clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2012 Final Four: Thomas Robinson, Jared Sullinger May Struggle In NBA

Thomas Robinson has been a massive help when it comes to the Kansas Jayhawks reaching the Final Four where they are set to face the Ohio State Buckeyes, who have been aided by the play of Jared Sullinger. The two players have likely impressed NBA scouts and have climbed up draft boards for next year. However, SB Nation's Jonathan Tjarks questions whether or not they're worthy of high draft picks based on what they've done in the tournament.

As a base for his argument, he sites the case of Evan Turner and Greg Monroe. Turner was surrounded by fellow Buckeyes and great shooters David Lighty, William Buford, Jon Diebler and was named the National Player of the Year and became the No. 2 overall pick. Monroe, on the other hand, and Georgetown were knocked out of the tournament in the first round that year and people wondered about his intensity. He fell to the No. 7 overall pick that year.

And now?

And while Monroe has developed into a 16/10 6'11+ power forward in Detroit, Turner has struggled playing off the ball for a Philadelphia team that needs perimeter defense and shot-making (his two biggest weaknesses) next to Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday.

While Tjarks believes that Sullinger's problems are on defense, he believes Robinson future troubles could be on offense.

Robinson, meanwhile, is almost the inverse of Sullinger: an elite athlete with a rudimentary offensive skill-set. He gets a lot of his points on hustle plays and pure strength and athleticism, but he can struggle to create his own shot against NBA-caliber frontlines like NC State (7-17 shooting) and UNC (6-16).

The biggest red flag was his game against Kentucky earlier this season, where he scored 11 points on 5-12 shooting and was generally an offensive non-factor. When he couldn't bulldoze his opponents and dunk on their heads, there wasn't much left.

Just like in football, college stars are not guaranteed to have success in the pros and Robinson and Sullinger have some warning signs of being "busts" in the NBA. Of course, there is no accurate magic eight-ball when it comes to these things, but things can be accurately predicted enough based on similar players who have traveled down similar paths in the past.

College stardom is no guarantee of professional success, so when Robinson and Sullinger face off on Saturday as the faces of two of the premier programs in college basketball, don't let their ability to dominate on the biggest stage in the NCAA blind you. There's a good chance this weekend is as good as it's ever going to be for both.

For more on the Kansas Jayhawks, head to Rock Chalk Talk, and for more coverage on the Final Four, follow SB Nation Kansas City's StoryStream.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube