Accolades: Final Four MOP (08), Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team (08), Second Team All-Big 12 (08), Big 12 All-Defensive Team (08), co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (07), Big 12 All-Defensive Team (07), Third Team All-Big 12 (07), Big 12 All-Defensive Team (06), Big 12 Championship Tournament MOP (06), Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team (06), Big 12 All-Rookie Team (06), McDonald’s All-American – high school (05), Third Team All-American – Parade – high school (05).
Scouting Report: Kansas’ latest hero, he excels at both ends of the court.
Strengths: Excellent defender. Averaged at least 2.5 steals per game all three years in college. Takes extremely good care of the ball – assist to turnover ratio was 2.25 this season. Fantastic three-point shooter. Doesn’t take bad shots. Improved athleticism. Quick player. Huge wingspan allows him to play bigger. Not afraid to take the big shot. Has big conference and big game experience. Extremely accurate shooter for a guard – 51.6% this season.
Weaknesses: Didn’t exclusively play the point guard spot in college – may be a bit of a combo guard. Needs to show that he can be a full-time ball-handler and point guard. Can be inconsistent. Questions arise whether he possesses NBA athleticism and explosiveness. Will be a bit on the small side for the NBA. Final Four MOP jinx – most MOP of the Final Four turn out to be nothing more than average pros.
Projected 2008 Draft Range: Late first round to early second round pick.
Consensus: Super Mario, as he’s now known, looks ready to leave college on a high note. However, considering he is only projected as a borderline first round pick this year, he is better suited to return to Kansas and work on his point guard skills.
CHN's Six-Star Ranking System
= Superstar/All-NBA Potential
= Potential NBA All-Star
= Consistent NBA Starter
= 6th Man/Fringe Starter
= Career Reserve
= Fringe NBA Player/12th Man
0 stars = Life in the Minor Leagues