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4/20/2006 12:44:00 PM

Who's Making the Biggest Mistake

Oakland Arena
Josh Boone's stock has fallen dramatically in the past year, and he should rethink his decision to leave UConn for the NBA.
Photo by AP

"The LSU forward took the SEC by storm, raising his averages in every statistical category, cutting down on his turnovers, and most importantly, showing a diverse and developing offensive game. His quickness is excellent for a big man, and he has enough handle to be able to draw defenders out and use his first step."

No, this is not a scouting report on Tyrus Thomas. It's a scout's appraisal of Stromile Swift in 2000. Unfortunately, Swift was taken third overall by Memphis and has been nothing short of a bust in his five NBA seasons. Will the same fate meet Thomas? Probably not, but the point remains that some can't-miss prospects do, in fact, miss badly.

Today we want to know which underclassmen who have declared for the NBA Draft are making a mistake by leaving school early. Our list includes UConn's Josh Boone and Kentucky's Rajon Rando, both of whom have NBA potential, but need another year of college ball to hone their skills. Conversely, which players are wrongly sticking around for another year? The obvious choice is Florida's Joakim Noah, who would likely be a top three pick if he makes himself eligible. We also think LSU's Glen Davis should head to the NBA. With Thomas gone, life in the paint will be a lot more challenging for Big Baby, not to mention the fact that his coach, John Brady, has popped up in several rumors about schools looking for a new coach.

Who do you think is wrong to leave early or stay too long?

Comments:

Posted: 1:55 PM   by Anonymous
Even though he has not declared himself for the 2006 NBA draft yet, I am definite that Bradley's 7-footer Patrick O'Bryant will do just that. He will declare next week, possibly right up to the April 29 deadline. Nothing is keeping him in school and the NBA offers immediate financial gains which his family regards much more than a possible "cooking/chef" degree.
Posted: 2:05 PM   by Anonymous
Alexander Johnson, Florida State...too inconsistent, although he does have an out by not signing with an agent
Posted: 2:14 PM   by Anonymous
Roby from CU and Fazekas from UN are not projected lottery picks and should stay another year to work on their skills - unless they have financial woes.
Posted: 2:14 PM   by Anonymous
Glen Davis is not assured of a guaranteed contract in the NBA, and needs at least one more year to hone his skills and trim his body. Everyone, including the scouts, saw his body fall apart in the Final Four. Tyrus Thomas is about as unready for the NBA as Stro was (who was a 2 pick, not a 3, incidently), but like Stro, has gotten a top 5 assurance he can't refuse, so we don't blame him in Baton Rouge. And if you know anything about LSU, then you know that a 6-11, freakishly long guy who is a better post-player than Tyrus named Magnum Rolle is waiting in the wings, so the paint won't be lonely at all for Davis.
Posted: 2:29 PM   by ben
joakim noah needs to leave. his stock will never get higher than it is. josh boone hasn't signed yet, if i'm not mistaken, so he'll be back next year when he realizes he may not even get drafted.
Posted: 2:56 PM   by heirair
Everyone seems to be really big on Noah leaving when in actuality, I think Horford will be the better pro. These long, tall, athletic players generally tank out at the next level. Horford is rock solid and cleans up in the paint. He would bring immediate toughness to any team (Chitown's looking for some frontcourt depth?).
Posted: 3:16 PM   by Justin
I think that most of the players who havent signed with agents are making smart plays, most of those guys are testing the waters in order to get their names out there for next year. Wise decision as long as they go back because all of them need another year atleast.

Let Noah stay, everyone dogs players for leaving early, he wants to stay and have fun with his teammates and his family isnt in any financial probs so let him be a kid
Posted: 3:21 PM   by furrman
Tyrus Thomas should go although it wouldn't hurt to stay another year at LSU. Top 5...GOTTA GO!! See him in the Dwight Howard mold.

UCONN guys should all stay another year. Look what 4 years did for Hilton Armstrong. Boone and Gay rarely dominated a game - Josh Boone will be an NBA bust, if he gets drafted at all.

Noah and Horford should head for the NBA now. I don't think their stock will be any higher next year - a Final Four repeat will not happen.
Posted: 4:06 PM   by Anonymous
I think Noah made a bad choice in staying at Florida. Currently his draft stock is very high, some see him as #1 pick. I just dont see him improving on that, and I Florida winning another championship is unlikely. Glen Davis i could care less about, he won't be successful in the NBA, and especially when he has not commited himself to the game physically yet.
Posted: 4:29 PM   by Anonymous
Guillermo Diaz and Mustafah Shakur are both making big mistakes.

They are decent (not great)6 foot Shooting guards. Last time I checked there were about 200 guy like them trying to make it in the league.

If you are under 6'4" you need to be fast and be able to pass to make it in the L.
Posted: 4:37 PM   by Omagus
I applaud Noah for staying, just like I did for Leinart when he chose to come back for a senior year. Noah's father was a professional athlete which does two things for Joakim: 1) he doesn't need the money and 2) he realizes that right now he's playing basketball for fun, while the NBA is going to be a business.

I think that LaMarcus Aldridge of Texas is making a mistake by leaving early. Sure, he quite possibly has the most natural talent of anyone in the draft not named Rudy Gay, but I think the Tournament proved that he's not ready to dominate every game.
Posted: 5:47 PM   by Larry W.
I'm so impressed with Noah and for someone who hardly played his freshman year and had the ability to mesh with the other team superstars (Brewer and Horford-Green and Humphrey) college basketball saw something "special" in the Gator squad.

