OFFICIAL 2011 NBA Draft Early Entries

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The May 8th deadline for college basketball underclassmen to either announce they are returning to school or staying in the NBA Draft for good has past.  There were some very questionable and surprising decisions.  Check out The Sports Bank’s 2011 NBA Mock Draft and click on the player’s name for an in-depth scouting report.

UPDATED: 5/11/11

By: David Kay

TURNING PRO:

Jacob Blankenship, PF, Southeastern (FL), 6-9, Jr.
Not wasting my time…

DeAngelo Casto, PF, Washington State, 6-8, Jr.
12 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 57.4 FG%, 61.2 FT%
Some late season off-the-court issues and Casto becoming a father have hurried along his process in hoping to play at the next level.  He is a very physical and athletic but under-sized to be a legit big man in the NBA.  If some team feels Casto can develop into an energy role player, he might get a late-second round look but more than likely goes undrafted.

Roscoe Davis, PF, Midland (TX), 6-10, Fr.
Not wasting my time…

Mamadou Diarra, C, Chaminade, 7-0, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 13.3 ppg, 10 rpg, 2.9 bpg, 58.3 FG%, 78.2 FT%
The former USC Trojan was a dominating big man at the Division II level due to his ability to rebound and protect the rim on defense.  He is an intriguing prospect but does turn 25 years old in August meaning his up-side is very limited.  More than likely, the seven-footer does not get drafted.

Troy Gillenwater, PF, New Mexico State, 6-8, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 18.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 45.9 FG%, 74.9 FT%, 36.3 3-PT%
Not a true NBA prospect but is still keeping his name in the draft.  There is very little chance he gets drafted.

Jeremy Green, SG, Stanford, 6-4, Jr.
’10-’11: 16.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 42.3 FG%, 79.4 FT%, 42.9 3-PT%
Green has dealt with his share of issues at Stanford including recently being suspended for academics reasons.  He is rolling the dice by staying in the draft since he could very well not get selected.

Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas, 6-7, Soph.
’10-’11: 18.6 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 44 FG%, 77.9 FT%, 38.5 3-PT%
The exodus at Texas continued with Hamilton declaring for the draft and hiring an agent.  He is one of the better scorers in this draft class but still is not a complete player.  Regardless, Hamilton is a top twenty pick who I think will end being selected in the late lottery.

Tobias Harris, SF, Tennessee, 6-8, Fr.
10-’11: 15.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 46.0 FG%, 75.3 FT%, 30.3 3-PT%
Coming off a solid freshman campaign, Harris will test the waters.   You have to wonder if a coaching change at Tennessee might hurry along his process to the NBA.  Harris has a nice combination of size and versatility which makes him a first round prospect and he could work his way into the late lottery/mid teens.

Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA, 6-8, Soph.
’10-’11: 12.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.1 bpg, 2.7 spg, 40.6 FG%, 73.6 FT%, 36.2 3-PT%
The lengthy Bruin wing is a likely late-lottery/mid-first round pick so it is understandable why he would enter the draft and sign an agent.  I do not think he is ready to make an impact at the next level though due to a lack of strength and the selfish college basketball fan in me would have liked to see him return to UCLA since they would have been a potential top-ten team with Honeycutt.

Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke, 6-2, Fr.
‘10-‘11: 17.5 ppg, 4.3 apg, 3.4 rpg, 1.5 spg, 2.5 TOpg, 52.9 FG%, 90.1 FT%, 46.2 3-PT%
A consensus top-three pick despite only playing in 11 games during his freshman season due to a toe injury, Irving is in for good and you cannot blame him.  Depending on how the ping-pong balls bounce, he could be the top overall pick.

Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College, 6-3, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 18.2 ppg, 4.5 apg, 4.3 rpg, 2.4 TOpg, 50.3 FG%, 79.6 FT%, 42.0 3-PT%
Other draft “experts” think Jackson is a potential lottery pick which makes his decision to stay in the draft seem like a no-brainer.  I am not that high on him but you cannot blame him when he is a sure-fire first round pick and BC loses pretty much everybody from last season.

Terrence Jennings, PF, Louisville, 6-9, Jr.
9.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 53.3 FG%, 65.7 FT%
I am surprised by Jennings’ decision to stay in the draft.  The second round is thin on size so he could possibly get drafted on that alone despite the fact he is very limited on offense.

