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.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina freshman guard Rakym Felder was arrested Sunday and charged with several counts, including assault, resisting arrest and public disorderly conduct.
Felder, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard from New York, is being held at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, according to the facility’s website.
A team spokeswoman said coach Frank Martin was aware of Felder’s arrest and was gathering more information. Per South Carolina athletic department policy, Felder is suspended indefinitely.
Felder was charged by the Columbia police with simple assault and battery, resisting arrest, public disorderly conduct, failure to stop on police command, a pedestrian on a controlled access highway and use of another’s or altered license or identification card.
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The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.