Greg Jones, LB, Michigan

Year: Senior
Height: 6 ft 1 in
Weight: 228 lbs.
School: North Carolina
Birthday: October 5, 1988
What Jones lacks in size, he makes up for in virtually every other facet of his game. While he could be exploited by bigger tight ends and backs in coverage, he is a hard-nosed, instinctive player that any coach would love to have. Some of the biggest issues for him in the pros will be basic things, like fighting off blockers and taking better pursuit angles. But from a work ethic and intelligence standpoint, Jones is a prototypical impact linebacker. One of the most decorated defensive players in Michigan State history, he should be a first-round pick. A dramatic increase in his productivity in his senior year only helps matters.
2007 78 38 40 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008 127 80 47 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 153 66 87 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010 105 49 56 1 0 3 0 2 36 0 0
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NBA Draft Stock Watch: 12/4/10

Who helped and who hurt their draft stock during the week of 11/27/10-12/3/10? DA’s Adam Wolff takes a look at the situation, which includes a repeat performer (and repeat offender!).

Draft Stock: Going Up!
Kemba Walker, Uconn
– Yes, he’s on again and as long as he keeps elevating his game, he’ll continue to head this list. In 2 games this week, Walker averaged 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists, all while shooting 55% from the field, 90% from the line, and 50% from the beyond the arc. He continues to be the most impressive player in college basketball this season.

Kyrie Irving, Duke
– While a disappointing game on the national level at this stage in this season can’t kill a player’s stock, a breakout performance can get scouts salivating. Irving had his finest game thus far, putting up 31 points on 8-12 shooting against a very talented Michigan State squad. He’s proving to be an excellent distributor of the basketball and a very efficient scorer, two very desirable characteristics for an NBA PG.

Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
– Any time you put up two 20 rebound performances, you’ll find yourself on this list. That’s just what Faried did, adding 25 and 15 points as well. The level of competition has to be factored in (SIU-Edwardsville and UT-Martin), but the numbers themselves are impossible to ignore.

Tyler Honeycutt, UCLA
– Honeycutt was an absolute beast in UCLA’s narrow loss to Kansas on Thursday. The sophomore forward scored 33 points on 11-15 shooting and 5-6 from down town. He also added 9 boards and 4 assists. UCLA has had a tough start to the season, but Honeycutt has established himself as the go to guy for them and is seeing his star power rising as a result.

Austin Freeman, Georgetown
– Freeman had an excellent week, leading his team to victories over UNC-Asheville and Missouri, on the road. He scored over 30 in both games (32 and 31, respectively) and hit on 13-20 three point attempts for the week. He’s playing at a very high level right now, and his team his reaping the benefits.

Draft Stock: Going Down!
Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
– The pressure of being the first preseason All-American selection ever seems to be getting to Barnes, as he’s looked very uncomfortable on offense, often forgetting about his teammates and forcing shots. He shot 5-21 this week in two games, registering 8 points in both games. He’s an amazing game or two away from this all not mattering, but some questions are starting to creep their way into the equation.

Chris Singleton, Florida State
– In a shockingly similar line to Barnes, Singleton shot just 4-21 in his two games this week, and also netted 8 points in each. These games were Florida State and Singleton’s first true tests of the season (Florida and Ohio State), and the results were two losses and two uninspiring games for Singleton.

Rodney Williams, Minnesota
– Williams minutes continue to decrease, from 31 in Minnesota’s first game of the year, to just 7 this past Monday against Virginia. He’s yet to really take the step forward many expected this season, and the more he plays himself out of the rotation, the more difficult it will be.

Wally Judge, Kansas State
– Judge wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire thus far this season before missing two games with what has been reported as the flu. The combination of mediocre play and sickness isn’t what the sophomore was looking for as he tried to build on his freshman season. It’ll be interesting to see how he comes back from both of the aforementioned issues he’s had so far.

C.J. Leslie, NC State
– Leslie didn’t have a great week, averaging just 3.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 1 APG. He’s still just a freshman, so it’s reasonable to expect some growing pains and some fluctuation in his playing time, but we’d like to see him be a bit more productive with the time he’s given.

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The Month Ahead: December

This is the very first installment of a monthly article we will be running on the first of every month entitled, “The Month Ahead”, in which we will highlight the Top 10 NCAA games that you will not want to miss for the coming month. Without further adieu, here is your December run down!

December 1 – 9:30 – Michagan State at Duke
– Originally billed as #1 vs. #2, we’ll have to settle for #1 vs. #6. This is a match up of not only a handful of exciting NBA prospects, but two excellent teams and two excellent coaches.

December 4 – 12:30 – Kentucky at North Carolina
– Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight lead Kentucky into Chapel Hill to face a young UNC team that hasn’t started the 2010-2011 campaign the way they had hoped. This could be just the type of win the Tar Heels need to get back on track.

December 7 – 9:00 – Michigan State at Syracuse
– As of December 1st, a battle between two top 10 teams looking to add another solid OOC victory. A victory here could propel either of these teams into the top 2 or 3 in the country.

December 7 – 7:00 – Memphis at Kansas
– Kansas will still be without freshman Josh Selby, so it’ll be the Morris twins facing off against Wesley Witherspoon of Memphis. It will definitely be interesting to see how the brothers handle Memphis’ budding superstar.

