WSU HOOPS

visit us now at cougcenter.com!

Archive for the ‘NBA Draft’ Category

Jennings definitely heading to Europe

Posted by Jeff Nusser on July 9, 2008

As pointed out by Coug1990, Brandon Jennings is indeed heading over to Europe for his (presumably) one season out of high school before heading to the NBA.

We’ve covered at length what this means for the Cougs, but the bigger question is what it means for college basketball. There will be a lot of of hand wringing about it — and I’ll post a bevy of links at the end of the post for your perusal — but I ultimately think it means very little, to be honest.

Think about it this way: Are guys like Carmelo Anthony, Greg Oden, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose instant stars signing mega endorsement deals the moment they declare for the draft if they spend their one year out of high school off the hoops radar in Europe?

Not a chance.

The elite players benefit tremendously from the exposure they get to the general American public in NCAA basketball. While they might make more in the short term in salary by heading to Europe — it’s been reported that Jennings’ salary would likely be between $100,000 and $300,000 next year — they stand to gain much more in the long term by taking it in the shorts financially for that one year at a university. Most guys will understand this, if they’ve got any brain at all.

The story might be a little different for the guys who aren’t top-level prospects, since they weren’t likely to get the kind of hype of an Oden or Durant anyway, but the reality is that almost all of these guys view themselves as Oden or Durant. And since they do, they’ll continue to go to college because they will want to have the one big year that will land them that No. 1 pick and endorsement riches beyond their dreams. Consider the story of Rose, who wasn’t even a lock for the No. 1 pick at the end of the season. Now, the hype is larger than life, thanks to his magical run through the NCAA Tournament.

One final thought. These guys absolutely crave attention; top-level basketball recruits have been coddled and worshiped since their junior high days, having been told they’re special pretty much everyday. They feed off the adoration. So, there’s a part of me that thinks Jennings is doing this simply because of the coverage that comes along with being the first. People will follow him to see how he does, given the novelty factor — it’s a unique way to generate hype and market himself.

But the second, third or 10th guy to go over there? No one will care as they watch their favorite college teams or fill out their brackets. And once they see a couple of guys head overseas where they’re viewed as just some snot-nosed kid from the States who isn’t ready to play with men, they’ll quickly realize college basketball is a much better means to their ends than European professional leagues.

Anyway, onto the hand wringing — starting with the one guy who has a well-reasoned agreement:

  • Mike DeCourcey, The Sporting News: “College basketball does not need Jennings to thrive. Arizona will miss him, certainly. The Wildcats might have been fashioned into a national title contender with another elite pro prospect on their roster. But to suggest his experience might lead to a flood of high school players moving to Europe is naive, and to declare that such a flood would irreparably damage NCAA basketball is ludicrous.”
  • Gary Parrish, CBS Sports.com: “Forget what it means to Arizona or Lute Olson. What it means to college basketball in general is what has the industry buzzing, because coaches will now have to approach the recruitment of elite prospects like they used to approach the recruitment of elite prospects, which is to say with great caution and the understanding that there’s a decent chance they’ll never enroll.”
  • Henry Abbott, TrueHoop: “Will he be able to help a top European club over the next year — when he would be a college freshman? It will be a trick for him to get a big deal in Europe, where teams face a lot of pressure to win now, play very intricate offenses, and prefer to develop point guards over several years.”
  • Jeff Goodman, Foxsports.com: “I don’t expect an influx of players to go this route, because frankly, there’s only a couple of kids each year at the highest level who would even explore this avenue.”
  • Lute Olsen, Arizona coach: “We as coaches warned the NCAA about this when it was first put in place. It’s going to turn into a bigger mess.” He advocates a system similar to baseball’s, where players either come straight out or are bound to go to school for two or three years.
  • Jason Whitlock, Foxsports.com: “Maybe Brandon Jennings will go down in history as the young man who forced the NCAA to honestly deal with the hypocrisy, stupidity and immorality of its rules.”
Advertisements

Posted in Around the 'Net, NBA Draft, News | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Weaver lands in a great spot; Low faces uphill battle

Posted by Jeff Nusser on July 4, 2008

Man, it’s been a lot harder finding time to do this than I thought it would — who knew a teacher on “vacation” could be so busy? Hope you all are barbecuing and enjoying your 4th!