Cory Joseph, PG, Texas, 6-3, Fr.
’10-’11: 10.4 ppg, 3 apg, 3.4 rpg, 1.5 TOpg, 42.2 FG%, 69.9 FT%, 41.3 3-PT%
With the Longhorns already losing Tristan Thompson and Jordan Hamilton to the draft and the fact they bring in highly-touted point guard recruit Myck Kabongo, Joseph has decided to stay in the draft.  He is likely second round pick based on potential alone and will not be ready to contribute at the NBA level for at least a year or two.

Enes Kanter, PF/C, Kentucky, 6-10, Fr.
’10-’11: n/a
Kanter was ruled ineligible at Kentucky this past and there are some concerns about him not playing competitive basketball for quite some time.  Still, he has the size and skill set to be one of the top players chosen in the draft.

Ryan Kelley, SG, Colorado, 6-5, Soph.
Not wasting my time…

Dan Kelm, PG, Viterbo, 6-0, Soph.
Not wasting my time…

Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky, 6-3, Fr.
17.3 ppg, 4.2 apg, 4 rpg, 3.2 TOpg, 42.3 FG%, 72.9 FT%, 37.7 3-PT%
Just read what I wrote for Terrence Jones since Knight is pretty much in the identical situation.

Malcolm Lee, SG, UCLA, 6-5, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 13.1 ppg, 2.0 apg, 3.1 rpg, 1.7 TOpg, 43.7 FG%, 77.8 FT%, 29.5 3-PT%
Lee had a fairly underwhelming career with the Bruins but has nonetheless decided to hire an agent.  Yes, this is a weak draft class but Lee still likely ends up being taken in the second round which says something about his stock.

Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State, 6-6, Soph.
15.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 44.4 FG%, 75.9 FT%, 29.1 3-PT%
Leonard is not a great outside shooter, but knows how to attack the glass and D’ up.  He is likely a late lottery prospect so his decision to turn pro after a phenomenal season is no surprise.

Travis Leslie, SG, Georgia, 6-4, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 14.4 ppg, 2.9 apg, 7.2 rpg, 49.2 FG%, 80.1 FT%, 30.2 3-PT%
Leslie is a freak of an athlete and outstanding rebounder for someone his size, but his outside shot has held him back.  He has decided to hire an agent and stay in the draft and could work his way into the first round with good workouts.

DeAndre Liggins, G/F, Kentucky, 6-6, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 8.6 ppg, 4 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.2 spg, 42.4 FG%, 64.8 FT%, 39.1 3-PT%
It is somewhat surprising that Liggins is remaining in the draft since he is a second round pick.  However, minutes are going to be hard to come by next season at Kentucky since the Cats are loaded and he like gets selected higher in this year’s weak draft than waiting until 2012.

Shelvin Mack, PG, Butler, 6-3, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 16 ppg, 3.4 apg, 4.5 rpg, 2.4 TOpg, 40.8 FG%, 76.9 FT%, 35.4 3-PT%
Despite being a likely second round pick, Mack is staying in the draft.  You cannot really blame him since he has been to back-to-back national title games.  Go here for more on Mack’s NBA potential.

Keishawn Mayes, SF, Campbell, 6-7, Jr.
’10-’11: 3.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 51.4 FG%, 45.5 FT%
Really not wasting my time…

Darius Morris, PG, Michigan, 6-4, Soph.
‘10-‘11: 15.0 ppg, 6.7 apg, 4.0 rpg, 2.9 TOpg, 1.0 spg, 48.9 FG%, 71.5 FT%, 25.0 3-PT%
Morris emerged as the leader of a very young Wolverine team this season, leading the Big Ten in assists.  His athleticism and size make him an intriguing prospect for the next level but he needs to work on his outside shooting.  Morris will not hire an agent and keep his option to return to Michigan open which is a wise decision since he is a borderline first round pick.

Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas, 6-9, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 17.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 57 FG%, 68.8 FT%, 34.2 3-PT%
Morris brings a solid combination of physicality and athleticism to the table.  He could likely play either forward spot due to ability to knock down outside shots.  Marcus is a mid-first round prospect who could sneak into the late lottery.

Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas, 6-10, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 13.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 58.9 FG%, 67.3 FT%, 42.4 3-PT%
Markieff is a little more physical and interior based than his twin brother but is also capable of hitting from the perimeter.  Marcus is considered a better prospect but Markieff could end going a little higher than him based on a team’s need.

Willie Reed, PF, St. Louis, 6-9, Soph.
’10-’11: n/a
Reed was suspended this past season and recently withdrew from SLU.  There were rumors of him transferring but Reed might be better off staying in the draft since he could end up being a late first round pick.

Jereme Richmond, SF, Illinois, 6-7, Fr.
‘10-‘11: 7.6 ppg, 5 rpg, 52.8 FG%, 60.5 FT%, 16.7 3-PT%
This decision fits in the surprising, but not surprising category.  Richmond was reportedly a problem child for the Illini having taken a brief leave of absence from the team midway through the season due to personal issues and then being suspended for the NCAA Tournament so it makes sense that he would leave Illinois.  However, he is not near ready for the NBA as he is way more athlete than basketball player.  He likely falls somewhere in the second round but could possibly go undrafted.  (Read more about Richmond’s decision.)

Carleton Scott, PF, Notre Dame, 6-8, Fr.
‘10-‘11: 11.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 45.5 FG%, 88.9 FT%, 35.9 3-PT%
As I wrote when he first declared, “If the NBA had four rounds, he might get drafted.”  I also wrote that I would bet my Marquette basketball powder blue shorts he would return to school.  WHOOPS!  I don’t get this decision at all since he likely goes undrafted.

Josh Selby, G, Kansas, 6-2, Fr.
’10-’11: 17.9 ppg, 2.2 apg, 2.2 rpg, 2 TOpg, 37.3 FG%, 75.7 FT%, 36.2 3-PT%
After sitting out the start of the season due to eligibility concerns, Selby began his freshman year with a bang but really struggled down the stretch.  It is not shocking that he decided to go all in to the draft but his stock could not be any lower.  He is extremely talented but still very raw and likely falls to the second round.

Iman Shumpert, G, Georgia Tech, 6-5, Jr.
’10-’11: 17.3 ppg, 3.5 apg, 5.9 rpg, 2.3 TOpg, 2.7 spg, 40.6 FG%, 80.6 FT%, 27.8 3-PT%
I am not at all surprised by Shumpert’s decision to stay in the draft especially since G-Tech is undergoing a coaching change with Paul Hewitt getting the boot and Brian Gregory of Dayton being hired.  Shumpert is likely a second round pick though.

Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State, 6-9, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 13.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2 spg, 1.5 bpg, 43.4 FG%, 66.7 FT%, 36.8 3-PT%
Singleton was without a doubt one of the best and most versatile defenders in college basketball this season.  He is not a huge threat offensively but is still a mid-first round pick due to his ability to defend.

Greg Smith, PF/C, Fresno State, 6-10, Soph.
‘10-‘11: 11.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 57.4 FG%, 54.4 FT%
Playing at Fresno State, Smith has not had a lot of exposure on the national scene.  He is a talented big man but still a work in progress.  Smith is in the draft for good and has a chance to work his way into the first round.

Isaiah Thomas, PG, Washington, 5-9, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 16.8 ppg, 6.1 apg, 3.5 rpg, 3.0 TOpg, 1.3 spg, 44.5 FG%, 71.9 FT%, 34.9 3-PT%
From the sound of it, Thomas is in the draft for good.  His size is obviously his biggest obstacle in making the leap to the league but he should still be a second round pick and have a chance to earn a roster spot.  He will draw a lot of comparisons to former Washington Husky, Nate Robinson who also had to overcome his lack of his size but has made a career in the NBA.

Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia, 6-10, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 16.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 48.1 FG%, 68.9 FT%, 31.1 3-PT%
In a draft filled with mid-first round talent power forwards, Thompkins is probably on the bottom half of that list.  He will hire an agent meaning he is in the draft for good and should find a spot in the first round.  If he can have some solid workouts and show off his combination of size and athleticism, Thompkins could move in the middle of the first round.

Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State, 6-6, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 21.6 ppg, 3.7 apg, 5.2 rpg, 3.4 TOpg, 1.6 spg, 43.6 FG%, 83.8 FT%, 39.8 3-PT%
Thompson is the second best shooting guard in this draft class and a likely mid-teens/early twenties selection making his decision to remain the draft the right call.

Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas, 6-8, Fr.
‘10-‘11: 13.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.4 bpg, 54.6 FG%, 48.7 FT%
After originally stating that he planned on returning to Austin for his sophomore season, Tristan Thompson has had a chance of heart.  You cannot blame him for leaving school early since he is likely a lottery pick and probably a better prospect in this year’s draft as opposed to next year.

Nikola Vucevic, PF, USC, 6-10, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 17.1 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 50.5 FG%, 75.5 FT%, 34.9 3-PT%
Vucevic has dove head first into the draft process, already hiring an agent thus ending his collegiate career.  It is an interesting decision since he is likely a second round prospect.  However, since Vucevic has European roots, it would not be the end of the world if he had to play professionally overseas if he does not stick on a NBA roster.

Kemba Walker, PG, UConn, 6-1, Jr.
’10-’11: 23.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 5.4 rpg, 2.3 TOpg, 1.9 spg, 42.8 FG%, 81.9 FT%, 33 3-PT%
This was a no-brainer since Walker was honored on UConn’s Senior Night despite the fact that he is a junior.  He will certainly be a top ten pick as he time after time after time this season showed the impact he can make on the floor in leading the Huskies to the national title.

Antoine Watson, SG, Florida International, 6-4, Jr.
Not wasting my time…

Derrick Williams, F, Arizona, 6-8, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 19.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 59.5 FG%, 74.6 FT%, 56.8 3-PT%
No college player helped his stock more this season than Williams who will be a top-three pick in this draft.  It was a no-brainer for him to turn to pro after leading Zona to the Elite 8.

Jordan Williams, PF/C, Maryland, 6-10, Soph.
‘10-‘11: 16.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 53.8 FG%, 57.5 FT%
Since this is a weak draft for big men depth, Williams has a very good shot of being drafted in the first round.  He is not a tremendous athlete by NBA standards and will just feel out the process and not a hire an agent yet which is a smart move until he gets a better sense of where his stock is at.

Jan Vesely nba draft

Here is a list of international players who have declared for the 2011 NBA Draft:
Andrew Albicy, PG, France, 5-10, 1990
Furkan Aldemir, PF, Turkey, 6-9, 1991
Davis Bertans, SF, Slovenia, 6-7, 1992
Bismack Biyombo, PF, Congo, 6-9, 1992
Nihad Djedovic, SF, Italy, 6-5, 1990
Emmanouil Koukoulas, PF, Greece, 6-11, 1991
Joffrey Lauvergne, PF, France, 6-10, 1991
Abdoulaye Loum, PF, France, 6-10, 1991
Nikola Mirotic, PF, Montenegro, 6-10, 1991
Donatas Motiejunas, PF/C, Lithuania, 7-0, 1990
Lucas Riva Nogueira, C, Brazil, 6-11, 1992
Femi Oladipo, SF, Germany, 6-7, 1990
Leon Radosevic, PF, Croatia, 6-10, 1990
Negueba Samake, C, France, 6-11, 1990
Tornike Shengelia, SF, Belgium, 6-9, 1991
Abdel Kader Sylla, PF, France, 6-9, 1990
Jonas Valanciunas, PF/C, Lithuania, 6-11, 1992
Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic, 6-11, 1990
Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann, PF, Germany, 6-10, 1990
Tomislav Zubcic, PF, Croatia, 7-0, 1990

Terrence Jones Kentucky

WITHDREW FROM DRAFT:

Olu Ashaolu, F, Louisiana Tech, 6-7, Jr.
’10-’11: 14.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 52.8 FG%, 60.3 FT%, 29.3 3-PT%
Ashaolu has pulled his name out of the draft and will transfer from Louisiana Tech.  Since he has already graduated, he will become eligible right away and not have to sit out a year per NCAA rules.

Keion Bell, SG, Pepperdine, 6-3, Jr.
’10-’11: 18.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 41.3 FG%, 75 FT%, 32.1 3-PT%
No brainer.

Laurence Bowers, SF, Missouri, 6-8, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 11.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 52.9 FG%, 75 FT%
Likely would have gone undrafted so Bowers made a wise decision to return to Mizzou.

TyShawn Edmondson, SG, Austin Peay, 6-4, Jr.
’10-’11: 17.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.8 spg, 42.3 FG%, 74.5 FT%, 36.9 3-PT%
No brainer.

Kim English, SG, Missouri, 6-6, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 10 ppg, 2 apg, 3.1 rpg, 36.6 FG%, 72.6 FT%, 36.6 3-PT%
Really a no-brainer for English since he probably would not have been drafted.

Ashton Gibbs, G, Pitt, 6-2, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 16.8 ppg, 2.8 apg, 2.4 rpg, 1.6 TOpg, 46.8 FG%, 88.9 FT%, 49.0 3-PT%
A couple of weeks before the deadline it looked like Gibbs was for good but he wisely chose to return for his senior season.

Desmond Holloway, SG, Coastal Carolina, 6-3, Jr.
18.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 50.2 FG%, 76.3 FT%, 35.3 3-PT%
Holloway was suspended indefinitely late in the season due to eligibility issues but he still decided to pull his name out of the draft.

Tu Holloway, PG, Xavier, 6-0, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 19 ppg, 5.4 apg, 5 rpg, 1.4 spg, 3.4 TOpg, 42.4 FG%, 87 FT%, 34.5 3-PT%
Since he was a bubble second round pick, Holloway made the right decision to head back to Xavier.

Orlando Johnson, SG, UC-Santa Barbara, 6-5, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 21.1 ppg, 2.9 apg, 6.2 rpg, 1.4 spg, 47.5 FG%, 80.4 FT%, 40.5 3-PT%
No brainer.

Reggie Johnson, C, Miami, 6-10, Soph.
’10-’11: 11.9 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 59.1 FG%, 66.7 FT%
The Hurricane big man has league potential but is not there quite yet.  He made the right call by pulling out of the draft.

Tiondre Johnson, SF, Coastal Bend JC, 6-6, Soph.
No brainer.

Kevin Jones, PF, West Virginia, 6-8, Jr.
’10-’11: 13.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 44.6 FG%, 60.4 FT%, 30.1 3-PT%
After a rather pedestrian junior season, Jones is making the right call by returning to school.

Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky, 6-8, Fr.
’10-’11: 15.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 44.2 FG%, 64.6 FT%, 32.9 3-PT%
I am really surprised by this decision since there was no way he fell out of the lottery.  Kudos to him though for wanting to return to Kentucky who will be loaded next season.

David Loubeau, PF, Texas A&M, 6-8, Jr.
’10-’11: 11.8 ppg, 5 rpg, 49.8 FG%, 73.7 FT%
He is a nice player for college basketball, but not a pro since he is an undersized power forward.  No surprise that he will be back with the Aggies next season.

Greg Mangano, C, Yale, 6-10, Jr.
16.3 ppg, 10 rpg, 3 bpg, 48.4 FG%, 70.8 FT%, 36.6 3-PT%
No brainer.

Cameron Moore, PF, UAB, 6-10, Jr.
’10-’11: 14 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 47.2 FG%, 66.3 FT%, 33.3 3-PT%
No brainer.

Darrion Pellum, SF, Hampton, 6-6, Jr.
’10-’11: 17.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 38.8 FG%, 71.4 FT%, 33.6 3-PT%
No brainer.

J.P. Primm, PG, UNC-Asheville, 6-1, Jr.
’10-’11: 14.6 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.7 rpg, 2.1 spg, 3.1 TOpg, 39.9 FG%, 78.8 FT%, 34 3-PT%
No brainer.

Ralph Sampson III, C, Minnesota, 6-11, Jr.
’10-’11: 10.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2 bpg, 47.1 FG%, 73.9 FT%, 19.2 3-PT%
After reports that Sampson was staying in the draft, he wisely chose to return to Minnesota for his senior season.

John Shurna, SF, Northwestern, 6-8, Jr.
’10-’11: 16.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.6 apg, 48.1 FG%, 70.7 FT%, 43.4 3-PT%
Made the most of testing the waters and getting his name out there, but absolutely made the right decision in returning for this senior season.

Tony Taylor, PG, George Washington, 6-1, Jr.
’10-’11: 15 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3.3 rpg, 2.6 TOpg, 42.2 FG%, 69.4 FT%, 33.9 3-PT%
No brainer.

Hollis Thompson, SF, Georgetown, 6-7, Soph.
’10-’11: 8.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 51.9 FG%, 72 FT%, 45.7 3-PT%
Thompson absolutely made the right call as he will return to Georgetown and become one of their focal points which will help his stock.

Thomas Tibbs, PG, Staten Island, 5-10, Jr.
No brainer.

Charlie Westbrook, SG, South Dakota, 6-4, Jr.
’10-’11: 16.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 47.9 FG%, 67.9 FT%, 28.6 3-PT%
No brainer.

Brandon Wood, PG, Valparaiso, 6-2, Jr.
’10-’11: 16.7 ppg, 3.1 apg, 4.3 rpg, 2.2 TOpg, 1.7 spg, 46.3 FG%, 66.4 FT%, 36.3 3-PT%
Wood graduated from Valpo and decided to transfer to Michigan State since he still has a year of eligibility remaining.  He will be able to play next season due to the NCAA transfer rule for graduate students.

jared sullinger nba draft

RETURNING TO SCHOOL:

Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina, 6-8, Fr.
’10-’11: 15.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 42.3 FG%, 75 FT%, 34.4 3-PT%
Quick thoughts: I respect Barnes for wanting to return to UNC and compete for a national championship which will be a realistic goal considering how stacked the Heels will be next season.  Also, it is crazy that three potential top-8 picks have decided to return to school.  Barnes’ decision solidifies the 2011 Draft class as being one of the worst ever.

Will Barton, SG, Memphis, 6-6, Fr.
‘10-‘11: 12.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.5 spg, 42.8 FG%, 69.9 FT%, 26.5 3-PT%
Barton definitely has NBA potential but is making the right move by returning to college.  He needs to add weight and fine tune his all-around game before seriously considering making the jump to the next level.

William Buford, SG, Ohio State, 6-6, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 14.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.9 apg, 46.2 FG%, 84.3 FT%, 44.2 3-PT%
The talent is there but the consistency has not.  Still, Buford likely would have been a late first round pick.  Buford announced he would return to school after Ohio State’s loss in the tournament so there is still a chance he could change his mind.

Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt, 6-11, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 13 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.6 bpg, 58.8 FG%, 64.8 FT%
Ezeli showed great strides during his junior season and was probably a borderline first round pick if he had come out.  I respect his decision to return to Vandy (who could be a top-ten team next season) so he can continue to blossom as a low post presence.

JaMychal Green, PF, Alabama, 6-8, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 15.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 49.6 FG%, 73.5 FT%
Green was a likely second round pick so choosing to return to school was a wise decision.

John Henson, PF, North Carolina, 6-10, Soph.
‘10-‘11: 11.7 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 3.2 bpg, 50 FG%, 47.9 FT%
The lengthy Henson made major strides during his sophomore season and was a potential lottery pick.  However, he is not near physical enough to be an immediate contributor at the next level.  Returning to UNC to get stronger and work on his post game will only help his stock for 2012.

John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt, 6-4, Soph.
‘10-‘11: 19.5 ppg, 3 rpg, 46.2 FG%, 89.4 FT%, 40.8 3-PT%
Jenkins would have been a first round pick since the crop of shooting guards in the 2011 class are so weak.  With that being said, he is not ready to contribute at the NBA yet so returning to school and improving his all-around game should help his value.

Perry Jones, F, Baylor, 6-11, Fr.
‘10-‘11: 13.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 54.9 FG%, 66.4 FT%
This was a pretty surprising decision as Jones had one-and-done written all over him since arriving at Waco and would have been a top ten pick.  I fully support Jones’ decision to return to Baylor though since I don’t think he is yet ready to be a contributor at the next level.  By the way, the Bears are going to be insanely long and athletic next season.

Kris Joseph, SF, Syracuse, 6-8, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 14.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 45.6 FG%, 71.1 FT%, 36.6 3-PT%
Joseph indicated that he would be heading back to Cuse for his senior season which is probably for the best.  Early in the season, he was a potential lottery prospect, now he would be lucky to be taken in the first round.

