Too Cool For School
These draft prospects should have decided they were too cool for school.
Should they stay or should they go? That is the question tons of NCAA underclassman had to answer this past Sunday, which was the deadline for early entry candidates to withdraw their names from consideration for this June’s NBA Draft. And with the date being pushed ahead earlier and earlier every year, these players had limited time to make an educated decision on whether to leave their hat in the ring or to pick it up and return to school. So who made the right decision? First up, the players who should have decided that they were too cool for school.
Too Cool For School
(Players who didn’t enter the Draft but should have.)
Jared Sullinger is definitely too cool for school. After a dominant freshman season for the Buckeyes, the 6-8 power forward had a shot at going first overall this June (he probably wouldn’t have, but he would have been close to the top of the Draft). Instead he chose to return to Columbus for his sophomore season. While this is good news for college basketball fans (Buckeye fans in particular), it won’t do much to improve Sulinger’s stock, unless he plans on growing a couple of inches and becoming more athletic this season. Returning to school isn’t the best decision, in a basketball or business sense, for a player like Sullinger whose game is already mature beyond his years.
While Perry Jones had a bit of an inconsistent freshman year with the Bears, he was another player who had a shot at being the first name out of David Stern’s mouth next month due to his immense potential. While there’s a good chance he will blossom his sophomore season and actually improve his draft standing, it’s a dangerous move to pass up on going in the top five and pocketing around $16 million over his first four years.
Yes, Harrison Barnes had a disappointing freshman season as a Tar Heel and, yes, he lost his projected position as the first overall pick, yet Barnes still should have entered this year’s Draft. Based on talent and potential alone he was assured to be a lottery pick (probably even higher than that) – why not get paid while you are developing your game? Returning to college is a gamble for Barnes — what becomes of his stock if he has another inconsistent season?
Terrence Jones is another player whose game should benefit from an additional year in college; however, he should have entered the Draft. First off, he looked to be a surefire lottery (possibly top-10) pick this year due to this being a weak Draft and Jones’ unique skillset. The other reason he should have decided he was too cool for school was because of the team he plays for — Kentucky. John Calipari plans on his star players only sticking around one year so he recruits and replaces them accordingly. Now Jones will have a uber-talented crop of frontcourt freshmen teammates (Anthony Davis, Michael Gilchrist, Kyle Wiltjer) to fight with for minutes and touches, which could have a real detrimental effect on his draft stock (especially when you consider that Davis and Gilchrist are both projected to go ahead of Jones in the 2012 NBA Draft).
Next Up: School is Cool, Fool — players who entered this year’s Draft who shouldn’t have.