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College, NBA Draft, Overseas / Jan 9, 2013 / 4:00 pm

Fast 5: Tracking This Year’s NBA Draft Class, Vol. 6

C.J. McCollum

C.J. McCollum (photo. Brent Hugo/Lehigh Media Relations)

Each Wednesday, we’ll be assessing how the top prospects of the 2013 NBA Draft are faring in college and overseas. Stick with us each week for assorted thoughts, including the biggest risers and fallers, the standouts, the sleepers and what we know and don’t know about the next NBA Draft class…

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It has been an interesting week with an injury to a star prospect and the beginning of conference play. This is the time of year where prospects begin to step up for scouts and stand out in conference play against teams and coaches that know their game. How are these young prospects going to adjust to these tougher games?

Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.

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ONE: What Do We Know?
Through the course of a season one thing that scouts want to see is progression. There needs to be improvement or progression from the beginning of a season to this point in the year. That shows the untapped potential to look forward to beyond just simple athletic talent. Adding new wrinkles to the repertoire, improving on weaknesses, and strengthening their overall game gives newfound potential to a prospect.

Freshmen have to learn how to be effective off of more than athleticism against an equal playing field. Upperclassmen have to improve off of a season that was not good enough to catapult them into the next level.

TWO: What Do We Not Know?
What happens when there is no progression? A book is written on a prospect from the first practice on campus. The first chapter needs to create a buy-in and make you want to keep reading the book beyond that, which has created the one-and-done era of basketball. If you are not a one-and-done and the rest of your book is not that compelling, a prospect could linger around in college for four years only to end up in Europe.

That is the key to progression and this year we are seeing that with five or more potential first round talents that were not considered in that light as freshman or sophomores.

THREE: Stock Rising
In the eyes of some UCLA forward Kyle Anderson has played well enough to be considered a mid-first round talent. He has obvious physical limitations as a below-average athlete, but Anderson has a feel for the game that many do not with his ability to see the floor, play his pace, and do a little bit of everything on the court. With his physical limitations, Anderson may be better off declaring early after this season to avoid the book written about him to start filling up with his flaws.

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