In a year where the NBA Draft party is being crashed by international bigs, it’s hard to stand out for your volatile stock. Yet the college scene has provided two worthy candidates for the award for Most Unpredictable Draft Stock. Josh Selby, the Kansas Jayhawks guard, and Jimmer Fredette, the Brigham Young scorer, are both two clearly talented players with opposite college careers who somehow face the same predicament for the 2011 NBA Draft.
Fredette is the household name, lighting up opponents over the last four seasons for Brigham Young and establishing school scoring records in the process. Fredette officially passed Danny Ainge as the school’s all-time scoring leader this season, and led all NCAA players in scoring this last season. By the end of the NCAA Tournament, even casual fans knew the incredible scoring range of Jimmer Fredette.
Meanwhile, Selby is the overhyped product who failed to deliver. At least, that’s the rough version of it. Yet it’s also one that fails to take into account just how poorly Selby’s year unfolded — from a mandatory suspension that kept Selby out of the early rotation that Self established to a mid-season injury that plagued him. Even Self’s system has been brought into question when analyzing Selby’s draft stock; after all, no one would admit that it was a good fit for either side.
While their college careers could not be much different, Fredette and Selby now stand in the same circle when it comes to the 2011 NBA Draft. The question for both is simple: how will their game translate to the pro level? For Fredette, the team choosing him will certainly enjoy the spoils of increased ticket and merchandise sales. Yet ask the Charlotte Bobcats how well their Adam Morrison experiment worked out. His range is as good as any in the NBA, yet is he a one-trick pony who will be a sieve on offense? Most believe he will be a solid bench scorer in the NBA, yet is that role worthy of a lottery choice?
For Selby, scouts have to look back to high school tape, but the list is long of dazzling high school players who couldn’t make it in the NBA. Can Selby become a solid combo guard in the NBA? Some seem to believe so, given some mock drafts have Selby taken in the lottery portion. Others have him dropping to the bottom of the first round. In the end, scouts and general managers have to look at the full package and realize the scoring ability and athleticism are still present, no matter what took place at Kansas.
While unknown names like Jan Vesely or Donatas Motiejunas will have some scratching their heads, Selby and Fredette will no doubt cause the same. Yet it also provides the irresistible intrigue that draws so many to look forward to the NBA Draft in the first place.