They all enjoy playing with each other as a team and can all benefit learning more about the game of basketball. Noah needs to work on a post up shot (adding some weight as well, Brewer will eventually be a Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA, and Horford and Green will complement a team on the cusp of taking that next step. Next year makes sense for all of these players. Yes some of them come from famous family's, but egos and selfishness is nowehere present in these guy's minds.

In regards to who should stay my top three are:

1. Aldridge (his game against LSU should tell him something about the NBA level).

2. Rudy Gay (consistent play all year long, but his status and potential early pick will put him on a sub par team in which he will struggle).

3. Shakur (Arizona's on the rebuilding side and Shakur's leadership would really boost his stock and ability to run a team by staying his senior year).

People I think will be the best in this year's draft.

1. Randy Foye (please land at Minnesota). This could be the complement that Garnett needs.

2. Stinson (has Chris Paul type moves and experienced floor specialist.

And of course Adam Morrison.
Posted: 6:06 PM   by Anonymous
Rajon Rondo, what has he done to remotely think he is ready for the NBA. He needs to stay at Kentucky for his final years to perfect his ball handling, and his shooting. He is definitely not ready for the NBA
Posted: 12:13 AM   by Anonymous
There's no way Davis could make it through an 82-game season from what I saw in the tournament. I doubt many NBA teams would spend a first-round pick on him until he shows that he could hold up over such a schedule. He's right to go back, as long as he bears down and dedicates himself to not running out of gas again.
Posted: 2:39 AM   by Anonymous
i think that UCLA'S JORDAN FARMAR AND ARRON AFFLALO ARE MAKING HUGE MISTAKES LEAVING EARLY..BUT THEY HAVENT SIGNED WITH AGENTS SO BY THE TIME THEY COME BACK FROM CHICAGO THEY WILL ONCE AGAIN LACE UP THE BASKETBALL SHOES AT PAULEY PAVILLION
Posted: 3:24 AM   by fatpatsat
UCLA's tandem of Farmar and Afflalo. Both seem close; Jordan Farmar might be justified in leaving since the PG crop is so weak this year (and face it, UCLA will probably have it in tougher next year) - he has shown the offensive skills and shooting range, but not the consistency or defense required of NBA point guards.. if he goes to a good team he'll have time to develop.

Afflalo, after a great regular season, disappeared in the NCAA tournament and didn't assert himself at all offensively. He definitely needs to stay.
Posted: 8:49 AM   by Anonymous
Let me get this straight, you avg. 15 a game on a loaded UCONN team and you think you're good enough to go pro? Rudy Gay will not sniff the NBA floor as a rook and will go down as Calhoun's first bust. Unlike a Coery Maggette, Rudy Gay can't shoot. I saw the game against GM and hit went for 20, but that was against a team where nobody was close to his height and he hit only two or three solid jumpers. The fascination with guys who can dunk is getting out of control. The NBA is worried about it's product and should very well be worried. Guys who can dunk are great but Rudy Gay will have to develop a game like A. Jamison and players like him, and he hid well behind the players at UCONN, can't hide in the NBA. If I was a GM and my job was on the line, and I had private school payments, a huge mortgage, car payments, and had to put braces on my two kids, I'd sooooo pass on Rudy Gay. He can't and doesn't want to shoot. 6'9 and long doesn't mean he'll make a good pro. You can have him!
Posted: 10:19 AM   by Anonymous
Rudy Gay and Josh Boone need to stay for another year. Everyone keeps talking about how Rudy Gay dominated this year. Are you serious!? If it wasn't for their criminal point guard, UCONN would have been hurting. Where was Gay during the tournament? I hardly heard about him. And Josh Boone just isn't ready. All the times he was put on the bench after the first two minutes into the game has to mean something. Both are making big mistakes.
Posted: 11:46 AM   by Harrison Eisenberg
Josh Boone is stupid for leaving uconn for the nba. His main problem was that with so much talent at uconn he wasn't putting up the offensive numbers he is capable of. Now with Rudy Gay, Hilton Armstong, Denham Brown, Rashad Anderson, and (most likley) Marcus Williams heading for the NBA he will have room to reach his potential. His stock has fallen dramaticly this year and another year at uconn could boost him up to a possible lottery pick.
Posted: 12:51 PM   by Anonymous
Brady is going nowhere. He just wants more $$$ from LSU. Who can blame him after taking a team with 3 freshman and a sophomore in the starting 5. Give the man what he deserves.
Posted: 11:06 AM   by Anonymous
I think adam morrison will be an all-star in 3years and so will LaMarcus but josh bonne rudy gay tyrus thomas and some other players i dont think they will be any good in the nba.
Posted: 8:04 PM   by Anonymous
I think Adam Morrison is a bum and will get killed in the NBA point blank. You see we tend to forget that when you play in the nba you play above the room. Every team has atleast 3 guys who can flat out jump out the gym and I don't think Adam Morrison can compete with that. Also if you want to know who is making the biggest mistake by entering the draft its Akbar Abdul-Ahad of Idaho State ..I mean who is that? that SI would list his name? Patrick O'Bryant is making a mistake and so is Rajon Rondo ...another year in collge will do these kids some good.
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