Who cares about the players? NCAA kills testing draft waters.

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I thought colleges were about helping students with guidance and some expertise when making life-changing decisions.

But not if your college basketball player.

The NCAA approved a ridiculous rule that moves the deadline day for a college player to declare for the draft up to the day before the spring National Letter of Intent signing period. This year that would have been April 12. One week after the national championship game.

So good luck college baller, you have eight days to gather information, talk to reliable sources and find out whether you should pull out of college and enter the NBA draft or not. Biggest decision of your life. But be sure to rush it.

Who this benefits is coaches, who learn earlier who they need to replace. It also benefits universities and their free labor sources.

Before you start making the “they are getting a free education” argument, we are not talking about 95 percent of college basketball players here. For the vast majority of guys playing college basketball, going on to the NBA is not really an option (a dream, sure, but not a reality). For them, they are staying in school and getting their education (hopefully, but that’s another issue).

But the 100 or so top players — the best players at their schools, the guys the universities make the most money on in terms of ticket sales, jersey sales and more — whether or not to declare for the draft is a huge decision. Frankly, it’s a much easier decision if you are Kyrie Irving or someone who every legitimate source says is a top pick or near it.

But for the guy who has some people around him saying he’s a lottery pick while others are saying he might not get drafted, the guy getting pressured by people at the university to stay, some time to work out for and talk to NBA scouts and front office people and get an honest assessment is key. It’s the difference in making a smart informed decision or leaving a college student to guess at his future.

We thought that colleges were about helping students make educated decisions. But not the NCAA, not when its own self-interests are involved.

Report: Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo staying in NBA draft

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
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When De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk declared for the NBA draft, they jumped in with both feet, hiring agents.

A third Kentucky freshman, Bam Adebayo, took a more cautious approach – until now.

Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports:

Adebayo is a borderline first-round pick.

He’s a ferocious dunker. All his best skills – motor, explosiveness, physicality – come together to produce slams.

But Adebayo is an underwhelming shot-blocker and rebounder, and those same tools should translate. That speaks’ to his focus.

He has a center’s game. But at 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-1.5 wingspan, does he have a center’s size? Adebayo can’t step away from the basket or handle the ball, so if he can’t bang with NBA centers, he’s in trouble.

NBA: James Harden should have been called for offensive foul late in Rockets’ Game 4 win over Thunder

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The Rockets were trying to protect a two-point lead as they inbounded with 7.8 seconds left in Game 4 against the Thunder on Sunday, and James Harden wanted the ball. So, the Houston star pushed off Alex Abrines.

The play still turned chaotic – Russell Westbrook tipping the inbound pass and Eric Gordon recovering the loose ball – but it never should have gotten that far. Harden should have been called for an offensive foul, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Harden (HOU) pushes off Abrines (OKC) to create space during the inbound.

A correct call would have given Oklahoma City the ball down two with 7.8 seconds left and a real chance to tie or take the lead.

Instead, the Thunder had to intentionally foul Gordon, who hit two free throws to effectively ice a 113-109 Rockets win. Houston now leads the first-round series, 3-1.

NBA: LeBron James got away with travelling before go-ahead 3-pointer in Cavaliers’ Game 4 win over Pacers

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The Cavaliers outscored the Pacers by just 16 points in their first-round series – tied for the narrowest margin ever in a four-game sweep. (The Warriors also outscored the Washington Bullets while sweeping the 1975 Finals.)

So, each Cleveland-Indiana game was close, including Sunday’s Game 4, which the Cavs won 106-102.

LeBron James hit a 3-pointer with 1:08 left to put the Cavaliers up 103-102, and they added a few free throws after intentional fouls to produce the final margin. But LeBron travelled with 1:14 left while making his move to get that 3-pointer, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

James (CLE) moves his pivot foot at the start of his dribble.

A correct call would’ve ended Cleveland’s possession and given Indiana the ball with a two-point lead. Instead, the Pacers had only one possession before they had to begin intentionally fouling.

Would Indiana have won if the travel were called? Probably, though the odds would have been only slightly better than a coin flip.

Would the Pacers have won the series if the travel were called? Probably not. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit, and even a Game 4 win was far from guaranteed with a travel call. But they might have at least felt better about not getting swept.

Raptors’ Norman Powell had a couple monster dunks Monday (VIDEO)

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“Give all praise to Norman Powell with his energy, his athleticism, his passion, just everything he brought to us this series.”

That was Kyle Lowry talking about what his Raptor Norman Powell, who put up a career playoff best 25 points in the Raptors’ Game 5 win. Powell played good defense on Khris Middleton and drained some deep threes to help Toronto pull away in this one. Lowry was so impressed after the game at a press conference he told the media to ask Powell questions, not him.

Oh, and Powell threw down some huge dunks, too. Just check out the video.