Former Penn State guard Talor Battle has been prepping in advance of the NBA Draft for a couple of months now, but little about his draft status has changed. Most prognosticators still believe the ex-Nittany Lion will be on the outside looking in on draft night. As Ehud Knoll of CollegeInsider pointed out on Twitter the other day, however, the emergence of the Dallas Mavericks' J.J. Barea during the NBA Playoffs may give Battle's draft stock a boost.â†µ
I wonder if emergence of JJ Barea will help the draft status of Penn St guard Talor Battle, given that their physique and game are identicalâ†µ
Ben over at Victory Bell Rings also believes Barea's performance of late could help the Albany, N.Y. native.â†µ
For those of you who don’t watch the NBA playoffs, JJ Barea a Guard for the Dallas Mavericks who only comes in at 6 feet 175 pounds was able to drive to the basket with ease against a Laker defense that wasn’t sure how to handle Barea’s speed and agility. If teams start looking for smaller, quicker, crafty players around the basket, this could be Battle’s chance.â†µ
Barea was much more of a distributor than Battle coming out of college, averaging 8.4 assists per games as a senior at Northeastern in 2005-2006 against Battle's 2.9 average this past season. Battle seems to have a better stroke than Barea had, though. He shot almost 37% from 3-point territory for the Lions in 2010-2011, while Barea graduated shooting at just a 32% career clip from deep. Beyond that, though, the pair have very similar games, and that's definitely good news for Battle.â†µ
While Barea went undrafted before signing with Dallas in 2006 as a free agent, he's still found a solid role in an NBA lineup. Considering Battle's current draft status, you have to think that bodes well for his future in professional basketball.