One of the major points of contention in college basketball in recent years has been the NCAA calendar for early NBA Draft entrants. Wednesday afternoon the NCAA announced that some changes have been made, and they’re alterations that should benefit athletes moving forward.
The withdrawal deadline, which in 2011 was moved to just before the start of the spring signing period (mid-April), has been pushed to ten days following the completion of the NBA’s annual NBA Draft Combine. The combine is held in mid-May (May 11-15 this year), so this year athletes will have until May 25 to make a final decision. This allows them the time to go through workouts with teams and receive more feedback before making the decision to either keep their name in the draft pool or return to school.
In regards to the pre-draft workouts, players are allowed to enter the NBA Draft multiple times without jeopardizing their eligibility, and they can participate in the combined and one tryout per NBA team per year as well. These changes won’t impact guys who are projected to be lottery picks. But for those who may be on the fence or don’t enter the process as high on draft boards, having the ability to get better evaluations can only help them.
In 2009 the NCAA moved the deadline for players to withdraw from the draft to early May, only to move it to just before the start of the spring signing period two years later. That change was sparked by the complaints of some coaches, as they were concerned about what a hasty departure could do to their roster for the next season while also dealing with the spring signing period.
But of all the players who leave school early on any given year, how many are truly surprises? In most instances there’s ample time to address a possible early departure on the recruiting trail, and that will continue to be the case moving forward. Open dialogue can help in these situations, and being able to discuss workouts and feedback from NBA decision-makers can only help the players and coaches as they work through the decision-making process.
Rick Pitino announced during a press conference on Monday afternoon that both Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier will be declaring for the NBA Draft.
“They are both leaving,” he told reporters. “100 percent.”
It’s not a surprise that either player is leaving. It was long assumed that Rozier would be off to the NBA after this season, and Harrell actually surprised some folks when he decided to return to school for his junior season.
The Cardinals also lost sophomore guard Anton Gill to transfer on Monday, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.
Rozier finished his sophomore year averaging 17.1 points and 3.0 assists, proving himself to be one of the smoothest scorers in this year’s draft class. A 6-foot-1 combo-guard, Rozier certainly has the athleticism and scoring ability to play in the NBA, but his lack of pure point guard skills limit his upside.
Harrell averaged 15.7 points and 9.2 boards as a junior, although he didn’t exactly improve his perimeter jumper the way that he had hoped. Harrell, who has a future in a Kenneth Faried-esque role at the next level, shot just 9-for-37 from three this season. Three of those nine threes game in the season-opener against Minnesota.
Draft Express currently projects Harrell as a mid-to-late first round pick while they have Rozier slotted in the early second round.
Gill played in 31 games and averaged 2.5 points per game during his sophomore campaign. He had a key stretch against N.C. State in the Sweet 16 in which Gill had three baskets during a six-minute stretch. The sophomore averaged 9.5 minutes per game.
The NBA, NCAA and National Association of Basketball Coaches have teamed up on a proposal that would push back the deadline for early entry candidates to remove their name from the NBA Draft, according to reports from USA Today and ESPN.com.
The date, which is currently in early April, before the spring signing period and just over a week after the national title game, would get pushed back five weeks, to late May. The proposal would request roughly 75 prospects get invited to the NBA Combine, which would be held in mid-May and would give feedback to the players before the withdrawal deadline.
Essentially, the goal would be to signal to any underclassmen considering making the jump to the NBA that if you weren’t invited to the combine, you’re not going to get drafted. It would also give those players a chance to showcase themselves in front of NBA front office types and get direct feedback on their draft standing.
In other words, it’s an effort to give these kids as much information as possible to make what amounts to the most important decision of their lives.
This is a very, very good thing. The way the system is currently set up is atrocious for the players. They have to make an uninformed decision months before the draft and prior to NBA teams really starting to focus on what they are looking for in the draft. The rule was changed three years ago, as college coaches complained about how leaving the status of potential pros up in the air hurt their team. With a finite number of scholarships available, the coaches didn’t want to have to go into the summer not knowing whether they were going to get a player back or not.
Before the rule was changed, the NCAA used the NBA’s withdrawal deadline, with is ten days before the actual draft.