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2012 NBA Draft Underclassmen Watch
Posted By Yannis Koutroupis On March 27, 2012 @ 7:19 pm In All,Main Page,NBA Draft | No Comments
Decision time is here for underclassmen draft prospects to decide whether or not they want to forego their remaining eligibility and enter the NBA draft or stay in school for the 2012-2013 season. While the NBA has an April 29th deadline for underclassman and international players under the age of 22 to make themselves eligible for the draft, the NCAA recently imposed an April 10th deadline for underclassmen who want to retain their eligibilty.
Last year underclassman had until May 8th to withdraw with their eligibility intact. That allowed them to thoroughly evaluate their stock and work out for NBA teams. Now not only do they have to make their choice on a shorter timetable, but they also have to do so without working out for any teams. Teams are prohibited from working out or contacting players prior to the league’s official release of draft-eligible underclassmen, which is expected nearly three full weeks after the NCAA’s deadline.
These changes basically make the NBA’s declaration and withdrawal dates apply solely to international players. Collegiate players will have to abide by the NCAA’s rules, as inconvenient and inconsiderate as they may be.
The new set of circumstances has led to an increased amount of draft activity as of late. Below you will find a list that shows which underclassmen are in, out and on the fence. It will be updated as decisions are made and become fully complete on June 18th, the NBA’s withdrawal date. That’s when we’ll know all the international players staying in. We’ll know which college players are in and out come April 29th.
In The Draft With An Agent
Will Barton (Memphis, So.) – 6’6, 175 lbs. Shooting Guard
Analysis: Coming off of a big year in which he averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists. He showed significant growth from his freshman year and appears to have a lot of upside. Typically someone with his talent and promise would be a lock to be a first round pick, but this year’s draft is deeper than most. Projection: Late 1st – early 2nd.
Moe Harkless (St. John’s, Fr.) – 6’8, 208 lbs. Power Forward
Analysis: Stood out for an otherwise disappointing St. John’s squad, putting up 15 points, eight rebounds and 1.4 blocks a game. He’s banking on strong performances in private workouts being better for his stock than staying in school another year. Projection: Mid-to-late 1st.
Austin Rivers (Duke, Fr.) – 6’4, 200 lbs. Guard
Analysis: Surprising nobody by leaving early since it was clear that he had a pro-level skill set from early on. For him the draft process will be all about selling himself at a particular position. Right now nobody is really sure about whether or not he’s a shooting guard or point guard. Projection: Late lottery.
Dion Waiters (Syracuse, So.) – 6’4, 215 lbs. Shooting Guard
Analysis: Doubled his production from his freshman year. It would have been really intriguing to see how he did in a featured role his junior year, but he played well enough to justify leaving early. He should be able to contribute offensively right away: Projection: Late 1st round.
Maalik Wayns (Villanova, Jr.) – 6’2, 185 lbs. Point Guard
Analysis: Had a career-year across the board in a down year for the Wildcats. As impressive as his 17 points a game were, scouts are concerned about his playmaking skills and three-point shooting. He doesn’t have a lot of momentum behind him right now, making individual workouts vital. Projection: 2nd round-undrafted.
Royce White (Iowa State, So.) – 6’8, 270 lbs. Forward
Analysis: One of the most versatile players in the draft, evident by the 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists he averaged for the Cyclones. A strong outing against Kentucky’s lottery-pick-laden frontline pushed him off the fence and into the draft. Problems with anxiety, among other off-the-court issues, could hurt his stock. Projection: Mid-to-late 1st round.
Hollis Thompson (Georgetown, Jr.) – 6’8, 212 lbs. Small Forward
Analysis: Averaged a modest 12 points and five rebounds a game, but the Hoyas were a well-balanced team this year without any true stars. He’s the kind of guy who could make a roster just based off of his stellar three-point shooting ability. If he can convince teams that he can do more at the pro-level, he’ll rise. Projection: Mid-to-late 2nd round.
Renardo Sidney (Mississippi State, Jr.) – 6’10, 285 lbs. Center
Analysis: Has been associated with the NBA since before he received his high school diploma. Unfortunately, Sidney’s stock is at its lowest point. He drastically underachieved as a junior despite his vast amount of talent. He has to seriously transform his body and attitude if he wants to be anything other than a story about what could have been. Projection: Undrafted.
Arnett Moultrie (Mississippi State, Jr.) – 6’11, 230 lbs. Power Forward
Analysis: After a sitting out a year due to the NCAA’s transfer rules, Moultrie proved that he is one of the best power forwards in the country. He averaged a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, which really helped his stock return to the heights they reached earlier in his career at UTEP. Leaving now is the right choice since the Mississippi State program is in a state of flux and he’s a lock to be a first rounder. Projection: Mid-to-late 1st.
Harrison Barnes (North Carolina, So.) – 6’8, 215 lbs. Small Forward
Analysis: While most players would do whatever it took to have the kind of career that Barnes did at North Carolina, he never lived up to the lofty expectations that were set for him. He particularly struggled down the stretch without point guard Kendall Marshall setting him up. Still, he has a pro’s game and the makings of a starting small forward for many years to come. Projection: Top eight.
John Henson (North Carolina) – 6’11, 220 lbs. Power Forward
Analysis: Over the last three years Henson has steadily developed and improved his game. He could have left after his freshman year, but instead he opted to stick around. He should able to provide an immediate impact with his shot blocking and expanded offensive game. Whether or not he ever becomes a starter will depend on how he hold his own defensively. He’ll be a good weak-side shot blocker from day one. Projection: Lottery.
Kendall Marshall (North Carolina, So.) – 6’4, 195 lbs. Point Guard
Analysis: In a draft that is weak at that point guard position it makes pefect sense for Marshall to leave early despite the way his sophomore season ended. Marshall’s stock is high thanks to his inspired play prior to his right wrist injury. Teams will be disappointed if he can’t workout because of it, but Marshall showed enough at UNC during the regular season to warrant a high selection. Projection: Top 20.
Terrence Ross (Washington, So.) – 6’6, 195 lbs. Shooting Guard
Analysis: Doubled his production from his freshman year, averaging 15 points and six rebounds as a sophomore. He’s a pro-level athlete with the ability to score off of the dribble. Leaving early is the right move for him. The Washington backcourt is crowded and his stock is high. Projection: Mid 1st round.
Fab Melo (Syracuse, So.) – 7’0, 255 lbs. Center
Analysis: From the opening tip of this season it was clear that Melo transformed his body and came to the Orange with a new attitude. His improvements were vast. Finally able to stay on the floor and out of foul trouble, Melo became a huge difference maker for the Orange. Unfortunately, academics became an issue and kept him out of the NCAA Tournament. Another year of college would have helped him, but it’s hard to blame him for wanting to leave. Projection: Late 1st round.
J’Covan Brown (Texas, Jr.) – 6’1, 197 lbs. Guard
Analysis: Could not have had a much better year after averaging 20 points, three rebounds and three assists a game as a junior. Brown probably figures that he won’t be able to match that production next year, especially with Myck Kabongo returning, and that makes it time to leave. He’s a shooting guard in a point guard’s body. There’s a chance he could catch on with a team in a Lou Williams-type role, but going overseas seems more likely. Projection: 2nd round to undrafted.
Meyers Leonard (Illinois, So.) – 7’1, 245 lbs. Center
Analysis: Centers are always going to be in demand and Leonard has the potential to be a very good one. He grew leaps and bounds from his freshman year into a dominating player at times. Still has a long way to go, but the tools are there for him to be a starting center in time. Projection: Mid to late lottery.
Tony Wroten (Washington, Fr.) – 6’5, 205 lbs. Guard
Analysis: Was not pegged as a one-and-done candidate out of high school, but was one of the best freshmen in the country this season. Spent time at both guard positions. Will likely end up being drafted as a point guard by a team hoping he can give smaller, quicker lead guards trouble with his size. Projection: Mid to late 1st round.
Quincy Roberts (Grambling State, Jr.) – 6’5, 195 lbs. Shooting Guard
Analysis: It was a surprise to every one seeing Roberts’ name come across as hiring an agent and foregoing his senior year. While he really exploded at Grambling, putting up 22 points a game after transferring from St. John’s, his stock isn’t very high. He’s a volume shooter without three-point range who is prone to turn it over excessively. Projection: Late 2nd round to undrafted.
Damian Lillard (Weber State, Jr.) – 6’3, 195 lbs. Point Guard
Analysis: NBA scouts and general managers fell in love with Lillard this year. Although he came up short of leading his team to the tournament, there’s no doubt that this is the time for him to leave. He can’t have much of a better year than he did this season. He’s more of a scoring point guard, but those kind of guards have been doing just fine as of late. Projection: Mid to late lottery.
Jared Sullinger (Ohio State, So.) – 6’9, 265 lbs. Power Forward
Analysis: Really should have left last season, especially since he came up short of winning a national title and saw his stock drop off a bit as a sophomore. Still, Sullinger will be hearing his name called very early on draft night. He isn’t viewed as having the same kind of upside that he was last year, but still has the makings of a very solid pro. Projection: Top 10.
Khris Middleton (Texas A&M, Jr.) – 6’7, 210 lbs. Small Forward
Analysis: Didn’t have the kind of junior year that many were expecting him to, but injuries and a coaching change played a big role in that. Still has the prototypical build of a NBA small forward and the ability to defend at a fairly high level. Staying another year to improve his offensive game would have been in his best interest. Projection: Early 2nd round.
Thomas Robinson (Kansas, Jr.) – 6’10, 237 lbs. Power Forward
Analysis: Stock really blew up as a junior. In his first time seeing extended minutes in his collegiate career, Robinson was a Player of the Year candidate and undoubtedly one of the most valuable players in the country. He’ll end up going higher than the guys who played in front of him his first two years. Projection: Top five.
Perry Jones III (Baylor, So.) – 6’11, 235 lbs. Forward
Analysis: Aside from the Bears being more successful, things didn’t change much for Perry Jones III. He still blew people away with his athleticism and natural talent, but consistently underwhelmed with his production. He’ll go a few spots later than he would have last year since there’s serious doubt over whether or not he’ll ever fully reach his vast potential. Projection: Late lottery.
Jared Cunningham (Oregon State, Jr.) – 6’4, 194 lbs. Shooting Guard
Analysis: An explosive scorer with the ability to get to the free throw line. His stock doesn’t have a ton of buzz surrounding it right now, so he’s going to have to make the most out of the next few weeks. Size is a bit of concern. Projection: Mid to late 2nd round.
John Jenkins (Vanderbilt, So.) – 6’4, 215 lbs. Shooting Guard
Analysis: Quite possibly the best shooter in the draft. Will make a team because of his shot making ability alone. His future in the league will be determined by how well he can get his shot off about NBA caliber defenders and defend himself. Projection: Early 2nd round.
Jeremy Lamb (UConn, So.) – 6’5, 180 lbs. Shooting Guard
Analysis: With the Huskies facing a postseason ban next year, it made no sense at all for Lamb to stick around. After helping lead the school to a national championship as a freshman and improving as a sophomore, he’s ready for the NBA. Scouts still view him as having a lot of upside, he should be the second shooting guard selected. Projection: Mid to late lottery.
Bradley Beal (Florida, Fr.) – 6’3, 207 lbs. Shooting Guard
Analysis: Despite playing in a crowded backcourt, Beal shined as freshman. He showcased a well-round skill set, picture perfect jump shot and a high level of maturity. He separated himself from Jeremy Lamb and Austin Rivers late as the best shooting guard in the country. Projection: Top five.
Andre Drummond (UConn, Fr.) – 6’10, 270 lbs. Center
Analysis: Although Drummond is built like a current pro, he actually was supposed to be graduating from high school right now. Instead he graduated early and went to UConn to help them defend their national championship. He did not have the kind of impact he was expected to, but the tools are there for him to eventually develop into a quality center. Projection: Top five.
