Tuesday, April 7, 2009

4/7 - Some Links, Some News

A number of players of declared, or strongly hinted that they will declare, for the NBA Draft in recent days. For a full list of the players that have declared their intentions, click here.

  • It's official. Blake Griffin is going pro. Who saw this coming?
  • Pitt's DeJuan Blair will be putting his name into the NBA Draft. The sophomore forward was the co-Big East player of the year after averaging 15.7 ppg and 12.3 rpg. It is probably a good time for him to head out. Both Sam Young and Levance Fields are graduating, which makes it seem fairly unlikely that Pitt will duplicate their success from this season. Blair would also probably end up being the focal point for opposing defenses, which could severely decrease his production. Blair is probably a mid-to-late first rounder this year.
  • Earl Clark looks like he will be taking his game to the next level, and the junior forward is also expected to sign with an agent. Tough loss for Louisville, who will also lose Terrence Williams to graduation. Without those two, the Cards are left without a playmaker on their roster.
  • Yesterday, we wrote about Sean Miller taking the Arizona job, and how there was a chance he could be at a severe disadvantage with some of his players heading to the draft early. That exodus has begun, as Chase Budinger will be putting his name into the draft, and he is gone for good as this is his second time declaring. Budinger is an excellent athlete and an excellent scorer. Expect him to be taken near the back end of the lottery.
  • Jodie Meeks, the prolific junior scoring guard from Kentucky, will enter his name into the NBA Draft. Meeks, who is not expected to sign with an agent, is projected as second rounder. With Calipari coming to Kentucky, I see Meeks going through the draft process before withdrawing his name from the draft.
  • Along those same lines, South Carolina junior Devan Downey will be testing the NBA Draft waters. He is not signing with an agent, as he probably would not end up getting drafted. Tyler Smith, a junior forward for Tennessee, is also expected to declare, and he won't sign wiht an agent either. Chad Ford is reporting that Greivis Vasquez is going to test the waters, but I cannot find it anywhere else.
  • Ed Davis, UNC's freshman center, will "definitely" be returning to school. So will Clemson's Trevor Booker.
  • The rosters for the Portsmouth Invitational have been announced, and there is a ton of talent at this year's event. One of the reasons is that the NBA pre-draft has dramatically scaled back their event, and this will be the only place that these seniors can get scouted playing five-on-five basketball.

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