The dThe deadline for college basketball players to declare for the 2012 NBA Draft was much earlier this year than in previous offseasons. If an underclassmen wished to "test the waters" and not hire an agent, he had to make that decision by April 10. Under the new NCAA guidelines, players who declare for the draft but have not hired an agent must withdraw by April 10 in order to retain their college eligibility. After that, players had until April 29 to enter the NBA Draft. At that point, once they are in, there is no turning back.
Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina, 6-8, Soph. '11-'12: 17.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 72.3 FT%, 35.8 3-PT%
Hindsight is always 20/20, but Barnes probably should have turned pro last year since he would have been a likely top-three pick. His stock has taken a hit recently due to his poor play in the NCAA Tournament, and as a result, he likely slips to the mid-lottery, but leaving North Carolina was absolutely the right decision.
Barton is a talented scorer off the bounce but is still rather inconsistent with his outside shot. He is also rail thin which is the biggest concern in his transition to the next level. Barton likely is a late first-/early second-round pick.
Because of the Gators' experience and depth at guard, Beal didn't have a jaw-dropping freshman season. However, he is loaded with talent and considered one of the safer picks in the draft. He could go anywhere from 2-5.
In a press release by the school, Brown mentioned wanting to take care of his daughter as a reason for turning pro, so you can't blame him for that. However, Brown is really a 6-1 shooting guard right now and will need to learn to play the point to have a career in the NBA. That is why he likely will be a second-round pick, but I wouldn't be surprised if he goes undrafted.
The next Dwight Howard or Kwame Brown? That?s the million dollar question. He has tremendous athleticism for a big man but is still very much a raw product. Based on potential alone though, he will be a top five pick.
Hamilton will graduate at the end of the semester and is getting married this summer, so he wants to move on with his life. More than likely, that moving on won't land him a spot in the draft. He is a seven-footer though so he could get a chance based on his size alone.
I have been on the Harkless bandwagon for most of this past season and think his game will translate really well at the next level. He has good size, athleticism and mid-range game. Most people are projecting him in the No. 15-25 range, but I think he will end up being a lottery pick before it is all said and done.
John Henson, PF, North Carolina, 6-10, Jr. '11-'12: 13.7 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 2.9 bpg, 50 FG%, 51.1 FT%
Henson continues to be a long, athletic forward who can block shots, but his lack of strength and physicality are concerning in terms of his transition to the next level. He did show an improved offensive ability this season and can't be blamed for leaving school since he will likely be selected in the late lottery-early twenties.
John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt, 6-4, Jr. '11-'12: 19.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 47.4 FG%, 83.7 FT%, 43.9 3-PT%
It is no surprise that Jenkins is turning pro since Vanderbilt loses their other four starters to graduation. One of the deadliest shooters in college basketball, he should be a late first-round pick.
Jones has top-five talent but after another underwhelming season at Baylor, he more than likely slides to the mid-late lottery. He could either be a terrific steal for a team or a huge bust depending on where he ends up being selected.
From a talent standpoint, Jones is extremely gifted but there are questions about some of his intangibles. Still, I don?t think there?s any risk of him slipping out of the lottery and he could end up in the top ten.
MKG is a winner, a competitor, a guy who can do a little bit of everything on the floor. If he can improve his outside shot, Kidd-Gilchrist has a chance of being a special player in the NBA. He will be one of the first names called in the draft.
A pure shooter, Lamb figures to be a late first round pick. I am not sure he is anything more than a scoring option off the bench at the next level unless he gets stronger and becomes more dangerous off the bounce.
Since he will likely be a lottery pick and the Huskies are ineligible to compete in the postseason next year, Lamb was a goner. He has the skill to be a solid player at the next level, I just wish I didn't hate his terrible body language so much.
It's no secret that I am not a huge fan of Leonard and think he is way too soft to be making the leap to the NBA. With that being said, Leonard is a true seven-footer with solid athleticism and plenty of room to grow, meaning he will likely be a mid-first-round pick.
After missing most of last season due to injury, Lillard emerged as one of the most prolific scorers in the country and a possible lottery pick. He could very easily be the first point guard taken in the 2012 draft.
One of the best, if not the best, pure distributors in college basketball; Marshall figures to be one of the first point guards taken in the 2012 NBA Draft which should range from the late-lottery to early twenties. He is not a big-time scorer by any means but clearly knows how to run an offense and make the players around him better.
This decision comes as no surprise since Melo was suspended indefinitely prior to the NCAA Tournament due to academic issues. The seven-footer showed incredible growth from his freshman to sophomore year but is still rather raw in terms of his all-around ability. Still, there aren't many true seven-footers in this draft, so Melo will likely be a first-round pick.
Middleton entered the season as a first-round prospect, but after battling injury and never returning to full strength, his stock took a hit. That makes his decision to enter the draft rather baffling. I think he would have been better off returning to A&M and proving his ability while being 100 percent.
After originally announcing he would return to Waco for his sophomore season, Miller changed his mind and will instead leave for the NBA. He had a solid but not spectacular freshman season and really could have boosted his stock by heading back to school. As it looks now, Miller could be a mid-first round pick if he wows at workouts but more than likely is taken somewhere in the 20?s.
Tony Mitchell, SF, Alabama, 6-6, Jr. ?11-?12: 13.1 ppg, 7 rpg, 54.6 FG%, 60.9 FT%, 31.1-PT%
Getting dismissed from the Tide accelerated Mitchell?s voyage to the NBA since he would have to sit out next season if he transferred to a different program. Mitchell is an amazing athlete not much of an outside shooter. Some team could take a chance on him in the second round but he more than likely goes undrafted.
After transferring from UTEP, Moultrie made the most of his lone season in Starkville. He is an athletic, versatile big man who can probably play either the four or five at the next level. Moultrie is a safe bet to be a mid-first-round pick at worst and could sneak into the late lottery.
To be honest, I think Rivers could use another year at Duke. There is no guarantee of him being a lottery pick this summer while another year in college could make him a top-10 pick in 2013. Plus, it's not like his family needs the money or anything. He likely falls mid-teens/early twenties.
As many expected, Ross made a significant leap during his sophomore season leading the Huskies in scoring. He can stroke it from the outside, get to the rim, and has terrific athleticism and length. Ross could end up being a lottery pick and shouldn't fall past the late-teens.
The enigmatic, often troubled Sidney is a talented big man but has some huge red flags; most notably his poor attitude and conditioning concerns. Some team might roll the dice on him as a late second-round pick, but, more than likely, Sidney will have to prove himself in the D-League before someone takes a chance on him.
Stoglin beat the early-entry deadline by about two hours. It was announced by Maryland that he was suspended for the upcoming season because he violated the team?s athletic conduct code so that likely accelerated his decision to turn pro. However, he is a shooting guard in a point guard?s body and probably ends up going undrafted.
Someone recently asked me if Sullinger is more Kevin Love or Glen Davis. My answer: somewhere in the middle. A lot of people were surprised when he came back for his sophomore season but after taking the Buckeyes to the Final Four, it was a no-brainer to turn pro. Sullinger is likely a mid-lottery pick.
Of all the UK underclassmen to declare, Teague was the most questionable since he did not have an overwhelming freshman season. With N.C. State transfer Ryan Harrow becoming eligible next season for the Wildcats, it was probably the right decision. Teague certainly isn?t in the same league as previous John Calipari-coached point guards but should still be a first round pick as he showed steady progress during his freshman campaign.
Since Thompson tested the waters last offseason, he is in the 2012 NBA Draft for good. He can stroke it from deep and has good size, athleticism, and versatility for a wing player but is still a second-round prospect who could possibly go undrafted.
In case this is your first time reading my work, I need to let you in on a little secret: I have a basketball crush on Dion Waiters. I think he is going to be a stud at the next level because of his ability to attack the tin combined with a decent outside shot. He is without question a lottery pick in my mind.
In his lone year with the Cyclones, White proved to be one of the most versatile offensive big men in the country. Due to his ability to handle and the distribute the basketball, he is a tough matchup when you combine that with his combination of size and quickness. It isn't shocking that White entered the draft considering this is technically his third year out of high school. He probably ends up somewhere in the late first/early second round.
Due to his size, athleticism, and ability to drive the basketball, Wroten is a terrific NBA prospect. He still has a long way to go in being a true floor general and needs to work on his outside shot. I think he is best long-term point guard prospect in this draft but guys like Marshall and Lillard likely drafted before him, maybe even Teague. Wroten could fall anywhere from the late lottery to early twenties.
Burke strongly considered leaving Ann Arbor after his freshman season but wisely chose to return for his sophomore year. He likely wouldn't have been a first-round pick this year but another solid season at Michigan could help him reach his goal of getting to the next level.
Canaan played a huge role in the Racers' success this season and as a result, caught quite the buzz on the national scene. He likely would have been a borderline first-rounder if he had entered the draft this summer, so returning for his senior season should only help his stock for next year.
Absolutely the right decision for Kabongo. He has lottery talent but after a lackluster freshman season in Austin, likely would have been a second-round pick with a chance of sneaking into the first round. Returning for his sophomore season and improving his all-around game should do wonders for his draft stock.
Leslie?s return will make the Wolfpack an ACC title contender next season. It will also allow Leslie to add some strength and work on his perimeter game; two things that will help his draft stock for 2013.
After missing all but seven games last season due to a torn ACL, Mbakwe was awarded a sixth year of eligibility. Rather than bolting for the NBA Draft, Mbakwe has chosen to take advantage of his extra year. Proving he is back to 100% could help him solidify his status as a first rounder.
James McAdoo, F, North Carolina, 6-9, Soph. '11-'12: 6.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 43.4 FG%, 63.8 FT%
Even though he was North Carolina's sixth man, playing behind the starting frontcourt of Tyler Zeller and John Henson, McAdoo still would have likely been a mid-lottery pick based on potential alone. Returning to the Tar Heels for his sophomore season will give him the opportunity to develop his game and become the team's go-to option since it loses four starters. If McAdoo performs up to his capabilities, he could end up being one of the top selections in the 2013 NBA Draft.
McCollum received some invaluable national exposure when he scored 30 points in the Mountain Hawks opening round upset of Duke. He is an undersized shooting guard though and decided to return for his senior season after briefly testing the waters.
McDermott blew up during his sophomore season, emerging as one of the most dangerous scorers in the country. He can stroke it from deep but also is effective with his back to the basket. Athleticism is his biggest concern in transitioning to the next level, but he still would have been a borderline first-round pick had he declared for the draft.
Tony Mitchell, SF, North Texas, 6-8, Soph. '11-'12: 14.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 3 bpg, 56.7 FG%, 73.9 FT%, 43.9 3-PT%
An extremely athletic but still raw talent, Mitchell likely would have been a late first-round pick. However, returning to school and developing his all-around game could really do wonders for his stock next season.
In his first year with the Rebels, the former UCLA was one of the impact transfers in the country. He is long, athletic and aggressive on the glass. Moser likely would have been a late-first round pick had he declared, but returning to UNLV and working on his perimeter game should help his stock for next season.
Alex Oriakhi, PF, Connecticut, 6-9, Jr. '11-'12: 6.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 49.5 FG%, 56.9 FT%
With Connecticut banned from competing in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, I figured Oriakhi might bolt for the NBA Draft despite having an extremely disappointing junior season. Instead, Oriakhi will not head to the league but will be transferring from Connecticut. It's a smart move since he can play right away at his new school and sorely needs to do damage control on his draft stock.
I am not high on Plumlee at all since his offensive game is fairly limited. He likely would have been a first-round pick this year but can really help himself by returning for his senior season and improving his perimeter game.
Victor Rudd, SF, South Florida, 6-7, Soph. '11-'12: 9.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 37.5 FG%, 75.6 FT%, 30.6 3-PT%
Rudd surprisingly put his name out there to enter the draf,t but after realizing he likely wouldn't have been drafted, made the smart decision in returning to school. Due to his size and athleticism, he is somebody who could really help his stock next season and a possible sleeper in 2013.
This was pretty much a no-brainer in my opinion since Thomas missed a good chunk of his freshman season due to injury and never got to display his full ability. With Will Barton leaving for the NBA, Thomas will get to play a much bigger role for Memphis next season which should tremendously help his stock for the 2013 draft.
I think this is the right decision for Thomas who would have likely been a borderline first-round pick. He can now become the true go-to scorer for Thad Matta and also work on his defensive effort which is pretty much non-existent.
Christian Watford, SF, Indiana, 6-9, Jr. '11-'12: 12.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 41.6 FG%, 81.5 FT%, 43.7 3-PT%
Watford would have been a borderline first-round pick but more than likely have fallen into the second round. With the Hoosiers expected to be one of the top teams in the nation next season, Watford should help his stock and possibly solidify his status as a first-rounder in 2013.
It's always difficult for a probable lottery pick to turn down the opportunity of turning pro, but that's what Zeller did. I think it is a great decision as he could end up being a top-five pick in 2013 once he gets a little stronger. This also means the Hoosiers will be one of the favorites to cut down the nets next year.