There is no worse time to ask a college player about his NBA future than right after his team was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. Any player you would actually want to draft should be emotionally crushed because he was invested in the team.
So we enter North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes.
The Des Moines Register asked the freshman about his plans next season (via CBS’s Eye On Basketball).
“I’m not thinking about the NBA,” he said, quietly….
“You know, that’s not really something that I’m thinking about. I had the last two seasons end on championships (in high school). The last time I felt like this was my sophomore year. That’s the only thing that’s on my mind right now.”
That’s the right answer. (And we don’t doubt he meant it.) But you can also bet he has thought about the NBA. A lot.
He came into the season atop draft boards, stumbled to start the season and dropped down, but moved back up with his play the second half of the season. He’s not going No. 1 anymore (that’s Kyrie Irving out of Duke) but he is high lottery pick.
Except for that lockout looming out there. It’s going to be interesting to see how the almost certain lockout impacts this draft — if even some of the best players decide to stay in school another year it’s going to make next year a much deeper draft (meaning a player might go lower in the draft next year as opposed to this, even with a year of improvement). Barnes and others have a tough decision ahead of them.
We don’t know where Barnes falls on that yet. But you can bet he has thought about it.
Rodney Hood got the Jazz to overtime.
Gordon Hayward took it from there.
This extends Utah’s win streak to eight games and snaps a 10-game losing streak in Dallas. The last time the Jazz won in Dallas? Mavericks guard Deron Williams started – for Utah.*
*Those Jazz brought Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews off the bench. Dang
Up three points and the final seconds winding down, the Mavericks had a great chance to intentionally foul Trey Lyles (a 62% free-throw shooter) with his back to the basket.
Instead, they allowed Rodney Hood to hit this shot and get the Jazz to overtime.
The Bucks led the Celtics led the Bucks by 19 in the fourth quarter and four in the final minute.
But Boston completed its comeback when Jerryd Bayless committed a boneheaded foul on Kelly Olynyk with a second left, shoving Olynyk in the back on the inbound. Olynyk sunk both free throws to tie the game.
Then, Khris Middleton got Bayless off the hook.
Middleton drew a foul on Avery Bradley, who was trying to contest the game-winning shot. The Milwaukee wing made one free throw then intentionally the second, and Jae Crowder couldn’t replicate this.
Par for the course, Gregg Popovich gave curt answers to end his in-game interview quickly.
But David Aldridge tempted the Spurs coach, asking whether he wanted New Hampshire primary results. Popovich walked back to hear the answer.
Told Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won, Popovich shook his head.
Was that disapproval for the Democratic or Republican candidate – or both?