With the 2011 NBA Draft fast approaching, Pitt could have as many as three players selected this year. The likelihood, however, that Brad Wanamaker, Gilbert Brown, and Gary McGhee will all be taken is slim. Each has a specific skill set that he brings to the table, but none are clear-cut NBA players, and all three will need to put in significant hours in the gym if they hope to stick in the league.
Of the three, Gilbert Brown is the most intriguing, and the one that 'looks' the most like an NBA player. For starters, he has the body to play at small forward. Brown's shooting percentage dipped a bit in 2010-11, but he became much more of a three-point threat this season, attempting more three-pointers than the previous two years combined (and hitting a higher percentage). Brown is also a pretty good defender and greatly improved his free-throw shooting this past season - he simply has a better all-around game.
Brown's problem has always been the dreaded inconsistency label. He didn't experience the wild ups and downs he did in 2009-10, but still disappeared at times. In five games last year, he scored a meager five or fewer points. His greatest asset is his ability to score, and NBA scouts will question his ability to do that in the NBA with games like his 2-for-13 / four-point effort against North Florida early on last season.
Brad Wanamaker is the most well-rounded player of the trio, and his versatility could be the reason he gets selected. Wanamaker has decent size for a shooting guard, can also play at the point, and is a good rebounder for a guard. But he's not a great shooter, has questionable ball-handling skills, and cannot do much in the way of creating his own shot. Wanamaker does a lot of things well, but nothing great.
At his listed height of 6-foot-11, Gary McGhee has an NBA frontcourt body. He's the perfect example of what can be accomplished with hard work, as he looked completely out of place early in his Pitt career. But over the past two seasons, McGhee improved as much as any Pitt player I've seen, and not only became a serviceable center, but one of the better ones in the Big East.
If McGhee is taken, it will be largely due to his defense. His offensive game still needs work, and while he was able to score against smaller opponents, getting his shot off against quicker, more athletic NBA players will be another thing entirely.
In the end, I believe Brown will be taken sometime in the second round. And while I wouldn't be all that surprised to see Wanamaker or even McGhee selected late in the draft, I don't expect it. All three should, at the very least, have an opportunity to compete in the NBA's Summer League as free agents, though. And when playing against other rookies and young players, Pitt's three draft hopefuls could excel.