Stay or go? (cont.)
Waiting On: Avery Bradley, 6-2 Fr. SG (11.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg)
What's In The Balance: Texas had all kinds of backcourt problems in '09-'10, and imploded in the first round of the NCAA tournament as a result. A pairing of former Findlay Prep teammates Bradley (at shooting guard) and Cory Joseph (at point guard) could make the 'Horns dangerous enough to challenge Kansas, K-State and Baylor for the Big 12 crown. Joseph was one of the top-four point guards in the high school class of 2010 and should be able to solve their woes at that position, but he'll be more likely to thrive with a talent like Bradley at his side.
Likely Outcome: The feeling around the Texas program seems to be that Bradley will stay in the draft. Enough NBA teams are said to like his quickness and defensive ability that it would be shocking if he weren't taken in the first round. He'd have to have some extremely poor workouts to slip to the extent that a return to Austin would be his best option.
Waiting On: Jimmer Fredette, 6-2 Jr. PG/SG (22.1 ppg, 4.7 apg)
What's In the Balance: The Cougars are a top-10 team -- and the best team on the West Coast -- with Fredette in the lineup. They only lose gunner Jonathan Tavernari, who wasn't a huge part of their statistical success last season, and bring back key role players such as Jackson Emery, Noah Hartsock and Michael Loyd Jr. They'd be the overwhelming favorites to win the Mountain West, and a darkhorse Final Four pick.
Likely Outcome: Fredette goes back to school. His father has already been quoted as saying Jimmer is "99 percent" coming back to BYU for his final season, barring a surprise first-round guarantee from an NBA team. The Cougars tentatively have a homecoming game scheduled for him on Dec. 8 against Vermont in his hometown of Glens Falls, N.Y. -- something they would cancel only if he were to turn pro.
8. Seton Hall
Waiting On: Jeremy Hazell, 6-5 Jr. SG (20.4 ppg); Herb Pope, 6-8 Jr. PF (11.5 ppg, 10.7 rpg); Jeff Robinson, 6-5 Soph. PF (12.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
What's In The Balance: With promising new coach Kevin Willard restoring order to Gonzo's Zoo, and instilling the defensive principles that helped turn around Iona, the Pirates could be an NCAA tournament team in '10-11 if all three players return. The Big East won't be as deep in talent as it was the past two seasons, leaving room for the Hall to make the Dance, and Hazell and Pope to get more national attention. Without those two, especially, Willard enters rebuilding mode.
Likely Outcome: Willard has already said he expects Hazell and Robinson to be back, with Pope on the fence. Although there's nothing predictable about Pope, I think he may be back for another year, given that he has no shot at being a first-round pick and little shot at even being a second-rounder with a guarantee. Putting up double-doubles on an upper-level Big East team should get him noticed enough to make money after next season.
Waiting On: Demetri McCamey, 6-3 Jr. G (15.1 ppg, 7.1 apg); Mike Davis, 6-9 Jr. F (10.7 ppg, 9.2 rpg)
What's In the Balance: The Big Ten is going to be loaded in '10-11, with possible Final Four teams Michigan State and Purdue at the top, and Ohio State (with its huge recruiting class) right behind them. But an Illini team with McCamey, sophomore D.J. Richardson and freshman McDonald's All-American Jereme Richmond on the perimeter could make enough noise in the league to make the NCAA tournament -- and maybe even win the school's first game in the Dance since 2006. McCamey is an extremely well-rounded player who shouldered the team's scoring load as a junior while also posting the nation's best assist rate.
Likely outcome: Both McCamey and Davis come back. Davis is highly unlikely to do anything more than test the waters and McCamey only has an outside shot of being taken in the second round. His best option would be to stay in Champaign, make a run at Big Ten Player of the Year honors and try to solidify his stock for 2011.
10. Virginia Tech
Waiting On: Malcolm Delaney, 6-3 Jr. G (20.2 ppg, 4.5 apg)
What's In the Balance: There are no sure things in the ACC next year other than Duke. North Carolina, with the addition of Harrison Barnes, might be the second-best team, but the Hokies, if Delaney comes back, have the most returning talent. A runner-up finish in the league would surely protect them from being snubbed by the NCAA tournament selection committee, and a big year by Delaney -- who's one of the country's more underappreciated guards -- could put him more on NBA scouts' radar.
Likely Outcome: Back to school. Delaney might go undrafted and that's too big of a risk to take when the other option is starring on one of the ACC's best teams. There are simply too many scoring guards in the 2010 draft pool, especially in the late-first, early-second round range. It would be wise for Delaney to wait for next year.
Who else is in limbo?
West Virginia is still waiting for official word from sophomore forward Devin Ebanks, but he's thought to be heavily leaning toward staying in the draft. ... Same thing for Kentucky with freshman guard Eric Bledsoe, who's likely to be a first-rounder. ... New Mexico is still waiting on junior swingman Darington Hobson, who's likely to turn pro if he receives decent feedback in the 10-day window. ... Louisville sophomore Samardo Samuels is testing the draft waters, but his stock is far too low to justify signing with an agent. ... Richmond star junior guard Kevin Anderson is thought to be in the early-entry pool mainly to experience the workout process and gauge his stock before a return. ... Ditto for four other juniors: Penn State's Talor Battle, Temple's Lavoy Allen, Dayton's Chris Wright and UAB's Elijah Millsap. .... I'm not as certain that Florida's Alex Tyus, Fresno State's Paul George or Ohio's Armon Bassett will be back in college. ... Neither of the two Mississippi State players (Dee Bost and Ravern Johnson) who announced their intentions on Monday is expected to stay in the draft, nor is Renardo Sidney expected to be on the early-entry list when it's officially released.
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