December 11 – 3:15 – Tennessee at Pittsburgh
– Most of the news about Tennessee early on has been for all the wrong reasons, but Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson have the team playing at a very high level. They’ll have their hands full, as Pittsburgh looks to extend their winning streak to 53 straight wins at home against non conference opponents.

December 18 – 5:30 – Kansas State at Florida
– Both teams have already lost a game against a top 5 team (Kansas State vs. Duke and Florida vs. Ohio State), so this could be an important game, particularly for Florida, as it’s their last chance to pick up an impressive OOC win.

December 18 – 4:30 – Gonzaga at Baylor
– It should be very interesting to see Perry Jones and Quincy Acy battling in the paint with Robert Sacre and Elias Harris. Factor in the leadership qualities of LaceDarius Dunn and Steven Gray and this could be one of the best games of the month.

December 22 – 7:00 – Texas at Michigan State
– Texas already picked up an impressive victory over Illinois, and a win in East Lansing would go a long way for the resume come March. Depending on what Michigan State does against Duke and Syracuse, this game could be a must win for them, or perhaps the game that gives them a #1 ranking.

December 23 – 8:00 – Georgetown at Memphis
– Georgetown has a fairly soft schedule leading up to this contest, and if Memphis is able to get by Kansas earlier in the month, we could see a battle of the undefeateds. The story here will be which star is able to rise to the occasion: Austin Freeman or Wesley Witherspoon.

December 27 – 8:30 – Connecticut at Pittsburgh
– Expected to be a down year for the Big East? Don’t tell that to these teams. Connecticut and Kemba Walker have been the hottest team in the country and will look to prove they are the top team in the conference against Ashton Gibbs and the Pitt Panthers.

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NBA Draft Stock Watch: 11/27/10

Each week, I’ll be taking a look at a handful of players that have used the prior week to increase their draft stock, as well as some players who have been less than stellar, and may see their stock in free fall mode. We’ll take a look at the Top 5 of each!

Draft Stock: Going Up!
Kemba Walker, Uconn
– All Kemba’s done to this point in the season is lead all of college basketball in PPG (30.0) and lead his Huskies to a championship at the Maui Invitational, including two wins over Top 10 teams. He’s been the talk of college basketball early on, and if he continues to play at this level, he’ll likely be a top pick in June.

Jordan Williams, Maryland
– Williams is looking to build on a very solid freshman campaign, in which he started and contributed regularly, but was not a large part of the offense. As a sophomore, he represents the Terps primary scoring option and post presence, and has started off the year well, with double-doubles in 5 of his first 7 games.

Quincy Acy, Baylor
– While everyone talks about Perry Jones and LaceDarius Dunn, Acy has quietly been the rock for the Baylor Bears. Essentially a highlight reel waiting to happen, Acy has had racked up 3 double-doubles on the young season, and has looked like a legitimate force around the basket. He’s still raw, but appears poised to take serious steps forward this season and continue to raise his prospect status.

Jordan Hamilton, Texas
– Hamilton has been an offensive machine thus far for the Longhorns, scoring at least 19 points in all five contests thus far. He’s been incredibly efficient in all aspects of his game (52.5% from the field, 76.5% from the line, 46.4% from 3) and has given all indications that he could reach superstar status this year at Texas.

Alex Oriakhi, Connecticut
– If Kemba Walker represents Batman, Oriakhi has played the role of Robin thus far for the Huskies. While Walker has been stealing the show, Oriakhi has quietly had at least 7 rebounds and 11 points in every contest. No slouch on the defensive end, he’s tossed in just under 2.5 blocks per game as well.

Draft Stock: Going Down!
Elias Harris, Gonzaga
– Harris was a potential first round pick this past June, but elected to return for his sophomore year to help the Zags and improve his draft status. That hasn’t happened to this point. His numbers are down in nearly every statistical category, and aside from a 19 point effort against Marquette, he’s been a virtual non-factor for the Zags this season.

Patric Young, Florida
– Young comes into the 2010-11 season as an interesting freshman prospect, but there hasn’t been anything interesting yet. He’s 7th on the team in minutes and points per game, and just doesn’t seem overly involved in Florida’s plans this season. Still plenty of long term potential here, but without an increase in minutes and touches, he’ll likely continue to be a bit of mystery for NBA draft scouts.

Fab Melo, Syracuse
– Like Young, Melo is a talented freshman, playing on a contending team, that can’t seem to get past the upper classmen on his team to shine. He’s done so little in the time he’s been given though, it’s tough to see his role increasing. Out of Syracuse players that have played in all 4 games, he’s last (10th out of 10) in points per game. In his most recent game, he played just 4 minutes.

Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
– Before anyone freaks out, let me say this: Barnes has not played poorly this season. In a much different situation that Young and Melo, Barnes has played pretty well, but not excellent. He’s the consensus #1 prospect in college basketball, so he must be held to a bit of a higher standard. UNC has struggled some this season, and in their 2 losses, Barnes went a combined 4-24 from the field. He’s shot just 37.3% from the field, and while he’s still the #1 prospect, he’ll need to step up his overall play if he hopes to keep that title all season.

Cory Joseph, Texas
– Another freshman many draft analysts are high on, Joseph hasn’t done much, despite playing over 30 minutes per game. While his 6.8/3.8/3.2 numbers are okay, just not earth shattering, the real reason he makes this list is his lack of efficiency: 32.4% from the field and 15.4% from 3 won’t get anyone at the next level excited.

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