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Biggest NBA draft decisions remaining
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 23, 2013 @ 1:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
The countdown has nearly expired for college basketball underclassmen to announce their status for the 2013 NBA draft.
The annual domino effect that alters the college and pro games that’s derived from 20-something-year-olds’ decisions is coming to a close — with NBA teams gauging the near-finalized talent pool for the June 27 draft and the college landscape for 2013-14 becoming clearer as we learn which players are staying.
“I’ve never made a decision this big in my life,” Louisville’s Russ Smith told WDRB.com.”I lose sleep. I’ve been losing sleep, especially the last week and a half.”
As in most years, we’ve seen the obvious (star UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad declaring) and the not-so-obvious (star point guard Marcus Smart staying at Oklahoma State).
With five days until the NBA deadline for players to announce their draft status, USA TODAY Sports takes a look at five of the top college prospects who remain undecided, examining the impact of their departures/returns.
Russ Smith, Louisville
After winning a national title and Big East Conference title in his junior year with the Cardinals, it’s difficult to discover any huge reasons for Smith to return to a Peyton Siva-less squad. Still, the pull comes from playing for Rick Pitino again and trying to help Louisville repeat — a rare feat in college basketball that a Joakim Noah-led Florida team accomplished in the mid 2000s.
Why should he return? To help Louisville win another national title and show John Calipari’s highly touted freshman class that the best team in the Bluegrass State wears red, not blue. He also has the chance to finish his education, while it’s unlikely he’ll lose an enormous amount of draft stock (he’s projected in the second round) if he holds off a year.
If he goes pro … Louisville will fall from preseason top 10 team and title contender to a rebuilding project with an NCAA tournament bid far from a sure thing.
*Decision expected Wednesday.
Doug McDermott, Creighton
McDermott was a finalist for national player of the year after averaging 23.2 points and 7.7 rebounds. He’s a likely second-round pick this year who could sneak … [For more on To stay or to go now? Biggest NBA draft decisions remaining, click here.]
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