2010 NBA Draft – Top 5 Seniors
NCAA seniors: Dinosaurs of the NBA Draft.
They’re a dying breed — NBA draft prospects who played four years in college. For proof, take a look at the number of NCAA seniors selected in the first round of the NBA draft recently: 2005 — 9, 2006 — 8, 2007 — 6, 2008 — 5, 2009 — 6. So, surprisingly, there were more NCAA seniors selected in the first round back when high school players were still eligible to get drafted than there is today. This downward trend doesn’t look to end this year, as only three seniors are currently projected to be among the first 30 names called on draft night.
But just because there isn’t a high quantity of seniors going in the first round any more, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some high quality players getting drafted. Among the seniors picked in the first round of the past five drafts were Danny Granger, David Lee, Brandon Roy, Aaron Brooks and Darren Collison. Here’s the list of the top candidates this year looking to be added to this stellar list.
1) Damion James | SF/PF | Texas
The main problem with Damion James as a NBA prospect is his age (he’s already 22) and size — he is only 6-7 yet mostly played power forward in college. That being said, he has an incredibly long wingspan (over 7-feet), a strong physique and an aggressive attitude which will help him offset his lack of height. Throw in his athleticism, his ability to knock down the three and his tremendous rebounding abilities and you have yourself a solid NBA player. Look for him to get drafted in the mid-to-late first round range.
2) Stanley Robinson | SF/PF | Connecticut
The man known as “Sticks” certainly gets a check mark in the box labelled “NBA athleticism”, as he had numerous jaw-dropping dunks during his collegiate career. Stanley Robinson also used his springs to snag boards and block shots for UConn, and at 6-9, with the ability to knock down three-pointers, he’s an intriguing combo forward prospect. He should hear his name called somewhere in the 20s on draft night.
3) Quincy Pondexter | SF | Washington
Teammates Isaiah Thomas and Abdul Gaddy might have been more hyped up heading into this season, but when all the dust settled Quincy Pondexter proved he was the Huskies best player. His ability to score slashing to the hoop or on jumpers, combined with his hustle and work ethic, could make Pondexter an ideal NBA role player. His strong senior season has him poised to get picked in the late first round or early second round in June.
4) Jarvis Varnado | PF | Mississippi State
Being the NCAA’s all-time leading shot blocker will get you some NBA attention, so Jarvis Varnado will most definitely have a team snatch him up on draft night, probably in the second round. He won’t give a team much on the offensive end, and being a skinny 6-9 post player is a bit problematic in the NBA, but he should stick around the L for a bit as a defensive specialist with the potential for more.
5) Trevor Booker | PF | Clemson
Despite having a down year, and only being 6-7, Trevor Booker is still considered a solid bet to become a second round pick this year. That is due to his strength, athleticism and explosiveness. He could turn into a solid combo forward off the bench for whatever team snatches him up.
Next five: Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford; Jerome Jordan, Tulsa; Greivis Vasquez, Maryland; Sherron Collins, Kansas, Dwayne Collins, Miami (FL).
Read more of Jeff Fox at The Hoops Manifesto.