Mar 22, 2012, 8:33 AM EDT
NBA fans — and to some degree NBA GMs — do a lot of scouting during conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament. They like seeing players they may draft respond to pressure situations against good competition.
But for scouts, it rarely changes what they have thought about a player they have watched for a couple seasons now. Opinions are formed.
Still, there are a couple matchups scouts want to see in the NCAA Sweet 16, something Chad Ford pointed out at ESPN.
Thursday that is a battle of slightly undersized bigs — Florida’s Patric Young vs. Marquette’s Jae Crowder. Young says he is staying in school another year but he is the better prospect who at 6’9” can defend and rebound at an NBA level. He’s strong, a good shot blocker and while he has been up and down he works hard. Which will make things challenging for Crowder, who is all about outworking you. Crowder — projected as a second round pick by DraftExpress — is also strong and a guy who works hard off the ball and defends like a beast. His challenge is he plays the four in college but is really the size of an NBA three and some scouts wonder if he is athletic enough to play on the wing. What I have seen (limited though it is) he looks to me like he can defend on the wing at an NBA level, and if he can do that he has real value.
The better matchup may be Friday — Kentucky’s Anthony Davis against Indiana’s Cody Zeller. They went head-to-head earlier in the year but Ford says neither impressed, here is a chance to do so. Not that anything that happens will change the fact Davis is going to be the first overall pick — he is very long, defends well, is athletic and has very good handles for a big. I generally hate comparing guys to current NBA players, but watch him and he reminds me of a young Kevin Garnett. Zeller also is a very agile, athletic big who would be a lottery pick if he came out this year. He’s another big who can step out and beat you on the perimeter or running the break. Zeller may stay in school another year (if so he may go top 5 next year) but this is a good matchup test for both men. (Kentucky just has a lot more talent around Davis than Indiana does.)
- John Calipari comes to defense of Derrick Rose 5
- Tony Allen fined $5,000 for overacting on Ginobili foul 13
- Preview: Pacers must take back paint to even series with Heat 4
- Celtics deny Nets permission to speak with head coach Doc Rivers 5
- PBT Extra: Talking Heat/Pacers, and why Indy might be optimistic 12
- Report: Dwight Howard will consider multiple teams in free agency, is said to be most intrigued by the Rockets (124)
- Alonzo Mourning says Scottie Pippen says LeBron would “kick Jordan’s ass” (81)
- LeBron’s triple-double, game-winner in overtime lead Heat to Game 1 win over Pacers (65)
- Pacers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with Game 6 win over Knicks (60)
- If Phil Jackson could have any player to start a team it would be… Bill Russell (59)
- Penguins bounce Senators
- Pacers take down Heat in Game 2 to even series
- Tiger, LeBron and bids to be the best that ever lived
- PST: Report: Openly gay Rogers to play for Galaxy
- HBT: Granderson breaks pinky in Yanks' win
- PHT: NHL to present Coyotes ownership plans
- HBT: A-Rod sells Miami home for $30 million