Doron Lamb, SG, Kentucky, 6-4, Fr.
’10-’11: 12.3 ppg, 2 rpg, 49.7 FG%, 79 FT%, 48.6 3-PT%
I am all for Lamb returning to school since he is nowhere near NBA ready.  However, he could be hard pressed to find a whole lot of playing time with UK bringing in a talented recruiting class.  He will get another year to develop his game but might actually be a higher pick if he declared this year as opposed to waiting another season.

Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn, 6-5, Fr.
’10-’11: 11.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 48.7 FG%, 79.7 FT%, 36.8 3-PT%
Lamb’s stock blew up during UConn’s runs to a Big East and NCAA Tournament title which made him a legitimate lottery prospect this summer.  However, Lamb decided to return to school which will give him the opportunity to become the number one option for the Huskies and also give him time to add strength to his thin frame and improve his all-around game.

Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas, 6-9, Soph.
‘10-‘11: 7.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 60.1 FG%, 51 FT%
I was sort of expecting Robinson to turn pro since he would have been a sure-fire first round pick but I love that he is returning to Lawrence.  Robinson will have a chance to be “the guy” next season assuming the Morris twins turn pro, and that will only help his draft stock.

Renardo Sidney, PF, Mississippi State, 6-10, Soph.
‘10-‘11: 14.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, .8 bpg, 51.7 FG%, 70.3 FT%
Sidney announced on his facebook page that he would to the Bulldogs next season… of course he did.  It is a wise decision as he needs to get in better shape before he can think about heading to the NBA.  Proving he can also be a good citizen will only help increase his chances of getting taken in the first round since he has a great skill set for a big man.

Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State, 6-9, Fr.
‘10-‘11: 17.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg, .5 bpg, 54.1 FG%, 70.4 FT%
After the Buckeyes Sweet 16 loss to Kentucky, Sullinger made it known that he would return to Columbus for his sophomore season.  The jury is still in the air on his announcement as it could have just been the emotions of the loss taking over especially since Sullinger is a likely top five pick.  As the deadline approaches, we will have to see if the Big Ten Freshman of the Year truly intends to stay another year.

Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt, 6-7, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 14.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 44.9 FG%, 71.9 FT%, 34.5 3-PT%
Barring a huge improvement next season, Taylor would have a higher draft ranking if he actually came out now rather than staying for another year.  He was easily a first round pick in this weak class and possibly ends up getting picked in the second round in 2012.

Tyshawn Taylor, PG, Kansas, 6-3, Jr.
’10-’11: 9.3 ppg, 4.6 apg, 1.9 rpg, 2.7 TOpg, 47.9 FG%, 71.9 FT%, 38 3-PT%
This was really an obvious choice for Taylor who would have been a mid-late second round pick, possibly even undrafted.  He has not developed into the floor leader the Jayhawks were hoping and will get one final year to show his value and in the process, improve his draft stock for next season.

Maalik Wayns, PG, Villanova 6-2, Soph.
’10-’11: 13.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2.8 rpg, 2.8 TOpg, 1.2 spg, 39.9 FG%, 82 FT%, 27.1 3-PT%
Wayns definitely has NBA potential and is wise to return to Nova so that he can have a full year of running the show since he split that responsibility with Corey Fisher this past season.  He also needs to become a more reliable outside shooter.

Wesley Witherspoon, SF, Memphis, 6-8, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 9.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.1 spg, 48.8 FG%, 77.4 FT%, 40.0 3-PT%
At the beginning of the season I thought Witherspoon was a potential lottery prospect, but after a year of personal trials and tribulations, his stock plummeted.  That makes his decision to return to Memphis for his final year a no-brainer.

Patric Young, PF, Florida, 6-9, Fr.
‘10-‘11: 3.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 55.6 FG%, 70.3 FT%
Due to his physicality and effort, Young is likely a future lottery pick.  However, his all-around offensive game is still very raw and it was a no-brainer to return to Florida where he will see a ton of minutes with their entire frontcourt graduating.

Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina, 7-0, Jr.
‘10-‘11: 15.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 54.7 FG%, 76.3 FT%
Zeller was a likely late-first round pick but it is not at all surprising that he decided to play his senior year which could be a special one since UNC will be loaded with talent next season.  It also will give Zeller an opportunity to continue to add weight to his frame which will only help him transition to the NBA.

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

 

Antoine Watson, SG, Florida International, 6-4, Jr.

Not wasting my time…

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