True stories of the new NBA draft deadline (cont.)
JORDAN CRAWFORD, XAVIER
Crawford stayed in the draft.
"I was so strong about coming out for the draft that the new deadline didn't really affect me as much as it did other guys. After the season was over, I knew what I wanted to do. I sat down with coach [Chris] Mack, because I was in Cincinnati with him, and he said he thought I was ready, but he wanted to make sure I thought about both situations. My second meeting was with my parents and my brother; they asked me what I wanted to do, I told them I wanted to go, and they agreed. We're all in one camp here. I got information from [agent] Aaron Mintz, too, and everything I heard -- that I was a projected first-rounder, that it would be hard for me to go in the second -- made it easier to decide.
"I went to Boston and New Jersey for workouts and the feedback I got from them pushed me to come into the draft even more. I was told that I was one of the most prolific scorers in this year's draft and a lot of teams liked that. [The Celtics and Nets] said we can't see you going into the second round, either, but anything can happen. In Boston, Danny Ainge took me around their locker room and introduced me to all the players before their practice -- I saw Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce was on a treadmill.
"I thought about coming back to Xavier because of how much fun I had with my teammates and how much fun March was. And I think a longer deadline would've made things easier -- we wouldn't have been pressing every day to get information -- but regardless of what the date was, I was probably going to stay in, because that's what I wanted to do from the start."
KENNETH FARIED, MOREHEAD STATE
Faried opted to return to school for his senior year.
"My coach [Donnie Tyndall] helped me out with gathering information. He said he talked to all but four NBA teams, and every single one of them said my range was second round to not drafted at all. I had put my name in the draft with the hope of impressing some NBA teams in workouts and helping my stock go up. I wanted to get my name out, even if it was just so they would be like, 'Hey -- this is a guy we need to watch next year.'
"But the [new draft deadline] made it kind of depressing, or frustrating, because I couldn't get feedback from workouts. With all the classes I had to finish, there were only two days where I could really travel to be seen by NBA teams. I had to do it on the one weekend [during the window], so I went to Oklahoma City that Saturday and Sunday. I can't say how it went from their side, but I think it went well. They just told me that they couldn't tell me anything for sure right then, and said I should follow my heart and do what I think is right. The Pacers also came to my school to see me the next Tuesday. They said that I might be better off waiting a year, because there are so many power forwards who could go in the first round of this draft.
"The [short time window] left me not 100 percent sure about what I wanted to do, so my gut feeling was that the best thing would be to come back. Everything happens for a reason -- and next year, I'll be 100 percent in because I have no choice; it's my senior year. I'll try to improve my stock maybe become a first-rounder, and make sure that my rebounding is still No .1 in the country.
"After I made up my mind, though, I went online and saw the ESPN mock draft where they had me in the first round [at No. 22 to Portland]. And I was just wowed by it. Shocked. I was happy to see myself there, but I didn't know what to think. Were they getting information that was right? Because when I was hearing from NBA teams, they had been telling me completely different things."
TALOR BATTLE, PENN STATE
Battle opted to return to school for senior year.
"After I declared, my coaches contacted the NBA [Stu Jackson's committee] to get information, and what I was told was that teams didn't have me on their draft boards. They said they talked to 16 teams, and none had me on their draft boards. I also had a phone conversation with [Bobcats coach] Larry Brown, just about the NBA and what it takes to be successful there.
"It was tough to do anything beyond that, because of the new situation this year. I was looking forward to going around the country and trying to impress multiple teams, but I was only able to do one workout -- for Portland, and it was on the last day before you could pull yourself out of the draft. So it was almost pointless [to have declared], to be honest with you. I think it would be better to go back to the old system [in which the deadline was mid-June].
"Most of the guys who were out in Portland with me, it was their only workout too, so they weren't able to get a real feeling about whether they could stay in the draft or not. Malcolm Delaney from Virginia Tech was there, so was Lavoy Allen from Temple and Mike Davis from Illinois. We did 1-on-1 stuff, 3-on-3. Afterward, they told you your strengths and weaknesses and were pretty straightforward about it on a professional level; they said I needed to get bigger, work on my ball handling and that it was in my best interests to go back to school."
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