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.
One of the top points guards in the Class of 2017 has trimmed his list of potential collegiate destinations to six.
Trae Young, a consensus top-25 recruit, listed Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington, Oklahoma State and Kentucky as the schools he is considering as he readies to begin his senior year of high school.
The list of the 6-foot-2 point guard is largely provincial as it includes Oklahoma, whose campus is just minutes away from Young’s Norman North High School, and fellow in-state school Oklahoma. Another pair of Big 12 schools make the list in powerhouse Kansas and the Red Raiders, whose first-year coach, Chris Beard, has spent the bulk of his career working in Texas. Texas Tech is also Young’s father’s alma mater. Washington has been on a role sending its players to the pros and recently received the commitment of top-five 2017 recruit Michael Porter, Jr.
Kentucky, of course, needs no explanation as to its attractiveness to high-level players.
Clemson will get a four-star recruit on campus a year earlier than it expected, though his on-court debut for the Tigers will remain on schedule.
A.J. Oliver, a guard from South Carolina, will enroll early at Clemson and redshirt this upcoming season, he announced via social media Wednesday.
“I woke up this morning and realized that the greatest opportunity for me is to enroll early into Clemson,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will redshirt a year & start my college career early.”
Oliver, whose mother is the head women’s basketball coach at Clemson, was a consensus top-100 player in the class of 2017 who committed to the Tigers last December. Texas Tech and the College of Charleston were involved before his commitment.
A three-star shooting guard, Scott Spencer of Virginia, was previously the only member coach Brad Brownell’s 2016 class. While Oliver’s decision to redshirt will keep him off the court for the 2016-17 season, he’ll have spent a full season in the Tiger program before making his debut in 2017
The cupboard isn’t bare in 2017 for the Tigers due to Oliver’s reclassification because Clemson received a commitment from power forward Malik Williams, a consensus top-150 player, earlier Wednesday.
Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training
Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.
You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:
“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”
Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”
Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”