Kentucky vs. Kansas: How Title Game Impacted Prospects' NBA Draft Stock

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IApril 3, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02:  Doron Lamb #20 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts after making a three-pointer in the first half against the Kansas Jayhawks in the National Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on April 2, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Plenty of NBA prospects showcased their skills in the NCAA national championship game on Monday, including some potential lottery picks.

Some prospects—such as Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Thomas Robinson—were already potential top-three picks, so their performances didn't mean as much.

But there were other prospects who had a shot at significantly altering their draft stock on the big stage.

Here's a look at some of the biggest risers and fallers after the national championship game.

 

5. Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats give teammate Marquis Teague #25 a five late in the second half against the Louisville Cardinals during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Champi
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

There were murmurings that Marquis Teague may be a late first-round pick if he declared for the draft, based on his upside alone.

But Teague showed in the national championship game that he still has a ways to go before being a legit first-rounder. He shot 5-of-14 and had only three assists against Kansas.

He's improved tremendously since the start of the season, but he still needs some work and should stay for another year at Kentucky.

 

4. Tyshawn Taylor, PG, Kansas

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Tyshawn Taylor #10 of the Kansas Jayhawks reacts as the Jayhawks defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes 64-62 during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

You may look at Tyshawn Taylor's 19 points against Kentucky and say he elevated his draft stock.

But we always knew Taylor was a talented scorer. What causes concern is that he still is prone to turning the ball over and sometimes doesn't play within the game. Those aren't great attributes for a point guard.

With his five turnovers against Kentucky and a couple of boneheaded passes in the final minutes, Taylor has actually seen his draft stock fall. I'd be shocked if he made it into the first round.

 

3. Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Terrence Jones #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates against the Baylor Bears in the first half during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevi
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Terrence Jones is not only a legit first-rounder; I think he's a legit lottery pick.

He won't blow you away in any one category, but he contributes in all of them. That includes scoring, rebounding, defense and passing.

In the NCAA tournament, Jones averaged 11.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.6 blocks. Again, the numbers themselves don't impress, but his skill set across the board makes him a much more valuable player than his numbers would indicate.

There are still concerns about Jones' consistency in some circles, but I didn't see it in the NCAA tournament.

 

2. Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Doron Lamb #20 of the Kentucky Wildcats looks on while taking on the Louisville Cardinals during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31,
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Doron Lamb's strength and lack of size have made him a questionable NBA prospect to some, but the fact of the matter is, he can flat-out shoot the basketball.

He scored a team-high 22 points in the national championship game, going 7-of-12 from the field and 3-of-6 from downtown.

He's a smooth athlete with a silky-smooth jumper, and he has the wing span to make up for his lack of size. I'm starting to think the Chicago Bulls wouldn't mind him in the late first round.

 

1. Jeff Withey, C, Kansas

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats grabs the ball next to Jeff Withey #5 of the Kansas Jayhawks in the first half in the National Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercede
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Jeff Withey may have shot 2-of-8 from the field, but that's not why you draft him. You draft him because he proved in the NCAA tournament that he was one of the premier low-post defenders and shot-blockers in college basketball.

Withey had an astounding 31 blocks in six NCAA tournament games, including four swats against Anthony Davis and Co. in the national championship game.

Beyond that, he's proven he's a good rebounder and has undeniable heart.

Withey said he was returning to Kansas for his senior season after the title game, but I could see him landing in the early second round if he declared for the draft this year.

 

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