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The Adjustment Process: Evan Turner, Landry Fields and the 2011 NBA Draft

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I've got an article over at the SB Nation Mothership looking at why college players under-perform and over-perform in the NBA:

For most NBA rookies, the biggest adjustment they have to make isn't the higher level of competition or the much longer season, it's going from star to role player.

The vast majority have been the best player on their team since they were children. The offense ran through them and the ball found its way into their hands at the end of games. Defensively, they could afford to rest and rely on their superior athletic ability.

Fields, a second-round pick of the New York Knicks, was so lightly regarded out of Stanford that he wasn't one of ESPN's Chad Ford's Top 100 prospects. Neal was never even drafted, spending three years in Europe before being picked up by the Spurs as a free agent last summer.

As rookies, both excelled spotting up off of their All-Star teammates; Fields shot 39 percent from beyond the arc while Neal shot 42 percent. And at 6'7 210 and 6'4 210 respectively, both could defend multiple perimeter positions, allowing them to play alongside a variety of different players.

But the 76ers already had Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams dominating the ball on the perimeter. Turner, neither a great outside shooter nor a superior athlete, was ill-suited to being a role player, losing minutes to Jodie Meeks (a knock-down shooter) and Andres Nocioni (a feisty and versatile defender).

The only player in this draft without any real holes in his game is Duke's Kyrie Irving. For everyone else, a lot of their initial pro success will be determined by which team drafts them, what role they have on their new team and whether they "fit" well with their teammates.

A good fit for Tristan Thompson would be a team with a center who can pass and shoot out of the high post, that way TT's lack of a consistent jumper wouldn't clog the paint and he could focus on defense and rebounding. Ideally, he'd go #8 to the Detroit Pistons and play off of Greg Monroe.

Jordan Hamilton needs to be on a team with a good team defense that can cover for his average athleticism while running a structured offense that forces him to take good shots. Jerry Sloan would have done wonders for his career, if he didn't end up strangling him first. A good fit for him would be Milwaukee at #10.

Cory Joseph ... well he just needs to hope he gets drafted with a guaranteed contract. DraftExpress has him at #60 in their first mock draft. Though I have to think his advisors got a promise from someone to take him in the second round a la Daniel Gibson a few years back, otherwise Cory could be fighting for minutes with Scottie Reynolds on the Springfield Armor next season.