April 2nd, 2014 11:00 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: NBA, PF, SEC, SG
As we finish up the final week of the 2013-14 basketball season, players across the nation are announcing their NBA intentions. In the last three days LSU’s Johnny O’Bryant and Missouri’s Jordan Clarkson have both revealed that they will be leaving school and turning pro early.
Every player’s case is unique to them — family issues, monetary needs, scholastic troubles — so it’s impossible to say definitively, “Yes, that guy made a mistake.” For some a six-figure salary in the Netherlands or Turkey might be an A-OK next step. For others missing out on the guaranteed contract that comes with being a first-round selection will very much disappoint.
Below is the current list of SEC players as ranked by DraftExpress.com, one of the more trusted, quoted mock drafts on the web. It’s an indicator of who’s in good shape to land one of those guaranteed NBA contracts and who isn’t…
4. Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky, Freshman
12. Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky, Sophomore
25. James Young, SG/SF, Kentucky, Freshman
That’s it for projected first-round picks, folks. Three players. All from Kentucky. All underclassmen. Not a single upperclassman from the SEC is expected to be first-round material.
Here’s who’s listed in the second round by DraftExpress…
41. Patric Young, PF/C, Florida, Senior
46. Jabari Brown, SG, Missouri, Junior
47. Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG, Missouri, Junior
49. Johnny O’Bryant, PF/C, LSU, Junior
50. Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee, Junior
60. Jordan McRae, SG, Tennessee, Senior
From purely a basketball perspective, Brown, Clarkson, O’Bryant and Stokes should return to school. Clarkson and O’Bryant have already announced their plans to leave. But as noted earlier, we don’t know the personal issues facing any of these players. We don’t know how scouts will view them if they go through workouts for the pros. And we don’t know if what’s dropped these players deep into the second round this year could be patched up over the course of another collegiate season.
A few other quickie thoughts:
* From the looks of this list, Florida has dominated this season more through the craftiness of veteran players than through sheer NBA talent. Kudos again to that team and to Billy Donovan.
* Only three Kentucky kids projected to be drafted? Why, production at John Calipari’s player factory has darned near slowed to a drip. (Sarcasm.)
* Tennessee has two upperclassmen projected to go in the final 11 picks of the draft. No wonder the Vols made it to the Sweet Sixteen.
* Missouri, on the other hand, failed to reach the NCAA Tournament with its own pair of slightly higher-rated stars. Don’t think Tiger fans won’t let Frank Haith hear about that one.
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