With the Louisville Cardinals defeating the Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA Championship Game, it is time to take a look at the potential draft prospects from this game, and whether they helped or hurt their draft stock. Even though this year’s title game will go down as one of the most entertaining college basketball games in recent memory, the NBA prospects did not perform as well as most expected. While Trey Burke, Peyton Siva, and Gorgui Dieng shined, the stars were overshadowed by the likes of Luke Hancock and Spike Albrecht.
Here is a list of players likely to play at the next level, along with their player grades for the title game, and some additional notes on how they may have helped or hurt their stock.
Trey Burke – 24 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists – B+
Trey Burke is viewed as a lottery pick in this year’s NBA Draft, possibly even top-10. This season’s National Player of the Year was the only Michigan draft prospect to shine against the Cardinals. Burke shot 7-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-5 from behind the three-point arc. As impressive as the Wolverines’ point guard was, he did commit four turnovers in the final game of the tournament. The majority of those came late in the game, making it difficult for Michigan to regain the lead. Regardless of how his season ended, Burke was the best player in college basketball this year from day one, and will be an early pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Gorgui Dieng – 8 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks – B
While Gorgui Dieng’s numbers don’t jump out at you, he has shown tremendous improvement to go along with his athletic ability. There is always room on an NBA team for a mobile, athletic big man that can block shots. That’s not all the Cardinals’ center brings to the table any more. Even though he scored only 8 points, his offensive game was on full display. He showed the ability to knock down the mid-range jumper out to 17 feet, catch-and-finish, and even pass in the win against Michigan. Dieng tallied six assists, many of which were extremely impressive passes for a guy his size. If Gorgui Dieng’s draft stock changed, it went up as he showed his all-around skill set on the college game’s biggest stage.
Glenn Robinson III – 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists – C
Glenn Robinson III scored a quiet 12 points against Louisville. With an NBA pedigree already from his father, scouts do like the Michigan forward, but he didn’t do anything to grab extra attention in the title game. Robinson does have a solid all-around game at both ends of the court though, and that should help him come draft day.
Peyton Siva – 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals – B+
Louisville’s captain and point guard, Peyton Siva, played a huge role in their Championship win. Most impressively, he disrupted Trey Burke and the rest of Michigan’s back court at the defensive end. His four steals helped the Cardinals get out in transition and get easy looks at the basket. Although Siva shot just 6-of-15 from the field, he added 6 boards and 5 assists to go along with his 18 points. Constantly getting to the rim, attacking the glass, and making the extra pass will ultimately help Siva at the next level. The fact that he will not be the leader of an NBA team will play to his advantage in my opinion. This will allow him to play free and focus on making good decisions instead of scoring as much as he was needed to at Louisville.