If March Madness wasn’t enough of a wake-up call for SEC hoops fans — the league received just three NCAA Tournament bids — tonight’s NBA draft might do the trick. According to most mock drafts the SEC won’t have much representation in tonight’s first round.
The specialty site DraftExpress.com has Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel going first overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Former Georgia star Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is think projected to land with the Minnesota Timberwolves with the ninth pick. Done. That’s it. Just two first-rounders from the SEC.
The site NBADraft.net also has Caldwell-Pope going to the T-Wolves at #9. But in their mock draft, Noel will fall to the Phoenix Suns at #5. Again, just two SEC players are listed as first-rounders.
USAToday.com? Caldwell-Pope is again the ninth pick. Noel goes second to the Orlando Magic.
Sports Illustrated’s website? Noel first to the Cavs. Caldwell-Pope 13th to the Dallas Mavericks.
CBSSports.com posts two mock drafts. And the same two ex-SEC stars are listed in those first-round projections
The same goes for ESPN.com’s mock draft (behind a paywall).
The takeaway: SEC fans likely won’t be camped out in front of the television tonight. What’s the point? But with any luck, the SEC’s lack of first-round NBA talent tonight will result in a boom in NBA-level talent playing in the league this winter.