Arizona junior guard Nick Johnson is set to enter the NCAA tournament following a terrific regular season that earned him the Pac-12 Player of the Year award -- no small feat in a conference as loaded with talented as the Pac-12 this season.
So why, then, isn't he more highly regarded as a NBA prospect? The athletic 6-foot-3, 200-pounder currently comes in all the way down at No. 54 on Chad Ford's updated Big Board, and enters the Big Dance with little buzz about being a first-round pick in June.
ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton was asked about Johnson's draft stock in a Sports Nation chat last Friday, and offered his take on the matter, while Chad Ford answered another question about Johnson on Wednesday.
"Johnson is making 36% of his 3s this year (39% last year). As a result, he isn't a particularly efficient scorer. I see some upside as a 3-and-D combo guard, but teams are thinking bigger in the lottery, especially with a junior.
"If he was three inches taller, he'd probably be a lottery pick. But it's much harder for 6-2/6-3 two guards to thrive in the NBA. It helps that Nick is such an explosive athlete, but that alone won't do it. That's why he's on the first round bubble."