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So Long, Farewell? April 9, 2010

Posted by Casey in College Basketball, NBA, NBA Draft.
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In a sport where it often feels ethics are dead, the NCAA and NBA may have something right.  Prospective NBA players are allowed to attend pro camps, interview with teams, and essentially measure their draft stock.  A perfect example of this is the recent announcement that 5 University of Kentucky basketball players will enter their names into the draft.  The NCAA allows prospects until May 8 to finalize a decision.  A withdrawal restores full remaining eligibility provided the player hasn’t signed with an agent.  Freshmen John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins , and junior Patrick Patterson  will likely stay in the draft (and be 1st round picks).  Freshmen Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton will likely proceed through pre-draft activities without committing to test their grades versus other prospects.  Orton played just the 8th most minutes and scored the 8th most points on the Wildcats.  However, he has NBA-size (listed 6-10, 255) and will get a chance to show he’s worth the risk, or learn he needs more of John Calipari’s special blend of coaching herbs and spices.   College coaches can use this experience as a bargaining tool to motivate players (see Ty Lawson, UNC 2009), and the NBA is spared a player who may not be ready.  By giving these time to make an educated decision they can hopefully avoid potential pitfalls, but sometimes ‘protential’ can lead a player to be picked too high, too soon.  Hey, at least you keep the paycheck (hopefully).