Friday, April 27, 2007
One-and-done crowd floods draft market
By Andy Katz
The deadline to declare for the NBA draft is Sunday. But clearly there was plenty of talk about leaving for the league for well over a year, maybe ever since the NBA enacted a new draft rule that prevented high school seniors from leaving directly for the league last year.
As a result, this is the first year of the one-and-done crowd, and its members are essentially flooding the market.
But what we have here, maybe more than ever, is more underclassmen on the fence. That should make for record numbers in Orlando at the pre-draft camp in late May. Usually, only a handful of players have a chance to return to school. That might not be the case next month. So, what are the chance these players stay in the draft, where would they go and how does this affect their college teams?
|Arron Afflalo has an NBA body but that's not going to be good enough for the lottery.|
Arron Afflalo, 6-5, Jr., G, UCLA
Corey Brewer, 6-9, Jr., F, Florida
Skinny: Solid scoring guard. Has an NBA body and demeanor.
Vibe: He's a likely late first round or possible second-round pick. He's staying in the draft.
UCLA: The Bruins lose their leader and go-to scorer but Ben Howland is confident that more shots for Josh Shipp and Michael Roll can help fill Afflalo's absence.
Skinny: One of the top defensive players in the draft, an improving shooter and a very tough matchup.
Vibe: He's in the top 10.
Florida: The Gators knew he was also gone and will have a hard time cultivating a player with his versatility and defensive skills. The onus may be on someone like Jonathan Mitchell to become a better defender to give Brewer-like hustle plays next season.
Dwight Brewington, 6-5, Jr., G, Liberty
Skinny: He can score. But it's not at a high level yet.
Vibe: He's not on the radar yet but that doesn't mean he would not stay in the draft.
Liberty: Ritchie McKay would love to have a reliable scorer and if Brewington returns he has him to lean on in his first year.
Roy Bright, 6-6, Jr., F, Delaware State
Skinny: Bright has been well-traveled. He's a scorer but the question is will teams want to take an untested scorer at the big-time level.
Vibe: Bright isn't on the radar just yet. He would need to do some work to stay there.
Delaware State: Cleary, schools at this level can't absorb early defections. If he stays Del State has a shot to compete for a MEAC title and a postseason berth yet again.
Aaron Bruce, 6-3, Jr., G, Baylor
Skinny: He has the international experience of playing for Australia. He's a solid college player, but he's not considered an NBA player yet.
Vibe: Not getting drafted at this point.
Baylor: Unless he has a better gig abroad, expect him to go back and help the Bears inch closer to the postseason.
Jaycee Carroll, 6-2, Jr., G, Utah State
Skinny: He can shoot with anyone in the draft. He averaged 21.3 points a game and he's got tons of experience.
Vibe: If he can get into the Orlando pre-draft camp and shoot the lights out he could be one of those players that sticks.
Utah State: The odds are that he would return, though, to give the Aggies another shot at a postseason berth. Utah State loses three of its top six scorers so the load will be on Carroll to carry Stew Morrill's squad in 2008.
Wilson Chandler, 6-8, So., DePaul
Skinny: His stock is climbing. He's got the sleeper tag on him after averaging a solid 14.6 points and 6.9 boards for the Blue Demons.
Vibe: He's in the draft to stay and could be in the first round.
DePaul: The Blue Demons don't have another Chandler lying around. This one hurts Jerry Wainwright's plan of getting this group to the NCAAs next season. There will be senior leadership with Draelon Burns and Karron Clarke but they needed Chandler to be the anchor.
Mike Conley Jr., 6-1, Fr., PG, Ohio State
Skinny: Became the best point guard in the draft with his postseason play. NBA folks love his decision making, his guts to take a big-time shot and his calming demeanor.
Vibe: He's in the top 10.
Ohio State: This one hurts more than any other departure (since Greg Oden was expected). Jamar Butler led the Buckeyes to the Big Ten title two years ago. He probably won't do that again but he's capable of being a floor leader that can help the new crop of freshmen. Ohio State still has a shot to be an NCAA team with Butler at the helm.
Daequan Cook, 6-5, Fr., G, Ohio State
Skinny: Has NBA talent, especially when he's making perimeter shots.
Vibe: He's somewhere in the first round and that could be enough for him to bolt.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes recruited exceptionally well and a Cook departure just means more shots for David Lighty.
Javaris Crittenton, 6-5, PG, Georgia Tech
Skinny: He's getting more positive feedback among NBA scouts after leading the Yellow Jackets in scoring and assists.
Vibe: There's a chance he could be on Mike Conley Jr.'s heels, above Acie Law for the second point-guard position in the first round. If he goes high enough then he could stay.
Georgia Tech: Losing Crittenton would be another step back for the Yellow Jackets who probably didn't think they would lose both Young and Crittenton after just one year.
JamesOn Curry, 6-3, Jr., SG, Oklahoma State
Skinny: Curry had a solid scoring year and proved to be quite a leader for the Cowboys this season.
Vibe: Curry already announced that he is going to the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando. He needs to go and prove himself if he's going to be a possible second-round pick. The odds are against him going high enough to stay in the draft.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys finished poorly this past season and need leadership in Year 2 under Sean Sutton. Not having Curry would definitely be a blow to their postseason chances.
|Big Baby Davis elicits a wide array of opinions.|
Glen Davis, 6-9, Jr., F, LSU
Kevin Durant, 6-9, Fr., F, Texas
Skinny: Davis was a double-double lock during an injury-plagued season for the Tigers, posting 17.7 points and 10.4 rebounds.
Vibe: He's in the draft to stay but he's all over the map from late first to early second.
LSU: The Tigers knew they were going to lose Davis. They were prepared with a solid recruiting class and the likely emergence of Tasmin Mitchell as the team's next star.
Skinny: Won every national player of the year award. He averaged 25.8 points and 11.1 rebounds. He's ready-made for the league.
Vibe: He won't go lower than No. 2.
Texas: The Longhorns will lose star power but will gain more balance and still be an NCAA team behind the backcourt of A.J. Abrams and D.J. Augustin.
Jeff Green, 6-9, Jr., F, Georgetown
Skinny: He was maybe the most versatile player in the NCAA Tournament. The Big East recognized his overall impact, his passing, and ability to change the game by making him the player of the year.
Vibe: He's a mid- to late-lottery selection.
Georgetown: If he stays then the Hoyas will lean more on someone like DaJuan Summers, who would have to improve as a passer and shooter. If he returns, with Roy Hibbert, then the Hoyas could be preseason No. 1.
Taurean Green, 6-0, Jr., PG, Florida
Skinny: He was one of the team's many MVPs with his floor leadership, key buckets and overall ability to stay composed.
Vibe: He's floating in the early second round right now but can certainly move up with a strong June.
Florida: The Gators had an inkling that Green would bolt as well. This puts the pressure on Walter Hodge to be the playmaker but more importantly a better shooter than he's been so far.
DeVon Hardin, 6-11, Jr., C, Cal
Skinny: Played in only 12 games because of injury. But when he was on the floor he could be dominating and approached double-double numbers.
Vibe: He has a shot to get into the high second round, but he's probably going to come back.
Cal: If he returns he'll be the featured forward and along with Ryan Anderson could give Cal one of the best post setups in the league.
Spencer Hawes, 7-0, Fr., C, Washington
Skinny: Very skilled post player who probably would have bolted out of high school. He led the Huskies in scoring but not rebounding.
Vibe: He's considered a late lottery selection, which means he's probably going to stay in the draft.
Washington: Losing Hawes hurts but the Huskies can survive to be a postseason team. But without him, there will be more attention on Jon Brockman, who excelled as a second option.
Roy Hibbert, 7-2, Jr., C, Georgetown
Skinny: Hibbert became one of the top big men in the country this season. His post moves continue to improve. He's skyrocketing.
Vibe: He's a lottery pick, probably toward the backside.
Georgetown: Hibbert could easily still return the way many centers have done at Georgetown. If he does, the Hoyas will have the most dominating post player in the country next season. Without him, look for the Hoyas to be quicker but smaller.
Al Horford, 6-10, Jr., F, Florida
Skinny: Had a big-time junior season, averaging a near double-double 13 points and 9.5 boards.
Vibe: He's in the top five.
Florida: The Gators knew Horford was likely lost when the season started. You can't prepare for his departure and clearly the Gators won't be the same inside, although Marreese Speights has a shot to be a solid post-up player next season.
Dominic James, 5-11, PG, So., Marquette
Skinny: Quick step to the hoop, solid playmaker but not overwhelming the NBA folks just yet.
Vibe: He's not a lock for the first round and that should tell him to return.
Marquette: The Golden Eagles would be losing their heart and soul if he were to depart. Sure, Jerel McNeal and Wes Matthews are back but this trio seems to work well in concert together. Losing James would certainly put a premium on David Cubillan to be even more of a presence next season. The Eagles could still be a tourney team without James but it would certainly be a lot harder.
Joseph Jones, 6-9, Jr., F, Texas A&M
Skinny: Jones falls under the "good college player but hasn't done enough to be a pro yet" title. No NBA scout is clamoring to pick him yet.
Vibe: He should get an Orlando invite and likely return to Mark Turgeon for his senior season with the Aggies.
Texas A&M: Turgeon needs Jones to anchor his first season in College Station and be a tutor for incoming power player DeAndre Jordan. If Jones were to leave because he doesn't want to play for Turgeon then the Aggies may find it hard to differentiate themselves in the Big 12.
Marcel Jones, 6-8, Jr., F, Oregon State
Skinny: Led the Beavers in scoring and was second in rebounding.
Vibe: Not going to get picked.
Oregon State: That means he should go back to give Jay John a chance.
Marcelus Kemp, 6-5, Jr., G, Nevada
Skinny: He scored more than Ramon Sessions and helped bail out the Wolf Pack a time or two this past season.
Vibe: But he's not showing up right now as a pick. He could get an Orlando invite to improve his stock next season.
Nevada: He needs to go back so he can be the BMOC for Mark Fox. If he returns and Sessions does too then the Wolf Pack have the pieces to be a top three WAC team and possible NCAA entrant.
|Clemson and James Mays have won a lot of games recently, but the Tigers haven't been to the NCAA tourney since 1998.|
James Mays, 6-9, Jr., F, Clemson
Bo McCalebb, 6-0, Jr., PG, New Orleans
Skinny: He's a nice, college player who can score in double figures.
Vibe: But that doesn't translate into being a draft pick at this point, according to a number of scouts. That means he can try to get into Orlando but likely will head back.
Clemson: The Tigers missed out on the NCAAs by a game or two and can ill afford an unplanned defection to get back after losing second-leading scorer, senior Vernon Hamilton.
Skinny: He was a big-time scorer two seasons ago and then got hurt and couldn't play much during the post-Katrina season for the Privateers. He flourished this past season under Buzz Williams, averaging 25 points a game.
Vibe: Size will always go against him, and if he can get into the Orlando pre-draft camp and really shine, then who knows, maybe he stays in the draft.
New Orleans: Williams would have a marquee senior lead guard if McCalebb returns and have a shot at competing for the Sun Belt title if he returns. If he doesn't, New Orleans doesn't.
Dominic McGuire, 6-8, Jr., F, Fresno State
Skinny: His board work of nearly 10 a game gets him noticed.
Vibe: He would have to really stand out as a specialist in Orlando, if he goes, to be picked.
Fresno State: Steve Cleveland would need McGuire to return to have a shot at the postseason. He has a senior-dominated team but needs a star in McGuire.
