With the college season winding down — and the NCAA putting a ridiculous time pressure on students thinking about declaring for the draft — we’re seeing a lot of guys say they are in or out of the draft.
Here is a roundup of recent big names to make their announcement.
• Fab Melo of Syracuse will enter the draft and has signed with an agent (making it irreversible), reports the ultra-reliable DraftExpress. Not a shock, he battled eligibility issues. The 7’0” center averaged 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, but NBA scouts are not blown away. He has an NBA body and is pretty mobile, but he is not a guy with many post moves (he got his points in college because he is really tall and stands near the basket) and there are questions about his feel for the game. DraftExpress has him going No. 28, so he is a late first round, early second round guy.
• Patric Young, the Florida big man some NBA scouts do like, is expected to stay another year in college. He was expected to go in the first round.
• Terrence Ross, the swingman from Washington (that nobody saw because the Pac-10 sucked this year) is entering the draft. Ross is solidly in the first round (DraftExpress has him 16) because he is an athletic swingman with good shooting range.
• Maybe the more heralded player from the Huskies, freshman Tony Wroten, has yet to make his decision.
• J’Covan Brown is forgoing his senior season at Texas and is headed to the draft. He averaged 20.1 points per game last season and is a quick, penetrating guard who put up points in college. If he gets drafted it likely will be in the second round.
The Pistons had just 19 assists – to 22 turnovers – in their 93-83 loss to the Nets last night.
Stan Van Gundy was none too pleased.
On offensive problems:
I told them in there – that was the first thing – we’re not playing together at all. I thought it was a very selfish performance, and guys wouldn’t just pass the ball to open men. They wanted to see if they could take one more dribble to get their own shot, so the passing angles were gone. I just thought we forced play after play after play. We’re not willing to move the ball
On Reggie Jackson, who scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting with six assists and six turnovers, and was coming off Achilles soreness:
He was not good at all. He was forcing everything.
On injuries to point guards – Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Steve Blake – hindering the team’s flow in practice and that carrying over to the game:
We could probably make a lot of excuses for our guys, but we were selfish.
Van Gundy is clearly trying to send a message, and the preseason is the best time to do it.
But it’s somewhat troubling he had to do it after this game.
Eight of the 10 Pistons who played against Brooklyn project to make the regular-season rotation. Joel Anthony played over Aron Baynes, and once healthy, Blake could challenge Spencer Dinwiddie to become back up point guard – at least until Jennings is ready. Otherwise, Detroit – with Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova, Andre Drummond, Jodie Meeks, Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver – looked similar to its opening-night lineup.
Van Gundy is blunt, but he doesn’t tell the media things he hasn’t already directly told his players. They appreciate that.
He’d appreciate them getting this message.
Dwight Howard said he played with a torn MCL and meniscus in the Western Conference finals – pretty shocking news that few knew what to make of.
So, um, did he have offseason surgery?
Calvin Watkins of ESPN:
Howard obviously feels great about his health now, so maybe this was the right course.
We’ll never how Howard would have performed if fully healthy, but he averaged 14.4 points and 14.4 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game against the Warriors during the conference finals. How bad could the injuries have been?