2015 Early Entry

College basketball’s seven biggest early entry losers for the 2015-2016 season

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source: Getty Images
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The deadline for underclassmen to enter the NBA Draft came and went at midnight on Sunday night, meaning that we now know what rosters will more or less look like for the 2015-16 season.

Here are the six biggest winners from this year’s draft deadline:

READ MORE: Complete Early Entry List | 2015-16 Preseason Top 25

1. Virginia: The Cavaliers are currently the No. 6 team in the NBCSports.com preseason top 25, but they had a chance to be No. 1 overall had they returned Justin Anderson to school. Anderson declared for the NBA Draft earlier this month, and it was probably the right decision. He’s coming off of a broken finger and an appendectomy and still managed to put together the kind of season that will make him an ideal 3-and-D role player at the next level. There’s a good chance he ends up being a first round pick. But without him, Virginia will be missing their best shooter and best defender. There’s a reason they went from being arguably Kentucky’s biggest challenger to fizzing out in the Round of 32 after Anderson got injured this season.

2. Murray State: Losing Cameron Payne is such a brutal blow for the Racers. Payne went from being under-recruited to a potential first round pick in two seasons in Murray. The Racers would have been a trendy top 25 pick if he had returned, as they won 25 straight games this past season before falling to Belmont in the OVC title game. Without Payne, they may not even be the favorite to win their conference.

3. N.C. State: The Wolfpack suffered a major blow when Trevor Lacey announced that he would be entering his name into the NBA Draft. Lacey is a second round pick at best, but had he decided to return to school, he would have been N.C. State’s go-to guy and their likely leading scorer for the second straight season. Without him — and without Ralston Turner — there are going to be a lot of question marks on the wing for the Wolfpack. Had he returned, Mark Gottfried could have been looking at being a top 20 team entering the season.

RELATED: NBA Draft early entry deadline’s six biggest winners

4. Arkansas: The Razorbacks run as a top 25 team in the SEC will end at one season as Mike Anderson’s two best players are heading to the professional ranks. SEC Player of the Year Bobby Portis heading to the NBA wasn’t all that surprising, but losing Michael Qualls — who was terrific in the NCAA tournament — hurt as well.

5. LSU: It wasn’t all that surprising, but sophomores Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin are both heading to the NBA. LSU brings in a loaded recruiting class — headlined by one of the nation’s top two recruits in Ben Simmons — and they’ll have one of the most talented perimeters in the country. But with Mickey and Martin back in the fold, they also would have had one of the best front courts.

6. UNLV: The Runnin’ Rebels are still going to have plenty of talent on their roster entering the 2015-16 season, but they’re still going to end up thinking about what could have been. Rashad Vaughn, a top ten recruit in the Class of 2014, entered the draft after an underwhelming season that ended in injury. A projected second round pick, his loss might actually hurt more than Christian Wood’s, a 6-foot-11 big man that is projected to get picked late in the first round. UNLV has depth along their front line next season. They don’t have as much in their back court.

7. Eastern Washington: Put Eastern Washington in the same boat as Murray State. After having some surprising success as a team this past season, EWU will head into rebuilding mode after star guard Tyler Harvey decided to enter the NBA Draft.

OTHER LOSERS

  • Florida: The Gators have a lot of work to do, and losing Michael Frazier II and Chris Walker certainly won’t help all that much.
  • Louisville: Rick Pitino was able to reload this offseason, but there will be a period of adjustment after the Cardinals watched Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier declare for the NBA Draft.
  • Kentucky: It wasn’t all that surprising, but Kentucky lost seven players from their 2014-15 team to the NBA Draft. None were all that surprising, however.

College basketball’s six biggest early entry winners for the 2015-2016 season

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source: Getty Images
Getty Images

The deadline for underclassmen to enter the NBA Draft came and went at midnight on Sunday night, meaning that we now know what rosters will more or less look like for the 2015-16 season.

Here are the six biggest winners from this year’s draft deadline:

READ MORE: Complete Early Entry List | 2015-16 Preseason Top 25

1. North Carolina: The Tar Heels will enter 2015-16 as NBCSports.com’s preseason No. 1 team in the country, and that’s entirely due to who they are bringing back this year. Star guard Marcus Paige will be back — and, more importantly, healthy — for his senior season, while Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks all return up front. Throw in the return of Justin Jackson, Theo Pinson and Joel Berry, and the Tar Heels will have talent, size, athleticism and depth at every position on their roster.

2. Maryland: The biggest news for the Terrapins this spring was Diamond Stone, a top ten recruit in the Class of 2015, deciding to play his college ball in College Park, but that’s not what has them ranked No. 3 in the NBCSports.com preseason top 25. Not only will Mark Turgeon get another season to coach star point guard Melo Trimble, but talented wing Jake Layman — a potential first round pick — will be back for another season as well.

3. Providence: There’s an argument to be made that the single-most important early entry decision made this season was that of Providence point guard Kris Dunn. Dunn would have been a likely lottery pick had he declared for the draft. Instead, he returned to school, making Providence a likely NCAA tournament team and himself a potential preseason Player of the Year.

RELATED: NBA Draft early entry deadline’s seven biggest losers

4. Indiana: Earlier this spring, both Troy Williams and James Blackmon Jr. announced that they would be returning to Bloomington for another season. That, combined with the addition of freshman Thomas Bryant, made the Hoosiers appear to be a potential tournament team. But on Sunday, star point guard Yogi Ferrell announced that he will be returning to school for his senior season. He’s the kind of dynamic point guard that will make Indiana’s uptempo, spread offense effective. He’s also the only true point guard on the Indiana roster. With Ferrell, Williams and Blackmon all back, Indiana is a preseason top 15 team.

