Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

10 players for Utah Jazz fans to watch during the Final Four (10 items)

By , For the Deseret News

April 3, 2014

The Final Four is one of the best weekends for basketball every year. The 2014 version should be even more special for Utah Jazz fans. The reason is because there are 11 players who are projected to be selected in the upcoming NBA draft (if they each make themselves eligible) on the four teams remaining. With the Jazz owning three picks, there is a chance some of these players will be wearing a Utah uniform to start the 2014-15 season.

Note: Willie Cauley-Stein of Kentucky is projected to be an early to mid first-round pick by DraftExpress.com, as well as Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com and numerous other mock drafts. Chances are he won't see any action during the Final Four because of an undisclosed leg injury.

Here is the list of the 10 players Jazz fans should watch.

Jay Yeomans is a courier by day and a freelance writer by night. He is the creator and lead writer of the website jmoneysports.com. Contact him at jmoney34@hotmail.com. Twitter: @jmoneysports

1 of 10. 10. Casey Prather, senior, Florida:

After spending the majority of his first three seasons at Florida on the bench, Prather has played big minutes as a senior and has taken advantage of the opportunity. In 27.9 minutes a game, Prather is averaging 13.8 points a game on 60.3 percent shooting as well as 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists. Matt Moore of CBSSports.com projects Prather to be a late second-round pick.

2 of 10. 9. Alex Poythress, sophomore, Kentucky:

Even though Poythress has had his role diminished from a season ago thanks to the remarkable freshman class for the Wildcats, he still has enough ability to be projected as a mid-second-round pick, according to Moore and Parrish of CBSSports.com's latest mock draft. Poythress plays a little more than 18 minutes a game off the bench and averages 5.8 points and 4.4 rebounds.

3 of 10. 8. Patric Young, senior, Florida:

Young has been a key piece of the Gators for the last four years. He is an interior presence who is an effective scorer around the rim as well as a solid rebounder and shot blocker. Young is averaging 10.8 points on 54.1 percent shooting as well as 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks a game. In the latest mock draft from DraftExpress.com, Young is projected to go with the ninth pick of the second round.

4 of 10. 7. Shabazz Napier, senior, Connecticut:

Napier is the Huskies' No. 1 option and one of the main reasons why they are back in the Final Four after a two-year absence. He runs the show for UConn and is averaging 18.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.7 steals a game. In the latest version of the NBADraft.net mock draft, Napier is projected to be selected late in the first round.

5 of 10. 6. Andrew Harrison, freshman, Kentucky:

Harrison handles the ball and runs the offense for the upstart Wildcats. Even though he has struggled with his shot for most of the season, he still managed to average 11 points a game as well as 3.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists a game. Harrison is projected to be a first-round pick, according to the latest mock drafts by Moore of CBSSports.com and NBADraft.net.