The NBA season kicks off on Tuesday night, which means that you should, by now, have Pro Basketball Talk in your daily rotation of internet reading.
It also means that we can now go back and take a look at some of the players that made good — and bad — decisions leaving school to turn professional.
47 players left school with eligibility remaining to put their name into the NBA Draft, with 20 of those 47 failing to make an NBA roster in their first seasons as professionals. Simply getting drafted wasn’t necessarily enough either, as 11 of the 30 second round picks are not on NBA rosters tonight.
These aren’t just Junior College players, either. There are some former all-americans that will be taking their talents overseas or to the D-League. Deshaun Thomas and Lorenzo Brown were both drafted and cut. Myck Kabongo, B.J. Young, C.J. Leslie, Adonis Thomas and Vander Blue went undrafted and couldn’t play their way onto a roster.
That’s just the start of it, before you get to kids like C.J. Aiken or DeWayne Dedmon or Nurideen Lindsay, talented kids that just had no shot of getting drafted.
Perhaps the biggest head scratcher remains Grant Jerrett. A former five-star recruit, Jerrett spent one relatively unproductive season at Arizona, but after seeing head coach Sean Miller recruit over him and bring in Aaron Gordon, Jerrett went pro. The 6-foot-9 shooter was picked 40th but ended up getting cut and heading to the D-League, where he is now a part of Oklahoma City’s system.
It’s not all bad news, however: Seven guys that were not drafted ended up signing a contract with an NBA teams. Those seven:
- Phil Pressey, Missouri (Boston Celtics)
- Brandon Davies, BYU (Philadelphia 76ers)
- Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- James Southerland, Syracuse (Charlotte Bobcats)
- Robert Covington, Tennessee State (Houston Rockets)
- Ian Clark, Belmont (Utah Jazz)
- Elias Harris, Gonzaga (Los Angeles Lakers)
Brandone Francis-Ramirez is transferring out of the Florida program, the school announced on Wednesday.
A former top 40 recruit, Francis-Ramirez had his two seasons in Gainesville ruined by an academic issues and a loss of confidence. He was academically ineligible in 2014-15, practicing with the team during the second semester. He was granted a redshirt for the year, but he struggled to find any kind of a rhythm this past season. There was a two-month stretch in the middle of the year where he shot 6-for-58 from the floor and 2-for-31 from three.
On the season, he shot 20.2 percent from the floor and 16.9 percent from three.
“I want it to work out for him,” Gators coach Mike White said in a release. “We really appreciate what Brandone did here and wish him the best.”
The forgotten star of the national title game underwent an arthroscopic on his left knee on Wednesday.
Phil Booth, who scored a season-high 20 points in the 2016 National Title game, will be a junior next season and one of the guys called upon to help replace Ryan Arcidiacono, who graduated. He should be ready to go by the middle of the summer; according to a statement put out by the program, Booth will need 6-to-8 weeks to heal.
“Phil is as mentally tough a young man as we have had at Villanova,” head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “He continually impresses our coaching staff with his outstanding attitude. Phil will attack this recovery challenge with great determination, as he does everything in life.”
Booth averaged 7.0 points and 2.2 assists this past season.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell has announced that sophomore forward Alexis Jennings will transfer, the seventh Wildcat to leave the program since last fall.
Jennings’ departure comes a week after Mitchell publicly addressed the mass exodus of players and assistant coaches and stressed the need for building stability. Jennings figured to be part of that process and the coach said in a release Wednesday night that “it saddens us that Alexis did not see a path for her at Kentucky. … She felt it was in her best interest to finish her career elsewhere and we owe her that opportunity.”
The 6-foot-2 Jennings started 18 of 33 games last season and averaged 10 points and 7.1 rebounds.
Wisconsin guard John Diener has committed to DePaul, his grassroots program announced Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-4 Class of 2018 guard ends his recruitment rather early with offers also from instate schools Green Bay and Milwaukee. He’s known as a shooter and becomes the first commit for Dave Leitao in the 2018 class.
Diener, who plays with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in the spring and summer, commits to the Blue Demons with them coming off a disappointing campaign, Leitao’s first in Chicago. DePaul went 9-22 overall and 3-15 in the Big East, finishing only ahead of St. John’s.
DePaul has been recruiting the Midwest hard with incoming 2016 recruits from La Lumiere School in Indiana, Sagninow, Mich. and locally in Chicago.
Jamie Dixon’s presence is already being felt in the Big 12 and on the recruiting trail.
TCU received its first commitment of the Dixon era when four-star 2016 point guard Jaylen Fisher announced his decision to join the Horned Frogs on Wednesday.
“Due to how comfortable my family and I are with the coaching staff,” Fisher posted from his Twitter account, “and the emphasis the university has put on making basketball a priority, I’m committing to be a student-athlete at TCU.”
Getting a consensus top-75 prospect, who was once committed to UNLV, is a heck of a coup for being just a couple months on the job. It instantly shows the Frogs are going to be a player for some of the country’s top players, which is a necessity if you have designs on making a move up the ladder of arguably the country’s best league in the Big 12.
Maybe the most gratifying thing for TCU, though, is the reason Fisher publicly stated for making his decision, the school’s “making basketball a priority.” The hoops program has suffered immensely in the Big 12 (while the football program has flourished), winning a total of eight games in their four seasons (including a winless 2014), but the school sank $72 million into renovating its arena, made an aggressive move in firing Trent Johnson and then went out and got its dream candidate, Dixon, an alum. Fisher’s commitment is the first time those moves have shown that commitment to basketball paying off.