Early 2012 NBA Draft Prospect Watch: EA Sports Maui Invitational

Thomas Robinson gives a subtle thumbs up to me. I see you Tom-Rob!

I'm not sure if you guys have noticed, but the NBA is as close to being as nonexistent as Cedric Diggory after the Tri-Wizard Tournament as a sports league could get. Since we're not able to whine about things such as why Lou is dribbling around for 20 seconds and throwing up a contested three at the end of the shot clock or celebrate Jrue Holiday collecting five straight triple-doubles. Instead we're stuck asking (extremely important) hypotheticals along the lines of "Which Spice Girl should the Sixers sign next season?" and "If David Stern was a vegetable, which one would he be?".

Well folks, the lack of an NBA season can't take basketball away from us forever! The 2011-2012 NCAA season started a couple weeks ago and we're in the midst of preseason tournament time. We've already seen Mississippi State capture the 2K Sports Classic title and Alabama (Tony Mitchell, JaMychal Green, Nick Jacobs, Trevor Releford <3) show how "for real" they might be winning the hardware down in Puerto Rico.

These tournaments always give fans a good look at what each program is working with for the season and, most importantly, which players they'd be interested to see in their favorite NBA jersey next year. Although those two tournaments have come to a close, the most prestige of them all begins Monday and concludes Wednesday: The EA Sports Maui Invitational.

Hit the jizzle to check out the field and which players are worth keeping an eye on.

The prospects I'm listing here are the ones listed on the DraftExpress Top 100 list. If I didn't mention a player you think is noteworthy, list him in the comment whydontcha:

Michigan Wolverines vs. Memphis Grizzlies Tigers - 3:00 PM EST ESPN2

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Duke Blue Devils - 5:30 PM EST ESPN2

UCLA Bruins vs. Chaminade Silverswords - 9:30 PM EST ESPNU

  • Joshua Smith (UCLA)

Georgetown Hoyas vs. Kansas Jayhawks - 12:00 AM EST ESPN2

So there you have it guys. It's a three-day event so you'll have plenty of opportunities to check these guys out or even discover someone you've never heard of before (last year, it was Jeremy Lamb for me).

Basketball!

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