David Stern, Perry Jones III

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.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: Buddy Hield isn’t going anywhere

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) drives to the basket as LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
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It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.

And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.

The rest of the top 10?

They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: