Scouting the Sweet 16

Joe Lago
Yahoo! Sports

You can't always believe what you hear while watching the NCAA tournament broadcasts. Every player who leads his team to the Sweet 16 seems to possess the skills to be a star "at the next level."

What's reality and what's hyperbole? Let's hear from the people who know – NBA scouts.

We collected anonymous and honest assessments of the games of the biggest names starring in the tourney's second weekend.

Andrew Bogut, Utah
"He's probably the most NBA-polished player right now in the sense that he can step into most NBA teams and contribute a little bit. There'll be a learning curve, though. … He's such a great passer that you can play him in the high post. In the low post, he can use either hand. Everyone talks about his athleticism, but he knows how to play and he knows where to be. He won't be a superstar. He'll be a solid player. He could be a 15-16 point scorer in the league, but his upside isn’t as high as some of the other prospects."

Dee Brown, Illinois
"He is intriguing to teams that need offensive punch off the bench. He is a sparkplug in terms of energy and speed. Some team that has gotten beaten by Earl Boykins a time or three may want to take a chance on him in the mid-to-late second round. Makes an impact on both ends, but he's not a one, and is much too small to be a two. Hence, he's an interesting 'tweener' with significant possibilities."

Daniel Ewing, Duke
"He's one of the more underrated players in the country. He cares more about winning than himself, I believe. Mike Krzyzewski might disagree with that. … Ewing has finally been able to play his true position this season. He's a true point guard who can shoot. I think he'll be better in the league because of the open floor. He also defends. Worst case: He's Bobby Jackson."

Raymond Felton, North Carolina
"A lot of people like him. People aren't entirely certain that he knows how to play, but he has the skills that teams want. His decision making can be questionable at times. He's a great competitor who wills his team to victory. Adequate jump shot, but not good. … It's a very deep point guard draft and he's one of many who has the chance to go in the first round."

Channing Frye, Arizona
"Soft. Underachiever. Not athletic enough. Terrific shooter for a big kid. Quality, high-character kid. Wants to be a player, but doesn't understand how hard you have to compete. I think it's going to take him awhile. I think he needs to go to a coach who just puts his foot in his [behind] every single day and breaks him. That being said, being a big gets him into the top of the second round or, if he works out well, maybe the bottom of the first round. I think he is a less agile Brian Cook."

Francisco Garcia, Louisville
"Love him, love him, love him, love him. The knock on him is his age [23]. Has an awful body for being as old as he is. Has a definable skill in that he can shoot, but he's also a terrific playmaker. First-step quickness is above average. … I just think he's a tough kid who's long and who defends. He has the chance to be very, very good. He'll probably go later than he should because of the body. … I think he'll go probably between 18 and 28."

Joey Graham, Oklahoma State
"He's kind of had a disappointing tournament, numbers wise. … Athletic. Great kid. Warrior type. Plays hard. He's probably more of a physical small forward in the NBA than coming off pin-downs and shooting from the perimeter. He plays hard and gives a great effort every night. I don't necessarily see him being a high scorer, but he's a kid that any coach would want."

Luther Head, Illinois
"Among the most improved players in the country. He is working himself into the second round after being a sure undrafted kid before this season. Obviously, he's a plus athlete, but his jumper is becoming his bread and butter and that is staggering considering his previous deficiency there. Can defend both the one and two but can only run the two on the offensive end at this time. Many teams have seen him play the point in high school and believe he is more capable there than he has had the chance to show. Tough, hard-working on both ends."

Julius Hodge, North Carolina State
"He, as much as any player in the country, is all over the map with people. Either you love him or you hate him. He knows how to play. A gamer. Makes huge plays for his team by making plays for others. He wouldn't be a terrific one-on-one scorer on our level. Has a body like Rip Hamilton but doesn't have that offensive package. … He's pretty good at a lot of things but not great at anything. In the form of a 6-foot-6 kid that's really skinny, he's a second-round pick."

Sean May, North Carolina
"I believe he's one of the more overrated players in college basketball. He has a great feel for the game. Terrific passer. Decent shooter. Will not rebound at his position in our league; he'll have to be a four. Not very long. Really struggles against length. Presumably he won't enter the draft unless somebody tells him he's a first-round pick. He is a first-round pick. In my opinion, he's a late first-round pick."

