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May 26, 2014

NBA success will benefit Michigan draft hopefuls

The first-year success of NBA rookies and former Wolverines Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. in 2013-14 could benefit the draft stock of Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary.

The No. 9 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Burke played in 70 games for the Utah Jazz, averaging 12.8 points 5.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game. He finished third in voting for Rookie of the Year, one spot ahead of former U-M backcourt teammate, Hardaway.

The New York Knicks shooting guard came off the board at No. 24 in the 2013 NBA Draft and put up 10.2 points per game in 81 games during his first season, ranking fifth on the team in scoring.

In their footsteps, Stauskas, Robinson and McGary are all hoping to go in the first round June 26, but only Stauskas is a sure thing. Robinson is a late-first/early-second prospect according to most draft experts while McGary is an early- to mid-second, and potentially a first-round pick if he can prove his back is 100 percent and will not be an issue in the future after undergoing surgery in the winter.

However, if it comes down to it, and teams late in the first round are weighing one of the two late-round available Michigan prospects or a player from another school, the Maize and Blue's penchant for producing legit NBA performers could come into play.

"I do think that is something that does have an effect," the Sporting News NBA writer Sean Deveney said. "Scouts and GMs look to see what kind of coaching a guy is getting and what is the system he runs, and how that will translate to the NBA.

"There are times it won't matter. Most teams don't like Syracuse players necessarily because they run the zone defense their entire college experience and they don't get much one-on-one experience defensively, but that won't stop a Carmelo Anthony from getting drafted in the top three.

"I would think of it more in terms if you're picking between two guys, you might be more willing to go with the Michigan guy these days because of the success some of their guys have had recently and because of John Beilein's track record."

By late June, Michigan might just be able to boast a resume with two or three more NBA first-round selections under Beilein's watch, and there will be more going forward.

"There is at least one [rising junior Caris LeVert] and maybe two or three guys on their roster that scouts will be watching intensely next season to if they're first-round prospects," Deveney said.


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