Commentary

When staying in school pays

Eight players who will benefit from spurning the NBA draft for a season

Updated: June 18, 2014, 4:12 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

The NBA draft is right around the corner and a lot of attention will be paid to the one-and-done gang that left college for the green of the NBA. The draft is usually about potential, potential, potential, though many people believe this is the most talented group entering the league in many years.

As good as this crop is, there were plenty of players who will benefit from the decision to return to college.

Here is my version of the Elite Eight. These guys will shine on campus in 2014-15. They were smart to go back to school, where they will be BMOCs (big men on campus).

Montrezl Harrell, Louisville: He was projected as a lottery pick, and his return to college could push him into the top 10 of the next draft. Another season with coach Rick Pitino will be beneficial. He will learn more playing at Louisville than spending a lot of time on the bench at the next level.

Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Kentucky: It will help playing with so much talent in the Bluegrass State. There is room for improvement, cutting down on turnovers and shining brighter in college. Oh yes, there is also a shot at a national title. The Harrisons will be on the preseason favorite, and playing for coach John Calipari, they will wait at least one more year before cashing in.

Marcus Paige, North Carolina: He was already a star with the Tar Heels. He can work on improving further. His stock will continue to climb following this decision.

Brandon Ashley, Arizona: The injury bug probably ended his early pro hopes. Fans in Tucson will appreciate his return. His versatility makes him valuable for coach Sean Miller.

Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin: After his great run in the NCAA tournament, his stock was high. He opted to return and coach Bo Ryan has a top 10 team with Kaminsky up front.

Branden Dawson, Michigan State: Dawson was also was bothered by an injury last season, which likely dictated his decision to return. He showed his scoring ability at times in the NCAA tournament.

Wayne Selden, Jr., Kansas. He will have a greater role at Kansas following the departures of Andrew Wiggins, Naadir Tharpe and even Andrew White III. It will also help that the Jayhawks are playing in the World University Games.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.

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