In a recent article, I took a look at which players saw a rise in their draft stock during the month of March, and all of its craziness. Now I will take a look at who have seen their stock start to slip as the college season nears the end of its course.
Jaylen Brown- Coming into his freshman year of basketball at Cal, many people already knew Brown was going to struggle from range. So it is not surprising he only shot 29.4% from long range this season. What is surprising for such a prolific draft prospect is his ability to disappear in crunch time. For the season, Brown averaged 14.6 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, 2.0 assists per game, while shooting 43.1% from the field, and again 29.4% from three. Now these are not bad for a freshmen trying to help rebuild a program, but when you are in consideration for a top five pick, a lot of doubt starts to surface about your transition to the next level. In recent weeks, Brown has gone from a sure fire top four pick, to looking at the possibility of slipping to as a low as tenth overall. Brown still has the combine to show off his freakish athleticism, which mixed with the phenomenon of potential should help move him back up boards before the draft in June, but for now expect him to slip in most mock drafts.
Diamond Stone- The talent is there for Diamond Stone, the problem was his inability to consistently see the floor for Maryland. Stone’s best performance was against Penn State on 12/30/2015, where Stone posted 39 points and 12 rebounds. Although this might lead you to believe he had a dominant season, his stat line is rather average. Stone averaged, 12.5 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game 1.6 blocks per game, while shooting 56.8% from the field. Heading into the season, Stone was looked upon as a late lottery pick, but as the season wore on, Stone began to slip, and March only continue his slide into the mid-twenties. Stone is a good offensive center, that is working on better utilizing himself on the defensive side of the ball. With so many teams looking for a defensive specialist, or already established two-way center, Stone is likely to slip in the draft. This may be beneficial to Stone, as he will be going to a likely playoff contender, and he will likely be able to learn behind an established player, who he can learn the ropes from.
Caris LeVert- Yes, I know Michigan fans, Caris LeVert has not played since February 13th, but that is why he is falling down most boards this month. LeVert is a tremendous scorer and playmaker when he is healthy, but that is the problem. LeVert, in his four years at Michigan has not made it through a season without missing a few games. In his limited action this season, LeVert averaged 16.5 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, 4.9 assists per game, while shooting 50.6% from the field, and 44.6% from three. Now if you are a contending team looking to add some scoring off your bench, and you see that shooting line, you think more teams would be on his bandwagon. However, the opposite is the gossip. Many teams are glued to his number, but are not willing to use a guaranteed roster spot on a player they can only count on for a handful of games. LeVert started the year off look at as a player likely to go in the 15-20 range, but his injury prone history has seen him slip into the early second round.
Nigel Hayes- I think stating Nigel Hayes had a bad month of March would be an understatement, as he had an awful junior season at Wisconsin. Without Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky to attract the attention, Hayes struggled creating his own shot, and being the go to guy. This is okay to think about, when looking at the next level, Hayes was looked as nothing more than a role player or bench piece. His shooting stroke was what was getting him first round consideration to start the season, but that was not his strong suit this season. For the season, Hayes averaged, 15.7 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game, 3.0 assists per game, while shooting 36.8% from the field, and 29.3% from three. The previous season, Hayes shot 49.7% from the field, and 39.6% from three. Teams are going to decide if this was a fluke year learning the roles of being the number one guy, or if is shooting is just not that good. As of right now, Hayes has fallen from a first round pick to late second round or undrafted, so it would be in his best interest to return for his senior season, and give this another go around.
Wade Baldwin IV- About midway through the season, Wade Baldwin saw his stock at the highest at selection eight. Baldwin’s biggest demise to his stock currently was his inability to emerge on a mediocre Vanderbilt squad. On the year, Baldwin averaged, 14.1 points per game, 5.2 assists per game, 4.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 42.7% from the field, and 40.6% from three. Once the combine starts up, scouts will again fall in love with the length Baldwin possess, and the possibilities for the next level. His smooth stroke from three could use a little more confidence from the young man, as he has shown to be deadly from range. With the ability to declare, and show your skills at the combine, and then having the ability to come back to school, I expect Baldwin to test the waters to see if he can wow the scouts back into lottery consideration from his current mid-twenties to early second round projections.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17