College Basketball Nation: Terrico White

NCAA coaches got what they wanted: a mostly stress-free May and early June.

No one can whine anymore about an early-entrant testing the draft process and holding the program hostage for two months. The NCAA's deadline passed Saturday, and the with the official early-entry list forthcoming from the NBA this week, the uncertainty of rosters -- save a few late recruits -- is no longer an issue for 2010-11.

Some of the programs either hit or salvaged from the decisions had obvious consequences. Earlier in the blog, I discussed the impact on Kentucky and the rising programs at NC State and Richmond. Here are some quick takes on 10 other schools affected in some way by the draft process:

  • Purdue is now a Big Ten co-favorite along with Michigan State and a realistic team to reach the Final Four now that JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore have decided to stay in school and join Robbie Hummel to give the Boilermakers three senior studs.
  • BYU will remain a Mountain West title contender with the return of Jimmer Fredette. New Mexico will have to be in reload mode with the early departure of Darington Hobson and the graduation of Roman Martinez.
  • Butler is still the clear favorite to win the Horizon, but no longer a projected Final Four repeat visitor with Gordon Hayward's decision to stay in the draft.
  • Ole Miss lost Terrico White, a likely first-round pick, but the Rebels still have leading scorer and fellow guard Chris Warren, who didn't flirt with the NBA draft.
  • Mississippi State lost its point guard (Dee Bost), but got back its shooter (Ravern Johnson) and will at the very least be back on the NCAA bubble again.
  • Illinois hopes to get off that bubble and in the NCAA tournament with the return of Mike Davis and Demetri McCamey.
  • Virginia Tech has a chance to be an ACC contender with Malcolm Delaney's sensible decision to return. The Hokies return essentially their entire roster.
  • With Alex Tyus listening to reasoned minds and returning to school (his father and uncle thought he should leave Florida because he wasn't playing the 3 position), the Gators can now claim they have all five starters back for the first time since starting the season as the preseason No. 1 in 2006.
  • Xavier lost its best player in Jordan Crawford and won't be the A-10 preseason favorite that it probably would've been. Meanwhile, Temple remains a contender in that conference with the return of Lavoy Allen.
  • Penn State wasn't going to be an NCAA team either way, but at least it has its marquee player returning in Talor Battle.
There's no question that the NCAA's decision to cut back from two months to 10 days had a positive affect for coaches. Players who normally may have had time to work out and move up on the second- or first-round board didn't have a chance. There were barely any workouts to be had, so the players didn't get a true chance to test the draft process.

For some likely first-round players, it didn't matter as they were leaving anyway with the fear of a lockout and a lower rookie salary scale in 2011 and beyond. For many others, however, the lack of workout opportunities and inability to go to the NBA-sponsored Chicago draft camp probably forced them to return to school.

That's good for the coaches and their nerves, but is it good for the players and the overall process? That's debatable.

What's not is that it's the new reality.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- For the second straight day, it’s been a struggle offensively for Tennessee.

But, then, it’s been that way for most of the season.

It looked like the No. 13-ranked Vols might go into halftime with a four- or five-point lead, but some boneheaded offensive possessions in the final minutes cost them. And Ole Miss took advantage, taking a 35-34 lead into the half.

The only reason the Vols are in this game is Cameron Tatum, who was 4-of-4 from 3-point range in the first half.

Tennessee’s not going to be accused of having a surplus of basketball smarts any time soon.

Ole Miss sophomore guard Terrico White is the real thing. He’s athletic and can shoot it.

The Rebels don’t have a lot of size, but they’ve been able to play zone.

If somebody other than Tatum doesn’t step up for the Vols in the second half offensively, they’re going to be headed back East to Knoxville and the Rebels will probably be headed to the NCAA tournament.

Somebody needs to put out an APB for Tennessee sophomore guard Scotty Hopson.

Final thoughts from Ole Miss-Kentucky

February, 2, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Quick reactions from Kentucky's 85-75 victory over Mississippi in Rupp Arena:
  • John Wall passed, shot, drove, defended -- and smiled. The freshman point guard, who said Saturday he wasn't having much fun lately, looked like his normal self against the Rebels. With Ole Miss unafraid to play a full-court game that suits Wall's strengths, he fluidly flew around Rupp while producing 17 points and seven assists.

  • "I'm happy again," Wall declared. "It feels good, hopefully (the mini-controversy) will go away now."

    Wall said the lesson learned from the past couple days of dithering about his comments was "just keep your mouth shut." But he also acknowledged he was trying too hard to live up to his considerable hype.
  • Coach John Calipari loved what he saw out of Wall Tuesday night.

  • "John Wall ran our team as well as he has all year," Calipari said.
  • The Rebels went with conventional wisdom and zoned the Wildcats, figuring the only way to test them offensively was to clog the lane and challenge John Calipari's crew to make 3-pointers.

  • Challenge answered. Kentucky made 9 of 19 3s.

    The past two games have showcased a developing weapon for Kentucky, shooting guard Darnell Dodson. With emphasis on shooting. Against Vanderbilt, Dodson got his first start since the season opener and responded with 16 points, hitting 4 of 8 3s. He started again tonight and was 4 of 5 from 3-point range, scoring 14 points in 16 minutes of playing time.

    If Dodson keeps shooting this way, the junior college transfer will be the antidote to the zone strategy.

    "Big," was Calipari's description of Dodson's contribution.
  • Junior Patrick Patterson was the only starter who predates Calipari. He had some nice contributions, including a couple of excellent defensive possessions, but his offensive output continues to decline as the newcomers assert themselves. Patterson had 12 points and six rebounds. His scoring average has decreased six straight games (from 16.7 to 15.1) and his rebounding average has decreased five straight (from 8.1 to 7.6).

  • Calipari praised Patterson but is still seeking more assertiveness from his most veteran player.

    "He's still not there yet," Calipari said. "You'll see it in another week to 10 days, two weeks, and you'll say, 'This is him.'

    "He helped himself today, but let me say this: He's still 30 percent better than he played today."
  • Cousins continues to amaze. He swallowed up seven rebounds in the first six minutes and 15 seconds, and finished with his 13th double-double of the season (18 points and 13 rebounds). And although the freshman was slow getting back on defense several times, he also stepped in and took three charges. If he's not blocking your shot, he's stopping your drive with his body.

  • Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy was asked to compare Cousins to someone from his playing days and came up with Chris Washburn -- a great college talent at North Carolina State.
  • Despite all the impressive performances and spectacular plays, Kentucky played another ebb-and-flow game. The Wildcats hit Ole Miss with a 12-2 run to start -- then relaxed. The next run was 15-0 -- then the Cats relaxed and Ole Miss crept back within three. Kentucky led by 18 in the first half and 17 in the second half but never threw the knockout punch. That's been a recurring theme this season for this young, 21-1 team but it hasn't derailed anything yet.
  • Mississippi sophomore Terrico White showed off a bit for the two-dozen NBA scouts in attendance, scoring 19 points and grabbing seven rebounds. But he was shut out in the last 14 minutes.