Feeling a Draft: B-Ez and Bill

Pardon the late delivery, but here is the promised Q-and-A with Aran Smith of NBADraft.net, which can be found here. If you’re a draft nut like I am, there aren’t many things better than this site. And, like most of you, if you’re a Kansas State fan, you’ll love where Smith has Michael Beasley and Bill Walker on his most recently updated mock draft.

But check it out for yourself – after reading below, of course:

1. You have Michael Beasley listed as the top pick in your 2008 mock
draft. Easy decision?

Yes. As long as Beasley stays out of
trouble between now and draft day, I can’t see anyone overtaking him. Right
now I would separate Beasley, (Memphis’ Derrick) Rose and (Indiana’s Eric) Gordon from the rest of the pack.
(Texas A&M’s DeAndre) Jordan also has a ton of upside, but he’s really raw.

Is he the best freshman in the country? If so, is he the best player in the country?

Yes and maybe. The stats don’t even tell the whole story. Beasley has  carried this team on his back and they have lost a few games
despite great games on his part. He’s a man amongst boys out there,
even though he’s usually a few years younger than his opponents. He
may struggle to win Player of the Year the way Durant did just because he’s playing
at Kansas State and doesn’t have as much talent around him,
particularly at point guard. Here’s to the 19-year age rule!

What is the feedback regarding Mike you’re hearing from NBA scouts,
etc.? What do they like? Dislike?

They like his versatility,
athleticism, overall talent and potential. They don’t like the problem
child reputation that he had in high school. But he seems to have matured and
become more focused.

4. What about Bill Walker? Is his
stock rising again? I see he’s suddenly a first-rounder  again in your

Yes. It seems like it has taken him a few games to play himself
fully back into shape. He still isn’t as explosive as he was in high
school. But he seems to be getting that back. Against Cal, he had his
best performance yet and showed that he has pro moves and the hunger
to dominate. he is definitely on the rise again and stands a good
chance of getting into the first round if he keeps playing at this

5. Should the presence of these two NBA-caliber talents carry Kansas State into the NCAA tournament?
definitely should be a tournament team. Beasley guaranteed wins against
Kansas,  which
might be far-fetched but you like to see
the confidence.

(BONUS). 6. Who do these two remind you
of? Anyone past or present in the NBA?

I hear a lot of people
say Derrick Coleman for Beasley, but to me he’s like Carmelo Anthony. Coleman
was supremely talented but never had the killer instinct that Beasley’s
showing. Anthony has such a nose for scoring and bulls people just like
Beasley. Walker was the most athletic guy I’d ever seen in high school. He
jumped higher than Vince (Carter). He’s not back to that level yet so maybe a thicker
Gerald Wilkins.