Another projected lottery pick in the 2013 NBA Draft will be recovering from surgery when he hears his name called on draft night on June 27 in Brooklyn.
UNLV freshman forward Anthony Bennett will need surgery on his rotator cuff on his left shoulder, according to his agent Jeff Schwartz. The surgery will sideline the 6-foot-7 forward for as many as four months, meaning that Bennett will miss pre-draft workouts and the NBA Draft Combine. Which every team drafts Bennett will not expect him to play in the summer league either.
Chad Ford, ESPN’s NBA Insider spoke to two NBA general managers and neither believe this will cause Bennett to fall from his current projected spot.
“You always would prefer a guy is healthy, works out for you and can play in summer league,” one GM told ESPN. “However, I don’t think in this case that it will really matter. We got a good feel for his game. He’s one of the most NBA-ready prospects in the draft. I wouldn’t blink taking him in the Top 5 as long as the surgery is successful.”
Ford has Bennett at No. 4 overall while he is projected as the No.3 overall pick by DraftExpress.com.
Maryland’s Alex Len announced he’d be out six months following ankle surgery. Nerlens Noel, expected to be the top pick in two months, is still recovering from a torn ACL.
Bennett was one of the top freshmen in the country this season for the Runnin’ Rebels averaging 16.1 and 8.1 rebounds per game in his only season in Vegas.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.
The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.
It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.
Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.
The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.
Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.
“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”
It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.