Sunday night at midnight was the NCAA’s imposed deadline for when a player has to say he declare he will stay in college or lose his elegibility. The NBA says a player can wait until mid-June to decide, but the NCAA cares about its coaches and money making machine more than players getting good advice, so they moved the date up. And will again next year to an unreasonable time, but that’s another topic.
For now, we know what underclassmen are in for the NBA Draft. Here are a few highlights that declared one way or another in the last couple days.
* Shelvin Mack, Butler point guard that everyone loved in the NCAA Tournament, is in the draft. He’s tough and smart but lacks NBA athleticism for the point, and is likely a second round pick.
* DeAndre Liggins, the Kentucky junior combo guard, surprisingly is staying in the draft. He is likely to go undrafted, but maybe with some good workouts he slips into the end of the second round. But not likely.
* Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph also will enter the draft. Thompson is raw but likely will be a lottery pick because of his potential. By the way, next time a kid says in March he is staying in school but NBA guys don’t believe him, this is why. Well, this and Kevin Durant and about 100 other guys.
* Reggie Jackson — no, not that Reggie Jackson, we’re talking the Boston College point guard — will remain in the NBA draft. He’s long, athletic and kind of flew under the radar at BC, but scouts seem to really like the potential. Late first round pick, and with good workouts it could be higher.
* Klay Thompson, the Washington State guard (an son of former No. 1 overall pick Mychal Thompson) will stay in. The guy can flat out shoot the rock. There are questions about him on defense and his lateral movement. Expect him to go in the first round around 20 somewhere.
* Ashton Gibbs from Pittsburgh will remain in school, which was the right move for him.
* Carleton Scott of Notre Dame, the team’s third leading scorer and defensive specialist, has decided to stay in the draft. But he will not be drafted. Way, way to raw on offense.
* Jeremy Green from Stanford will enter the draft. Another guy who stayed in the draft but should have stayed in school. Undrafted for sure.