Isaiah Austin

Five important NBA Draft decisions remain with deadline rapidly approaching

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(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

Friday featured two decisions of importance in regards to the 2013 NBA Draft. While Miami sophomore point guard Shane Larkin is expected to leave school, UConn junior point guard Shabazz Napier made the decision to return to Storrs. The NBA deadline for underclassmen to enter the 2013 NBA Draft is Sunday evening, and five important decisions remain.

C Isaiah Austin (Baylor)

The 7-1 Austin (13.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg) isn’t a traditional center, which is to be expected when considering his slender frame. Teammate Cory Jefferson announced his decision to return to Waco for the 2013-14 season Thursday, and a similar decision from Austin would likely make Baylor a contender in the Big 12 race. Austin is projected by to be selected just outside of the lottery should he enter June’s draft.

G Ray McCallum (Detroit)

The 6-3 McCallum (18.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.5 apg) was named Horizon League Player of the Year this season, after considering the idea of entering the 2012 NBA Draft only to return to school. The question for McCallum is where he would slot in among the top point guards in the 2013 pool, with Michigan’s Trey Burke currently considered to be the top available player at the position. NBA types project McCallum to go late second round or undrafted at this point.

F Adreian Payne (Michigan State)

Payne (10.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg) has a tough decision to make. The junior made strides offensively in 2012-13, improving the range on his jump shot and shooting 54.6% from the field, but more can be done skill-wise with another season in East Lansing. Payne is already 22 years old but with the projection of late-first to mid-second round, who knows where Payne will be selected should he enter the draft.

F Andre Roberson (Colorado)

Roberson (10.9 ppg, 11.2 rpg) can certainly defend and rebound at a pro level. But at 6-7 the junior hasn’t shown a great deal when it comes to his ability to play on the perimeter offensively. There were more opportunities to do so this season due to the presence of Xavier Johnson, but the question of whether or not to leave Boulder may revolve around how much can he improve his offensive skill set with another year in school. Roberson was originally scheduled to announce his decision Friday morning, but the press conference was cancelled without an announcement as to when a decision will be made public.

F Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee)

Like Roberson, Stokes was expected to announce a decision on Friday but will instead do so Saturday morning. With Jeronne Maymon sidelined with a knee injury Stokes was asked to be the anchor inside for the Volunteers this season, averaging 12.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Stokes is well-built to play physical basketball inside (6-8, 270) but banging with NBA big men offers a far more strenuous test than what he saw in the SEC. Stokes is currently projected to go undrafted.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej

Report: Four-star center reclassifying to 2015; down to three

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An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.

The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.

But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

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New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.