Friday, June 12, 2009

Who are we still waiting on?

Tyler Smith and Dominique Archie have both pulled their names out of the NBA Draft, which provides a huge boost to both schools.

So with four days left for players to return to school, who are the big names we are still waiting to hear from?

- Brian Davis, Chinemelu Elonu, and Donald Sloan, Texas A&M: None of these three guys seem likely to be drafted, and all three should return to school. Elonu is probably the best bet to have a solid NBA career given his size, length, and athleticism. The Two Man Game even compared him Joakim Noah and Tyson Chandler, although I think Louis Admunson is a lot closer.

- Austin Daye, Gonzaga: Daye is in a tricky situation. There have been numerous reports about him - that his dad wants him to stay in the draft and that he has been promised in the top 20. Although he really could use another season in college to let his body (and his personality) mature enough to where he is ready for the league, can you really argue with being a top 20 pick and taking the guaranteed money. Reports yesterday have Daye staying in.

- Devan Downey, South Carolina: Downey would likely not be selected into the NBA, but reports have said that he is interested in doing the Euro route.

- Luke Harangody, Notre Dame: As Andy Katz writes, this is a tough decision for Harangody. He has a chance to be the best player ever at a school with a pretty solid basketball tradition. If he leaves now, odds are he won't be a first-rounder and may even end up in the D-League. 'Gody is exactly the kind of player that should come back to school, especially when you consider that Notre Dame, who returns Tory Jackson and Jonathon Peoples but, more importantly, add transfers Ben Hansbrough and Scott Martin, will be a good team next season.

- Damion James, Texas: James is a crapshoot. He has not impressed many teams thus far with his workouts, as reports have said he is settling too much for his jumper and not attacking the glass the way we have seen. James could probably use another season developing his perimeter game so he can play the wing in the pros, but there is a chance he is a first round pick. With James back, Texas probably vaults into the conversation as a sleeper for the Final Four with their returning front line and incoming freshman class.

- Jodie Meeks, Kentucky: Meeks, along with Harangody, will probably be a pre-season national player of the year candidate. Unlike Harangody, Meeks has an excellent chance of bringing home a national title next season. The biggest issue I can see arising is that Meeks, who is a borderline first round pick (more likely early second), is going to take a hit in his numbers playing a season with that much talent surrounding him. Does he want to risk it?

- Jeff Teague, Wake Forest: Teague was almost a lock to leave, as he has played his way well into the first round while drawing comparisons to solid role players like Louis Williams and Monta Ellis. But after spraining his MCL last week, Wake Forest fans should be hoping the injury, while not too serious, is enough to scare teams off and send Teague back to school.

- Greivis Vazquez, Maryland: Vazquez should return to College Park. He is not a first round pick, and may not even be drafted. He is simply not athletic enough for the NBA. But what if Maryland lands Lance Stephenson? Can two overpowering personalities co-exist on the same team, especially when both players want the ball in their hands every possession? Vazquez, with his dual citizenship, would be a valuable commodity overseas.

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