Josh McRoberts, 6-10, So., Duke
Skinny: McRoberts turned out to be a much better complimentary player inside than a star. But he has a great handle and tremendous leaping ability along the back line.
Vibe: He's likely to land in the late first at this juncture.
Duke: The Blue Devils were expecting that he could bolt. He leaves a hole inside but the Blue Devils will likely just morph into much more of a driving-wing-oriented team without McRoberts along the back line.
Joakim Noah, 6-11, Jr., F, Florida
Skinny: Continues to be discussed as one of the more versatile players in the draft, especially for his passing skills.
Vibe: He's in the top 10.
Florida: The Gators knew he was gone and will have a hard time finding a replacement for the energy he brought to the squad.
Greg Oden, 7-0, Fr., C, Ohio State
Skinny: He's the most impressive center to come out of college, perhaps, since the crew that emerged in the mid-1980s.
Vibe: He's a virtual lock for No. 1.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes recruited well but let's be honest, they won't have near the effect inside without Oden's presence. Othello Hunter and Matt Terwilliger will do fine in the post, maybe better than most in the Big Ten, but they're not Oden.
Gabe Pruitt, 6-4, Jr., G, USC
Skinny: He missed the first semester due to grades but came on strong late and averaged 12.5 points a game.
Vibe: He could slide into the late first, which means he could stay in the draft.
USC: If he does then the Trojans go from a top 15-20 team to one that is an unknown and will rely heavily on Taj Gibson and O.J. Mayo to lead them. That might not be enough.
Shaun Pruitt, 6-10, Jr., F, Illinois
Skinny: Pruitt had a solid junior season, averaging 11.4 points and 7.5 rebounds.
Vibe: He's likely going undrafted at this point. He needs to get to the Orlando draft camp to have a shot to stay in the draft.
Illinois: The Illini can't afford to lose Pruitt and be an NCAA team next season after also losing senior Warren Carter.
Maureece Rice, 6-1, Jr., George Washington
Skinny: Rice and Carl Elliott were the reason the Colonials were able to win the A-10 tournament. Rice can score. He led the Colonials. But he's not catching the eye of the NBA just yet.
Vibe: It seems someone every year has to declare for the draft from GW. It's hard to imagine that Rice would stay in the draft.
George Washington: The Colonials simply must have Rice return if they have a shot to get back to the NCAAs. Karl Hobbs has recruited well to where there never seems to be a big drop-off. But the Colonials can ill afford to lose Rice and Elliott.
Charles Rhodes, 6-8, Jr., Mississippi State
Skinny: He was the second-leading scorer on the Bulldogs with 13.7 points a game. He might have just wanted to see his name on the bottom line at this point.
Vibe: He's not on the radar enough to warrant a draft pick -- yet.
Mississippi State: Unless something is askew, Rhodes would likely return and help the Bulldogs become a potential NCAA team.
|Brandon Rush's torn ACL may actually make him a better player in the long run.|
Brandon Rush, 6-6, So., G, Kansas
Ramon Sessions, 6-3, Jr., G, Nevada
Skinny: A slasher who can get to the rack with plenty of "upside."
Vibe: He's not going to sign with an agent but he could go high enough in the middle of the first round to stay in the draft.
Kansas: Pretty simple here -- if he stays the Jayhawks have a shot at the national title. If he bolts then they will still be the Big 12 favorite but not a national one.
Skinny: He's becoming a bit of a sleeper around the league. He had his moments where he really stood out this past season for the Wolf Pack.
Vibe: He's a second-round pick. Not sure if that's enough to keep him in the draft.
Nevada: The Wolf Pack can't afford to lose Sessions after already losing Nick Fazekas. They need Sessions' leadership next season.
Sean Singletary, 6-0, G, Jr., Virginia
Skinny: Solid college guard who averaged 19 points a game and 4.7 assists for the Cavs.
Vibe: Not in the first round now but has a chance to play his way in with workouts.
Virginia: There are always one or two players who no one thinks is staying in the draft but ends up sticking. So, if that person is Singletary then the Cavs would take a serious hit. They're already losing senior J.R. Reynolds and needed Singletary as a bridge in the backcourt to keep them in the NCAA hunt.
Jason Smith, 7-0, Jr, C, Colorado State
Skinny: He has been discussed as a possible first-round pick for over a year. He averaged a double-double in 16.8 points and 10.1 rebounds.
Vibe: He's projected late in the first and that means he's probably staying.
Colorado State: Tim Miles probably can't expect to get Smith back as a new coach and with him being a possible first-round pick. If he doesn't stay then the Rams won't be a postseason team. If he does return, there are enough pieces that the Rams could challenge for the MWC top three.
Rodney Stuckey, 6-5, So., guard, Eastern Washington
Skinny: Big-time scorer, averaged 24.6 points a game.
Vibe: He could go in the late first round. There is a definite buzz about him.
Eastern Washington: If he returns the Eagles have a shot to be a first-division team in the Big Sky. Without him, they probably don't.
Marcus Williams, 6-7, So., F, Arizona
Skinny: When he's on, he has a decent shot that he can get off in traffic. But his erratic play last season could be a hindrance.
Vibe: He was a first-round pick after his freshman season but now he is on the bubble.
Arizona: Williams is already gone but the Wildcats can absorb his departure. They've got an outstanding recruiting class and his absence will mean even more shots for Chase Budinger and Jawann McClellan.
Reggie Williams, 6-5, Jr., G, VMI
Skinny: He can put up points with anyone in the country, coming in at 28.1 points a game in a high-octane offense.
Vibe: But scoring doesn't get you into the draft. The best-case scenario is for him to get an Orlando invite and prove he can play.
VMI: Likely he returns to give the Keydets a chance at winning the Big South after losing to Winthrop in the conference final last month.
|Sean Williams is the second-best shotblocker in the draft behind Greg Oden.|
Sean Williams, 6-10, Jr., C, Boston College
Brandan Wright, 6-9, Fr., F, North Carolina
Skinny: Next to Oden, the best shot-blocker and shot-altering post player in the draft.
Vibe: He's considered a first-round pick, even with his multiple suspensions.
Boston College: He has no affect on the Eagles. He was booted out in January.
Skinny: Big-time reach at both ends of the court around the boards, will only improve in the league.
Vibe: He could go as high as No. 3. He's in the draft to stay.
North Carolina: If there is one school that can absorb an early entrant, it is Carolina. Deon Thompson and Alex Stepheson are more than capable to step in for Wright's minutes.
Julian Wright, 6-8, So., F, Kansas
Skinny: Big-time athlete with loads of potential if he can hold onto the ball. He has only scratched the surface of his potential.
Vibe: He's made it clear that he's in this to stay and he's got a legit shot at the middle of the lottery.
Kansas: The Jayhawks were prepared to absorb his loss with options inside like Darnell Jackson, Darrell Arthur and Sasha Kaun. But losing Wright loses the ability to go big on the wing.
Nick Young, 6-6, G, Jr., USC
Skinny: He had his moments where he was a big-time scorer for the Trojans. He can put up near 20 points a game.
Vibe: He's in the draft for good and should be a solid first-round pick.
USC: This hurts because it takes away a star from the Trojans. This means they'll have to rely more on O.J. Mayo in year one.
Thaddeus Young, 6-8, Fr., F, Georgia Tech
Skinny: He can score. He probably could board more. And he's an athlete. But he's still understanding how to play the game.
Vibe: He wanted to get into the draft out of high school but the rules prohibited it, so he went to Georgia Tech. He's doing all the right things to stay eligible, according to coach Paul Hewitt, but the reality is he could work his way into the late lottery.
Georgia Tech: If he can get into the lottery, he's likely gone, and if that occurs then the Yellow Jackets' rebuilding plan takes a step back.
Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com.