Returns to school offer a different kind of profit for Jones III, Sullinger

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Baylor forward Perry Jones III and Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger decided last year to return to school despite being projected as lottery selections.

One year and a couple medical red flags later, and it’s likely that they cost themselves some serious money by making that decision.

Neither was invited to sit in the Green Room, and that began the murmurs with many wondering where Jones III and Sullinger would land.

But while both Jones III and Sullinger may be a little lighter in the wallet when considering the rookie wage scale after Thursday’s draft, landing in the positions that they did could prove far more beneficial to their careers down the line.

Sullinger was taken by the Celtics with the 21st pick while Jones, who sat in the stands at the Prudential Center, was selected 28th overall by Western Conference champion Oklahoma City.

“What’s better than learning from one of the best teams?  They were in the Finals,” said Jones III in his post-draft press conference. “They have great players, great coach.  This is just an opportunity for me to grow.”

Both returned to campus to play on teams that enjoyed a great deal of success last season, with Baylor reaching the Elite 8 and Ohio State getting to the Final Four.

But those extra games that NBA scouts and general managers had to evaluate them resulted in both sliding down draft boards, and the pre-draft medical issues didn’t help either.

The question for players such as Jones III and Sullinger is one that’s simple to state yet difficult to answer: do you take the money that comes with being a lock for the lottery or take the chance of hanging around for another season?

That lottery money usually comes with the added responsibility of being the face of a franchise, and in many cases the franchise hasn’t been successful and likely won’t be for a couple years.

But while Jones III and Sullinger ended up benefiting by landing with stable, successful franchises, how often does that happen?

It’s certainly a crap shoot and while these two ended up winning on draft night in that regard, it’s likely best to strike while the iron’s hot.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images
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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.

 

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

AP Photo/Sean Rayford
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The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan: