Nov 4, 2011; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies guard Terrence Ross (31) dunks the ball during the game against the Seattle Pacific Falcons at Alaska Airlines Arena. Washington defeated Seattle Pacific 77-60. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

2012 NBA Draft: Most Underrated College Prospects

With the 2012 NBA Draft just two hours away, Busting  Brackets has compiled a list of its most underrated college prospects in this year’s 2012 NBA Draft. For a look at our most overrated college prospects in the draft, CLICK HERE.

 

Player

Pos.

School

Projected

Value

Terrence Ross

SG

Washington

Mid-First

Top 10

Evaluation: While his running backcourt mate Tony Wroten found a spot on our Most Overrated College Prospects list, Washington shooting guard Terrence Ross headlines a group of the most underrated prospects in this year’s NBA draft. The sweet-shooting, high-flying 6-foot-7 swingman developed rapidly over two seasons at Washington, emerging as one of the Pac-12’s premiere players. Ross is a jack-of-all-trades type of guy, offering a diverse skill set and the full gamut of requisite NBA qualities. He has great size for the position, elite athleticism and a versatile game. Ross has a wide arsenal of offensive moves, able to beat you above the rim or from behind the arc. As a sophomore for the Huskies last season, he shot better than 37-percent from downtown, 77-percent from the free throw line and 46-percent from the floor. Ross rebounds well for his position, grabbing an astounding 6.4 rebounds per game out of the guard slot during his sophomore campaign. He is a terrific defender who closes quickly, allowing him to take chances on steals, cut off passing lanes and play ball denial when necessary. The only legitimate concern regarding Ross is his 6-7 wingspan, just a quarter-inch longer than his height. That is below average for a shooting guard despite Ross’ above average size. Although Ross fancies himself as a swingman, he’ll likely only fit at the 2-guard given his wingspan at the next level.

 

Arnett Moultrie

PF

Mississippi St.

Top 15-20

Lottery

Evaluation: Unlike most of the great athletes in the 2012 NBA Draft, Arnett Moultrie has a complementary game to take advantage of his athleticism. A long and agile 6-foot-11 big, Moultrie has the foot-speed and enough of a face-up game to play power forward in the NBA. Moultrie is a versatile big with the potential to excel on both ends of the floor. He runs the court like a guard but finishes strong at the rim, even in traffic, like the best big men in the sport. Moultrie will keep you honest with a 15-foot jumper that he can knock down consistently, a new wrinkle he added to his game while sitting out a year after transferring from UTEP to Mississippi State. Moultrie is an above average free throw shooter for his position (78-percent) and even flashed his range by knocking down 8 of his 18 3-point shots last season. The former Bulldog averaged 10.5 rebounds per game last season, which is remarkable for a player who spent considerable time on the offensive end camped out on the perimeter. Despite his propensity for shooting mid-range and sometimes perimeter jumpers, Moultrie still shot 55-percent from the floor as a junior, an impressive clip for a big man who plays inside and outside. Moultrie has Jermaine O’Neal like potential if he can put on a tad more muscle and harness his 15-footer. If he slips out of the lottery, more than a few general managers will regret it.

 

Andrew Nicholson

PF

St. Bonaventure

Late 1st Round

Mid-1st Round

Evaluation: Often to a fault, the NBA draft rewards upside and projectability more than tangible, on-court success at the college level. Sometimes it works, like in 2008 when all 30 GMs passed on Chris Douglas-Roberts—who finished third that year in the National Player of the Year voting—in the first round. Douglas-Roberts, who fell to New Jersey at pick No. 40, is now a non-descript player in the league. Other times, this skewed approach, which prioritizes potential over production, backfires. Like when 10 teams passed on Reggie Miller in 1987 despite a wonderful career at UCLA. Or when Michael Redd fell to pick No. 43 in 2000. Andrew Nicholson, perhaps more than anyone in the draft not named Jared Sullinger, is primed for becoming the next victim of this flawed drafting philosophy. The reigning Atlantic-10 Player of the Year was a model of consistent during his four-year career with the Bonnies. Nicholson shot 57.1-percent from the floor in each of his final two seasons with the program, averaging a career-best 20.8 points per game as a junior. Nicholson was adept at filling up a score sheet during his reign in the A-10. He averaged 18.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks for Bonaventure as a senior. Nicholson can beat you anywhere on the floor, including from 3-point range, where he hit 23 of his 53 attempts last season (good for 43.4-percent). The four-year A-10 standout was one of the most prolific and productive players in all of college basketball during his college reign. With NBA size (6-foot-9, 240 pounds), there’s no reason to believe Nicholson’s skills won’t translate to the league. Not if Lamar Odom, the last great A-10 big to earn a first round selection, is any indication. If NBA team execs are hellbent on glossing over college productivity in favor of projectability, make an exception for Andrew Nicholson. In his case, the college numbers DO tell the whole story.

