It’s that time of year when, even if you’re not a huge college basketball fan, you feel somewhat obligated to join most of the nation and see what all the fuss is about. That’s right, it’s the Final Four. Here, we provide Mavs fans with some players to watch out for in the last three college games of the year:
Maybe all of us Mavs fans don’t have much vested interest in Michigan, Syracuse, Wichita State or Louisville. Still, we can bond this way, by providing you with some players to watch out for in the last three college games of the year.
Barring a trade, the Dallas Mavericks will have one of the higher draft picks that they have had in recent years. And with so many soon to be free agents on the roster this year and the unpredictability of free agency in general, it will be very important that the Mavericks make a wise decision with their selection. So here are a few players that will be suiting up this weekend that you may want to keep an eye on as potential Mavericks.
*Britney Griner will not be discussed here. Fish already tackled that topic and regardless of whether you think she could realistically be a part of the Mavericks, you can assume a pick will not be spent on her.
Gorgui Dieng, Center, Louisville
Dieng would no be a homerun pick by any means. In all likelihood, he will be available when it is time for the Mavericks to make their selection. If you liked the selection of Bernard James in last year’s draft then you would like this pick.
As a junior, Dieng has proven to be a very good system player. He rarely stands out as the best player on the court, but it’s hard to catch him out of position or not doing his job. He will never be confused with a healthy Amare Stoudemire in terms of athleticism, but he does have quick leaping ability and could be a good defensive factor under Carlisle’s instructions. This kid is somebody's late first-round pick, I bet.
Not to mention that there aren’t all that many competent 6’10 players out there.
Trey Burke, Point Guard, Michigan
I think it’s safe to say that Burke went to the Nate Robinson/Jason Terry school of confidence. He’s certainly not afraid to shoot, especially in the biggest moments. That confidence has shined in the tournament thus far, most notably in Michigan’s Sweet 16 game against the Kansas Jayhawks in Cowboys Stadium when Burke hit a deep three to send the game into overtime in which Burke scored a quick four more points to seal the victory.
These heroics have boosted Burke’s stock and he may be drafted before the Mavs have a chance to consider him. This could be a good thing because people seem to be forgetting that a 6’0 point guard who plays average defense, shoots more than any of his teammates and is not great passer. With that being said, players that enjoy the biggest moments and the biggest stages are always tempting to consider. And most experts think he's a top-10 pick.
(By the way: Fish whispers to me that he's obtained the Mavs' scouting department's thoughts on Burke and the top three point guards in this draft. Premium Mavs fans, stay tuned!)
Mitch McGary, Power Forward, Michigan
No one has exploded onto the scene in the tournament like McGary. He didn’t even start in high school, but earned himself a scholarship based on his size (currently 6’10, 260 pounds). He was a mere role player for most of the season, but has been scoring and rebounding the ball like crazy in the past few games.
As a freshman, McGary is no lock to enter the NBA Draft, but as someone with great size and noticeable skills, there’s little doubt he’ll get his chance in the NBA.
Michael Carter-Williams, Point Guard, Syracuse
Carter-Williams may look like he’s about to enter high school, but don’t be fooled by his boyish appearance -- he puts up results. As a 6’6 point guard, he is a table setter. He’s got great passing skills and he navigates the flow of the game well, rarely turning the ball over. He also is stronger than he looks and plays solid defense.
I don't know if it's a stretch to say that he has All-Star potential, but he is one of the best point guard prospects in the draft, a certain 10-15 pick, and there’s at least a small chance that he falls to the Mavericks. (And yes, he's on Fish's Mavs Big Board list.)
Tim Hardaway Jr., Shooting Guard, Michigan
Hardaway is the son of NBA great Tim Hardaway and while he doesn’t have quite as impressive crossover as his pops, he might actually have an even more impressive jump shot.
At 6’6 he can get that jumpshot off almost whenever he wants. He will need to develop a better first step on offense and possibly rely less on his jumper. But it would be nice for the Mavericks to be able to add a shooter who also brings some athleticism to the table. ... and maybe he's a second-round-worthy prospect.
Glen Robinson III, Small Forward, Michigan
Hardaway isn’t the only Michigan player with a former NBA All-Star for a dad. Robinson is the son of former Milwaukee Bucks star Glen Robinson.
I may be in the minority in this opinion, but I have very high hopes for Robinson. GRIII has serious potential. Like McGary, Robinson is a freshman and might possibly stay another year at Michigan. And be warned, he’s probably a little bit of a project.
But at 6’6 and 210 pounds, Robinson was blessed with great athleticism and he seems to have a great all-around skill set, although he rarely seems to excel at one thing.
If Robinson has the right attitude and commits himself to learning how to play NBA defense he could develop into a great defender/finisher. It could do himself a favor by studying the career of Shawn Marion.
Maybe he's a late No. 1 pick now. But I would go as far as to say Robinson might be an All-Star player one day.
The biggest knock on Robinson is that he is too tentative and never takes over games. But to be fair, he is a freshman on a team full of great players. Keep in mind we’ve already talked about three other Michigan players projected for the NBA. The fact that he lets those players showcase their skills in an effort to win can also be seen as a positive sign.
Some may think Robinson may be a bit of a reach for the Mavericks, but I would argue that if he stayed at Michigan for a couple more years then he would turn himself into a lottery pick. It might be worth it to grab him early.