NBA Prospects to Watch in the Kansas-Colorado Game of the Weekend

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterDecember 7, 2012

LAWRENCE, KS - NOVEMBER 15:  Ben McLemore #23 of the Kansas Jayhawks moves the ball upcourt supported by Perry Ellis #34 and Travis Releford #24 during the game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Allen Fieldhouse on November 15, 2012 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Two strong programs with lots of NBA prospects.

There isn't much of a difference between the teams in terms of talent. Colorado's Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie, along with Kansas' Elijah Johnson and Ben McLemore, combine for two of the most potent backcourts in the country.

This one could take all 40 minutes to decide and should draw plenty of attention from NBA scouts considering the prospects who will be on the floor.


Matchup to Watch: Kansas' Ben McLemore vs. Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie

Both McLemore and Dinwiddie have been standout guards on the national level.

Dinwiddie has made the freshman-to-sophomore jump and is becoming someone who is capable of taking over a game as a go-to scoring option.

Over his past three games, Dinwiddie is averaging 25 points while shooting 50 percent from three-point range. He has also made 28 free throws during the stretch, illustrating the ability to maximize his offensive output when open looks aren't always available.

He has the similar scoring tools as your typical next-level guard. He can create his shot on the perimeter and convert points off the dribble.

Dinwiddie has good size for a 2-guard at 6'5'' but will need to add some muscle on that 190-pound frame in order to be taken seriously as an NBA scorer. 

McLemore is a redshirt freshman with the shape of an NBA shooting guard, scoring 14 points a game for the Jayhawks. With a pure outside stroke and explosive athleticism, he's able to get himself points without overusing the dribble.

While he hasn't put up consistent points the way that Dinwiddie has, his physical tools make him a more threatening two-way prospect and a stronger play-finisher.

Scouts will be sure to tune into this head-to-head matchup of two of the better scoring shooting guards in the nation.


Other Notable NBA Prospects

Jeff Withey - Kansas, 7'0'' Center

 Withey has been a revelation in 2012, blocking shots at an unprecedented rate and posing as a legitimate interior scoring option.

He's averaging 14 points to go with 5.7 swats a game. He has been completely controlling the paint on both ends of the floor.

NBA evaluators will be looking to see how many of those 14 points are the result of effective entry passes and open layups, and how many he converts as a shot-creator in the post.


Andre Roberson - Colorado, 6'7'' SF

Roberson's size, athleticism and nose for the ball have made him a potential first-round prospect despite not having the scoring tools of your typical swingman.

At just 6'7'', he's averaging 11.5 rebounds a game to go with 12 points on 49 percent shooting. He's doing a better job of attacking the rim north and south, though he doesn't have the shiftiness to shake his defender east and west.

Proving that he can consistently knock down three-pointers would be a huge boost to his draft stock, as it would show coaches that he can contribute more than just on the boards and as a finisher.


Elijah Johnson - Kansas,6'3'' PG/SG

Johnson has been given a greater responsibility as the team's primary ball-handler and has shown mixed results so far.

He's averaging 1.4 more assists this year compared to last, but he is still struggling to consistently put points on the board.

Johnson is an NBA-caliber athlete who is capable of attacking the rim and converting from behind the arc, but his inconsistent performances have held him back from joining other combo guards on the first-round radar.