Anyway, onto Kyle Weaver. As I checked in periodically with the draft as it unfolded last week, I found myself getting anxious for Weaver. It became clear pretty quickly that he wasn’t going to go in the first round — especially as guys such as CDR and DeAndre Jordan dropped like rocks — so mostly I was just rooting for him to go to a situation where he had a better than even chance of making a roster.

I think he found that when he was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Outside of being drafted in the first round, going to Charlotte is probably one of the better situations Weaver could have asked for. First of all, let’s start with the Bobcats’ new coach, Larry Brown. After his awful experience in New York, he’s desperate for redemption in Charlotte. He’ll have no patience for shenanigans, or players who make stupid mistakes or have no interest in playing defense.

Weaver is about as free of pretentiousness as a player gets, and we all know how smart he is on offense and how hard he works on defense. He just seems to be exactly the kind of player Brown loves, and while Weaver likely won’t get a guaranteed contract, I’d be pretty shocked if he doesn’t make Charlotte’s roster. The backcourt is a bit crowded there, but this is a team that is probably going to move some parts. Expect Derek Anderson to be gone, and there’s rampant speculation that Raymond Felton is going to be traded after drafting D.J. Augustin.

You can read a great story that focuses exclusively on Weaver here, from his hometown paper. Excellent quotes.

Weaver will get the first chance to show what he can do at the Las Vegas summer league, starting July 11. I’m assuming some of that league’s games will be on NBATV, but there’s not TV schedule out there yet. I’ll pass it along if it looks like Weaver’s going to be on TV.

As for Derrick Low, you all know he didn’t get drafted. He’ll be in that same summer league with Weaver, playing for the Dallas Mavericks, and he’s got a very, very uphill battle to make that roster. But you never know. He also could catch someone else’s eye if it looks like he’s not going to stick with the Mavs.

Posted in NBA Draft, News | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Weaver lands in a great spot; Low faces uphill battle

2008-09 Pac-10 season finally starts to take shape

Posted by Jeff Nusser on June 16, 2008

Some have wondered why I haven’t done any kind of comprehensive breakdown of the upcoming Pac-10 basketball season, and the reason is simple.

I was waiting for today.

Decision day came and went, and we now know that Ryan Anderson and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute are staying in the draft, while Chase Budinger is coming back to school. Of those three decisions, Anderson staying in the draft seems to have the greatest impact on the Cougs, who figured to be passed by the Bears this season with Anderson. Now, that team goes back to the drawing board a bit under Mike Montgomery.

I’ll have some real-deal breakdowns starting next week, so be on the lookout for those. I’ve just got to get done with the school year before I’ll have time for all that.

Posted in NBA Draft, News | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Weaver looking like a fringe first-rounder

Posted by Jeff Nusser on April 29, 2008

Now that the deadline has passed for underclassmen to declare for the draft, both the 2008-09 college seasons and the 2008 NBA Draft are starting to take shape. This is still pretty preliminary, as a number of players who declared could still come back for their senior seasons, but we’re starting to get an idea of what “experts” think of where these guys will get drafted.

If you’re curious, Kyle Weaver is looking like a fringe first-rounder, according to DraftExpress.com and NBADraft.net. I’d love to tell you what Chad Ford at ESPN.com thinks, since he generally seems to be a little more in tune with what teams actually might do, but all of his content is Insider. If anyone has access to that info, post it in the comments. There are other ones out there, too, but most of them have yet to reflect the guys that actually didn’t declare.

These projections can fluctuate pretty wildly in the next couple of months, based both off of performances at pre-draft camps and team needs/preferences, but it tells you what you need to know about how people are viewing Weaver’s skill set: He’s a winner who projects to point guard at the NBA level with his smarts, passing ability and defensive length. More or less the kind of guy that can help out a team that doesn’t need him to carry the mail, the kind of team found at the bottom of the first round.

I’m no draft expert, but that would seem to be the high end for Weaver, barring a spectacular showing at a pre-draft camp. The guys in front of him on the board are guys not likely to head back to college thanks to their potential, and of course, we all know what a premium the NBA places on potential in the draft over actual proven abilities.

Getting into the first round would be huge for Weaver. The difference between the 30th overall pick and the 31st? Two years guaranteed at just under $1 million each with team options for the third and fourth years vs. the prospect of a non-guaranteed contract.

As for Derrick Low? He had some well-publicized difficulties at the Portsmouth Invitational draft camp, and isn’t on anyone’s radar as even a second round pick at the moment. But that could change, too, with a good showing at another camp.

Posted in Around the 'Net, NBA Draft | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »