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Chris Thomas, Mo Williams should forget draft


June 13
It isn't easy for underclassmen who have entered the NBA draft -- but haven't signed with an agent -- to determine whether they should pull out of the draft and return to college. Washington State's Marcus Moore made a good decision to go back to school. In recent drafts, Kentucky's Keith Bogans decided he wasn't ready.

Chris Thomas
Chris Thomas has been giving NBA teams an up-close and personal look at his skills.
Two players in this year's draft who I feel should return to college are Notre Dame's Chris Thomas and Alabama's Maurice Williams.

They should return to their campuses and improve their stock. Thomas is chasing his dream, and that is understandable. He is touring around and being evaluated. NBA teams are paying his expenses (like air fare and hotel) so they can watch and evaluate him. If he returns to school, he will have to reimburse these clubs to regain his eligibility.

Thomas has the opportunity to play next season at the Golden Dome under coach Mike Brey and attend a prestigious university like Notre Dame. This is far better than sitting the pine in the NBA, baby!

That's a no-brainer, as his stock could move up if he improves even more with another season of experience.

Another year in college would do wonders for Mo Williams, too. Think about the guards expected to be drafted ahead of these two, without throwing in the foreign stars: T.J. Ford, Luke Ridnour, Dwyane Wade, Kirk Hinrich, Marcus Banks, Jarvis Hayes, Rece Gaines .

The chances of being a first-rounder dwindle when looking at that list. I know that these kids just want to hear they have a shot to get the guaranteed first-round deal. But there are only 29 first-round picks, baby!

If Thomas and Williams aren't guaranteed that, they should be patient -- and it could pay off big-time. Look at Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Ford, who went to school last year instead of going to the pros, as they could have.

Thomas and Williams can improve their shooting and shot selection. They also would have a better shot of going in the first round next year once these other names are in the pro ranks. Patience can pay off.

By the way: As we get closer to the NBA draft, you hear so much talk about whether a player has an NBA body.

This is so overrated, because you don't rate players to be bodybuilders or to run the 100-yard sprint in the Olympics. You need instincts and on-court ability to play the game of basketball.

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