Since I hope to finish these before the Sweet Sixteen actually starts, here's he second of four sections (and here's the first). In this installment, I tell you why at least 2 of this year's Blue Devils will be D-Leaguers in 2011.
#1 Duke Blue Devils
G #30- Seth Curry (6-2, 180. Sophomore) The younger Curry is in many ways a similar player to his brother at this stage of their respective careers. He's yet to show any real playmaking ability, then again, he's also yet to actually be given that opportunity. This being said, I'm not sure how he doesn't make an NBA roster based solely on his pedigree. I also doubt that he'll come out this year, when he looks to be the point guard of the future after Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving leave.
SG #20- Andre Dawkins (6-4, 205. Sophomore) He played some big minutes as a freshman on last year's title team. He looks to play even bigger minutes in the coming years. I'm still not sure on what exactly he is, but I know that he won't be leaving anytime soon.
PG #1- Kyrie Irving (6-2, 180. Freshman) Despite the foot injury that cost him most of his freshman season, I see no reason why Kyrie won't leave early. I also don't see how he won't be a top 3 pick. Probably not a future D-Leaguer.
F #5/#21- Mason/Miles Plumlee (6-10, 240. Sophomore/Junior) I honestly can't tell these two apart aside from knowing that Miles is the older and more legitimate NBA prospect. Unlike their former teammate Brian Zoubek, these two stand a pretty decent shot at being NBA players. Also, they're from Fort Wayne. So there's that. Mad Ants?
SF #21- Kyle Singler (6-8, 230. Senior) Singler almost left after last season. His draft stock probably suffered for it, but it wasn't like this guy was going to be a top 10 pick. I'm still not sure what to make of his NBA prospects, as I could see him being a minor star just as easily as I could see him out of the league in 3 years. I guess that makes the D-League sort of a middle ground, right?
PG #2- Nolan Smith (6-2, 185. Senior) Strong, aggressive and talented, Nolan Smith is on the short list for National Player of the Year. Another guy who probably won't be seeing time in the D-League. Then again, you never know.
#5 Arizona Wildcats
G #12- Lamont "Momo" Jones (6-0, 195. Sophomore) A Harlem kid with a lot of game and the swagger to match. I'm not sure where his place lies as a professional, but he could very easily be a really good player in the D-League.
F #23- Derrick Williams (6-8, 240. Sophomore) The Pac-10 Player of the Year has elevated his play in the tournament, making a game winning play in both of Arizona's two wins. I'd be shocked if he's in the D-League next year, given how terrible his pro team will likely be.
SG #44- Solomon Hill (6-7, 225. Sophomore) Hill played possible first rounder Jordan Hamilton of Texas to a standstill this weekend, and showed his array of scoring talents in Arizona's big win. He could be the exact type of under the radar guy who thrives in the D-League and finds himself in the NBA within months.
#3 Connecticut Huskies
G/F #3- Jeremy Lamb (6-5, 185. Freshman) Lamb comes off the bench for Jim Calhuon, and will probably stay for next season, where he could become a star.
PG #13- Shabazz Napier (6-0, 170. Freshman) First off, he's got a D-League name if I've ever heard one. Fast, keeps his dribble and is pretty fearless. In a few years this guy's gonna light some people up in the D-League (or the NBA, if he improves his stock that much)
F/C #34- Alex Oriakhi (6-9, 240. Sophomore) Seems to have filled Jeff Adrien's "big awesome tough guy" role pretty admirably, and is probably the second best player on this squad. I could see him being in the D-League this time next year.
F #22- Roscoe Smith (6-8, 205. Freshman) Another of UCONN's youth infusion, Roscoe is a really good athlete, and seems to know what he's doing on a basketball court (for the most part).
PG #15- Kemba Walker (6-1, 170. Junior) If Kemba Walker is in the D-League, then I will be doing backflips. Not saying he'll be a star in the NBA, just that he's proven his draft stock over and over this season.
#2 San Diego State Aztecs
F #15- Kawhi Leonard (6-7, 225. Sophomore) Hard to believe this guy's only a sophomore, given that he's probably a top 15 pick in the draft if he leaves. He's strong, fast and smart. If he were a D-Leaguer, he'd probably be an All-Star. Think of an Othyus Jeffers type.
F #32- Billy White (6-8, 235. Senior) The only other player on this SDSU team I feel confident about, Billy White is just the type of player that would benefit greatly from a D-League stint. He's the lead pipe lock of this edition.
Parts 3 and 4 coming later tonight or tomorrow.