Rashad McCants, North Carolina
"He's a talented kid with a lot of question marks. Some teams might not think he's good enough to put up with his attitude. He's a 'me' guy in a 'we' sport. He'll probably go in the 20s. And he'll probably have an enormous first year because he's extremely athletic. … He'll have a chip on his shoulder because he'll feel he has the talent to go earlier. He's an extremely talented kid – good athlete with a good body. He has adequate range on his jump shot now. But he's a suspect team player with suspect coachability."

J.J. Redick, Duke
"He's an undersized two guard, but one with a definable NBA skill – he is a great shooter. If you put J.J. Redick on the court with a big guard who can handle the ball and get him open shots – someone like LeBron – he'd be frightening. He's one of the few guys in the country who's automatic from mid-range and NBA range. He improved his body radically in the offseason."

Nate Robinson, Washington
"He's either going to be extremely good – or extremely bad in our league. There will be no in between. He's a kid who's so athletic that he's going to make a lot of plays a lot of the time. His jump shot is very underrated. He can be overly emotional, though. He can be very difficult to coach at times. He also has the potential – and very few players do – to sell a ticket. Because of Earl Boykins' success, he has a chance. I think he'll go mid-to-late first round because he'll ooh and aah a lot of people."

Ronald Ross, Texas Tech
"He's a self-made player. I would say out of anybody in the tournament the last couple of weeks, he has caught the attention of NBA scouts the most. I think they've kind of seen that he can play in the league. At some point, he'll get drafted, even if it's the second round, because he has proved that he can play. And he's proved he can play for Bobby Knight. He's physical and he can defend. And he's a winner. There are so many point guards in this draft that he may go by the wayside, but he's definitely jumped up in a lot of people's minds."

Salim Stoudamire, Arizona
"Has a hell of a lot more talent than a number of combo guards [tweeners] in our league currently. He can shoot off the dribble in a spot-up role from nearly unlimited range when he's hot. He's streaky, not consistent in terms of effort and not a great team playmaker. If he has to run a team, he has no chance. In the right situation, he's a third guard that you let fill it up and go sit down [Eddie House, Bobby Jackson, Willie Green, etc.]. He will be on a team for a spell. The problems are his team basketball IQ and willingness to pretend to defend."

Deron Williams, Illinois
"Has a great understanding of game and position. He wants to win more than he wants to be the show. He's much like Jason Kidd in his ability to beat smaller players to the basket with sheer size, strength and savvy. He's unlike J-Kidd in his ability to shoot off the dribble, but he's much better than Kidd at the same stage in almost every way that involves skill. He's going to be a terrific point guard in the league. He's probably late lottery right now. However, there are questions regarding lateral quickness."

Jawad Williams, North Carolina
"Along with Daniel Ewing, he's one of the more underrated players in the country. He has grown more from his first year in college than most do, in terms of his game. He has developed a facing jump shot that's above average. Good athlete. He's another guy who'll be better in our league than he is in college. Because when he plays on a floor that's opened up and gets to take advantage of the transition aspect of our league, he'll be very good. I think he'll go near the top of the second round."

Marvin Williams, North Carolina
"Marvin Williams would be the first pick of the draft if he put his name in. He probably has more upside than any player in college basketball. He's legitimately 6-9. Long arms. Extremely athletic. Very skilled – skilled beyond what he actually gets to show at North Carolina where they're trying to play him as a traditional four. That's made him physically tougher. His skill set and athleticism is terrific. He's a little raw. But whenever he comes [to the NBA], he's a sure-fire, top-of-the-lottery guy. In our league, he's a three. He has a lot of the characteristics of LeBron James. But he's not LeBron. … I don't know exactly what he is. I just know he's a player."

Shelden Williams, Duke
"He's a terrific overachiever. Undersized. Great shot-blocking timing. Great rebounding instincts. Probably would not rebound in our league like he does on their level just because there are no big men in college basketball. Had very questionable hands coming into the season and he appears to have really addressed this. With the success of guys like Reggie Evans – undersized overachievers – it makes me think he's going to get a chance, but I think he's a second-round pick right now. If I were him, I'd stay in school."

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