5. Oklahoma: The Sooners will again be a contender in the Big 12 in 2015-16 after star guard Buddy Hield announced that he will be returning to Norman for his senior season. Hield was the 2015 Big 12 Player of the Year and a potential first round pick. With him back, the Sooners should be a preseason top 15 team.

6. Wichita State: The biggest win for the Shockers was getting Gregg Marshall back, as the Wichita State head coach turned down overtures from a number of schools. Marshall’s decision to return no doubt played a role in the decision for Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker to return to school. VanVleet was probably always going to be back, but there was a real chance that Baker, a borderline first round pick, could have headed to the NBA. With that trio back in the fold, the Shockers are once again a potential Sweet 16 team.

OTHER WINNERS

  • Michigan: The Wolverines caught a break when Caris LeVert, a preseason all-american this past season, decided to return to school for his senior year.
  • Utah: Jakob Poeltl was a potential lottery pick. The seven-footer decided to return to school, giving Utah a rock to build their defense around.
  • Cal: The Bears bring back Tyrone Wallace, meaning that, with the addition of Ivan Rabb, Cal will be a preseason top 25 team.
  • Gonzaga: The Zags lose Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell, but their front line — Kyle Wiltjer, Domas Sabonis and Przemek Karnowski — all decided against entering the NBA Draft.
  • Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish will have a chance to be relevant again next season with Demetrius Jackson returning to school. He’ll be a preseason all-american.
  • Kansas: Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre are off to the NBA, but Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden both opted to return to school.
  • Vanderbilt: The Commodores are a borderline top 25 team thanks in large part to the fact that Damian Jones will be back to anchor that roster.

Report: Yogi Ferrell to return to Indiana for senior season

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Yogi Ferrell is expected to announce that he will be returning to Indiana for his senior season on Sunday, according to a report from CBSSports.com.

The deadline to enter the NBA Draft for underclassmen is midnight on Sunday night. Ferrell was initially supposed to make his decision on Saturday evening, but he postponed that announcement.

Ferrell is a dynamic point guard that averaged 16.3 points and 4.9 assists as a junior for the Hoosiers. His return, along with the return of rising sophomore James Blackmon, will make the Hoosiers a preseason top 15 team. A talented playmaker, Ferrell thrived in Indiana’s spread offense a season ago.

Indiana will be a contender in a Big Ten race that will be loaded at the top. He was projected as a second round pick.

Report: James Blackmon Jr. to return to Indiana

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James Blackmon Jr. is returning to Indiana for his sophomore season, the player announced in a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

“I felt the best situation for me is to come back next year and play my sophomore year here,” he said.

Blackmon is not projected to be picked in the 2015 or 2016 drafts by Draft Express.

As a freshman with the Hoosiers, Blackmon averaged 15.7 points and shot 38.7 percent from three, thriving in Tom Crean’s spread offense. He’s a talented scorer and a dangerous shooter that took advantage of the style that undersized Indiana was forced to play last season.

Blackmon’s return is key for the Hoosiers, but it’s only part of the equation. Tom Crean will now be waiting on an announcement from Yogi Ferrell, which is scheduled to come down on Saturday night. If Ferrell returns, with the addition of Thomas Bryant in the paint, Indiana is looking at being a top 15-20 team entering the season. Without him, they’re a borderline NCAA tournament.

Report: Kris Dunn to return to Providence for his junior season

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Kris Dunn will be returning to Providence for his junior season, according to a report from Yahoo Sports.

It’s a risky move for Dunn, who has twice had seasons ruined as a result of injuries to his right shoulder. He’s currently projected as the No. 13 pick in the 2015 draft, according to Draft Express, and it’s hard to imagine that he would really improve his draft position much more if he was to return to school. Dunn is a terrific playmaker and an excellent defender, but he turns the ball over far too much and has struggled to consistently be a threat as a perimeter shooter.

As a redshirt sophomore with the Friars last season, Dunn averaged 15.6 points, 7.5 assists, 5.5 boards and 2.7 steals while leading Providence to the NCAA tournament. That was enough to earn Dunn a spot as an NBCSports.com second-team all-american, and he’ll likely enter the 2015-16 season as a first-team all-american and a potential National Player of the Year.

Obviously, this is massive news for the Friars. And while they lose leading scorer and rebounder LeDontae Henton, Ed Cooley does get back a young, talented core while adding a solid four-man recruiting class. The Friars will be a factor in the Big East race and will be a borderline top 25 team entering the season.

Caris LeVert to return to Michigan for his senior season

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Caris LeVert will be returning to Michigan for his senior season, the school announced on Tuesday.

“After considering my options, I am excited to announce I will return for my senior year,” LeVert said. “Coming back allows me to keep working towards my Michigan degree and take the next steps in my development as a player, teammate and a leader of our program.”

The 6-foot-6 LeVert was a preseason all-american entering the 2014-15 season, and for the first two months of the regular season, he played like it. He was averaging 14.9 points, 4.9 boards, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals, all team-highs, in January, when his season was cut short. LeVert broke his left foot, the second time in less than a year that he was dealing with a significant injury to that foot.

READ MORE: Most Important Draft Decisions | Early Entry List

Some believed that those injury issues would convince LeVert, who was projected by many to be a late first round pick, to bolt for the NBA. Instead, he’ll return for his senior season with a chance to prove just what he is capable of when healthy.

This news is enormous for the Wolverines as well. With Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin and Spike Albrecht back — and, hopefully, healthy — and the likes of Mark Donnal, Ricky Doyle and Kameron Chatman with a year of experience under their belt, John Beilein’s club looks like it will be a top 25 team come November.