Monday, April 11, 2011

To Go or Not To Go

Well, the NCAA Tournament isn't quite over yet, but with only 4 teams left, there are a lot of college ballers who are contemplating their next decision, do you stay or go to the NBA?  It's always a tough question for some and then there are others that are motivated by the need for money that may make them do something that isn't in their best interests.  Let's take a look at some of the big names that may be on the fence.  (As a note, let's not even entertain the possibility of the anticipated NBA lockout).

Kyrie Irving, Duke - Ohhh, this is a tough one.  I know if Irving had helped Duke win a title, this would be a much easier decision.  With the loss to Arizona fresh in some people's minds, I imagine that Irving has quite a decision to make.  On one hand, he's been scouted enough (since middle school) and he's shown enough on the court for Duke that we all know he can play.  On the other hand, is this toe thing going to be a recurring issue?  If it is, it's best for him to go pro now and make his money and have access to a professional training staff (he actually has that at Duke already).  If he wants to come back and help Duke win one next year, they are going to be stacked in the back court.  Can you make player trades in college?  Duke is just one Udonis Haslem-type away from cutting down nets. Decision: Go.

Harrison Barnes, UNC - He's ready.  I mean he has all the tools needed to make the jump.  You really saw how he handled the pressure of being the man later in the season.  With that Larry Drew II stuff going on at UNC, we know that that ended up causing that team problems.  The kid is a legit 6'7" or 6'8" and he can score with the best of them.  I know he wants to help UNC win one, but, I'm not sure how much better he gets playing at UNC next year.  Decision: Go.

Derrick Williams, Arizona - You just put your team on your back and beat one of the best schools in the country in front of a national TV audience.  Williams is a tweener but brings some length and some heart to the NBA.  He can attack the basket against slower guys and is a good enough shooter to stretch the defense out to the 3 point line.  Decision: Go.

Jared Sullinger, Ohio State - Looks like Sullinger is heading back to Columbus for his sophomore year.  I think this is a good idea for him.  He played well as a freshman, but I think he serves himself better by getting in the weight room and working on his moves when he's guarded by bigger/taller defenders.  OSU was in trouble when teams were able to play Sullinger one on one and guard their 3 point shooters.  Part of the work for Sullinger is that he has to work on his body.  I'm not saying he's got to look like Dwight Howard, but he can't keep looking like Paul Pierce (no definition).  Decision: Stay.

Kemba Walker, Connecticut - If you don't get a National title this year, you did everything that you could do.  Walker has proven that one man can carry a team and I'm not discounting the play of the UConn bigs or Lamb, but Walker has been nothing short of amazing over the last month or so.  Walker is a little height challenged, but he will definitely be a great pick for the right team.  He does know how to pick and roll.  Decision: Go.

Tyler Zeller, UNC - I've said this all year long, this kid is legit.  He has a jump hook with both hands, a face up game and dominate the boards in stretches.  Zeller isn't going to get any better at UNC this next year (although his presence and John Henson's would cause my Dukies problems), but I think that he could win a National title next year at UNC.  So, the big question is, is it worth it?  Do you stay and get a title or do you bolt.  The NBA loves height.  Decision: Go.

John Henson, UNC - The pogo stick finally played well this year and with some determination.  Henson is a shot blocking machine.  He's LONG and he seems to be able to play two people at any one time while he's in the paint.  Henson put on 20lbs of weight last summer and he could add an additional 30 if possible, but why not do that in the NBA.  The people that he resembles from an NBA standpoint are Tayshawn Prince and Marcus Camby.  Not bad.  If one of these guys (Zeller or Henson) decide to stay, I think that'll weigh heavy on the other.  Decision: Go.

What's your take?  Do you have any advice for these young guys?  Let them hear it.  


Terrell L. Lindsey said...

I would agree with all of your assessments except one and the one would be Sullinger. There was no question about who the best big man in the entire country was. I agree that he may need to hit the weights a tad but one game against a sizable opponent does not negate that fact that this kid is NBA ready.

Inquisitive Mind said...

The games that Ohio State struggled in and or lost were games that Sullinger wasn't able to dominate his one on one matchup. He'd be doing himself a favor by staying another year.