a big. His ball handling skills let him get easy shots in the paint. He finishes very strong at the rim with his strength. Jones has the knack on how to get rebounds he is also a superb shot blocker. Jones needs to improve on his overall consistency of his game; he can score 20 points one night and 4 the next. Jones has shown signs of making the three point shot he needs to continue to improve at that.

11. John Henson PF North Carolina Jr. 6’10”Henson made a smart decision to return for his junior season, as he will likely be a higher pick in the draft next year. Henson is the best-shot blocker in college basketball; he has very long arms and a long wingspan that help. Even when he doesn’t block shots, he alters a lot of them. He is also very mobile in the paint. Henson is a very effective rebounder on both ends of the court. He improved his offensive game last year especially around the basket, but it still needs work. He developed a pretty nice jump hook last year; he needs to work on his jump shot and making more free throws. At 210 pounds he really needs to add weight and get stronger.

12.Patric Young C Florida Soph. 6’9”- Young didn’t get to play that much as a freshman, because Florida had 3 senior forwards. This year Young will be the force in the middle of the Gator’s defense. Young is very athletic for his size, and he already has a NBA type body. He is a dominant rebounder and showing signs of a strong shot blocker. He finishes well around the rim with his strength; he also runs the floor well. Offensively he is still very raw; his game needs a lot of work. He needs to really work on his post moves, and work on a jump shot. His shooting mechanics could also use some work.

13. Marquis Teague PG Kentucky Fr. 6’2”- Yes, Kentucky gets another star freshman point guard. Teague has an older brother who played at Wake Forest and is now in the NBA. The first thing you noticed about Teague is his athleticism and quickness. Teague is an excellent ball handler, with the court vision that all elite point guards have. His quickness and ball handling skills let him beat his man 1 on and 1; this allows him to get to the rim or pull up for a jump shot. He needs to continue to work on his jump shot; it will improve with time. Sometimes he is too out of control, which causes him to turnover the ball. Lastly he needs to put more energy on the defensive end.

14. Tyler Zeller C North Carolina Sr. 7’0”– Zeller showed what a talent he is last season, when he was finally healthy. Zeller has a ton of offensive skill for being 7 foot tall. He runs the floor extremely well, and finishes in transition. He also has a nice jump shot, which he uses in his mid range game. He is money from the free throw line. Zeller can also finish around the rim. He has very good post moves especially the jump hook. Zeller is also a strong rebounder and can block shots. Zeller can be even better if he can add 5 to 10 pounds of muscle and get stronger. He should also try to improve his explosiveness.

15. Adonis Thomas SF Memphis Fr. 6’7” - Thomas decided to stay home and play for Memphis. What you will notice right away from watching Thomas is he is a very explosive athlete that can jump out of the gym. Thomas is a solid ball handler with great speed with the ball. Thomas already has a NBA type body. He can really finish at the rim with his strength. Thomas is a top lockout down defender; he might be best at this. His offensive game is still kind of raw. He needs to work on consistently making his jump shot, and he needs to work on his shooting mechanics. He needs to work on his mid range game, which he can excel at with time.

16. Jeremy Lamb SG UConn Soph. 6’6”– Lamb emerged as a true superstar; he was Uconn’s second best player behind Kemba Walker; he hit clutch shot after clutch shot. With Walker now in the NBA; Lamb’s offensive numbers are only going to get better. Lamb has very good size and length for a shooting guard, but he really needs to add some weight. Lamb is a great athlete with his quickness and jumping ability. He is also an excellent an aggressive defender. One word to describe his offensive game is smooth. He is an excellent shooter who excels at the mid range game. He needs to be more aggressive on offense and attack the rim more.

17.Myck Kabongo PG Texas Fr. 6’2”Kabongo, who is from Canada, will be heading to play for Texas this year. Kabongo is the best true point guard in the incoming freshman class. He is a gifted ball handler, which allows him to penetrate and find the wide-open guy with his court vision, and he can also breakdown his defender 1 on 1. He has a sweet shooting stroke that could get even better. It wouldn’t hurt him to add some muscle in the future. Kabongo sometimes tries to be too flashy which can get him into trouble with turnovers.

18.Thomas Robinson PF Kansas Jr. 6’9” – Robinson would have been more of a house hold name this season, but he was coming off the bench because he played behind the Morris twins who were both first round picks this year. He had better offensive and defensive rebounding numbers per minutes played than both of the Morris twins. He excels at rebounding and blocking shots. He already has a NBA body; he plays very physical around the rim. Robinson is a very good athlete with leaping ability. He is still very raw offensively he needs to work on his post moves, and mid range game.

19. LeBryan Nash SF Oklahoma State Fr. 6’7”I can’t help but compare Nash, to Ron Artest of the Lakers minus the craziness and little better athletic ability. He already has a NBA body with his size, length, and strength. He can really get to the rim, and when he does he is a highlight dunker. He is a very solid rebounder; he is starting to be a lock down defender too. He has great range on his shot, but he needs to be more consistent. His shooting mechanics could also use some work. Nash sometimes also tries do to much on the court at times.

20. Josh Smith C UCLA Soph. 6’9” - Smith weighs about 280 pounds, but don’t be fooled by that, he has very good feet, and excellent hands for a big guy. He is very good around the basket with a soft touch; he also has good passing ability out of the post. Smith is also a defensive presence in the paint with his shot blocking ability, and a excellent rebounder. With Smith being so big; he needs to improve his conditioning, he needs to be on the court more with his talents. Smith also needs to work on his overall offensive game with his post moves, and the spot up jumper.

21. Jeff Taylor SF Vanderbilt Sr. 6’ 7” – He is an elite athlete who is a versatile scorer. Taylor excels at finishing at the rim with his size and strength. He needs to continue on his three point shot, which he did last college season. Taylor also needs to cut down on his turnovers.

22. Festus Ezeli C Vanderbilt Sr. 6’11” - Ezeli, is a very raw prospect who is just starting to live up to his potential. He excels on the defensive end where he is an imposing presence in the paint with his shot blocking ability. Ezeli must continue to improve his post moves and scoring ability; he started to do this last season averaging 13 points per game.

23. Mason Plumlee C Duke Jr. 6’11” - Plumlee is a very athletic big guy who runs the floor well. He is a very active rebounder on both ends, and he knows how to block shots. On offense he can throw down the monster dunk, but he really needs to work on his post moves, which are lacking. Another thing Plumlee is lacking is that toughness on the court.

24.Mouptaou Yarou C Villanova Jr. 6’10” - Just like Ezeli, Yarou is a raw prospect who has loads of potential. Yarou plays in an offense at Villanova that is very guard centered. His offense of game is just starting to develop, and it will get better with more playing experience. He is really athletic for a big guy; he also needs to be a more aggressive rebounder and shot blocker.

25. William Buford SG Ohio State Sr. 6’5” – Buford is a deadly shooter; especially from behind the arch. He has great quickness to create his own shot; and excels as an on the ball defender. Buford is really just a jump shooter; he rarely attacks the rim for whatever reason. When his shot isn’t falling he can disappear on offense.

26. John Jenkins SG Vanderbilt Jr 6’4” – Yes another Vanderbilt player, Jenkins can flat out shoot the ball, he has unlimited range. He excels at coming off screens to get his shots. Jenkins is also a very clutch player. Jenkins is not a great athlete, which causes him to struggle to  create his own shot. He also really needs to work on his defense.

27. Kris Joseph SF Syracuse Sr. 6’7”Joseph can do a little bit of everything, he doesn’t do anything exceptionally well and doesn’t have any real weakness. He is an excellent athlete who can finished well in transition and is a very good rebounder. Last season he improved some on his jump shot, and he needs to get even better. He really needs to work on his ball handling skills.

28. Kendall Marshall PG North Carolina Soph. 6’4 -Marshall was the man behind North Carolina’s turn around mid season. He is a true point guard with excellent court vision, and passing ability. Marshall really has high basketball IQ, and he knows how to lead a team. Marshall needs to improve his shooting ability as well as get quicker. If I were a scorer I would want Marshall as my point guard.

29. C.J. Leslie PF North Carolina State Soph 6’9”– Leslie is one of the most athletic players in the country, he also has great length. He has pretty good dribbling skills for a big guy, he can beat his guy 1 on 1. Leslie is a great rebounder and shot blocker. If he wants to play in the paint in the NBA he needs to add weight; he also needs to work on a jump shot and his post moves.

30. Will Barton SG Memphis Soph. 6’6” - Barton had a somewhat of a disappointing season last year at Memphis. He has great length but he needs to add weight. Barton has unlimited shooting range, which causes him to take a lot of bad shots. He needs to continue to attack the rim to add another dimension to his game. Barton is also a good rebounder for being a guard.


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Readers Comments (7)

  1. Sean T says:

    Barnes will be an epic bust at 1

  2. [...] is a new Post at 2012 NBA Draft: Prospects 1-30 | 2012 NBA Draft: Prospects 1-30. Published on July 29, 2011 by Scott Shirley · 1 Comment. I broke [...]

  3. Nick T. says:

    whatever Barnes will lead UNC to the national championship and be the 1st pick in the draft

  4. [...] Home › NCAA Basketball › 2012 NBA Draft: Prospects 1-30 [...]

  5. Dmil99 says:

    Saying Mason Plumlee lacks toughness is an understatement. He’s almost as soft as the CoP.

  6. Buckeye70 says:

    Good to see the big boi Yarou getting some love. This season will be a real muscle grind though. Villanova’s conference schedule this year is a bear. I’m looking forward to it though. Let’s
    git it awn! Yeeeee-hawwww!

    Also, methinks that Buford from The Ohio State should be ranked ahead of Yarou.

  7. skoalrebel says:

    Tyler Zeller is the best player on this list. That white boy will take over the NBA.

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