Perry Jones III (Baylor, So.) – 6’11, 235 lbs. Forward
Analysis: Jones defined inconsistency throughout his two years at Baylor. There were times where he looked like one of the best int he country and then there were times where you couldn’t even tell he was on the court. He’s a high risk/high reward type of pick. Projection: Mid to late lottery.
Anthony Davis (Kentucky, Fr.) – 6’10, 220 lbs. Power Forward o
Analysis: As the surefire top overall pick in the draft, there was no reason for Davis to consider going to back to school. He accomplished more in one year than most players do in their entire careers. Projection: Number one.
Terrence Jones (Kentucky, So.) – 6’9, 252 lbs. Power Forward
Analysis: Made the right choice to stay in school last year and is more pro-ready because of it. Although his stock didn’t rise much as a sophomore, he’s still in a very good place with an intriguing skill set. Projection: Late lottery.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky, Fr.) – 6’7, 232 lbs. Small Forward
Analysis: Teams are in love with his defensive versatility and the intensity he plays with. There are concerns about his jump shot, but Kidd-Gilchrist very well could end up being taken right after his teammate. There was no reason for him to hesitate about being one-and-done. Projection: Top three.
Doron Lamb (Kentucky, So.) – 6’4, 210 lbs. Shooting Guard
Analysis: With another incredible recruiting class coming in, Lamb made the right choice to leave now despite the fact that he’s not a lock to go in the first round. As a sophomore he still has upside associated with him, and he has the shooting ability that should lead to a long career. Projection: Late first round to early second round.
Quincy Miller (Baylor, Fr.) – 6’9, 210 lbs. Small Forward
Analysis: Backtracked on staying in school late in the process, much to the surprise of everyone. Had the potential to go top 10 in 2013, will have to settle for going outside of that in this year’s draft. Stock is high enough to warrant leaving after a year. Projection: Mid to late first round.
Marquis Teague (Kentucky, Fr.) – 6’2, 189 lbs. Point Guard
Analysis: Has a lot of promise and plays one of the thinner positions in the draft. With transfer Ryan Harrow coming in, Teague may not have seen the kind of extended minutes that he did this year. Projection: Mid to late first round.
Staying In School
Myck Kabongo (Texas, Fr.) – 6’1, 169 lbs. Point Guard
Doug McDermott (Creighton, So.) – 6’7, 220 lbs. Small Forward
Patric Young (Florida, So.) – 6’9, 247 lbs. Power Forward
LeBryan Nash (Oklahoma State, Fr.) – 6’7, 230 lbs. Small Forward
Adonis Thomas (Memphis, Fr.) – 6’6, 222 lbs. Small Forward
Mike Moser (UNLV, So.) – 6’8, 210 lbs. Power Forward
James Michael McAdoo (North Carolina, Fr.) – 6’9, 220 lbs. Power Forward
Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State, So.) – 6’7, 225 lbs. Small Forward
C.J. McCollum (Lehigh, Jr.) – 6’3, 190 lbs. Guard
Trey Burke (Michigan, Fr.) – 5’11, 180 lbs. Point Guard
Tony Mitchell (North Texas, Fr.) – 6’8, 235 lbs. Power Forward
Christian Watford (Indiana, Jr.) – 6’9, 225 lbs. Forward
Cody Zeller (Indiana, Fr.) – 6’11, 230 lbs. Power Forward/Center
Mason Plumlee (Duke, Jr.) – 6’10, 235 lbs. Power Forward/Center
Victor Rudd (South Florida, So.) – 6’7, 208 lbs. Small Forward
BJ Young (Arkansas, Fr.) – 6’3, 175 lbs. Point Guard
C.J. Leslie (N.C. State, So.) – 6’8, 209 lbs. Power Forward
Otto Porter (Georgetown, Fr.) – 6’8, 205 lbs. Forward
Andre Roberson (Colorado, So.) – 6’7, 210 lbs. Small Forward
Josh Smith (UCLA, So.) – 6’10, 305 lbs. Center
Jeff Withey (Kansas, Jr.) – 7’0, 235 lbs. Center
Tim Hardaway Jr. (Michigan, So.) – 6’6, 200 lbs. Shooting Guard
Bookmark this page, as we will update it as the process rolls on.
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