Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

No lack of NBA talent at this Final Four

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Ohio State v Syracuse

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 24: Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts after a play against the Syracuse Orange during the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball East Regional Final at TD Garden on March 24, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The Final Four always showcases some of college basketball’s top talent. This year is a good example.

Among the remaining four teams, there are five projected lottery picks in this year’s NBA draft, as well as a first-rounder and two second-rounders. Throw in another three first-rounders and three second-rounders for next year and it’s a solid gathering of elite players. (If UNC were here instead of Kansas, it’d add another four lottery picks.)

Kentucky’s roster has the most, including the projected top pick in 2012 in center Anthony Davis. But Kansas and Ohio State also have lottery picks in Thomas Robinson and Deshaun Thomas, respectively.

Which Final Four standouts will make good NBA players?

But coaches will remind you having more talent can be problematic.

“A lot of coaches would agree that, at times, coaching teams with a ton of talent is probably more difficult because you’re constantly trying to get the maximum out of them,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta told the AP. “It’s so much easier to get to the top than stay at the top. A lot of times when you have a team that’s loaded, you fight a lot more adversity on the outside than when you’re scraping to get to the top.”

Ah. OK. Not sure I buy that – winning with all this talent sure isn’t easy! – but Matta does have a point. UConn’s got at least two lottery picks on its roster and couldn’t win an NCAA tournament game this year. Talent isn’t everything. But nobody gets here without a little.

Take Louisville. Only freshman Wayne Blackshear wows the NBA scouts, but he’s not expected to come out until next season. Point guard Peyton Siva and center Gorgui Dieng, the Cardinals’ two most important players are only rated as second-rounders in 2013.

But even that’s enough to make a Final Four run. And at this point, everybody’s got enough talent to win it all. More important is that all four teams jelled when it counted.

“Everyone’s talented,” Calipari said. “Yes, we have good players. So does everyone else. You think they just have a system and that’s why they’re winning? They do it because they’ve got basketball players.”

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.