 

Darius Miller

SF

Kentucky

2nd Round

Late 1st Round

Evaluation: Kentucky will push for a record five first-round picks in this league’s draft. Darius Miller should be one of them. In contrast to former teammate Marquis Teague, who is worthy of the second round projection most mock drafts have tagged on Miller, the reigning SEC Sixth Man of the Year has a wide array of NBA-ready tools. A 6-foot-8 swingman, Miller has great size for his position that will allow him to play either the 2-guard of SF in the league. Miller has the trifecta of coveted NBA assets: for a tweener: above average athleticism, above average size and an above average shot. Whereas most swingmen have the size of a shooting guard but game befitting of a small forward, Miller is the envied opposite. He has the size of a 3 but the skills of a 2, making a hot commodity for tonight’s draft. Miller shot 38-percent from behind the arc as a senior, and 44-percent as a junior. He was a sparkplug off the bench for the Wildcats last season, draining a number of huge 3-pointers in SEC play and the NCAA tournament. Miller was the unsung hero—both on and off the court—on a Kentucky team rife with talent. He was a calming, veteran influence on a young and inexperienced team, an indispensable player who enabled a group of fledgling players to become the youngest starting lineup ever to win an NCAA championship in the modern era. Miller’s versatility allows him to guard upwards of three positions at the next level. And his diverse combination of size, athleticism, experience and skill set will enable him to contribute immediately for a team next season. Like Syracuse guard Dion Waiters, Miller is predisposed to coming off the bench. All other big-time talents being considered for the first round were all starters last season. They’re used to logging 35 minutes a game and assuming the alpha dog role on their respective teams. For Darius Miller, he’s all too familiar with coming off the bench. Unlike the other big-time draft prospects, there will be no transition period for Miller between his former college role and newly minted NBA role.

 

Mike Scott

PF

Virginia

2nd Round

Late 1st / Early 2nd

Evaluation: Although Tyler Zeller earned ACC Player of the Year award honors last season, Wahoos forward Mike Scott was the best player in the league. Scott, who projects as more of a combo/stretch-4 than as a pure power forward, was the ACC’s most dynamic offensive weapon. As a senior at UVA, Scott averaged 18 points per game on stellar 56.3-percent shooting from the floor. The Cavaliers star can beat you inside and outside, flashing a streaky 18-foot jumper that opposing defenses had to contest. Scott is an explosive player, a great athlete with a high motor and tough mindset. He doesn’t shy away from contact, and his strong build enables him to withstand opposition and finish in traffic. Scott was a stellar free throw shooter in college, hitting 83-percent from the charity stripe over his final two seasons (the first of which was cut short by injury and resulted in a redshirt season). Scott measured out at 6-foor-8 at the scouting combine, which is a workable, but less ideal height for an aspiring power forward. His 6-foot-11 wingspan is reason for optimism, however, as was his above average vertical jump at the combine. Scott has a nice blend of productivity and projectability that makes him an enticing prospect. He was a man among boys in one of the elite conferences in college basketball, posting some of his finer performances against the steepest competition. In four of his five games against the ACC’s top three front courts—North Carolina, Florida State and Duke—Scott averaged 20 points per game on 57.6-percent shooting while pulling down double digit rebounds in two of the four (in the fifth game not accounted for in this breakdown, a home tilt against North Carolina, Scott was beset by foul trouble and had his worst game of the season). Scott is not a sure-fire stud in the league, or even a definitive first round talent. But he’s better than the mid-second round projection most mock drafts have for him.

 

 

Tags: 2012 Nba Draft Andrew Nicholson Arnett Moultrie College Darius Miller Draft Prospects Mike Scott Mississippi State Most Underrated Prospects Sleepers St. Bonaventure Terrence Ross Under The Radar Underrated Undervalued Virginia Kentucky Washington

comments powered by Disqus