Head-to-head matchups could define draft status

Updated: January 8, 2010, 2:03 PM ET
By Chad Ford

The first few months of the college basketball season can be wildly entertaining. It's fun to see top teams face nonconference opponents to get a feel for which teams and players have a chance to be special this year. But there is no substitute for conference play. That's when most NBA scouts will tell you they get their best feel for what a player can and can't do.

Opposing coaches have an in-depth knowledge of the teams they are playing, allowing them to prepare game plans that try to take away what the other team's star player does best.

It also allows us the opportunity to see some of the best prospects in the draft go head to head. Many times, in June, I'll hear NBA GMs refer specifically to head-to-head matchups as they are making their final evaluations on prospects.

So, here's a quick look at six draft-defining matchups NBA scouts and GMs will be watching in January, and what they'll be watching for.