The 2009 NBA Draft Early Entry list is now official, and there are 75 collegiate players with eligibility remaining who think they have a shot at the League this year. Keep in mind that there are only 60 picks in the 2009 NBA Draft, and the above number doesn’t even include graduating seniors as well as foreign players. Mathematically speaking, it would serve a number of these players with stars in their eyes well to return to school for at least one more season. Let’s evaluate each of them.
Players With Agents
First, the players who have already signed with agents, effectively ending their collegiate careers. For the most part, this group is first-round material, but Brandon Costner, Eric Devendorf, Daniel Hackett and Dar Tucker must know something about their draft status that nobody else does.
Likely to Stay in Draft
Next, we have a much smaller group of players who are very likely to stay in the draft, but they have yet to sign with an agent, and there’s been no official word yet. All five of these players are probably first rounders, but with Nick Calathes, Jrue Holiday and Patty Mills, there remains a possibility of a return to school next season.
On the Fence
These thirteen players will decide the complexion of college basketball in 2009-10, much as Lawson, Ellington and Green did this season. For example, if Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson return to Kentucky, that’s a top five team. If Jeff Teague returns to Wake Forest, same thing. Derrick Brown at Xavier, Austin Daye at Gonzaga, Luke Harangody at Notre Dame, Gani Lawal at Georgia Tech, Tyler Smith at Tennessee, Jarvis Varnado at Miss. St., Greivis Vasquez at Maryland. Each of these players is all-american caliber. This group of players could break a lot of hearts in the next six weeks.
You Gotta be Joking
This group of players has a fair mixture of guys who just want to get evaluated (even though Parrish points out most won’t actually get evaluated) for next season’s draft and players who have no idea what their true value is in terms of NBA scouts. There are also several who have nowhere else to go, having worn out their welcomes elsewhere. This list always makes RTC feel a little sad, yet as we now know, the NCAA has enacted a new rule making it so there will be even more ill-informed choices such as these in the future. Thanks, guys. Way to look out…