NBA scouts and executives were out in force this weekend for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, trying to get their last look at a number of top prospects. Many GMs think the tournament is important because it shows how players perform under intense pressure, on neutral courts, at the highest level of basketball the NCAA has to offer.
Still most executives emphasize that performance in the tournament is just one of many factors that go into their draft analysis. The truth is somewhat murkier.
While it's obviously clear that lots of other factors come into play before draft night (past performance, draft workouts, physicals, etc.), a great (or terrible) NCAA tournament performance can have a lasting effect on how decision-makers feel emotionally about a given player. In fact, statistician David Berri posits in his new book that players who play in the Final Four move up an average of 12 spots in the draft.
Here's a look at who helped and hurt themselves over the first four days of the tournament.
Who's hotJohn Wall, PG, Freshman, Kentucky
Wall's biggest weakness? Shooting. So what does he do? Goes 6-for-10 from behind the arc in the tournament. And about those crazy turnovers: He's sporting a 2.5:1 assist-to-turnover ratio so far. What else do you want?Wesley Johnson, F, Junior, Syracuse
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