Noel, Shabazz, Bennett headline unsigned prospects
The college basketball landscape could change this spring.
Kentucky could lose as many as five players to the NBA draft. Duke lost to Lehigh in the tournament and could lose Austin Rivers. Georgetown will lose go-to inside presence Henry Sims. Ohio State could lose big man Jared Sullinger. And UCLA didn't even make the NCAA tournament.
All those schools and more are competing for some of the top prospects left on the board in 2012. Their decisions could change the college landscape.
Nerlens Noel (considering Georgetown, Syracuse, Kentucky): A recent report from Scout says the 6-11 shot blocking big is down to the aforementioned three. Syracuse seems logical because of what he can do defensively in that 2-3 zone. Kentucky has only elevated Anthony Davis' profile, something that must be appealing to Noel. Georgetown, however, is the most interesting. The Hoyas allow their big men to make plays with the ball, allow them to make decisions. Noel has always enjoyed that part of the game and it was evident at the end of his high school career after teammate Wayne Selden went down and he became the primary (yes, primary) ballhandler.
Where he should go: Georgetown
Wherever he goes, he will be an impact defensively, that's a no-brainer. But being a priority on the other side of the ball could be the final factor in his decision. It's not the flashy decision but it could be the right one because it will prepare him for the next level in the most complete manner.
Shabazz Muhammad (considering Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, UNLV, Arizona, Duke): A recent report from Zagsblog.com says that Shabazz should be announcing shortly after his visit to UCLA. 6-9 point guard Kyle Anderson is already on board and his father thinks Shabazz will be the next to fall in line. The overriding factor for Muhammad will be Kentucky. If they do manage to lose five of their guys, playing time will open up for a coach who has proven to send players to the league. In the end, this thought could be too tantalizing to turn down.
Where he should go: Duke
Muhammad is really going to fit in wherever he goes and all the programs in on him have shown an ability to make players ready for the league (outside of UNLV). His biggest weaknesses lie in exerting consistent effort on the defensive end and creating jump shots off the bounce while facing the hoop, two areas the Duke coaching staff specialize in helping players improve upon.
Anthony Bennett (considering Kentucky, Florida, Oregon, Washington, UNLV): Bennett is probably the most versatile player on this list; he's able to body up his defenders at the four and then bring them out to the perimeter while competing at the small forward position.
Where he should go: Kentucky
His versatility and the opportunity for playing time should not be ignored.
Tony Parker (considering Ohio State, UCLA, Kentucky, Memphis, Duke, Kansas): A true post with a number of skills inside and around the paint.
Where he should go: UCLA
His skill level would only grow under Howland, the same man who coached Kevin Love. In addition, having an elite floor general like Kyle Anderson setting him up could really boost his stock. If it wasn't for Anderson's presence, we'd say Ohio State is the best choice.
Amile Jefferson (considering N.C. State, Duke, Ohio State, Villanova, Duke, Kentucky): A very cerebral player who is crafty when attacking the paint. His long arms, height and athleticism cause havoc defensiively as well.
Where he should go: Duke
Duke. Coach K would understand exactly how to use him on the court. Jefferson's consistent effort and passion would make him a favorite amongst the Cameron Crazies.
Chris Obekpa (considering UConn, St. John's, Providence, Cincinatti, Memphis, DePaul): If there wasn't a player by the name of Nerlens Noel, he'd be seen as the best shot-blocker in the country.
Where he should go: St. John's
Their havoc-causing pressure defense will play into his shot-blocking ability. His teammate, Felix Balamou, recently signed on with the Johnnies and the media attention of playing in New York never hurts.