Improvement plans for lottery picks

Updated: June 20, 2012, 1:00 PM ET
By Fran Fraschilla

No matter where a player gets drafted on June 28, the chapter on that player's college career closes and his next one as an NBA player begins. No amount of All-American or all-conference accolades accumulated in college will help as he begins his professional career.

The failure rate of lottery picks is high enough historically that all the top prospects should be focusing on getting better and identifying the weaknesses in their games.

The work to improve on weaknesses -- and every player has them -- that weren't apparent in the ACC, the Big 12 or the SEC must start immediately. If not, they will be exposed by much better players and teams on a nightly basis in the NBA.

The following five players are expected to have productive NBA careers, but nothing is a certainty. After breaking down tape on these prospects, here is my evaluation of the areas of improvement needed for each:

Harrison Barnes, North Carolina Tar Heels

Needs to improve: Footwork

Barnes has had enough success at the high school and college level that few have doubted that he would be an outstanding NBA prospect. His performance at the NBA combine in Chicago likely alleviated any fears that he was an average NBA athlete. In fact, his stock likely got a boost from the fact that he tested out as one of the most athletic players in the draft.